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Old February 8th, 2010, 08:27 PM   #1
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Most easily digested format?

I am trying edit a multicam shoot on FCP 7. The footage is of the AVCHD type (.mts). If I want to edit a live multicam stream (as in, seeing all the angles play at once as I edit) is there any other supported format outside ProRes? I tried converting the footage to .mov with a H.264 codec and a divx codec, but neither supports open sync for multicam playback.

So am I stuck with ProRes for multicam editing, or will something else out there work?

P.s. I don't have anything against ProRes, but it makes pretty huge files for 1080p footage. I know that most codecs with superior compression are to difficult for Final Cut to play multiple streams on the fly, but I'm hoping there might be a mix of reasonable file size and multicam playback out there.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 08:35 AM   #2
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DVCPRO HD is a little more aggressive in the compression department versus Apple ProRes 422 .... alternatively there is Apple ProRes 422 LT which has a similar data rate to DVCPRO HD. Or how about, XDCAM HD 422 (50 Mb/s), XDCAM HD (35 Mb/s) or even good old fashioned (!) HDV? All are natively supported formats in FCP.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 11:39 AM   #3
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I would stick with ProRes. With hard drives being so cheap right now, there's not much reason to worry about storage. And I can't imagine any reason to transcode to some other format other than to save disc space.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 08:08 AM   #4
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Got a feeling the issue here is not so much about disk capacity Vito, but about multi-stream playback capacity. Buying a new hard disc is not going to make a significant difference in and of itself, but a big fast RAID is certainly a means to achieve better performance ... as is choosing a more aggressive codec ;-)
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Old February 10th, 2010, 08:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackson Hager View Post
P.s. I don't have anything against ProRes, but it makes pretty huge files for 1080p footage...I'm hoping there might be a mix of reasonable file size and multicam playback out there.
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Originally Posted by Andy Mees View Post
Got a feeling the issue here is not so much about disk capacity Vito, but about multi-stream playback capacity.
Hey Andy,

The original post makes it clear he's concerned about disk space. Even if wants to build a raid, a good idea as you suggest, discs are so cheap that it's to his advantage to stick to ProRes, which is designed for high quality and ease of playback, the advantage of frame based codecs.

If he transcodes to a codec that takes less space, but is harder for his computer to play back, he's going to have trouble with multicam perfomance.

ProRes is only 75Gigs/hour. For $200 he could have a 2 terabyte raid that will hold over 20 hours of footage. Not bad...
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Old February 10th, 2010, 09:20 AM   #6
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Aha! Good catch.

Jackson, Vito's quite right ... if all this is just about disc capacity then just getting a bigger disc is a pretty affordable option.

Best
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Old February 11th, 2010, 09:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackson Hager View Post
I am trying edit a multicam shoot on FCP 7. The footage is of the AVCHD type (.mts). If I want to edit a live multicam stream (as in, seeing all the angles play at once as I edit) is there any other supported format outside ProRes? I tried converting the footage to .mov with a H.264 codec and a divx codec, but neither supports open sync for multicam playback.

So am I stuck with ProRes for multicam editing, or will something else out there work?

P.s. I don't have anything against ProRes, but it makes pretty huge files for 1080p footage. I know that most codecs with superior compression are to difficult for Final Cut to play multiple streams on the fly, but I'm hoping there might be a mix of reasonable file size and multicam playback out there.
HDV can be edited multi-cam in a ProRes timeline but not a HDV timeline. I do that often. AVCHD I'm not sure. You can try it. At the end you'll have to render the entire timeline but that's a lot less HD space than turning all the raw files in to ProRes.

Let's be clear about compression. AVCHD is a more complex compression codec, not always "superior" unless the criteria is only about taking less room. The AVCHD format was created for video delivery not editing. It has been adopted for consumer cameras as the industry found that people generally don't edit their home videos. The same issue was with MPEG2 which was developed as a professional video delivery format (satellite, DVD, fiber) and it took years before the industry came up with ways to turn MPEG2 into an editable format. The amount of computer resources needed to just play back a single AVCHD file makes multi-cam playback difficult if not impossible for some computers. ProRes was created for a purpose and one of them was to make multi-cam possible. The best option in terms of superior video quality is to transcode to ProRes.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 06:55 PM   #8
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>The best option in terms of superior video quality is to transcode to ProRes.

Before we all get carried away, lets also remember that a transcode to ProRes will absolutely not improve the video quality of your already recorded material, it will only change the codec. You do not get superior video quality just by transcoding source footage.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 04:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackson Hager View Post
I am trying edit a multicam shoot on FCP 7. The footage is of the AVCHD type (.mts). If I want to edit a live multicam stream (as in, seeing all the angles play at once as I edit) is there any other supported format outside ProRes? I tried converting the footage to .mov with a H.264 codec and a divx codec, but neither supports open sync for multicam playback.

So am I stuck with ProRes for multicam editing, or will something else out there work?

P.s. I don't have anything against ProRes, but it makes pretty huge files for 1080p footage. I know that most codecs with superior compression are to difficult for Final Cut to play multiple streams on the fly, but I'm hoping there might be a mix of reasonable file size and multicam playback out there.

I think u must stick with ProRes.Convert to h.264 MP4 HD first, and then convert again to ProRes422 codec using Compressor.
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