10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 24, 2011 4:01 PM by vidoedude
vidoedude Level 1 (60 points)
One of the main reasons I bought FCP was so I could edit with smaller files than FCE. After converting ACVHD to Apple Intermiedate Codec, I ran around 50 GB per file. So I tried converting an AIC file in stream clip to ProRes, only to find out the ProRes file is bigger than the AIC file by about 5GB. I though maybe since it was already 50GB it wasn't going to go much smaller. So I tried to convert a MP4 5 GB fiel to ProRes to have that come out about 50GB. I want my final project to be as HD as possible, but the editing doesn't have to be 100% quality. Was my mistake converting at 100% in stream clip? Should I use ProRes Proxy? I want to use the multi-cam function, but my files need to be alot smaller. Am I doing something wrong? Or is this how it is?
  • Jeff Cipin Level 1 (90 points)
    What is the duration of the 50 GB file? Based on what Apple says below, do you have about 50min. worth of video? (Assuming 1 GB/minute.) Here's what Apple says about AVCHD to ProRes:

    "About Transcoded AVCHD Files and Disk Space
    When you ingest AVCHD files using the Log and Transfer window, video is transcoded to either an Apple ProRes codec or the Apple Intermediate Codec. AVCHD has a much higher compression ratio than Apple ProRes, so the ingested files are significantly larger than the original files. For example, a 2-minute native AVCHD file is about 200–300 MB. After transcoding to the Apple ProRes 422 codec, the file size can be as large as 2 GB.

    To create smaller files during transfer, transcode AVCHD files to Apple ProRes 422 (LT)."

    ProRes LT may be suitable for what you need to deliver. It's certainly fine for web content. Do some testing and check it out.

  • Studio X Level 7 (27,030 points)
    As has been noted, use ProResLT. Or leave the stuff in AIC.

    You will not improve the quality of anything you've already captured/converted. Most of the damage happens on recording to a highly compressed format.

    To use an analogy:

    Your work process is like frying up a fresh batch of tortilla chips and, just after you get them out of the fryer, you ...

    1. put them in a bag and step on it to make it smaller (in camera compression)
    2. then take the bag over to your table and pour the smashed bits back into a giant basket to serve. (Working in ProRes)

    Most of what's in the basket is air, not chips. Going to higher bit rate codecs only increases the amount of air in the basket. It does not "heal" the crushed quality of the chips. They are what they are.

  • Jim Cookman Level 7 (23,435 points)
  • David S. Level 7 (20,630 points)
    Kinda of makes me hungry
  • vidoedude Level 1 (60 points)
    I don't want to improve the HD quality, I just want to make the files smaller. Am i still in the same boat?
  • D Gilmore Level 4 (3,525 points)
    vidoedude wrote:
    Am i still in the same boat?

    You're in the same basket.

    You're not going to get smaller files than the AVCHD

    both AIC and ProRes LT will create larger files
  • joey848 Level 2 (405 points)
    ProRes was never intended to provide smaller file sizes. Its function is to preserve image quality and resolution at lower data rates.
  • Studio X Level 7 (27,030 points)
    ProRes was never intended to provide smaller file sizes.

    Not true. ProRes IS intended to create smaller file sizes ... +*from uncompressed 8 and 10 bit original material.*+

    That it ends up being the codec of choice with the AVCHD crowd is just timing. It came out at the same time AVCHD took off and Apple dropped the price of FCS to $999. It was the perfect marketing storm.

    All the "I'm shocked, SHOCKED to discover that the files get huge!" is a powerful testament to the efficient machine that is Apple marketing. Because it is APPLE after all, it has to be super easy! Heck, I figured out how to use iMovie on my Phone in 15 minutes. FCP can't be any harder than that!

    Well that, and people don't read the fact sheet/ upgrade notes/ manuals where it is spelled out.

    So it goes.

  • joey848 Level 2 (405 points)
    Ah so. Thanks for the clarification.
  • vidoedude Level 1 (60 points)
    Thanks for the heads up and analogy. I had to mull it over for a few nights to get it. I was using FCE before, but was running into issues with hang-ups and dropped frmaes while editing HD stuff from multi-camera angle shoots. I know the issue was with not being able to move the data around fast enough without an eSata connection to my external hard drives. I'm running a iMac I bought in 2010 with 8GB of RAM, but the default processor attached to HDs by firewire. So before throwing down 5K to buy a Mac Pro screamer, a fellow video guy told me I should try FCP first, because once I had the Mac Pro I would end up buying it anyway, but it would help me with my current issue. I assumed that the reason ProRes would work better for me was because I didn't understand Studio X's chip analogy. I though that ProRes would produce smaller files, hence they would be able to be shifted around faster. Perhaps even though the a file size is bigger, if the data rate is faster, then it should be able to be pushed around faster by weaker computers. What would be the most efficient conversion type to convert the raw AVCHD into to edit in FCP so I can use the multiple camera feature without all (or at least eliminate most) of the stuttering? I know the real solution is to buy a machine that can walk the walk, but that is 3 months away and I have stuff I need to produce now to help raise the funds for a Mac Pro. The DVD's I print out right now won't even be true HD, so maybe I go with something shinier than SD but not as crystal clear as HD. Thanks for any advice.