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Old November 8th, 2009, 07:49 AM   #1
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Flip video

I have a project that was shot with a Flip HD camera, and I'm trying to determine the best workflow to edit it in FCP. I've used Flip material in a couple of other projects, and mixed it with xdcam hd and ex, and found some interesting things.

1. If I allow FCP to convert the timeline to Flip's mp4 format, the video plays but the audio requires rendering. (Taken to a different format, xdcam for example, both require rendering.)

2. If I drag a clip straight to the timeline from the browser, it frequently causes the app to crash. To prevent this you must put the clip into the viewer, mark an in and out (of the entire clip or whatever portion you want) and THEN take it to the timeline.

So, is there a way to import the material that would eliminate these issues? Or some other workaround that makes the material easier to use?

Thanks in advance ....
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Old November 8th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #2
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I've seen this before at a client site...

The biggest problem with the FLIP cams is they produce a combination of H.264 video with AAC/compressed 44.1 (or worse) audio as part of their standard format. FCP doesn't use compressed audio in the timeline which is why it's requiring rendering and, since H.264 is not an editing format explains why sometimes it will crash the app with the non-standard audio.

Keep in mind, the FLIP cameras are specifically for general conusmer use and it's format was never intended to be mixed in a professional timeline, so that means you'll need to convert the files into a standard editing format that FCP likes.

I don't remember if the Log & Transfer tool will even talk to this goofy format, if not then I'd suggest using either MPEG Streamclip or Compressor to convert the files to whatever editing format you're cutting in, then you won't have compatibility problems.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 10:03 AM   #3
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OKay, thanks. I was hoping for some simple batch means of doing this...

One of the sound people I work with regularly recently shot with a crew that was using his high end recording setup and 2 Flip cameras to shoot a spot. They liked the look the Flip produces. And I used it myself for some airline stuff - shot some takeoff and landing footage out the window during the flight, used smoothcam to stabilize it, and heavily treated it colorwise ... looked great, actually.

But a whole project on it is scary.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 01:53 PM   #4
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I would convert all the footage you use to ProRes before editing.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 04:39 PM   #5
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What's the best means of doing that, do you think?
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Old November 8th, 2009, 05:14 PM   #6
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MPEG Streamclip, by all means. That guy would be a millionaire if he charged a buck for it. He doesn´t.

I use it regularly for transcoding Canon 7D footage (which is also H.264, like Flip) to ProRes (or XDcam, if I want to save drive space and time). It has a batch transcode feature.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 07:41 PM   #7
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I'll give it a try, and thanks very much.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 07:58 AM   #8
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Works great, thanks.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 06:15 PM   #9
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Another option is to not convert your footage. Drop the footage into the new sequence and let FCP set the sequence settings to match the footage. Then go to SEQUENCE>SETTINGS>Render Tab and change the Render setting to render as ProRes.

This makes editing MUCH easier. The renders "stick" and don't disappear for mysterious reasons. Renders are also much faster.

But I'll admit, I haven't worked with Flip video before, this is just a guess. But the technique works great editing XDCAM EX footage which is basically MP4 footage. Good luck! :)
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Old November 13th, 2009, 04:46 AM   #10
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Yeah, but MP4 from XDCAM is meant to be edited, whereas H.264 from Flip and alikes are to be directly uploaded to Youtube and take as little space as possible. H264 is next to un-editable even on beefiest computers.
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