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Rosebud

HELP NEEDED PLEASE. Converting MTS files for Final Cut, and easier workflow?

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Hi all, hope there is a simple answer to this, usually there is... I shoot with a GH2 and several GH1's, now for my corporate clients and find them to be awesome.

Problem: When converting or transcoding MTS files to Movs, the end file is a huge size, anything between 2 - 6 GB

Question: Are these the files you then directly use within FCP after converting them to movs (I'm using FCP 7 by the way), or do you then make them more FCP friendly by taking them down again to a workable size.

I ask, as these huge sizes are just too slow to work within FCP, simple cuts are always bringing up the beachball, and this is totally counter productive and disrupting my need to get on.

Can someone please take me through an easier FCP 7 workflow, reducing the file sizes without reduction of quality of video, and what converter and settings is simplest to do these conversions. I have been using Voltaic HD for initial transcoding of MTS to Mov.

Furthermore, am I living in la la land for asking the following... is there a render box or and external device that boosts render power for FCP using a MBP? I understand that FCP7 is limited in its initial creation, to not use the full power available from a MBP!!! What's that all about? I need speed to keep up with how I work, I am often hired as I am a fast filmmaker, but the drag on post these days is hurting my rep! Thanks again.

Kind regards and advance thanks
Rosy.

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Hi Ed, thanks for the fast reply.

That sounds like the most obvious thing to do right? I was first advised to take the MTS files of the card and then convert to movs. Is that the wrong way then? I then learned that once you have done that, you cannot use the log and transfer on FCP as it needs all the other info on the card, which I cleared after taking the files off initially.

So Ed, if i try that now, will that way make the file sizes realistically useable?

Thank you :)

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Hi, Rosebud,

If you let FCP7 do the conversion for you in Log and Transfer you will be most assured of optimal usability. Remember ProRes files are MUCH larger than the compressed files on the GH1 or 2, but they are optimized for use with FCP and should not cause render issues for simple cuts/dissolves editing unless your HD is too slow or you need more RAM.

Hope this helps,

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Rosebud,
I think there's no alternative to reduce the size of the conversion. If you want to preserve the original quality of the file , you have to use Prores 422 and so you can have a good workflow in FCP7.

Maybe there's an alternative.
Always preserve the original footage of GH2.
For offline work, make a transfer on FCP7 (Log and transfer) to Prores 422 proxy.
(It's better to do inside FCP7 the conversion)

[url=http://documentation.apple.com/en/finalcutpro/professionalformatsandworkflows/index.html#chapter=10%26section=2%26tasks=true]http://documentation.apple.com/en/finalcutpro/professionalformatsandworkflows/index.html#chapter=10%26section=2%26tasks=true[/url]

Use the proxy for just to see, paste and cut. The proxy will be a reduce size for the footage.
Then for the final cut or online , take the selected mts footage and convert to prores 422 with optimal quality.

The Final and definitiv solution is change to Premiere....
I have the same problem as you and  I didn't yet change to Premiere . I will but need time to study a new workflow with premiere.

Saludos.

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Actually, FCPX does a pretty great job of handling the various hack flavors, and can transcode on the fly while you cut using the AVCHD footage (transferred to your hard drive, of course, NOT the original files). It is a less expensive option than Premiere, if money is an issue.

(I actually am LOVING it, as I am much faster cutting. Definitely takes some getting used to, but once you do you can fly!)

Hope that helps,

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[quote author=Rosebud link=topic=324.msg2001#msg2001 date=1330193510]
Hi Ed, thanks for the fast reply.

That sounds like the most obvious thing to do right? I was first advised to take the MTS files of the card and then convert to movs. Is that the wrong way then? I then learned that once you have done that, you cannot use the log and transfer on FCP as it needs all the other info on the card, which I cleared after taking the files off initially.

So Ed, if i try that now, will that way make the file sizes realistically useable?

Thank you :)
[/quote]
I can see why you want to take the data off the card prior to logging. But I've always done it via card and never had any problems.
But if you do then yes, FCP gets picky how it detects the footage. I think you at least need to copy the root folder of your SD card, not just the .MTS files.

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Rosebud, Ed recommended 5DtoRGB to me in another thread -- definitely check it out! transcoding mts files with 709 results in a beautifully gradable image. I would try copying the mts files to your HD so you've got them backed up in their "raw" format, and transcoding to prores 422 proxy with 5DtoRGB. Proxy looks pretty amazing, and should work out to about 250mb/minute, which is less than 1/4 the size of HQ.

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5DtoRGB is a terrific option! Easy to use and makes very high quality files.

Also, try ShotPut Pro for backing up SD cards. It maintains all the info/formatting of the card so you can transcode from the copy, plus it can copy to different hard drives at the same time (makes a "work version" and a "safety version" all at once).

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Why don't you just use a simple rewrapping program like Clipwrap or (if you're cheap like me) Rewrap2m4v? They are very fast and do nothing to the output quality.

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Copy the "Private" Folder to your hard drive. Then in Log and transfer point to that "private folder and all should come into FCP.
Cheers, Rob

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