Final Cut Pro 6.0.6 + AVCHD (JVC Camcorder) + Snow Leopard

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by RoboCop001, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. RoboCop001 macrumors 65816

    Oct 4, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Hi everyone.

    I'm trying to import some 1080p AVCHD footage from my JVC GZ-HD300 Everio camcorder.

    The files are in .MTS format.

    I've searched around everywhere for help with this, and while people have had similar issues, I couldn't find this specific one.

    I coped the AVCHD footage folder to an external hard drive, since my brother needs to use the camera as I edit the footage.

    First the Log and Transfer kept crashing, so I tried a different external hard drive. Now it works. I think that other drive is about to go bye-bye. But anyway...

    I successfully imported one clip, and while the audio came through fine, the video is totally screwed up.

    I noticed the thumbnails of the video in the Log and Transfer screen were mostly grey, with a small strip of the top of the frame of the video showing. That's how the converted clip plays as well. Only the top of the frame shows, and it's very blocky and distorted.

    There must be something wrong somewhere. Some incompatible codec maybe.

    I even uninstalled Perian as suggested elsewhere.

    I'm not capturing off of the camera directly, I copied the AVCHD folder (right from the root of the camera's hard disk just to make sure I got every file) to another drive.

    I don't think it would matter whether the footage is on the camera or not, because it shows up as an external hard disk anyway (it's an HDD camera), but I could be wrong.

    Also, please note that I also tried connecting the camera to my MacBook Pro and having FCP look at the files directly on the camera. The thumbnails still looked messed up in the Log and Transfer window. So I'm thinking that the problem doesn't lie with trying to convert the files from outside of the camera. I will, however, try again to convert them directly from the camera the next time I get my hands on it.

    Is there a specific "Easy Setup" I'm supposed to do before I do Log and Transfer? Does it matter if I convert to Apple Intermediate Codec or ProRes 422? No matter what settings I've tried, the clip thumbnails still look messed up, so I'm guessing the footage will still import as such as well...

    Must fix problem... any advice would be greatly appreciated! :)
  2. xStep macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2003
    Less lost in L.A.
    I wonder if placing the files an external drive that has other contents on it maybe messing with how the 'drive' is seen by the software. I'd try creating a disk image with Disk Utility and place the contents in there. The disk image is mountable in OS X and is seen as a drive. It is a self contained file that you can backup too.

    I'd use Prores over AIC because I've recently read that AIC is limited to 1440x1080. That would cause some resolution loss of your 1920x1080 video. Wider pixels are effectively used to make up that 16:9 ratio. The software adapts to view it properly.

    I'd also try iMovie 08 or 09 with the content to see how it acts.
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Your best bet would be to make disk images of the footage from the camera, keeping the entire folder structure intact. When you mount those disk images, L&T in FCP should be able to open them and transcode them fine.

    The problem with just copying the .MTS files over from the camera is that once the files are not in the correct folder structure, L&T won't be able to use them. If this is the case with you, you'll need an application like VoltaicHD to transcode the video. But a word of warning: it's not free and it's not exactly fast.

    AIC is limited to 1440x1080 mostly because it was originally designed to handle 1080i HDV on Apple NLEs. HDV cameras all have 4:3 sensors and thus use non-square pixels.
  4. RoboCop001 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 4, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Thanks for the replies.

    I tried the disk image approach but I got the same results.

    More often than not, L&T crashes and FCP unexpectedly quits.

    It's possible the file structure is messed up, but I did copy the AVCHD folder right from the root of the camera's HD. There were two or three other folders in the root of the camera's HD, but I figured they weren't important.

    One folder was labeled DCIM (or something similar, the usual folder name for still images) and the other was for SD footage, which I can't remember the name of.

    I've attached a screenshot of my L&T window for reference.

    Notice how in the list of footage, the thumbnail is screwed up, only showing the very top of the frame.

    However, on the right where it shows the video, the frame is totally fine and I can play the video just fine as well.

    But after importing (and I've only ever been able to successfully import one clip, it usually crashes, sometimes even right as it begins converting the first clip), the video looks like the thumbnail, with only the very top of the frame intact.

    I don't have iMovie 09 (I think I've got 06), but I suppose I could try it out with someone who does have it.

    But I'll just use Premiere CS4 for the time being. It works natively with AVCHD (thank the gods, come on Apple!) and is some pretty great software as well.

    I just wish I could use FCP haha.

    Attached Files:

  5. BullBoyKennels macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2008
    Mayaguez, PR
    Well I love FCP, however if your using AVCHD footage keep in mind it is highly compressed to start with, Now with that being said since you have Premiere Pro I believe it's CS4 you have then use that cause it will let you edit native AVCHD footage without the need to transcode over to ProRes at all. You should be able to just drag & drop your .MTS files right on in to it so long as nothing got corrupted.
  6. TH3D4RKKN1GH7 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    I was in the same situation, had to edit in Premiere Pro. To be honest they're really the same damn thing. They edit the same, can be just as finicky, and look rather similar.
  7. ashyo99 macrumors newbie


    Sep 6, 2009
    How to get to L&T settings

    What settinngs did you use to get you gz-hd300 to come up in the L&T because mine doesn't automatically, help anyone?

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