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FCPX not seeing video track of rewrapped MTS files

475 Views 20 Replies Latest reply: Oct 10, 2012 6:04 AM by disconnekt RSS
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disconnekt Level 2 Level 2 (490 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 2, 2012 7:19 AM

I accidentally formatted an SD card containing AVHDC files that I needed, so I used a data rescue program to rescue the MTS files. Getting them into FCPX has been very trying. I used Smart Converter to "rewrap" the files as .mov, and Quicktime can read both audio and video, but for several of the files, FCPX only imports the audio track. I tried several different conversion programs, and even used a program to create an archive directly from the MTS files, but FCPX is refusing to see the video track on several important clips. Since Quicktime can read the video, I know it's there, but how can I get FCPX to see it? Thanks in advance for any help, I have been ripping my hair out over this one...

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,630 points)

    Open the file in the QuickTime player and report the exact specs of the media. If you have the QT7 Pro player use that and report the track information as well.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,630 points)

    Not really.


    (BTW the specs for this clip are identical for the clips that do have both audio and video in FCPX.)


    That shouldn't be. The audio should not be AAC put uncompressed when it's imported using the camera import function.


    Maybe a screen shot of what appears in the browser, viewer, and info inspector.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,630 points)

    Not a big fan of Smart Converter. Great for some things. Not so much for production purposes. Try using ClipWrap and see if it does a better job. First, it won't leave the AAC compressed.

  • fox_m Level 4 Level 4 (3,335 points)

    Yeah... Quicktime plays the media? and FCPX thumbnails are black?


    Might have to do with Field Dominance Override. If FCPX is being "lied to" then it can show black video -- usually with 1080/60i AVC.


    What do I mean? If Smart Converter wrapped it up with a Progressive flag set, then FCPX tries to represent progressive media.  It's NOT! 


    Select the clips and go into Inspector > Info > Settings View and set the Field Dominance Override to Upper First which is the proper setting for anything *interlaced* except DV/DVCPro (which should be lower first.)


    If this is the problem, you should see your video reappear instantly in the Event Browser thumbnails.

  • fox_m Level 4 Level 4 (3,335 points)

    Ok -- go back into Smart Converter. In Preferences, Advanced, make sure Force Conversion of AVCHD is checked (actually ALL the options in Advanced are checked) and try again.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,630 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 4, 2012 4:04 PM (in response to fox_m)

    Smart Converter should not be used for this. It's designed for creating files for use on mobile devices not in production. The output options are not suitable for FCP as far as I can see.

  • fox_m Level 4 Level 4 (3,335 points)

    Smart Converter works great - every bit as good as Clipwrap and less cost (for pro - there's a free version too). Just set the conversion to Other > Apple > Quicktime. It does the same as Clipwrap in so far as (when possible) it will simply change the file wrapper and leave the media alone.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,630 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 4, 2012 5:01 PM (in response to fox_m)

    You don't want it to leave the media alone, especially if it can't set it properly. The Apple>QuickTime rewrap doesn't work as FCP does. It doesn't convert the audio, but passes it through it as AAC, which neither camera import nor ClipWrap do. It also doesn't handle frame rates properly. 29.97 video gets flagged as 59.94, though the files still shows interlacing, which is impossible, so I don't know what the app is doing if it's making 59.94 interlaced.

  • fox_m Level 4 Level 4 (3,335 points)

    The fewer times video is "stepped on" the better so, I do want it to leave the original video alone if at all possible. Audio... don't really care. Most 44.1/128kbps stuff is good enough for me (partial hearing loss...) but, I am meticulous, so all my audio is at least 48kHz 24 bit AIFF for production. FCPX does quite well with AAC, but obviously it should be analyzed and fixed on import... it is not an editing format. *My* camcorder exports AVC/AAC audio. AAC is usually an MPEG-4 Audio format and pretty much the current standard for AVCHD video.


    I have never seen SC Pro change the frame rate. However, I do know several consumer grade camcorders actually "lie" about their frame rates. Everything is shot at 59.94 and "interpolated" to the "advertised" optional framerates of 24 or 30 (technically: 23.98 / 29.97 p) if those options are selected by the camcorder user. If the video is 1080 -- it's 60i -- it doesn't matter what framerate you think you set (gotta read the fine print on these cameras!) 720 is actually 60p. SD is 60i interpolated down to (usually) 30i (and some cameras have the option of 30p.) So, Smart Converter must be seeing the original h.264/AVC video in it's native format when passing it through as 59.94 interlaced. That is not a bad thing. However, in FCPX, a 1080 project should be manually set up for 29.97p and have the 1080/60i media conformed to the 30p framerate.


    PS - I've actually seen perceptible color changes/loss of dynamic range after using ClipWrap (it was trying to do a transcode...) so, not convinced. Quicktime 7 Pro is the best app to use IF it can open and play the original video. Every conceivable/available export option (depending on system installed codecs) is available, so ProRes + Apple Lossless (AIFF) audio conversion and considerably less trouble to use (and 20 bucks cheaper) than Compressor. Unfortunately, it is no longer included with the OS and part of the FCP toolbox [free "Pro" activation when installing FCP Studio — which is too bad].  The best scenario is having FCPX import/ingest the original video without the use of a extra or third party app. That is, however, not really an option for the OP.

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