FCE4 and iPhone 3GS videos

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by bliks, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. bliks macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007

    I went out and purchased FCE in hopes of a better editing experience then iMovie '09. I love the way FCE is set up with the timeline and everything else.

    But there is a problem, All of my material comes from my iPhone 3GS video camera and whenever I press "space" in the timeline to preview the clip it just says unrendered.

    I've done some research and found that it is something to do with the project settings. I have tried to figure it out on my own but I cant seem to find which preset I need to use in the easy setup menu.

    If someone could help me on this issue that would be fantastic! :) If I need to convert the video using MPEGStreamClip first what settings do I need to use?

    Thanks for the replys,

    A video editing n00b :)
  2. Galileo228 macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2009
    Same Problem

    I'm having the same problem as Cory. I'm coming from the PC world, where I used to use Pinnacle (no rendering required at all).

    I'm using a new MB Pro, 2.53 GHz, 4 Gigs of RAM, and Final Cut Express 4.0. I had a bunch of clips taken on my iPhone 3GS, and I can't do ANYTHING with them in FCE without rendering.

    Funny that my processor is powerful enough to allow iMovie to do this no problem, but it can't be the case that FCE can't even *PLAY* a video clip (in the canvas) without rendering.

    Any advice?

    Also, found THIS link which discusses a way to edit a file and trick FCE into thinking you have a more powerful processor so as to allow more realtime rendering. This link is for FCE 3, but does anyone have any advice on doing the same for FCE 4?

    Thanks all.

  3. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006

    See how well this works for you:

    Open them up in Quicktime and export them as "movie to Quicktime Movie". Select "Options"

    Video settings:
    Compression Type: Apple Intermedia Codec
    Framerate: Current
    Compressor Preset: Other
    Size: NTSC 720x480 4:3 ( or experiment with leaving it as 640x480 VGA, and make sure your aspect ratio is what you want... I don't know if the iPhone allows you to record 16:9 )
    UNcheck de-interlace source video
    Sound: Linear PCM
    Channels: Mono ( this doesn't matter )
    Rate: 48KHz
    Quality: Best, Sample size 16

    Uncheck Prepare for Internet Streaming.

    . The resulting file should be able to be loaded into FCE without needing to rerender ( though you might have to rerender audio )

    I don't own an iPhone 3GS so I am not certain this is correct, if anyone else has more experience, please chime in.
  4. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    That link was for final Cut *PRO* 3 which is very old. You don't need that hack, as as RT effects are enabled by default now in FCE 4.
    You issue is the same as the original poster as you had suspected. Two things always keep Final cur from rendering in real time.

    1) A non "native" codec. FCE can edit AIC and DV codec natively. Anything else has to be converted. It will auto convert HDV and AVCHD to AIC when captured from a camera, but since you guys are importing from file, for some reason FCE does not do this.
    2) incorrect sequence settings. I don't have the experience to know what conditions you can get away with and what you can't, but it's always best for your project sequence settings to match your source material.
    ( someone else should probably correct me here )
  5. yesrofhao macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2009
    FCE won't recongnize Iphone 3G video format

    Final Cut Express usually support DV, AVCHD, HDV and iMovie compatible formats, while iPhone 3G produces MPEG-4 or H.264. the FCE won't import the video directly.

    the original article source is from: http://www.fceconverter.com/
  6. bliks thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007
    Well then, that makes sense. Any idea if theres a way I can add the support? or do you know if apple is going to add support for direct importing?
  7. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    I just told you how to convert the file above. Did that not work for you?
  8. Galileo228 macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2009
    Follow up (to Huntercr)

    Huntercr -

    Thank you for your suggestion. Two follow up questions.

    1) I don't have quicktime, only the "Quicktime Player" that came with Snow Leopard. Can I execute your conversion suggestion by using, say, iMovie? or any other utility?

    2) This question may reveal my confusion of codecs versus format. You (or another poster) said that the iPhone shoots mpeg videos. But when I grabbed the video files off my iphone using image capture, they showed up as .mov files. If they're .mov files, how can they also be mpegs?

    Thank you for your assistance.

  9. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    Yes, you'll need to buy quicktime pro if you don't have it. Did you upgrade to snowleopard? If so, your old quicktime should be in your utilities folder. It's also on the Snow Leopard DVD, I'm told.
    Yes, you can do the conversion with iMovie, I think.

    AVI, and MOV ( and others ) are actually "container" formats. Think of them as 3 ring binders. You can put any kind of "paper" in a binder.
    You can even put multiple kinds. Quicktime MOV "containers" allow different kinds of "codecs" ( formats ) and even allow multiple ones in the same container ( though no one really uses that all that much )

    So a MOV file can have an H.264, mpeg4, mpeg2, mjpeg, AIC, tons of different codecs.

    Your iPhone is recording H.264 video and putting it in an MOV container.
    We're going to re-encode it into the Apple Intermediate Codec and then FCE will be happier with it.

    You're probably thinking, "why on earth doesn't Final Cut just import it and convert it automatically?"

    The answer is.... it *should*, and it *DOES* for files captured by it directly. for whatever reason it doesn't do this for imported files.
    I have no idea why.

    Apple has made it clear they aren't going to fix Final Cut's design issues and limitations in any fundamental way (yet).
  10. Galileo228 macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2009
    Hunter --

    I tried converting in iMovie -- and it worked! Excellent!

    Since you are knowledgeable, I have two more questions for you, if you don't mind.

    1) Is there any way (using terminal or perhaps a script) to batch convert? I have about 15 clips that I'd like to use in FCE. I suppose I could string them together in one long clip, convert THAT to the Apple Intermediate format, and then import THAT into FCE, although that will make editing in FCE quite cumbersome. Any ideas?

    2) A question about transitions in FCE. When I try to add transitions in FCE (like a simple cross fade) I am told there was insufficient footage -- in other words, I don't have "handles" for the transition to use, as I haven't marked out before the end of the ending clip or marked in after the beginning of the next clip. In simpler programs like pinnacle and iMovie, the transition automatically uses a default amount of time from the end/beginning of the clips, which the user can change. Will I have to specify mark-ins and -outs *every* time I want to use a transition, or can I just tell FCE to put the transition in with a default duration?

    Thanks for your continued help.

  11. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    Thanks for the compliment. There are alot of people on this board smarter than me though!

    Yes, there are batch utilities out there for quicktime, but I don't know of any for iMovie.

    MPEGStreamClip will also let you load all the files at once to export them, but I think you need a quicktime pro license for that. ( maybe not ince you're using AIC )
    Give that a try.. it's free.

    No problem, but before I tell you this... I am going to have to say Read The Fine Manual :)

    In all seriousness though, the Final Cut Manual is more than 1000 pages long and is actually really good for answering a ton of questions. ( Select Help-> Final Cut Express User Manual menu item ) Chapters 35 and 36 tell you all you ever wanted to know about transitions and more :)

    To answer your question though, if you have a standard length you like you can always set it on one of the transitions and then copy and paste the transition. Also don't forget you can adjust the transition duration directly in the timeline by clicking on the start or end of the transition and dragging left or right. ( or right clicking and specifying the duration manually )

    The motto for Final Cut should be, "there's always more than one way to do what you want to do", IMHO.

Share This Page