Currently Being ModeratedFeb 27, 2012 1:01 PM (in response to mvh2)
FCE can capture video from DV, HDV and AVCHD directly from camcorders.
If you need to import clips that are not on a camcorder, basically you need to convert them to QuickTime, using either the Apple DV NTSC/PAL codec or Apple Intermediate Codec. If you need to convert existing clips to these formats, MPEG Streamclip is a very capable utility (and it's free).
There are some exceptions however ...
- If you have .dv clips on a hard drive you can import them directly into FCE although it would be better to convert them to QuickTime first.
- If you have AVCHD video on a hard drive or SD card (where you have kept intact the entire AVCHD folder tree) then you can import the clips directly into FCE via Log & Transfer
- If you only have AVCHD .mts files by themselves (not the surrounding AVCHD folder structure) then you should use Clipwap to convert the clips to QuickTime/Apple Intermediate Codec
Note that FCE supports standard def (SD) video in NTSC and PAL formats. It supports high def (HD) video in 720p, 1440x1080i and 1920x1080i. In all cases, 25 & 30 fps frame rates. FCE does not support 24fps in any flavor.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 28, 2012 10:27 AM (in response to mvh2)
If you have appropriate QuickTime Components installed (I highly recommend Perian), many different types of files can be imported directly into FCE. Basically everything that can be played in QuickTime Player.
Perian adds, among other things, support for avi and flv, here's a non-exhaustive list.
If you have the Flip4Mac player, you can import wmv files.
Here's the nice bit: when you render wmv clips in FCE they do not have the watermark and voice-over that you normally get when trying to convert wmv to QuickTime with only the basic Flip4Mac player.
(CAVEAT: I now have Flip4Mac Pro, so I can convert WMV in Compressor. So my memory may be faulty, but I'm pretty certain I converted WMV like that before.)
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 28, 2012 11:54 AM (in response to Pinc)
The Flip4Mac free player is intended to give you the option of playing WMV files (duh).
If you wish to use it to encode, it will only produce a file of 30 seconds or 1/2 the clip length - whichever is shorter - and places a watermark on the material.
You need one of the paid versions to encode.
On another subject, Perian has been the root cause of a great number of problems. I would not load it unless it was the ONLY option to work with a codec.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 28, 2012 12:04 PM (in response to Studio X)
Studio X, Yes, I know you cannot normally convert wmv with the free flip4mac player (isn't that what I said?).
However I found that importing it in FCE, rendering it and then exporting the rendered movie is a workaround. It suffers from the FCE format and framerate restrictions (i. e. only DV PAL/NTSC SD, AIC 720p, 1080i, but otherwise works.)
Directly exporting a clip using "QuickTime conversion" does not work, but somehow rendering the movie in FCE makes flip4mac "think" you're just playing it, not exporting. I've used it for making a DVD of avaition accidents from movies downloaded from the Internet, some of them in WMV format.
What sort of problems is Perian giving you? I've had it installed for years, rely on it a lot and haven't really had a problem.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 28, 2012 1:43 PM (in response to Pinc)
If you have appropriate QuickTime Components installed ...many different types of files can be imported directly into FCE. Basically everything that can be played in QuickTime Player.
Perhaps true as far as merely importing material into FCE. But that's not the same as successfully editing, rendering & exporting final results with FCE.
Many, many users have rued the day they made the mistake of importing unsupported video formats & codecs into FCE. And too often the problems only show up after hours/days/weeks of editing, only to find out upon final rendering or exporting that the effects don't work, frame sizes don't match, results are all pixellated, stuttery, off color, or the video just doesn't play.
While FCE is based on QuickTime, it does not provide support for all the various types of video & audio formats/codecs that QuickTime itself supports. Perian or no Perian.
FCE was designed to natively edit only QuickTime/DV (NTSC or PAL) and QuickTime/Apple Intermediate Codec video. (HDV & AVCHD are transcoded into QuickTime/AIC during capture.) Using other containers and/or codecs can be a quick way to get a major headache.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 28, 2012 2:08 PM (in response to MartinR)
I agree it's a good idea to convert most of your stuff to FCE's native format before editing. However, I have edited quite some material consisting of non-native clips, including AVIs and FLVs. In general you can spot problems quite early by forcing rendering and looking at/listening to the result.
For my latest project, I converted most stuff to DV using Compressor 4 before importing, but noticed that sometimes I would get black frames in framerate-converted (29.97 to 25) flv or mp4 videos. I did not get these black frames when converting to ProRes, even though that is not a native format for FCE.
The only real trouble I had with importing non-native formats directly were: poor framerate conversion (to be expected, as FCE does frame-blending at best, and nearest-neighbour at worst, I'm not sure which; only solved by using Compressor for preprocessing), and trouble with independently imported mp3 audio files. These would sometimes stop playing in the middle of editing. Rather easily corrected by unpacking them to AIFF in an external program and reconnecting the media.
So, yes, if you want to avoid trouble, edit DV source material, but if you know what you're doing you may be able to get away with other stuff.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 28, 2012 3:04 PM (in response to mvh2)
Thanks everyone for your ideas. I didn't realize when I posted that I was trying to convert MXF video files into something that worked with FCE. I found finally iMedia Converter which works perfectly and has solved my problem.
It takes a lot of time and lots of rendering but it's doable.