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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old June 8th, 2007, 07:33 AM   #1
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Newbie question: offline editing with FCP

Hi all,

As captured footage takes about 42GB per hour, I was wondering if it is worthwile to buy FCP for offline editing.
I don't have FCP (I am a FCE user) but my dealer was kind enough to let met try it. However I did not get the settings right in the limited amount of time I had.
The capture was indeed somewhat smaller, but still 1440x1080.
So here is my question: What would be the correct project setup for offline editing with the HV20 PAL version?
| would really like to try it before spending another 500 euro....

A quick-setup guide would be appreciated.
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Old June 8th, 2007, 09:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karel Gillissen View Post
As captured footage takes about 42GB per hour, I was wondering if it is worthwile to buy FCP for offline editing.
I think you might be off on your calculations a little. Native HDV capture from an HV20 is only 10GB per hour.
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Old June 8th, 2007, 10:40 AM   #3
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No, I am afraid you are mixing up the m2t compressed files, which takes about 12GB/hr with the uncompressed HDV1080i50 which takes up -using the Apple intermediate codec- appr. 42GB/hr.

And editing is done in the uncompressed footage...
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Old June 8th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Karel Gillissen View Post
No, I am afraid you are mixing up the m2t compressed files, which takes about 12GB/hr with the uncompressed HDV1080i50 which takes up -using the Apple intermediate codec- appr. 42GB/hr.

And editing is done in the uncompressed footage...
Actually, I'm not. The HV20 records HDV at around 10-12GB/hr which is highly compressed MPEG2, so that's the "native capture" I'm talking about.

You're doing something different however, and transcoding that native footage into another format, the Apple intermediate codec, which you are correct in saying is 42GB/hr. This however is not "uncompressed" as you stated.

I guess what I'm trying to get across is a clear understanding of the formats. FCP has some major advantages over FCE, but could you not "offline edit" in the much smaller HDV native codec that works with FCE?
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Old June 8th, 2007, 12:54 PM   #5
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Of-course I might be wrong, after all I am a HDV newbie...

But as I see it the CMOS sensor doesn't give a MPEG2 output, but the camera needs a compression scheme to cramp the footage into the limited space of a DV tape.
To achieve this the camera uses a GOP compression scheme, which I need to decompress in individual frames again in order to be able to do a frame by frame edit, which cannot be done on my humble system with GOP-compressed footage.
And this frame by frame footage -which I call uncompressed because it has no GOP compression- uses 42 GB/hour diskspace.

So I really do not see a possibility to edit the 'native' footage as you call it just because it is MPEG2.
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Old June 8th, 2007, 01:10 PM   #6
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I don't believe the latest version of FCE can edit HDV natively. It transcodes it to AIC before you can do anything. However the latest version of FCP does edit HDV footage. So, should you decide to upgrade, there is a preset that would allow you to "online" the captured HDV footage that takes up ~13 GB/hr. Or do you need to go even smaller?
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Old June 8th, 2007, 01:23 PM   #7
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Ah, I see what you're saying. Final Cut Express HD and Final Cut Pro HD do provide support for native HDV material, and allow editing of the MPEG2 footage directly in the timeline, and it is frame-accurate. Capturing and outputting is not however.

The less compressed Apple Intermediate Codec is frame-accurate at all stages, and is much more desirable to work with, but comes at a hefty GB/hr price.

For a true "offline" setting, just go to the Final Cut Pro menu, and choose "Easy Setup..." This should is an OfflineRT setup, though I'm not sure if it's compatible with an HDV capture.

Another option is to bring in your footage as DV, directly from you HV20, using the DV Locked mode in the camera. This will allow on-the-fly transcoding of your original HDV footage into DV, and complete compatibility with FCE or FCP.
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Old June 8th, 2007, 01:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Joren Clark View Post
I don't believe the latest version of FCE can edit HDV natively. It transcodes it to AIC before you can do anything. However the latest version of FCP does edit HDV footage. So, should you decide to upgrade, there is a preset that would allow you to "online" the captured HDV footage that takes up ~13 GB/hr. Or do you need to go even smaller?
It says HDV support on the Apple site, but doesn't break it down into specifics. I guess AIC transcoding is the cleanest way to get the footage in there, plus it also gives them a reason to push FCP.
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Old June 8th, 2007, 01:38 PM   #9
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OfflineRT might work, but it may cause other issues, such as aspect ratios. FCE is the same as iMovie HD. Ingest and transcode automatically to AIC to edit. However, Karel, your AIC footage sounds heavy. I checked some test AIC footage I just did and it varied from 3.5 - 5.5 MB/s, which would put it about the same or a tiny bit more than native HDV— ~15GB/hr. Certainly not 42 GB/hr. Perhaps FCE uses a different transcoding method. Regardless, sounds like you should consider upgrading.
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Old June 8th, 2007, 02:40 PM   #10
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All right, thank you all for your input on this matter.
However I have one more question: I found a document on the Apple website:
http://www.apple.com/support/finalcutpro/
In the right sidebar is a pdf document called "HD and broadcast formats"
and there I find on page 37 the following:

quote
The following table lists the data rates for MPEG-2 HDV as well as HDV transcoded to the Apple Intermediate Codec. DV data rates are included for comparison.
Format Native frame size Data rate
DV NTSC 720 x 480 3.6 MB/sec. (equivalent to 12 GB/hr.)
DV PAL 720 x 576 3.6 MB/sec. (equivalent to 12 GB/hr.)
MPEG-2 HDV 720p30 1280 x 720 2.5 MB/sec. (equivalent to 9 GB/hr.)
MPEG-2 HDV 1080i60/50 1440 x 1080 3.3 MB/sec. (equivalent to 12 GB/hr.)
AIC HDV 720p30 1280 x 720 7 MB/sec. (equivalent to 25 GB/hr.)
AIC HDV 1080i50 1440 x 1080 12 MB/sec. (equivalent to 42 GB/hr.)
AIC HDV 1080i60 1440 x 1080 14 MB/sec. (equivalent to 49 GB/hr.)
/quote

Which is fairly consistent with what I get in FCE and which suggest that also with FPC the AIC will use 42GB/hr?
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Old June 8th, 2007, 03:19 PM   #11
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wow. that surprising. I'm fairly new to the HDV thing myself. But, I'm telling you, I don't think they're that high. I relooked at my project and those rates that I told you are actually from JES Deinterlacer. So ingest HDV, use JES Deinterlacer to get 1080p AIC files, import to FCP. Apologies for being less than accurate. As a test, I captured to AIC directly within FCP and got data rates in the 7 MB/s range–which is just under 30GB/hr--almost 1/3 less than what apple and you claim. Here's a screen grab of my browser window with examples of the two different types AIC files:

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Old June 9th, 2007, 03:37 AM   #12
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Thanks Joren.
I'll head back to the store next week and try to capture some more footage in AIC and see if I can get the same results as you.
I guess I can live with the 'normal' DV space of about 13GB/hr.

I'll post the results here.
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