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Old January 20th, 2017, 11:26 PM   #1
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AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

Hi all,
This may have a obvious answer but having no luck with searching so far? Just moved to FCP 10.3 from FC Express, the computer is a mid 2010 I Mac with 16gb Ram, Radeon 5670 card with 512 ram and a
Intel core i 3 processor. All media is stored on a Lacie Quadra 3TB external drive
I shoot with a Sony NX3 with the software update , the AVCHD footage plays fine on the camera and also from the camera to a monitor. But once imported the footage , especially objects moving across the screen , becomes choppy, sometimes quite noticeable. I have tried proxy and optimised files but no different and once exported the footage is still choppy.
I shoot a lot of railway stuff so trains moving across the screen are jittery and very annoying considering the camera quality. I have read a lot on AVCHD and choppy playback but as it is rewrapped on import that should resolve those issues??
Any suggestions most welcome! Or is the old Imac just not quick enough?

Cheers Gregg.
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Last edited by Gregg Malmborg; January 21st, 2017 at 02:51 AM.
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Old January 21st, 2017, 12:30 AM   #2
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Re: AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

Hi Gregg,
If its the same thing as the footage out of my Canon c100, you need to point the NLE to progressive, as apparently AVCHD comes in telling the NLE it's interlaced.
I've edited in Final Cut and know how similar it is to Premiere I currently use... This is what I need do in Premiere : right-click on the clip in the monitor window> modify>footage set to no field, progressive.

Hope this helps
Gareth
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Old January 21st, 2017, 02:54 AM   #3
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Re: AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

Hi Gareth .
. Thanks for the reply. We do shoot in progressive down here , so that could be it? I tried clicking on the clip and going to modify but not the same I options come up? I will delve a little deeper tomorrow, its is getting late here.Will keep you posted

Thanks ,
Gregg .
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Old January 21st, 2017, 10:42 PM   #4
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Re: AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

Hi Gareth,
No luck I'm afraid. You go to project and in the viewer inspector, click on modify and you get the options as you say, It was already in progressive , so I changed it ti interlaced and back again but no luck.
The footage is fine until there is any movement of average speed?
Thanks for the suggestion, at least I learnt something..LOL
Cheers Gregg
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Old January 22nd, 2017, 01:09 AM   #5
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Re: AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

Check you have the playback setting set to Better Quality rather than Better Performance.
This can be found in the View menu in the top right corner of the screen.
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Old January 22nd, 2017, 09:05 AM   #6
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Re: AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

How did you import the files into FCPX? The fact that optimized files export choppy indicates that the footage is not importing correctly. Are you using the most recent version of FCPX? Are you letting Final Cut set the project settings or are you manually setting the format and frame rate? Do the files play OK in the browser?

Also have you tried playing the raw footage in QuickTime (if possible) or in VLC on the iMac? If the footage plays OK these ways then it's the settings in FCPX that are off. Apple says that your camera is supported so import should be simple.
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Old January 23rd, 2017, 04:51 AM   #7
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Re: AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Langdon View Post
Check you have the playback setting set to Better Quality rather than Better Performance.
This can be found in the View menu in the top right corner of the screen.
Hi Kevin,
Yes I have tried both settings, slightly better in "performance" but still a bit choppy on movement, but thank you for the suggestion!
Cheers Gregg.
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Old January 23rd, 2017, 05:09 AM   #8
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Re: AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
How did you import the files into FCPX? The fact that optimized files export choppy indicates that the footage is not importing correctly. Are you using the most recent version of FCPX? Are you letting Final Cut set the project settings or are you manually setting the format and frame rate? Do the files play OK in the browser?

Also have you tried playing the raw footage in QuickTime (if possible) or in VLC on the iMac? If the footage plays OK these ways then it's the settings in FCPX that are off. Apple says that your camera is supported so import should be simple.
Hi William,
I have tried importing via the USB cable and off the SD card, same results either way. The files are choppy
when played in QT off the external drive and in the browser. It is the latest version, 3 weeks old and I let FCP choose the project settings which I have checked. The footage is smooth if you follow / pan a subject
but something moving across screen is jittery ? The import process is easy as you say and once optimized, editing is pretty quick. Funny thing is it also does the same thing in I movie on my 2011 Mac Book Pro? Could it be out of date graphics cards?
Regards Gregg
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Old January 24th, 2017, 04:12 AM   #9
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Re: AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

You haven't indicated what kind of speed the object is moving across the scene. In progressive mode is is advisable for it not to be greater than 7-8 seconds - this is an inherent problem with 24/25 frames per second.
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Old January 24th, 2017, 05:54 AM   #10
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Re: AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Malmborg View Post
Hi William,
I have tried importing via the USB cable and off the SD card, same results either way. The files are choppy
when played in QT off the external drive and in the browser. It is the latest version, 3 weeks old and I let FCP choose the project settings which I have checked. The footage is smooth if you follow / pan a subject
but something moving across screen is jittery ? The import process is easy as you say and once optimized, editing is pretty quick. Funny thing is it also does the same thing in I movie on my 2011 Mac Book Pro? Could it be out of date graphics cards?
Regards Gregg
Upload a brief instance of the problem to Vimeo so we can see.

Importing by USB or card isn't going to change anything. Out of date graphics cards will only affect real-time playback, rendered playback should be fine, especially in ProRes. I believe Mr. Addis is on to something.
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Old January 24th, 2017, 09:03 AM   #11
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Re: AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

If the unedited files are choppy when played back outside of FCPX then its your computer that's the issue. Most likely the video card can't keep up and is dropping frames. I also wouldn't recommend editing off an external drive. Commonly people allow fcpx to transcode to ProRes because it requires less processing power to playback compared to h264 a highly compressed codec that your camera records in. In addition you can lower the quality of the preview.

What's the context? When did this problem start?
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Old January 24th, 2017, 10:34 AM   #12
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Re: AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

Gregg,

I think you know we have the same camera, shoot the same AVCHD, edit with FCPX 10.3, and both use an iMac. I have not noticed any choppiness. My iMac is a mid-2011 with 16gb ram. I don't feel qualified to make an educated reply to your question, but my gut suspects and older Mac might be the issue.

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Old January 28th, 2017, 03:10 PM   #13
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Re: AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

Hi Ross,
I did look at some of your videos and certainly no issue there, funny how it also has the same issue on my Mac Book, which is also late 2010? I am getting used to the programme and liking more!

Cheers Gregg.
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Old January 28th, 2017, 03:25 PM   #14
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Re: AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Addis View Post
You haven't indicated what kind of speed the object is moving across the scene. In progressive mode is is advisable for it not to be greater than 7-8 seconds - this is an inherent problem with 24/25 frames per second.
Hi Geoff,
It doesn't seem to matter but usually it would be quicker than 7 -8 seconds. I have tried shooting at 50 fps and it is no different? As William suggests ,I will upload a short clip(once I work out how) and see what you think.
Thanks for the reply.
Gregg
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Old January 28th, 2017, 03:36 PM   #15
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Re: AVCHD footage choppy after import to FCP 10.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
Upload a brief instance of the problem to Vimeo so we can see.

Importing by USB or card isn't going to change anything. Out of date graphics cards will only affect real-time playback, rendered playback should be fine, especially in ProRes. I believe Mr. Addis is on to something.
Hi William,
I will upload a short clip when I work out how! I really should have done that first but thought I was doing something wrong. Wondering now if it is a camera issue, but the files are perfect played in and from the camera?

Gregg.
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