Workflow for AVCHD (Sony HDR-SR11) to FCP 5.1.4

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Byrone, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Byrone macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2009
    Howdy Folks.

    I'm trying to edit together some video I shot for a non profit that teaches sustainable agriculture courses. They asked me to use their sony AVCHD SR11 camera to capture the event. I am used to working with normal dv tapes, but I figured this hard drive avchd buisness would not be much different. Boy was I wrong! When I attempted to import it to my FCP 5.1.4 software. As you all likely know, you cannot actually do that unless you convert it into a different format.

    I read on this forum to use voltaic to convert it to a .mov file. I did just that and 2 hours of footage just exploded into 240 GIGS of data. I just dragged and dropped the .mts files on the app and pressed start. On top of that my I Mac (Intel) from 2006 with 2 gigs of memory and 2 ghz processor takes forever to render any of the huge files I use when I put them in the timeline! I need to edit this for them pronto and am up a creek here.

    Does anybody know a workflow for how to use these avchd (.mts) clips in a managable format size that will work with my older version of fcp? Plus what sort of sequence settings should I edit in. I have never used HD before and I am at a loss here. My last question would be, what kind of export settings should I use in compressor when I am finished to keep decent resolution? I realize that these are some tough questions, but I am at a loss. Your help would be much appreciated as I couldn't find an answer in the forum that i could understand. I'm a pretty big rookie with this stuff.

    Thanks y'all,

  2. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Well, there's really no way around the huge file sizes and long render times for transcoded AVCHD video. FCP5 has to use AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) for AVCHD, which while not as big of a codec as say, uncompressed, it still takes up a lot of space.

    As for your sequence settings, the AIC 1080i60 48kHz preset is most likely the correct one for working with the video.

    Your export settings in Compressor really depend on how you intend on delivering the video. Is it for web delivery? DVD? SD or HD? For web formats, streaming H.264 generally works nicely.
  3. amoulton macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2004
  4. Byrone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2009
    What if I get final cut express

    Hey guys. Thanks for all the info. The sequence settings worked for me. And the out going compression is working for me as well. I'm now just looking at 250 Minutes of content that is sitting on my new drive filling up over half of the 500 gig drive. From what I can determine in the forums my best bet seems to be to get FCE 4 and archive the MTS files? I don't even know what working with archived files means, but they say it uses up way less space.

    1) How does one work with archived avchd files and

    2) Do you think that is a good workflow in order to work with more manageable file sizes that won't make my computer drop frames like it's its job?

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