File Compression and Conversion for FCE4

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by nyycavo24, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. nyycavo24 macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2007
    Hey All,

    I just purchased FCE4 and being the novice that I am, it took me a little while to understand why I kept getting the dreaded "file unknown" errors. I have since figured that out and have figured out how to convert/import files into FCE4.

    Now the tough part...

    I have already started a project and have been cutting old VHS-to-DVD-Ripped from Handbrake into Quicktime movies.

    I guess I saved them in the wrong format/frame rate or something (even though they are .mov) and now am faced with the task of going through 200 clips and exporting/converting into different formats. IS THERE ANY METHOD/PROGRAM where I can just select all of these and convert/export them in the correct format?

    Doing them one by one will take weeks...

    Additionally, since the new files are bigger, when I am exporting from FCE4 to iDVD, does the compression of these files to fit on a DVD seriously affect the quality? The movie will DEFINITELY be over the standard 4.3 Gigs and its already a compilation of home movies so I don't want to destroy the quality too much.

    Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank You!
  2. -DH macrumors 65816

    Nov 28, 2006
    Nashville Tennessee
    A very strange workflow you've chosen for yourself! I don't understand why you just didn't capture the VHS directly into FCE through a qualified DV device (camcorder, VTR or converter) instead of making DVDs (highly compressed), then compressing them again with Handbrake, then converting them once again to be compatible with FCE. The fact that VHS is low quality to begin with, added to all the quality hits you're taking from the multi-compression must take it's tool on the finished product.

    FWIW, a QuickTime movie (.mov) can be any number of codecs, including many intended for delivery only - not for editing.

    Also FWIW, Handbrake is totally the wrong tool for this task. If you can't take the time to recapture to the correct format using FCE, and if you still have the DVDs, you can use MPEG Streamclip to convert the DVD's VOB files into whatever matches your FCE Sequence settings ... typically that would be DV NTSC, with 48khz, 16 bit audio.

    If quality is your main concern, go back to step one: capture the VHS footage using FCE. But the answer to your last question is that you WILL see a quality hit considering your current workflow.

  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    What -DH said. Right now you've basically taken your fragile VHS images and beat them senseless w/all the transcoding.

  4. nyycavo24 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2007
    I appreciate all the guidance...

    Unfortunately, I didn't have the VHS tapes to begin with. The VHS's were copied to DVDs using a standard DVD/VHS Combo player that they sell in the stores.

    By the time I got them, they were already in DVDs. So i used mactheripper to rip them, and handbrake to encode them into to mp4s. Then I opened them up in quicktime and sliced them with that.

    Quality is a concern, but at this point, since the source footage was already 10 years old (old football films), it probably wouldn't have made much of a difference. Im doing my best to preserve the quality, but im already half way through the project.

    So from this point forward, it makes sense to encode the VOBS via MPEGStreamclip and NOT handbrake?

    Any other suggestions with the information Ive provided?

    Again, thanks for all the help!
  5. stevep macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2004
    That's what I did with some old footage on video 8 tapes. I didn't have the option of using anything other than a DVD recorder, but Streamclip and the $20 Apple QT add-on allowed me to grab a load of clips off the dvd and stick them into iMovie. To be honest, I really didn't notice too much degradation. The original footage was not brilliant anyway. The sort of quality you can now get with, say, an HV20 is a world away from 15 yr old Video 8 technology.

Share This Page