Tyler Smith

Tyler Smith

Ive been using CS5, well pretty much since it was released. I shortly after obtained a Canon t2i and right away made a little video. I neglected to transcode because I wanted to test the software, and it surpassed quite well.

Now that video was a straight cut, no grading, effects, plug in usage etc. I started to do some research and based on that came to the conclusion that I should still be interested in transcoding to get adequate color space for grading work. But tonight, I came across this on the hurlbutvisuals.com blog.

*READ THIS*

Yes, H.264 is definitely not considered a finishing codec, but to be clear, Premiere Pro does not use it in that way. The H.264 is read natively by Premiere and once it is decoded into the app. it “resides” internally in a 32 bit float extended color space that is unmatched for color fidelity and dynamic range. Your tests at Laser Pacific have proven that. There is no need to transcode to Pro Res, although if one prefers to work with that type of intermediate, the Adobe workflow can handle it just fine…ProRes is a great intermediate codec, but depending on the original content, some information might be lost compared to how Premiere Pro decodes the same file. For a full explanation, please refer the poster to my longer explanation below:

Adobe CS5 reads the H.264 files natively into Premiere Pro and After Effects at the highest possible quality. Our color gamut and dynamic range for tonal detail from shadow to highlight is unsurpassed. There is even support for over-brights beyond 100% in After Effects. i.e. in plain English, we squeeze more out of these files than anything else out there! Shane Hurlbut’s filmout tests at Laser Pacific have verified that our interpretation of the H.264 is the smoothest and most filmic representation available. The magic comes from the use of proprietary interpretation algorithms and I might also mention that we bypass QuickTime for this process, which avoids the whole gamma conundrum. Once the file is living inside our apps on the timeline or project, we deal with the image information at the 32 bit float level. Now that is not saying we can make an 8 bit H.264 DSLR video capture look like perfectly shot IMAX footage scanned at 16 bits, but what we do offer up is the ability to edit, apply effects and color corrections within our apps. at an unprecedented level of quality. So edit, do your VFX and color correction in Premiere Pro and After Effects with confidence that you are getting the best results. Now for the next step…we have all the typical options for exporting these files, so if they have to be passed on to another vendor for DI or another system, use the best option that suits you. For Shane’s bootcamp, we exported edited Premiere Pro projects to industry standard uncompressed 10 bit DPX files, which were then color corrected by a Quantel Pablo and projected on a huge screen. They looked absolutely amazing. Cineform is also an amazingly good compressed or uncompressed intermediate codec that rivals Pro Res and DNX and works great with CS5 on both Mac and PC. If you have Final Cut Pro on your MAC, you can choose to export all the various flavors of Pro Res through our Media Encoder, if that works better for you. Then, and only then in the process would you want to choose it as an output option. Converting your files to Pro Res beforehand for use in Adobe CS5 works great, but will not take full advantage of all the image processing that we offer by working natively in H.264. What you NEVER want to do though is to output H.264 as an intermediate. As the blogger mentions, yes…it would be like re-compressing an already compressed format…like saving a JPEG as a JPEG again. One caveat here is for the PC folks…Adobe can’t directly output Pro Res through the Media Encoder on Windows for obvious reasons (Final Cut is only for MAC), and that is where the Pro Res codec is supplied. So if you are on a PC, I recommend that you use uncompressed 10 bit DPX output as an intermediate (now available in Premiere Pro’s 5.0.2 free update which includes timecode support), a Cineform workflow, or use AJA’s KiPRO in conjunction with Adobe CS5 to layoff your finished timeline to Pro Res through this amazing and affordable device.

Link can be found here, its in the comments section.

hurlbutvisuals.com/blog/2010/12/02/in-praise-of-dissent-adobe-cs5-paves-the-way/

Discussion?

Perrone Ford

Perrone Ford

Well,

If you are finishing your work in Adobe Premiere and you see no issues on the timeline with performance, then go ahead and cut native.

Anyone who needs a different workflow is likely already doing it or well aware of why they should.

The word "DPX" isn't going to apply to 99.99% of people who read that article and feel it merits discussion. Those who are using DPX as a part of their common workflow are not even thinking about camera native files whether they come from a T2i, an AF100, or an Alexa. They are mostly cutting proxy files and doing a final conform via EDL so it makes practically no difference whatsoever what's on the timeline.

corvo2001

corvo2001

Hi people,
I have to buy a new pc and I would work editing the native h264 (Canon 7D and 5D footage) with Premiere CS5... My question is: what are the minimum requirements my system should have to work without problems with the native h264?

Processor: Intel Core i5 - 2,530 GHz
RAM: 4 GB (to 8) - 1.066 MHz
Video Card: Nvidia (model GeForce GT420M) - 1.024 mb (max 3.582 mb)

This is still too little?

Thanks..

Perrone Ford

Perrone Ford

I would follow Adobe's specifications for their Mercury playback engine. If you do that, you should be fine. If not, then it's just a guessing game.

dave faxon

dave faxon

I have a question. What about editing on avid. I want to get the t2i and I edit on avid for a pc. I can't find anything that has to do with avid and this camera combined. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks.

Perrone Ford

Perrone Ford

I cut on Avid MC5. You have two choices:

1. Use AMA (poor option)
2. Import with DNxHD or another codec. (works great).

Pretty simple depending on which version of Avid you have.

Kwaku Nyantekyi

Kwaku Nyantekyi

Yes I agree. AMA isn't great in media composer 5. I don't know about 6. I tried AMA and it didn't work very well. I know it's not just my system because when I tried editing Canon h264 files naively in Premiere it worked smoothly.

Video-Vermont

Video-Vermont Plus

Just tried a four multi cam edit with Canon 5d H264 files and after 30 minutes CS5 started to choke. Eventually it just stopped! So what is the work flow to make it easier for the program to handle multi cam demands with four H264 files simultaneously?

Mauricio Fernandez

Mauricio Fernandez

You should work with proxies. First convert all your files to compressed h264 files (maintaining 1920x1080 and the original names) using adobe media encoder or another program; edit using this files. Once you are ready for final export, simply right click on each file and choose "replace file", locate the uncompressed files and replace them. A quick way to do this is to close Premiere, erase the proxies folder and then re open the project. Since Premiere won't be able to find the files, it will ask you to find them, so, select the first uncompressed file and if they are all in the same folder, the program will find them automatically.

4Moorhens2

4Moorhens2

Mauricio,

Why would you want to erase the proxies folder and I assume all the proxy files? Can you not simply rename that folder and then if you want to work on the project again the proxies will still be available to work with.

I don't use Premiere but compressed H.264 1080p seems like an unusual choice for proxies?

Joe Gonzalez

Joe Gonzalez

If you work in H.264 in premiere , what do you export it as or how i should say without re-compressing the file for youtube or vimeo?

matt wolfe [cc]

matt wolfe [cc] Plus

You're always going to encode to something else, regardless of whether there is compression or not. But why would export for Vimeo or Youtube without compression on your output file?

Joe Gonzalez

Joe Gonzalez

I imported my h.264 movie files into premiere and i used it natively to edit those files. Now for a final export, everyone has told me if i export the project in a h.264 setting it'll re-compress the already h.264 files in the project and i will lose quality. Is this true? if it is, how to i export the project without re-compressing the h.264 files from my project.

matt wolfe [cc]

matt wolfe [cc] Plus

Just export it as is into another h.264 MP4. Most people won't be able to notice any loss due to the compression. In fact, try it for yourself. Compare your exported h.264 to an exported lossless codec.

In my experience, the problems you'll encounter with editing native h.264 footage occurs when you are heavily coloring the footage in post and using complex effects - that's when the footage will break apart.

matt wolfe [cc]

matt wolfe [cc] Plus

Forgot, here's an example of what I did. One side is native footage that's colored. The other is footage that I transcoded to the uncompressed codec shown.

vimeo.com/27597298

OUTtv

OUTtv Plus

You'd still be rendering the same H.264 files regardless if they stayed h.264 or you changed them to something else. Your footage won't get better because it's in a better codec in the edit stage. Just did a side by side of original H.264 DSLR footage and a Prores 422 copy and I could not see the line between them, they were identical. Every step down in the process, that is compressed, you'll loose something.

Kwaku Nyantekyi

Kwaku Nyantekyi

OUTtv is correct. The original H264 files that you edited with came straight from the camera. That's the highest your quality will get so you'll be losing a bit of quality no matter what you compress to. Some more than others obviously. I like to use the media encoder vimeo and youtube presents.

4Moorhens2

4Moorhens2

That can also be the downside when using proxies: the proxies can be worked on extensively but when the source H.264 files are returned to the project the rendered export can look a mess with the images breaking apart. Exporting to a lossless codec or, for example, re-compressing to H.264 makes no difference in this regard - the editing software often can not construct clean images from the altered compressed source files which are essentially of a "transport stream" format rather than an "editing friendly" format.

I think for anything other than a fairly simple HD project a good intermediate codec is pretty much essential.

Stranger Studios

Stranger Studios Plus

So wait... after all that, you're saying it's not worth it to edit natively in h264 on CS(now 6) if I'm going to export final viewing copies at h264? I mean, at this point, it would be the first time I've recompressed my native footage, so quality loss should be minimal, correct?

What if I export my h264 timeline to Prores422HQ for digital mastering or layoff from Final Cut? Am I going to see drops in resolution there as well?

I like the idea of working with the full dynamic range of my native 5D footage without transcoding it prior to edit, but if it all falls apart at the end, seems like a waste.

4Moorhens2

4Moorhens2

A good intermediate "editing friendly" codec will retain the full dynamic range of your 5D footage.

Lisa Hurley

Lisa Hurley

Question: Why, when I attempt to import an h.264 avi file into premiere CS5, do I only get the audio. The video is missing. Any ideas as to what might be causing this?

4Moorhens2

4Moorhens2

h.264 avi file?

Are you trying to work with a H.264 or x264 encoding in a .avi container and is the audio compressed or uncompressed?

Lisa Hurley

Lisa Hurley

I was given a few video files which were filmed with a Vivitar HD 1080.
One of the files was a .mov, and the others were .avi

So, the mov imported just fine. However, the .avi files are importing as audio files ONLY. I have spent hours trying to figure this out, even trying to convert the .avi's to .mov's. That doesn't work either. They are still importing as audio files. I know the video exists, because I can open it in various media players, so the question is, Why oh WHY is Premiere importing it as audio only?

Forgive my ignorance as to exactly what I'm working with here. I've never worked with HD footage like this before. All of the files were filmed with the same camera, so I'm not sure why one of them is a .mov and the others are .avi. The .avi's are the ones giving me trouble. I just assumed this file was H.264. The audio bit rate is 128kbps, audio sample rate is 48kHz. Not sure if it's compressed or not.. Not sure how to find out?

Lisa Hurley

Lisa Hurley

Format : AVI
Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
File size : 223 MiB
Duration : 3mn 46s
Overall bit rate mode : Variable
Overall bit rate : 8 280 Kbps
Recorded date : 2008-09-17
Writing library : AMBA
ICRT : 22:50:53

Video
ID : 0
Format : AVC
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : Main@L4.0
Format settings, CABAC : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames : 4 frames
Format settings, GOP : M=4, N=32
Codec ID : H264
Duration : 3mn 46s
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 8 139 Kbps
Maximum bit rate : 8 001 Kbps
Width : 1 440 pixels
Height : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 29.970 fps
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.175
Stream size : 219 MiB (98%)

Audio
ID : 1
Format : AAC
Format/Info : Advanced Audio Codec
Format profile : LC
Codec ID : FF
Duration : 3mn 45s
Bit rate : 128 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Compression mode : Lossy
Stream size : 3.45 MiB (2%)
Alignment : Split accross interleaves
Interleave, duration : 21 ms (0.64 video frame)

4Moorhens2

4Moorhens2

Yes you were correct in thinking the files are H.264 in a .avi container - obviously your editing program doesn't support that format although it can read the compressed AAC audio.

Try one thing first: change/rename the file extension from .avi to .mp4 - that might just work if you are lucky…

As you can see the pixel aspect ratio is 1.333 to 1 (1440x1080) and the display aspect ratio is 1.777 to 1 (16:9 - 1920x1080) which shouldn’t cause any problems although the video bit rate is very low at 8139 Kbps VBR which may mean that the image quality might not be that good - however the video subject matter could, of course, be priceless :)

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