Archive for the ‘Mpeg StreamClip’ Category

FCP MultiCam: PreRes not always the best standard?

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

When multicam-ing in FCP 7, one user reports <<I have found it much better to convert the 5D footage to the XDCAM EX codec instead of converting the EX footage to a ProRes 422 as the file sizes are absurd and there is still a gamma shift problem)>>.  It’s the gamma-shift that would bother me.

Additionally the user explains how to convert DSLR footage to XDCAM-EX format:

    • To Convert the DSLR Footage:
      • Copy the exact file structure from the 5D card to the desired place on your hard drive.
        • Example tree should read:  5DCAM/”DCIM”  ”MISC” (both of the previous words in quotes are two separate folders as one will see in the native card structure)/100EOS5D/”MVI_0001.MOV”  ”MVI_0001.THM” (Again…multiple files in this folder)
      • Open MPEG Streamclip (Just google it to find and download the free program) and go to “File”, “Open Files” and select as many of the .MOV files from your hard drive that you need to convert for a multi-clip.
      • Go to “File”, “Export to Quicktime”
      • At the top of the dialog box where it says, “Compression” choose one of the XDCAM EX compression methods that fit with how your footage was shot.
      • Example:  I shot at 1920 x 1080 at 24 frames per second so I will choose, “XDCAM EX 1080p24 (35Mb/s VBR)” since this also matches the settings of the EX footage.
      • Make sure your frame rate in Streamclip on the lower right area is set to 23.98 if you shot at 24fps in your session
      • Click “Make Movie” and select your target destination
    •  The following will explain how to get the footage into FCP
      • After using Log and Transfer for your EX footage, simply select “Import” under the “File” menu and browse to your new media.
      • Double click your EX clip so it opens in the Source window.
      • Go to a point you would like to use as a sync point, stop playback and hit the letter “I” for “In-Point”  Repeat this exact process with your 5D clip.
      • Select both your 5D and EX clip in the Project area where your clips are listed, right click and select, “Make Multi-Clip”.
      • Select for the clips to be synced using In-Points and you now have a multi-clip.
    • Editing in Multi-Cam Mode
      • Drag the new multi-clip into the main timeline.
      • In the main timeline, click the “RT” button to the upper left of the video tracks.  Make sure that “Multi-clip Playback” is checked.
      • In the source window, look for the button with two playback heads and an “X” between them.  It is located at the top of the window directly in the center.  Click this button and choose, “Open”.  This will sync the source and canvas windows.
      • Double click your multi-clip in the main timeline; this should open both camera views in the source window.
      • Click anywhere in the main timeline and hit the space bar.  You should now see both videos in the source window playing and available for you to click on the angle you want.
      • When you’re done you should highlight everything in the main timeline, right click and select, “Collapse Multi-Clip”.  Don’t worry, you can easily turn it back on to continue multi-cam editing; this will just save on RAM.

Training: Den Lennie’s “Music Video” Experience

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

I attended, working on one of the camera units.  Had a great time, learnt lots, at all sorts of levels.  Even how to make good use of the Movie Slate application on my iPhone!  Link:

Avid MC 5: Standalone Transcoders to Avid Formats

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

These are standalone tools I have seen (on web) others using to transcode from various formats into Avid formats such as DNxHD.  Of course, that’s also achievable from within Media Composer (e.g. by its Consolidate/Transcode feature), but a stand-alone tool encourages parallel, and hence possibly collaborative, workflows in post-production.

Mpeg StreamClip to Transcode

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010


  • (Mac or Win): Mpeg StreamClip
    • For the purposes of this explanation, it is version 1.2.
    • It is a stand-alone executable, no “installation” required.
  • Mpeg StreamClip:
    • List > Batch List > Add Files
      • (select file
      • Click the [To Batch] button
    • Select [Export to QuickTime]
      • Say NO to [Join all the files] and [Fix timecode breaks]
      • Specify a destination folder
    • [Movie Exporter] dialog
      • Slide Quality up to 100%
        • Why would anyone want anything less than 100%  What’s the cost / tradeoff involved here?  File size or execution time?
      • Select the required codec.
      • If source footage is progressive then deselect [Interlaced Scaling]
      • Click the [To Batch] button
    • [Batch List] dialog
      • Confirm the displayed list of files to transcode
      • Click the [Go] button.

Aja KiPro records 10-bit 422 ProRes; can Avid use it?

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

The Aja KiPro captures HD (& SD?) from analog or SDI to 10-bit 422 to QT-ProRes (ordinaire and HQ).   In comparison the Convergent Design products currently capture to 8-bit 422 (hi-bitrate Mpeg2).  ProRes is particularly suited to (aimed at) Final Cut.  But since ProRes decoder is freely available, including on Windows, the KiPro could be used with other NLEs.Presumably (haven’t yet tried) once the ProRes is  copied to the editing system’s media drive, it can be simply dropped into an Avid project (bin/timeline).  Some seem to find it OK e.g. “I import ProRes straight into MC all day, no problems. You’ll need FCP 7 to have access to the new 4444 codec though..” [].  But some people are cagey about this (on principle?) “…if I were you I would reencode the quicktimes to an Avid codec” [].  One re-encoding option [] is Mpeg StreamClip [].  Not sure what the advantage is (or whether it is real) but some people complain of problems with levels [] and metadata.  I would hope that Avid’s “New Thinking” would render any such problems historical, but experience will tell.One slight nuisance – Avid doesn’t work directly with the Aja KiPro.  That is, the KiPro is not a device type recognized by Avid’s Advanced Media Architecture AMA [ ].  Not a show-stopper, but definitely a tilting force (from Avid to FCS/FCP).The KiPro is bulkier than the Convergent Design products.  It can record from more kinds of input to more kinds of storage medium. I haven’t looked at power consumption or robustness yet. Links: 

Mac video production: Framerate Conversion Strategies & Tools

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Gleaned from Philip Bloom’s presentation on using a 30p native cam to produce to other standards (e.g. 24p):

  • Edit native, convert the edit result, not the source (rushes). Saves render time (& space)
  • Don’t edit H264 – current machines are not fast enough to avoid jerkiness.
    • Before edit, convert to ProRes (standard is sufficient, no need for HQ).  If disk space at a premium then could instead use XDCAM EX format but that is not compatible with Cinema Tools.
      • Conversion to ProRes is done twice as fast by Mpeg StreamClip (free) than by Compressor.
        • Mpeg StreamClip:
          • [File > Open Files, File> Export to QuickTime, choose format ProRes 422, change top-slider to Full 100% Quality (default is less)
          • Can also use it to batch-convert, result can be either separate files or all concatenated in sequence.
  • FrameRate Conversion:
    • Simplest: speed change – change the timebase (the rate at which the existing frames are presented).  OK when speed change does not matter (e.g. static scene).
      • Can be done e.g. via Cinema Tools.
        • Stages: Analysis then select desired new framerate then Conform.
        • (or [Cinema Tools: File > Batch Conform],  select a folder containing set of files, select any example file in it, Open, change speed, go: all the files are done)
    • Speed-preserving frameRate conversion can be done by Compressor or by JES Deinterlacer (free)
      • Compressor
        • Open Compressor
        • Drag file to job-strip
        • Create a Setting if needed
        • Geometry (5th icon along) – set Frame Size to “100% of source” (to ensure Compressor setting doesn’t re-scale)
        • Frame Controls: Unlock
        • (ignore settings that don’t apply e.g. resize method)
        • Rate Conversion: choose the fastest you can get away with
        • It is not compulsory to set a Destination.
          • (what happens if not? same directory as source?  what filename gets generated)
            • If no destination specified then file goes to same directory, auto-named as the original filename plus the name of the export format Setting.  Example: From TRV 12-39 it generated TRV 12-39 AvidGrade-QT ProRes, where QT ProRes Interlaced was a compression setting (previously defined by myself).  Incidentally the QT-DV was 35MB, the generated QT-ProRes was 47MB.
      • JES Deinterlacer
        • Choose >  (input your file)
        • Output > Compressor > Export
          • (nothing to do with Apple’s Compressor, at least I assume…)