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Old March 25th, 2009, 09:14 AM   #1
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Settings for transcoding 5DmkII footage for editing (FCP)

I've been experimenting with exporting my native 5DmkII footage with various settings ranging from ProRes422, HDV, and even EXcam. The best results I've found are by using an HDV1080p24 preset and bumping up the settings for rate & resize under the frame controls (which increase render times exponentially to something like 60 to 1!).

I tried the same thing with ProRes which is a much faster render but find the motion to be a little jerky- thus requiring the same frame control tweaks which increase it's rendering time exponentially as well.

I edit using HDV 1080 24p timelines so what settings would be optimal for image quality, motion quality, and render times that wont take a week?!

- When you transcode do you leave the frame size at full raster (1920x1080) or do you resize it to match your HDV content at (1440x1080)?

- If you are on a 24p timeline do you leave it at it's native 30p or do you do the rate conversion as well?

Thanks in advance!
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Old March 25th, 2009, 11:27 AM   #2
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After dragging my raw 5d clips to a folder I send them all to compressor using the Prores422 preset. Next I import all the converted prores clip into FCP for editing.

Once my edited time line is complete I export using quicktime. This file is then sent back to compressor for what ever my destination project requires. Works great for me.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 12:04 PM   #3
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After dragging my raw 5d clips to a folder I send them all to compressor using the Prores422 preset. Next I import all the converted prores clip into FCP for editing.

Once my edited time line is complete I export using quicktime. This file is then sent back to compressor for what ever my destination project requires. Works great for me.
What if you need to mix footage (5DmkII with Canon XH-A1 24p)?
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Old March 25th, 2009, 12:32 PM   #4
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When mixing footage I've been shooting 30p on the XHA1 instead to match. Considering the length of time it takes to do the 30-24p conversion it seems like the better option is to cut everything at 30p and only convert the finished edit to 24p.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 02:39 PM   #5
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Glen,

Don't see how using the HDV codec would be good at all, its a bad editing codec. You should stick with ProRes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Elliott View Post
I've been experimenting with exporting my native 5DmkII footage with various settings ranging from ProRes422, HDV, and even EXcam. The best results I've found are by using an HDV1080p24 preset and bumping up the settings for rate & resize under the frame controls (which increase render times exponentially to something like 60 to 1!).

I tried the same thing with ProRes which is a much faster render but find the motion to be a little jerky- thus requiring the same frame control tweaks which increase it's rendering time exponentially as well.

I edit using HDV 1080 24p timelines so what settings would be optimal for image quality, motion quality, and render times that wont take a week?!

- When you transcode do you leave the frame size at full raster (1920x1080) or do you resize it to match your HDV content at (1440x1080)?

- If you are on a 24p timeline do you leave it at it's native 30p or do you do the rate conversion as well?

Thanks in advance!
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Old March 25th, 2009, 04:13 PM   #6
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I have not mixed any 24p from my A1 so I have no real experience to offer. However, you might try converting the 24p to prores and then drop it in the 5d's timeline.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 06:00 PM   #7
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Glen - I go out to prerez and convert to 24P at the same time. mixes great with A1 or Ex1 footage in detail like segments ie not realtime stuff. My custom compressor setting maps 30p - 24p so it does slow it down, but its fast and clean. for the 30 - 24 conversion at 100% speed it either takes forever or the quality isn't that hot.

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Old March 26th, 2009, 10:47 AM   #8
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Glen - I go out to prerez and convert to 24P at the same time. mixes great with A1 or Ex1 footage in detail like segments ie not realtime stuff. My custom compressor setting maps 30p - 24p so it does slow it down, but its fast and clean. for the 30 - 24 conversion at 100% speed it either takes forever or the quality isn't that hot.

P.
Patrick, yeah I noticed those settings under frame controls- ie the ability to change the rate without loosing frames. I would think the slight slow down would smooth things out a bit however there are several shots where I want the ambient talking as well. How badly does it affect the sound going from 30-24?

Thanks for the input everyone.

UDATE: Just tried it- not only slows the audio down (obviously) but throws it way out of sync. Darn.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 11:00 AM   #9
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Glen - the slow down is too much to use audio. I did some testing though in many different conversions and I think you would be happy going out to prorez at 30P and then dropping that on the 24P timeline - no rendering required. OR go out to 30P prorez and then convert that to 24P prorez with quality set to 'good' not best quality. I have a pile of clips and I can't tell them apart in terms of HQ and good when they both came from prorez to start.

Here is the clincher. a 6 second clip took 43 seconds to go to prorez 30P. that prorez 30p clip took 80 seconds to go to 24P prerez, so we are looking at 123 seconds, or 2 minutes roughly - a ratio of 20 to 1.

going straight from the h264 to prorez 24P quality on high quality took 15 min.
going straight from h264 to prorez 24P quality on good took 120 seconds.

visually it is hard to see a difference in the two step process and the timing is similar, just less hassle. a big difference though is viewing the footage at 25/50/or 100%. try to play it back in FCP at something like 33% and it looks terribly interlaced. I exported the footage out to apple tv and its all good.

P.
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Old March 28th, 2009, 05:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Glen Elliott View Post
What if you need to mix footage (5DmkII with Canon XH-A1 24p)?
I am not sure that you even want to attempt to mix 5DII footage with HDV from the XH-A1 as frankly the HDV stuff looks like crap compared to the 5DII. We have been very happy using our XHA1s but now are seriously considering getting another couple of 5DIIs & putting the camcorders on eBay if we can just reassure ourselves that the limitations of using the 5DII for video can be overcome. The image quality is so staggeringly good that anything else now looks a very poor second best. With footage shot side by side on the two cameras & even when aggressively compressing down to 1280x720p & 3.2Mbps the 5DII image quality is still streets ahead of the XH-A1.

Cheers

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Old March 28th, 2009, 08:37 AM   #11
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I am not sure that you even want to attempt to mix 5DII footage with HDV from the XH-A1 as frankly the HDV stuff looks like crap compared to the 5DII. We have been very happy using our XHA1s but now are seriously considering getting another couple of 5DIIs & putting the camcorders on eBay if we can just reassure ourselves that the limitations of using the 5DII for video can be overcome. The image quality is so staggeringly good that anything else now looks a very poor second best. With footage shot side by side on the two cameras & even when aggressively compressing down to 1280x720p & 3.2Mbps the 5DII image quality is still streets ahead of the XH-A1.

Cheers

Nigel
I don't know if I agree with you there, at least not 100%. Granted the full full raster HD image is very sharp and the dof is shallow with nice bokeh. However I don't feel a sharper image and shallow dof is enough to abandon bonified video cameras. Regardless of how "good" I get with my 5D the A1 is a better tool for live/event video.

I agree that the image on the 5D is remarkable however it does have some MAJOR limitations with it's lack of OIS, manual controls, and image controls. I can't even get it to stop crushing blacks in darker environments. These aren't the kind of blacks you can recover in post- they are literally BLACK (void of any detail). I even have my contrast set all the way down. (w/ the 24-70 2.8 L)
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Old March 28th, 2009, 08:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau View Post
Glen - the slow down is too much to use audio. I did some testing though in many different conversions and I think you would be happy going out to prorez at 30P and then dropping that on the 24P timeline - no rendering required. OR go out to 30P prorez and then convert that to 24P prorez with quality set to 'good' not best quality. I have a pile of clips and I can't tell them apart in terms of HQ and good when they both came from prorez to start.

Here is the clincher. a 6 second clip took 43 seconds to go to prorez 30P. that prorez 30p clip took 80 seconds to go to 24P prerez, so we are looking at 123 seconds, or 2 minutes roughly - a ratio of 20 to 1.

going straight from the h264 to prorez 24P quality on high quality took 15 min.
going straight from h264 to prorez 24P quality on good took 120 seconds.

visually it is hard to see a difference in the two step process and the timing is similar, just less hassle. a big difference though is viewing the footage at 25/50/or 100%. try to play it back in FCP at something like 33% and it looks terribly interlaced. I exported the footage out to apple tv and its all good.

P.
Patrick, so you think it's better to go to 30p prores then to 24p prores rather than directly to 24p prores? Saves time?

If I like the 5D's inclusion in our workflow I may even entertain changing to 30p on our A1's to make things immeasurably easier. However I'm a little unsure about that format for DVDs. Do VCRs support such a bizzare rate as 30p. I know they do 60i and can read the flags to display 24p properly- but what about 30p?
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Old March 28th, 2009, 09:47 AM   #13
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I don't know if I agree with you there, at least not 100%. Granted the full full raster HD image is very sharp and the dof is shallow with nice bokeh. However I don't feel a sharper image and shallow dof is enough to abandon bonified video cameras. Regardless of how "good" I get with my 5D the A1 is a better tool for live/event video.

I agree that the image on the 5D is remarkable however it does have some MAJOR limitations with it's lack of OIS, manual controls, and image controls. I can't even get it to stop crushing blacks in darker environments. These aren't the kind of blacks you can recover in post- they are literally BLACK (void of any detail). I even have my contrast set all the way down. (w/ the 24-70 2.8 L)
Perhaps I overstated my point. I agree with you that the XH-A1 is a much better tool for creating video. It's purpose designed to do it & has everything laid out nicely with full manual control. In comparison the hoops that have to be gone through to assert some control over the 5DII may be just too much which is why I am hesitant to dump the HDV camcorders in favour of the 5DII.

The problem to my mind is in mixing footage because of the vast difference in picture quality in particular sharpness between the 5DII video & HDV video which looks very grainy in comparison. The 'look' is just so different & never mind the crushed blacks to the untutored viewer the 5DII just looks 'better'. It's too jarring to swap between the two cameras in the same video.

Cheers

Nigel
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Old March 28th, 2009, 09:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Glen Elliott View Post
Patrick, so you think it's better to go to 30p prores then to 24p prores rather than directly to 24p prores? Saves time?

If I like the 5D's inclusion in our workflow I may even entertain changing to 30p on our A1's to make things immeasurably easier. However I'm a little unsure about that format for DVDs. Do VCRs support such a bizzare rate as 30p. I know they do 60i and can read the flags to display 24p properly- but what about 30p?
DVDs, VCRs & TVs support the even more bizarre rate of 29.97 which is the NTSC standard. 24fps is what film uses whereas PAL TV uses 25fps (50i).

Cheers

Nigel
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Old March 28th, 2009, 10:02 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
I am not sure that you even want to attempt to mix 5DII footage with HDV from the XH-A1 as frankly the HDV stuff looks like crap compared to the 5DII. We have been very happy using our XHA1s but now are seriously considering getting another couple of 5DIIs & putting the camcorders on eBay if we can just reassure ourselves that the limitations of using the 5DII for video can be overcome. The image quality is so staggeringly good that anything else now looks a very poor second best. With footage shot side by side on the two cameras & even when aggressively compressing down to 1280x720p & 3.2Mbps the 5DII image quality is still streets ahead of the XH-A1.

Cheers

Nigel
I must concur. HDV from the XL-H1 looked Terrible in comparison to the 5D.
Enough to make me re assess my personal shooting method

I also Use the ProRes route but I use MPEG Streamclip which is Faster than Compressor
I am at a loss as to how to get the 30fps to 24 with sound however.
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