Best Codecs for Performance/Editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by nyycavo24, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. nyycavo24 macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    #1
    I have been reading a lot of different types of codecs lately for video editing and recently I've run into a problem importing movie clips into FCE 4.

    I figured out that the .mov files I was importing (although compatible for iMovie, were NOT compatible for FCE) and have since remedied the situation for now, but that got me thinking.

    I am now in the process of exporting all of these incompatible .mov files to real quicktime movies using QTP7. They are now import-able into FCE4, but they playback can be a little choppy sometimes in the viewer, although not in the canvas. (separate issue)

    This brings me to my question: I am halfway through exporting all of these movies in quicktime to usable formats...what is the best codec to recode these files into? .mov? .dv? something else? The quality issue is a concern, but since these were old VHS put onto DVDs and then pulled off, they've already been beat up pretty bad. should I stop and export into a different codec? I've been reconverting these one by one over the last 48 hours and its taking forever, I don't want to do it if its all for naught.

    Any suggestions or enlightenment you can provide me on the types of editing codecs and what the pros and cons are of each? (I have looked on the net and haven't found any great resources)
     
  2. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    Dec 11, 2006
    #2
    To edit DV in final cut you want to encode DV in a .mov container.
     
  3. nyycavo24 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    #3
    Well I ripped these files with handbrake into mp4s and then converted specific clips of the movie from there into .mov. What I didn't know was that just opening the mp4s in QTP 7 and saving them in .mov, doesn't make them editable.

    After re-exporting them in an editable .mov format, I seem to be all set.

    Any reason why saving them in .mov originally doesn't make them usable in FCE, but does in iMovie? After exporting them the second time, the files increased in size by almost 300% (which I'm assuming means a bunch of file properties changed.
     
  4. huntercr macrumors 65816

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    Jun 6, 2006
    #4
    as zioxide has said, DV is the *only* codec you want to do for editing. Anything other than that ( well thesre are others suitable for editing, but that's appropriate for you in this case ) will be converted to DV anyway by FCE.

    Keep in mind you will still have to render the audio in FCE if use us this method ( log standing issue when you import from a file rather than capture the video directly ), but its really the only method for you.

    if your video playback is choppy be sure and adjust those settings in Fina Cut. FCE4 comes with a 1000 page manual (PDF) that covers just about anything imaginable, so look there first for tips on FCE itself.

    If you have converted your files to other codecs before DV, go back to the original files and convert them. What program did you use to convert the MPEG files from the DVD?
     
  5. nyycavo24 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    #5
    I used mactheripper to rip the dvd into VOBs, then handbrake to rip them into mpeg-4s.

    Then I opened the mpeg-4s in QTP7 and saved the clips I took out of the main files as .movs.

    I then exported those .movs as quicktime movies so I could edit them in FCE4.

    I have already recoded half the library in this editable .mov format. Its taking a long time to re-encode everything.

    In your opinion, can I leave what Ive converted so far to quicktime movie (10 hours worth of converting) and then export the rest of older these files as .DVs?

    UNLESS, there is a program you recommend where I can do a mass re-encode where I don't have to convert every file one by one (which is what I spent my entire weekend doing so far). Maybe where I drag all the files that I want to convert from .mov to .dv into the program and leave it running for 10-12 hours while it does the work for me?
     
  6. huntercr macrumors 65816

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    #6

    oh man that's unfortunate. Your quality through this method will be severely reduced and it took way way way more time than it should have. Using MpegStrream clip, you can convert your MPEG2 files into DV. It is not batchable as far as I know though.
    You really don't want to use MPEG4 as an intermediary step. You'll regret it later, IMHO.

    MPEG2 -> DV conversion should take less than 25% of the time it took to encode all those to MPEG4. Try one as a sample just to get used to it.

    Someone else may know a way to automate your workflow, but I would rip from Jack the ripper ( shouldn't need to rip actually if it's actually an unencrypted DVD )

    Anyway... use jack the ripper, and then load those files into MPEGstreamclip and export as DV.

    Good luck!
     
  7. nyycavo24 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    #7
    Thanks for the help man, you've been incredibly helpful.

    It has definitely taken me FOREVER to do a lot of this converting, etc.

    One More Question:

    Since this is home footage (already sort of old), do you think Ill notice the degradation in quality more or less than I would if I had ripped a movie or TV show that is fairly recent?

    Quality has been a concern from the start, but since the source footage is ******, I didn't know if it really made that much of a difference to kill myself nitpicking over quality. I didn't see that much change either way, but maybe I was just doing something wrong. I had to deinterlace all of this footage as well in Handbrake since it was older interlaced footage from a traditional video camera.

    This is quicker though, it seems to make a ton of sense.
     
  8. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #8
    You really need to skip the Handbrake step. Once you rip from MacTheRipper, you can convert to the DV codec with MPEGstreamclip. This will save you time and improve the quality of the files.
     
  9. -DH macrumors 65816

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    #9
  10. huntercr macrumors 65816

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    #10
    I understand your feeling, but if you are going to do any effects at all you really want the best quality you can get out of it. Unfortunately, you're already degraded somewhat since you're taking this from DVDs generated from VHS. ( You'd have it much better if you took from VHS and captured directly to DV .. I know that's not possible at this point ). I recently pulled off some old VHS footage and it was really great what I was able to get away with in restoring it. With some good color correction and some creative filter applications, you can turn something mediocre into... well, something better than mediocre. :)
    It isn't going to come out awesome, but you'd be surprised what you can get out of VHS if you shot with good lighting and recorded in SP.

    You should not need to deinterlace your video unless your final output format will be for the web. But don't do this with handbreak or anything else. Do this with Final Cut at the *end*, when you are all done and ready to export.

    Interlacing will look like there are a bunch of lines when you look at it on your computer. FCE is showing you those on purpose. When you burn it to DVD you'll never see it. If you're leaving it as something for people to download, you can definitely deinterlace.

    Good luck. Try doing one video and let us know how it goes.
     
  11. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    Sep 19, 2003
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    Canada, eh?
    #11
    This won't help you at all, but if this was my situation (old 8mm video footage previous copied onto a DVD that I was trying to bring into DV format for further editing) I would probably just play them back in a DVD player and run it through pass-through mode on my DV camcorder, and capture the DV video into iMovie or FCE for editing.

    It would represent one generation loss (analog), and I would be betting that this would be better than the result of decoding the ripped DVD and re-encoding as DV, though it might well turn out the same.
     
  12. majordude macrumors 68020

    majordude

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    #12
    Which DV format? DV25 or DVCPRO25 or DVCPRO50? And is there a better way to get rid of scan lines than deinterlace?
     
  13. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #13
    When people say DV, they are talking about DV25.

    As far as the scan lines, if you are shooting interlaced footage (or whatever source you have), leave it that way. De-interlacing throws out half of your resolution. It is really over-used and is a fix for something that isn't really a problem most of the time.

    What is your source? What is your final destination (format, TV or internet, etc)?
     
  14. majordude macrumors 68020

    majordude

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    #14
    Ahhh! Thanks.

    Well, a friend gave me a video of her graduation (it's on an unprotected DVD). I'm using iDVD and I want to make a disc with several slideshows of us and a few movies. So I wanted to import her graduation disc into my new compilation. I used MPEG Streamclip to rip it to DV (as you guys said). If I don't turn on deinterlace, I see jaggies when people move. Very annoying... but I think it softens the movie.

    Any thought?
     
  15. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    Canada, eh?
    #15
    Only this: are you producing these slideshows and movies to play on a TV and DVD player? If so, are you judging these jaggies based on watching them on your computer screen (e.g. iMovie preview window), or on the TV? What you see as a problem on the computer might look fine on a TV, which is why people say not to deinterlace unless these slideshows and videos are destined to be played on computer screens.
     
  16. majordude macrumors 68020

    majordude

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    #16
    I never realized that. I'll burn one of the jaggy vids and see what it looks like on TV. I'll let you all know.

    Are these the proper settings? (See attached)
     

    Attached Files:

  17. majordude macrumors 68020

    majordude

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    #17
    Okay. I made four different 3 minute movies with different things checked and unchecked and burned them to a DVD in iDVD. The settings above seem to be the best.

    Thanks all!
     

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