recent switcher, video format help for CS3 or iMovie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by azRieLThaNe, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. azRieLThaNe macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I just got my iMac about a week ago, and I've been hoping to try out Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 on it. I used to be a WinXP user who lived on Win Movie Maker for making my little music fan vids of my fave TV series.

    I recall having to convert most of the vids to wmv format inorder to create the vids. Is it the same with Premiere CS3 or even CS5? or iMovie?

    I tried importing the videos and all that comes out is "error. codec not available"

    If I do have to convert the videos, to what format? for iMovie? for Premiere?

    Sorry if I have too many questions, but I'm really new to all this. I just switched...

    Thanks for any advice you can give!
     
  2. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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  3. azRieLThaNe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    thanks!
    I actually have various video formats, the "raw" vids are mostly .avi

    I left the .wmv files on the PC
     
  4. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    avi is still a (sone old) Windows format. Depending on what's inside of it (avi is only a container), you might get lucky with MPEG Streamclip.
     
  5. floh macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Do I understand this correctly? You did have to convert everything to .wmv in the past before using it? And you want to know what you have to convert into for use with iMovie or Premiere?

    If that is the case, the short and sad but true answer is: Anything but .wmv! ;)

    iMovie will work with a ".mov" container file and "Apple Intermediate Codec" (AIC) internally, if you want to transcode everything up front anyways. Premiere does not really have a preferred internal codec. Both programs will be able to handle almost any codec on imported files and automatically convert them (if needed) to their liking. Just make sure that you don't use a ".wmv" container, since this is the one thing that is not supported (at least by iMovie).

    If you have all your files as ".wmv" already, listen to cgbier. :)
     
  6. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    If you are new to a Mac, your basic toolset is Perian, MPEG Streamclip, flip4Mac, ffmpegx and Handbrake as first things if you want to work with video.

    A Mac has a lot of video stuff already out of the box, but if you come from Windows, it's a different story.
     
  7. floh macrumors 6502

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    #7
    What cgbier said is also important information and I want to point it out:

    A video consists of a container (.wmv, .avi, .mov, .mp4, ...) and a compression codec (h.264, mpeg4, divx, Apple Intermediate Codec, ...).

    The latter will most probably not be a problem for non linear editing software and it will just convert it if needed. The container however may produce some hickups. Mac OS X likes the ".mov" container best and handles it natively. ".avi" is pretty old but should work on most software. ".wmv" is the Windows native container and does not import well on other operating systems without commercial plugins.
     
  8. azRieLThaNe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    thanks. I'm not importing the .wmv files, just the raw avi files. But yes, I had to convert the lot of them to .wmv inorder to edit them on the windows movie maker.

    I tried importing the .avi files on Premiere CS3 but an error comes out, something about unavailable codec.

    Thanks. Should I put in all of these? sorry I'm an absolute noob at this. are these codec packs or video converters?

    and after installation do I have to restart inorder for these to take effect. After installing Perian, I still couldn't import the .avi videos to iMovie or Premiere.

    Sorry if I'm annoying you guys with these questions
     
  9. floh macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Then you are out of luck and Premiere does not support the codec inside your .avi containers. You will have to convert them if you want to edit with Premiere.

    Perian is always a good idea because it is an extension that expands the amount of codecs you can play with Quicktime (and therefore use with many system tools). It will however not help you import things into Premiere, since Premiere does not make use of Quicktime.

    Can you play back your .avi files with Quicktime, now that you have installed Perian? You don't have to restart. Basically never on a Mac. :)

    The next tool I would think about is "Handbrake". Originally designed to rip DVDs to your hard drive, it can now convert many codecs into one another and is very easy to learn. You can try to open your .avi files with it and if you can, you can convert them to a variety of different video files.

    Does anyone know any way to easily find out the codec inside the .avi files? Because I don't (except for the command line tool ffmpeg, but that's kind of old school...).
     
  10. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    You have to shift a lot of paradigms. The only time you have restart a Mac is when you install system updates (i can't remember when was the last time I restarted my MBP).

    Perian is nothing else than a collection of video codecs. It provides a library for some software packages. You'll have to transcode your avi's in either Handbrake or MPEG Streamclip.
     
  11. floh macrumors 6502

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    #11
    @cgbier: We are both procrastinating some work right now, aren't we? Always replying at the same time... ;)
     
  12. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    It's a quarter to midnight midnight here. The only thing I'm procrastinating is to either go to bed or getting another blond one from the fridge.... I think I go for the latter :D
     
  13. azRieLThaNe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    yup now I can...installed VLC before because of that, does it mean I can remove it now?

    @cgbier and @floh
    Thanks a lot to both of you guys...
    i'll have to play around Handbreak and MPEG Streamclip until I get it right for Premiere.

    .mov format for the iMovie right?
     
  14. simsaladimbamba

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    #14
  15. floh macrumors 6502

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    #15
    You probably could. I still think VLC is a very nice and powerful player though. I am using it to play back lots of stuff. For example, the newest version can play BluRays, even with a little menu support, which no Apple software is really able to. VLC is a little worse than e.g. Quicktime when it comes to quality, but it can really virtually play everything. So if you don't run out of disk space: Keep it! :)

    Yes. And Premiere should be able to import that, too. But if you have Quicktime Player working now, you can just open your file in Quicktime and then take a look at the "Share" menu. I have a menu entry "iMovie" there which will produce exactly the file you want. :) Give that a try!
     
  16. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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  17. floh macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I think (hope) he was talking about removing VLC... can't be sure though...

    Still: On Mac OS X, more apps will not slow down your system (there is not such thing as a "registry" on Windows). And both VLC and Perian are very useful at times. Keep them.
     
  18. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    VLC is a keeper! I rarely use it for transcoding because it likes (liked?) to crash in the act, but it is a solid player for some esoteric codecs.

    Sorry, I forgot to mention it in my "most important video apps list". :eek:

    ----------

    War vielleicht doch a Häfewoitze zuviel heut nacht... :eek:
     
  19. floh macrumors 6502

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    #19
    :D rotfl
     
  20. azRieLThaNe thread starter macrumors newbie

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  21. floh macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Sorry, I don't own Premiere and haven not installed it on my system, so I can't try...

    I am pretty sure it will be able to handle the files that iMovie is capable of just as well. Can you try that?

    Be aware that the codecs used for video editing usually produce huge files, since they are less compressed. This will allow you to edit faster and more precise, but will fill up your hard drive pretty quickly. For that reason (and for performance), it is a good idea to get an external drive (FW 800, since Thunderbolt is still crazy expensive) for your video editing as soon as you can afford it. :)
     
  22. azRieLThaNe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    I browsed through my other vid formats and I was able to import a .mp4 format, but funny though...no audio.

    and well, I got the baseline iMac so how does it fare on video editing platform?
     
  23. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    The "baseline" iMac is better than the top-of-the-line 2007 iMac I have on my desk.
    Your issues are with nonsensical Windows containers, not the speed of your machine. You'll do perfectly fine.

    What are the exact specs of your MP4 files?
     
  24. floh macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Uh, that may be a problem in the standard .mp4 files. Often times the audio is saved in Apple's "aac" codec, which may not be supported by Premiere.

    The baseline iMac is terrific for editing, since the monitor is wonderful and CPU and GPU are powerful enough so you don't have to wait. Still, the problem is often times not your computing power but the speed of your hard drive. That's why editors try to keep their movie data on a different hard drive than the system and editing software. This will speed things up significantly, since you have to read copious amounts of video data all the time.

    Again to your MP4 files: Try to tell us the exact specs of those files. Easiest way for MP4 is: Locate the file in the "Finder" in the filesystem, click on it and choose "Information" from the "File" menu (or press cmd+i). It will tell you the resolution and also the used codecs.
    Again, you can probably open this in Quicktime and export it as many other formats, many of which will be accepted by Premiere.
     
  25. azRieLThaNe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #25
    I'm thinking of upgrading the RAM to the max (16GB right?) in several months...I'm basically just trying to get the hang of things right now.

    .mp4 files are H.264 MPEG-4 HE AAC

    importing time is a bit long and the CS3 is doing weird things like the time line becoming all red when I try to put the video in....maybe because its too big or too long? its about 2 hours of footage...
     

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