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Old May 9th, 2003, 02:41 AM   #1
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JVC MPEG2-TS footage edited with FCP

Following many of the steps I posted in the Sample Footage thread I have gotten fairly far.

I went from MPEG-2-TS into FCP where I made a 30S movie by recutting the clip.

Was able to add a video inset, a title, and a second audio track with music.

Exported to 1280x720 MPEG-4 movie which plays well in the QT player.

Now if there were an MPEG-2-TS encoder for FCP that would accept 1280x720. The fact is a PC may be needed for FireWire capture and encoding and FireWire output.

Was also able to scale to 720x480 and output a DV version.

This involves a long process, and certainly isn't practical for anything but a short movie. But it does show it's not impossible.

And, hopefull this will spur some programmers to get to work!
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Old May 9th, 2003, 07:30 AM   #2
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Good to hear Steve! Also, 'thanks' to Paul Mogg for pointing out that this all could be done.

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Old May 9th, 2003, 11:55 AM   #3
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I've gone on to make a DVD.

But, I am concerned about one thing.

The JVC uses a 6 long GOP. In theory, we should be able to see but 1 in 6 frames. But we do.

We should only be able to edit to the nearest/nextGOP. But we can.

This footage is behaving like it was I-frame only MPEG-2.

Have we been fed a bogus sample?

Does Apple's decoder do this behind the scenes?

Or, does the capture software do a conversion to I-frame only?
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Old May 9th, 2003, 12:36 PM   #4
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Steve, with due respect I think you are jumping to conclusions.
I do not think you are editing the actual MPEG-2 material from the HD1 using this method. What I believe is going on here is that you have downloaded an MPEG-2 PLAYBACK ONLY plug-in from Apple This does NOT support native MPEG-2 editing, it is playback only. So although you are able to load an .m2v file into Final Cut Pro because PLAYBACK is now supported by Quicktime, you will notice that as soon as you load it into a sequence, the sequence timeline has a red bar above it, meaning that you have to render before you can edit, ....and the format you are rendering to is whateever your sequence settings are set up to be. ...and if you look in the sequence settings you'll notice that you cannot create an MPEG-2 sequenece, that is one where the quicktime compressor is MPEG-2. So in fact you are editing a DV downconvert (or whatever other format your sequence happens to be).
However, using the original method that I posted (see my original thread on editing in FCP uncompressed), you CAN do an actual edit of the actual HD material from this camera in FCP using a DV offline/HD uncompressed online strategy, and this new plugin from Apple greatly simplifies the process of making the DV clone to work with while editing. As I said before, the great thing about this method is is that the material will only have been compressed the once (on capture within the camera), and decompressed the once (when you demux and output to uncompressed HD), which nullifies to a great extent the complaints that many people have voiced about the probable quality loss inherent in native MPEG-2 editing) The downside is the massive amounts of hard drive space you need. But NONE of this requires an expensive HD Deck, HD PCI card, or HD RAID arrays, which for me is an incredible eye-opener!

All the best
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Old May 9th, 2003, 05:08 PM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Paul Mogg : So although you are able to load an .m2v file into Final Cut Pro because PLAYBACK is now supported by Quicktime, you will notice that as soon as you load it into a sequence, the sequence timeline has a red bar above it, meaning that you have to render before you can edit. -->>>

You do not "have to render before you can edit." :)


OUTPUT TO MPEG:
After linking A and V in the Timeline (for each clip) you make a new clip. Of course there is a red bar over the Timeline during this process. You are simply locking sync. (You CAN play brief portions.)

Next these new clips can be trimmed in the Viewer. Just stepping lets you pick your edit points. Now you can build your sequence. The content of the timeline is MPEG-2.Of course there is a red bar over the Timeline. (You CAN play brief portions.)

If you step through an effect, frames will be uncompressed and FX rendered to RGB for display. When no FX are present, the MPEG-2 is simply uncompressed to RGB for display.

You are right, one is only playing the MPEG-2. But during editing, that's all you need.

Once you have finished the Sequence, then you export to MPEG-4 at 1280x720. This is where MPEG-2 is uncompressed, FX added, and then recompressed to MPEG-4.

OUTPUT TO DV:
After linking A and V in timeline (for each clip) you render to DV. You are simply locking sync.

Now edit. You are editing with DV -- which is fine because that whats you want for making an NTSC DVD.

I may be crazy, but I don't see the need to waste the storage space to get to uncompressed -- which likely won't PLAY any better than MPEG-2.

I also may be wrong.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 06:13 PM   #6
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Well I hope you're right Steve, but at this moment I remaind extremely dubious. I think the rendering format in FCP is defined by the sequence settings, and even with this Quicktime MPEG-2 plugin installed, FCP will not allow you to setup an MPEG-2 format sequence. So my guess is that when you do your final output to 1280*720, MPEG-4, FCP is is in fact rendering to DV 720*480 first (if that is the sequence setting you're using), and then upconverting to 1280*720 for output. But at this point I think we'd need to defer to an Apple expert to know for sure what's going on. I also think that if they had enabled MPEG-2 editing, even in a limited way, they would have announced it.

Thanks
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Old May 9th, 2003, 07:12 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Paul Mogg : I think the rendering format in FCP is defined by the sequence settings. -->>>

You are right I can't specify an MPEG-2 Sequence, so I set it to NONE. Therefore, my MPEG-2 clips show as red.

Setting a Sequence to a format only defines what would happen if I rendered. It doesn't DO anything to the clips

IF I rendered my Timeline, the render would yield uncompressed video.

But I never render. The Timeline is always red. NLE's only decompress during editing for display purposes. The results do NOT go back to a file.


When you step through an FX, the source(s) are decompressed to RGB. After decompressing frame(s) the FX is rendered. The results do NOT go back to a file. They only are converted to RGB for display.

Editing is a one-way process to your eyes.

ONLY when you Render All or do an Export, is a copy kept of the of the "rendering."

If you want to see an FX in real-time, you can Render the effect and then UNDO.

Why not buy the MPEG2 plug-in and see for yourself.

Did you use an Avid? They do indeed do intermediate renderings, which is why Avid owners worry about layeded FX getting rendered too many times.

FCP works like Premiere and Media100.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 11:01 PM   #8
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Yes I did buy the MPEG-2 plugin today, and tried out what you suggested. I found that yes, while I could make cuts, transitions etc. I could not (without rendering) , play back any of the footage to see my edits in real time. Which, to me, is essential to the editing process. But yes, in a limited way it is possible to edit in that fashion, Hopefully Apple will soon come out with their full support for MPEG-2 editing and make it a lot easier.
On an aside, just as a test today, I edited a longer (20sec) piece of 1080i HD footage in FCP (probably shot by a CineAlta) that had been compressed to the MPEG2-TS format, again doing the DV offline/uncompressed HD online method. Then I took ithe edited file all the way back to MPEG-2 TS. All my of my cuts, transitions, text etc. came out frame accurate on the final HD file, and all without any expensive HD hardware.
By the way, if you download the latest Heuris Mpeg encoder sofware demo, it will allow you to encode up to 8 seconds of HD footage to TS format so that you can test out the program. It seems like a great encoder program, but costs nearly $5000 I believe.

Cheers,
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Old May 9th, 2003, 11:47 PM   #9
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I was able to do a similar thing with Vegas 4 on the PC. I have two different HD1 clips that I brought into a 720/30p Vegas project, made some edits, added some titles and FX, and rendered out to WMV 720/30p. It wasn't fast (indeed, my machine is not too fast anyway), but it could be done. While Vegas can render 720/30p HD MPEG-2, I do not think it can render the proper flavor of an MPEG-2 sequence that would be compatible to dump back to the camera just yet. Another thing that can be done for HD source material is to create a DV proxy that can be played and edited very quickly, and then you swap back in the HD source for the final HD render. Kinda fun what you can do with just software <g>.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 11:55 PM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Paul Mogg : I could not (without rendering) , play back any of the footage to see my edits in real time. Which, to me, is essential to the editing process. But yes, in a limited way it is possible to edit in that fashion.

It seems like a great encoder program, but costs nearly $5000 I believe.

Cheers, -->>>

Looks like the Mac world needs an HD MPEG-2-TS encoder that's shareware. $5000 for an encoder!

My view of HD editing is cuts or dissolves. These begin and end with either a specific visual or audio point. Find the points, mark, and drop into the timeline. (Turn-off video to play audio.)

I did add transitions, filters, supers and titles -- but with great HD footage I would likely never do this in real life.

By the way, you can Render All to DV -- and then delete the Temp render files to go back to the original MPEG-2. Sort of UNRENDER ALL!

But frankly, I could care less what I edit with. Premiere, Canopus, Matrox, Vegas, Blade, Edition, iMovie, Avid -- makes no difference to me. I have used them all. All have vitues and vices.

So I'll wind-up using the KDDI NLE. Or, the Premiere plug-in for MPEG-2. Makes no difference to me if it's a PC or Mac. Or, if it's 2000, XP, or OS X. My systems are all networked so I just move data around.

Just made an widecreen DVD with iDVD by way of FCP from a project done on a StormRT in Storm edit.

My only problem is that because PC performance is now so high -- it costs money to keep replacing motherboards , RAM, and CPU's every year. Thus my PC costs me more to keep-up. A Mac is a Mac right now. (This could change very soon!)

Thanks for the tip on the demo MPEG2 encoder. But we still have no way to record it to D-VHS. (Or, even capture from a camcorder.)

Lastly, MPEG-4 is wonderful! It looks like the original!
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