FCP7 Workflow Challenge - Help?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by StofUnited, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. StofUnited, Jan 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011

    StofUnited macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #1
    Thanks for any help you can give me guys.

    I am working with an online community making videos from 'video game' footage. Due to online video file sharing challenges and organization/archiving planning - we are using YouTube to share private videos that I can then pull down (in 720p .mp4 mostly) to cut into videos I make in FCP7.

    Obviously FCP doesn't work with .flv or YT .mp4 natively so there is no "Easy Setup" configs that will work with these formats natively w/o rendering or pre-conversion.

    I hope some of you more experienced FCP editors out there can help me streamline my workflow here.

    What "easy setup" settings should I use?
    Should I just convert to something like AIC or HDV (doing 720p30) or something else? Converting/Rendering creates such huge files so I'm hoping to find another way.

    Thanks for any help you can give.

    FYI - working on Mac Pro 2.8 and full FCStudio Suite.
     
  2. hsilver macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #2
    You would have to convert the .mp4 in Compressor or MpegStreamclip to a FCP compatible format. HDV is not a good choice because of it's long GOP structure. ProRes (maybe ProResLT or Proxy might be high enough quality) would be best codec to convert to. If it's a .flv download Perian (free) and convert to a .mov in QuickTimePro.
     
  3. StofUnited, Jan 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011

    StofUnited thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #3
    yeah - been doin' my research and more testing today and think I am just going to convert what i have to with Compressor or MPEG Streamclip.

    I Just don't want to have to take my 5 gigs a week of 720p mp4 data from YT and convert it too 25-40+ Gigs of AIC or whatever. I will have to do a number of tests of different FCP compatible HD 720p formats I guess to find the best quality and smallest file results then.

    Yeah - have perian already.

    Thanks for the response - really appreciate it.

    Anybody have some creative work-arounds on this or is this is it?
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    A 1TB internal drive is like $80. If you can swing a Mac Pro and the Final Cut Suite I'm sure you can swing $80. ;)

    ProRes LT is probably the best option, IMO. Codecs like HDV and XDCAM EX will get you smaller file sizes but, as mentioned before, they are more CPU intensive which means longer transcoding, rendering, and exporting times.


    Lethal
     
  5. StofUnited thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #5
    Thanks, Lethal.

    I guess my final decision needs to be based on the balance of transcoding to a clean workable vid file in FCP vs. simply importing the .mp4 and work with a choppy timeline (& Quick View window) in unlimited RT.

    If I can handle the annoyances of working with the .mp4 and choppiness in FCP - it will save me a large amount of transcoding (time and space) and just render as needed during editing and to finalize the project.

    I feel like I am missing something important that makes this plan not real workable though . . . gosh - what an FCP newb I am.
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    What you are missing is not wanting to transcode into a format that plays nice w/FCP. ;)

    I guess it comes down to the volume of work you need to do and how complex the editing is. If you're basically just dropping the video in the timeline, doing 3-4 edits, then exporting I can see the resistance to transcoding. If you are doing more than that though your productivity is going to increase greatly by transcoding. DVCPro HD is another option as well. It's file sizes are a little bigger than ProRes LT but the conversion times will probably be shorter because DVCPro HD is a constant bit rate codec where as ProRes is variable bit rate. FCP can also be unreliable when working with unsupported media (odd rendering artifacts, edit points shifting, etc.,).

    I'm not saying it's impossible to keep doing it they way you are doing it, I'm just saying it's like opting to run a marathon in flip-flops vs running shoes. Obviously you feel that way to some degree as well otherwise you wouldn't be looking for suggestions.


    Lethal
     
  7. StofUnited thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #7
    Again, thanks much Lethal:

    I will do some testing in DVCPro HD for sure. And yes - the amount of cuts from each source will be only a few per project - though there could be 10-30 sources for each project.

    If I pull them into compressor I assume I can do multiple I/O cuts on a single source file, is that right? Then I can export in DVCPro HD into one folder and then import them all into FCP?

    That might be a way to go rather than converting all of them, maybe?
     
  8. StofUnited thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #8
    Well - I have decided just to do all my transcoding in compressor. It will save huge amounts of time in the long run. What a great tool compressor is.

    I have tested the Apple ProRes (LT) vs AIC and the like and due to size similarities in resulting file - I will be going with the former.

    I am sure changes will be made over time - but compressors speed and unique capabilities make it a slam dunk.

    Thanks for your help guys.
     
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    I think that is a good route to take and you can transcode the footage overnight, or some other time you normally aren't using the machine, so it doesn't feel like you are 'wasting' time by doing it.


    Lethal
     

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