1 2 Previous Next 26 Replies Latest reply: Dec 17, 2012 8:26 PM by Alchroma
105437 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Extreme newbie here in FCPX...

 

I'd like to use FCPX to edit some old VHS footage that I have converted to H.264/AVC, 640 x 480 AAC, 48000 Hz, Stereo (L R) and then export it in the same format. What is the best way to do this?

 

I created a destination using the H.264 codec but a 35 minute project is taking a LONG tome to export... Is this normal. Can my project edit and export in this standard def H.264 format without having to trancode on the export?

 

Thanks


MacBook Pro with Retina display, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • 1. Re: How to edit/export SD footage? Must be a better way...
    Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (106,180 points)

    Is 10.7.4 really you're OS?

     

    You should convert to standard DV at 720x480, and never convert with compressed audio.

  • 2. Re: How to edit/export SD footage? Must be a better way...
    105437 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Tom, thanks for the reply... Actually I'm running OS X 10.8.2, thanks for mentioning that. I have updated my profile.

     

    I'm not sure how I could convert to standard DV (720x480). These are old VHS tapes and my conversion is done by using Elgato Video Capture. I connect the VCR to their cable/converter device using S-Video and RCA jacks for left/right audio. The other end plugs into MacBook via USB. The only option I have to save the conversion is as I stated above.

     

    With that said, what am I losing by not converting to DV first? Thanks!

  • 3. Re: How to edit/export SD footage? Must be a better way...
    Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (106,180 points)

    What you're losing is that the file isn't in a standard video format and is doing a lot of recompressing to get it where you want.

  • 4. Re: How to edit/export SD footage? Must be a better way...
    BenB Level 5 Level 5 (7,825 points)

    Old VHS tapes are standard definition NTSC digital video.  Elgato is downgrading them for web playback, not to retain full quality and editing.  In fact, if you can convert to ProRes LT that'd be the best.  I'd find some other software to digitize that video with.  Perhaps see if FCP X will recognize that Elgato adapter directly.  May not, but give it a try.

  • 5. Re: How to edit/export SD footage? Must be a better way...
    105437 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Okay, so with that information I'd like to explore other ways to do this. I have a VCR and MacBook to work with. What do you suggest I use that will give me the best results? Thanks again!

  • 6. Re: How to edit/export SD footage? Must be a better way...
    Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (14,255 points)

    Just to add a suggestion, if you're going to do very much of this kind of analogue-digital conversion, consider getting a different converter box like this.

     

    You won't be throwing away so much information early in the process (the additional compression that Tom Wolsky cites) so your editing will be quicker and quality of the end product will be higher.

     

    Russ

  • 7. Re: How to edit/export SD footage? Must be a better way...
    105437 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Russ, so I would use this device to import the VHS footage directly into FCPX?

  • 8. Re: How to edit/export SD footage? Must be a better way...
    Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (14,255 points)

    105437 wrote:

     

    so I would use this device to import the VHS footage directly into FCPX?

    That's an excellent question…and the answer is, in theory, yes. FCPX should see the Canopus as a Firewire device. But I have yet to test it myself and the earliest I can do that is tomorrow morning. (I just did a quick search and didn't come up with anything specific to FCPX. Most people just seem to use iMovie.)  

     

    I've often used this box successfully but then  I used previous versions of FCP, which were relatively tape-friendly and Firewire device-friendly.

     

    So I'll give it a go tomorrow and post back one way or the other.

     

    Russ

  • 9. Re: How to edit/export SD footage? Must be a better way...
    105437 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Russ, I appreciate the response and information. I'm also going to try and find a MiniDV camcorder that I could barrow from someone. With that, I could possibly connect the VCR directly to the MiniDV camcorder and then to the MacBook. Fingers crossed...

  • 10. Re: How to edit/export SD footage? Must be a better way...
    105437 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Russ, just wanted to update you on what I've done. So, I found a friend who was able to let me barrow a MiniDV/HDV deck player... it's a Sony GV-HD700/1. I have everything hooked up with the VCR connected via S-Video and RCA audio connections to the Sony deck. I then run a Firewire cable from the deck to my MacBook.

     

    I insert the VHS tape into the VCR and press play. I see the video displayed on the deck w/sound. I then open FCPX and select Import Video. The import window opens and I see video being passed to the MacBook from the deck. I click Import Video and then capture 10 seconds as a test. Once I close the import video window there is no captured video clip.

     

    I then closed FCPX and opened iMovie. Repeated the steps and succesfully am able to capture video clips w/sound. Any idea why iMovie works and FCPX doesn't?

     

    At any rate, I would prefer to edit in FCPX... what is the best way to get the iMovie captured footage in to FCPX? Also, I'm assuming this process is capturing the video as DV 720x480 but I'm unsure how to verify that.

     

    Thanks for any help you or others can provide!

  • 11. Re: How to edit/export SD footage? Must be a better way...
    AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,340 points)

    If your iMovie event is DV, the easiest way is to go to FCPX and use FILE/IMPORT... IMOVIE EVENTS

     

    This will give you access to your DV without doubling up on space. The iMovie Event and the FCP Event will be distinct but will point to the same clips. Only the thumbnails, cache and analysis files would be different.

     

    If that works for you, great.

     

    If you still are interested in the ElGato solution, I have a different ElGato product (The EyeTV Hybrid, with EyeTV3 software,) but I get really good results through it. The ElGato Video Capture product may be feature constrained relative to the EyeTV hybrid, but I don't know for sure since I dont have one.

     

    I am actually recording a TV show with the ElGato right now so I can't get down into the menus right now, so this is from memory, but as I recall - as I capture, I can use a very high quality mode that gets captured as MPEG2, or I can select a more compressed format that is h.264. For highest quality, the MPEG2 seems to work best. For exporting, choose QuickTime and then choose either ProRes 422 or Apple Intermediate Codec or DV. Personally I like ProRes 422 for FCP and AIC for iMovie. In my experience, DV is about 20% bigger than AIC with no visible difference in quality.

  • 12. Re: How to edit/export SD footage? Must be a better way...
    105437 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the reply AppleMan! I went ahead and imported my first VHS tape using the procedure described above into iMovie. Once the import finished I quit iMovie and then opened FCPX and went to the File menu and imported iMovie Events. In checking my iMovie Events and Final Cut Events folders they are very close to the same size right at 3.5GB. So it appears it doubled the media... Any ideas what I may have done wrong?

     

    Also, how do I check the clip in iMovie to make sure it's DV? I really wish FCPX would import from this Sony deck, that would really simplify things for me.

     

    Thanks

  • 13. Re: How to edit/export SD footage? Must be a better way...
    AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,340 points)

    You can right click the clip in the iMovie event, and then OPEN WITH/QUICKTIME PLAYER. Then click Command-I to open the Inspector. The video and audio codecs should be listed next to the word FORMAT:

     

    Both your FCP event and your iMovie Event will show 3.5 GB, but the overall space on your drive will be the same, as long as you keep both the iMovie Event and the FCPX event on the same drive. This is done by hard links, same as the way Time Machine works. Similarly, if you delete the iMovie event, you will not gain back any space unless you also delete the FCPX event and then empty the trash. When you delete just one, you are removing the hard link, but the clip is still there as long as there are any hard links attached. For me, it was obvious, because I had some Event disks that were 80% full, and the FCPX events still fit after importing from iMovie.

  • 14. Re: How to edit/export SD footage? Must be a better way...
    Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (14,255 points)

    105437 wrote:

     

    Hi Russ, just wanted to update you on what I've done.

    Although you seem to have this project on track with AppleMan's help I did want to follow up and say that I'm sorry but I have not been yet been able to test the A/D box in FCP. After pulling it off the shelf for the first time in many months, I find it's acting very flaky – quite aside from FCP. I have a case pending with Canopus support so we'll see. I would expect

     

    As to why iMovie's import works and  FCPX doesn't, my assumption is that tape capture was kind of "bolted on" to the design of the new app whereas at the time iMovie was designed, tape was a much  more prevalent medium (especially for consumer and prosumer cams) and would have been integral to the design. Whatever is the case, I've found (in my relatively brief experience with FCPX) tape capture to work…but not without some false starts. (Therefore, whenever I need to capture tape I still do it in FCP7 and then import into X.)

     

    When my box gets sorted out (or when I am next at a facility that has one, I'll let you know what I find.

     

    Russ

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