FCP 6 and AVCHD at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 16th, 2010, 09:48 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Washoe Valley, NV
Posts: 301
FCP 6 and AVCHD

I am having a huge problem with my FCP 6.06 dealing with some AVCHD files. I have been using FCP for some time to edit HDV, EX, and a variety of MPEG4 files (most recently a GoPro HeroHD) all often in conjunction with HDV files. Never had a problem. Until now.

I recently purchased a Sony CX550 AVCHD format camera, and have a need to intercut with both HDV and the MPEG4 files from the Hero camera. FCP will not recognize the CX550 camera or the files natively, but I found by playing around that iMovie will, and I can then import the quicktime files iMovie creates. That worked. They show up in the bin, and play in the timeline okay after rendering. But here's the problem.... when I export a finished product, there is a major issue with the video when it plays from the MPEG4 of the GoPro to the converted MTS files of the 550. There is often severe skipping and stuttering (almost like the old 'Max Headroom' stuff if I'm not dating myself too much?) and also some really serious color shifts and weird banding.... some video is just gone, and the sync is off.

Now before anyone gets overly technical with me.... while I have been shooting professionally since, well, before Max Headroom, I'm not an editor. I'll say that right up front.... I know just enough to be dangerous. All I am trying to cut is very basic assemble edits from various cameras I am using for scientific study. These cameras are all HD, and cover the gamut of HDV, (1080 60i), GoPro (1920 30p), a 7D (1920 30p) and now this AVCHD camcorder which is 1920 60i.

Aside from the issue that perhaps my FCP is incapable of handling the MTS files directly from the Sony 550, am I just asking for it by trying to combine all these frame rates and resolutions? Like a said, I've not had a problem until introducing the Sony AVCHD cam.
While I know I can reduce the resolution in the higher res cameras to more closely match the HDV cameras, I prefer to shoot in the highest resolution possible for archiving.

What is my best approach to try to get all of these formats to play nice? I've heard that my version of FCP won't handle the AVCHD (although it does like the MPEG4 from the GoPro). Do I need FCP 7 to make that happen, or do I (god forbid) need to run all the AVCHD files through compressor into something different? I also have MPEG Streamclip, but it also won't recognize the MTS files.

Also, should I be changing my sequence format to match my clips, or vice versa (if that's even an option?) I should say that for now, my main interest for edited content is for HD files posted on Vimeo for colleagues to be able to see. There may be a need for some DVDs (probably SD) at some point.

I know this is pretty basic stuff.... but I'm stumped and would really like to make use of this new camera. The 7D files I have a plugin for, and the EX is (mostly) not used in conjunction with any of these little cameras. So any advice would be greatly appreciated!
__________________
www.zooprax.com
Derek Reich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16th, 2010, 11:35 PM   #2
Go Go Godzilla
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ USA
Posts: 2,739
Images: 15
Derek,

The standardized workflow for AVCHD files is to transcode during import into ProRes 422 (not the HQ version). Then FCP will talk to your files just fine. ProRes will inter-cut with HDV and XDCAM nicely.
__________________
Producer/CEO
Reel Lane Films LLC
Robert Lane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17th, 2010, 08:41 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Washoe Valley, NV
Posts: 301
Thanks, Robert. I understood that would work, but my camera is not even recognized, so I can't import using log and transfer normally. I also can't use log and transfer on copied files to my drive.... so at the moment the only way I can get the files into FCP is to import them into iMovie and then import the iMovie files.
Interestingly, last night I tried exporting the timeline to a quicktime in ProRes 422. That worked! It's a lot of extra steps, but at least now I know I can make this work when the MTS files are involved.

Should I convert all my ingested files (mostly HDV) to ProRes in my bin and ingest in ProRes from here on out? (is that even possible?) Or should I start a new project for the MTS files (and probably the MPEG4 of the GoPro) and import those in ProRes and then bring those into the other project which is all HDV?

One last question.... the 550 is full raster HD, should I not import in HQ for archiving?

Thanks for your help
__________________
www.zooprax.com
Derek Reich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17th, 2010, 12:40 PM   #4
Go Go Godzilla
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ USA
Posts: 2,739
Images: 15
Always archive your original *camera master* files, not a re-compressed version of them regardless which codec it's in.

Unfortunately FCP 7 is probably your best bet for getting more AVCHD compatibility. When version 6 came out the AVCHD format was just hitting the market and Apple only released the codecs that were currently available.

You could use other software to transcode the files such as MPEG Streamclip (free), Cineform and various other AVCHD transcoders to make FCP 6 play nice with these files but honestly upgrading to FCP7 will be a much more elegant solution for you in the long run.
__________________
Producer/CEO
Reel Lane Films LLC
Robert Lane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17th, 2010, 04:55 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: York, England
Posts: 1,323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Reich View Post
..... I also can't use log and transfer on copied files to my drive.... so at the moment the only way I can get the files into FCP is to import them into iMovie and then import the iMovie files.
Are you copying the ENTIRE file structure, including the top PRIVATE folder? Simply copy the ENTIRE card to a folder on your hard disk, then point FCP log & transfer at that folder (not the PRIVATE folder, but the one you copied it all in to). FCP should then find your footage with no problems.

FCP needs the entire folder structure intact because it uses the other files to validate that the MTS files are intact and 'as intended'.

I upgraded from FCP 6 to 7 for reasons other than AVCHD, but can tell you that compressor 3.5 still can't read the MTS files and you need to use a 3rd party tool if the Log & Transfer fails (it's happened once to me). Do a search in Google for "MTS to MOV" and you will find several apps that do it. Having said that - I noticed on the one I converted (720p/50) the footage looked strangely choppy, even when in ProRes 422. I can't put my finger on what is causing it.
__________________
Qualified UAV Pilot with CAA PFAW
Aerial Photo / Aerial Video | Corporate Video Production
Dave Partington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2010, 08:06 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Washoe Valley, NV
Posts: 301
Dave-
Thanks.... I did copy the entire file, but no luck. However, I had been testing a Canon HVS 20 on the same SDHC card just prior to using it in the Sony CX550. I notice that there is still some file structure on the card from the Canon.... I wonder if this is what is preventing log and transfer from recognizing the content? I did try to point to the folder containing the MTS files, but no go.

I do know to copy the entire folder with content like this, the EX is the same way. It's weird that after formatting it in the Sony that there are still files from the Canon on it, but perhaps I didn't do the proper format. (guess I'll have to read the manual after all!)

Thanks for your help.... maybe this will solve both log and transfer and MPEG Streamclip issues?

Keeping my fingers crossed....
__________________
www.zooprax.com
Derek Reich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2010, 08:47 AM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: York, England
Posts: 1,323
You can't point FCP at the MTS files - it won't want to know anything about them.

You need to point it at the root of the card, or a folder on your HDD that contains the folder called PRIVATE that you copied off the card and all the files and folders within it. Nothing else will work.

If there are other things on the card it may also prevent things from working - so just copy the PRIVATE folder off the card to your HDD and point FCP at that.

Also, MPEGStreamclip that I have does not read MTS files. Is there a newer version that does?
__________________
Qualified UAV Pilot with CAA PFAW
Aerial Photo / Aerial Video | Corporate Video Production
Dave Partington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2010, 08:46 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Washoe Valley, NV
Posts: 301
Hey, Dave
Good to know..... I did try to point L&T to the 'private' folder on my desktop, but that didn't work either. (probably because there were stray folders from the Canon in there)

I also didn't have any luck with MPEG Streamclip, so I guess I'm not alone? Maybe this camera is too new, and they need to update. I have been meaning to contact squared 5 and see..... (I have version 1.9.2)

thanks for your input-
cheers
Derek
__________________
www.zooprax.com
Derek Reich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19th, 2010, 11:10 AM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: York, England
Posts: 1,323
Just to clarify, when I copy my cards to the HDD I create a folder for the project, then I create a folder inside there called 'Cards'. Inside 'Cards' I create another folder for each of the cards so that I end up with something like this:

/project/Cards/Card_1/PRIVATE
/project/Cards/Card_2/PRIVATE

You can either point FCP L&T to the 'Cards' folder, and it will then pick up all cards, or you can point it to (say) the /project/Cards/Card_1 folder for just card 1. Either way, I never point L&T at the PRIVATE folder itself, although for some people this may work.

I don't think FCP cares what the camera model is, it's just looking for a valid file structure.
__________________
Qualified UAV Pilot with CAA PFAW
Aerial Photo / Aerial Video | Corporate Video Production
Dave Partington is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:10 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network