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Thread: How to convert best AVCHD for editing

  1. #1

    Default How to convert best AVCHD for editing

    Hi,

    I am trying to edit AVCHD files with my new macbook pro (2,53 Ghz, 4GB Ram) with Adobe Premiere CS4 and have some issues with it.

    My mac is capable of playing the files in the preview window, but as soon as I do some effects on it, it will not play properly anymore (right window in Premiere).

    Should I maybe convert those videos in advance, so my mac can manage them? Maybe via the iMovie Import-Section?

    What would you suggest?? Is there any tweaks I can use?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Hi

    I dont edit with a Mac but I have played around with AVCHD using Premier Elements 7 on PC. Your probably already aware that it needs a powerful processor to be able to apply effects to clips and get them to playback smoothly whilst editing.

    I guess there are three approaches to this.

    1. Upgrade to a powerful system that can hack it........ ouch that hurts the pocket.

    2. Convert AVCHD into something your Mac will handle better e.g. HDV ?

    3. Trick your editing software.


    Doing straight cuts is not a problem on my rig. The second I add effects of virtually any kind it jerks all over the place until I get fed up. I have converted my footage using a free converter to HDV but the files will get bigger (as less compression) and I felt the quality was less.

    I have never tried option 3 but I think someone on DD actually posted how its done. Basically you convert your AVCHD clips into something that is standard definition. Make sure they have the same file names. Edit these in your chosen editor and apply the effects you wish to use. Once its perfect. Then substitute the SD clips with the HD clips and tell your editing software to render the result. The idea is you edit using low def for speed and render using the High def clips. They will probably take a very long time to render though.

    As I say I have not tried this but read it on a post. Maybe its worth a try on a couple of very small clips to see if it can be done ?

    Shrimpy

  3. #3

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    thanks for the advice!

    what is the best solution for converting the avchd files (canon hf20 gives me *.mts-files) into HDV?

  4. #4
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    You are going to need a Mac conversion utility, unless you have access to a PC. My thoughts on the conversion route is that today its not really worth the effort and potential expense. You will lose some picture quality and I just found that really annoying. Also, you surrender the benefits of being able to immediately edit your digital files. The conversion process will probably take 1.5 times longer than real time and so its like going back to tape in that you have to capture all of your footage in real time, but it takes even longer.

    To be honest I chose to abandon using AVCHD high definition footage until I next update my PC by which time it will probably be able to edit it like my system can edit SD material today. I know that's probably not what you want to hear but that's how it turned out for me.

    Others here know a lot more than I do so hopefully if there is a better solution they will step in. One thing I would urge is not to buy converters if your unable to test there ability to convert. Even if you can only convert 1 minute in a trial version at least you can load that onto your timeline, apply some effects and see how it turns out. Don't just add one effect, add two or three, e.g. colour balance, sharpen, etc, then try a simple cross fade as a transition. Then you will see how much time it takes to render the output. Pull up a chair, grab a coffee, then another, then another.......

    Edit ... actually the HDV file is a lot quicker to handle, that last sentence is for AVCHD.

    Good luck
    Last edited by Shrimpfarmer; 11-06-2009 at 10:57 AM.

  5. #5

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    Another thing you can do in some software is to render the time line which basically makes an editable copy for you to smoothly edit away.

    It can be a little frustrating to have to re-render every time you do something to the time line but it's a way around things until you can do as Shrimpy says and get a more powerful system.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    Another thing you can do in some software is to render the time line which basically makes an editable copy for you to smoothly edit away.
    system.
    That's a good point. This is in fact how I produce a AVCHD project where HD is essential. Drop all of your clips onto the timeline and let the software render it. I use Premier Elements 7 and just pressing the enter key causes the software to render a low definition version which is easy to edit.

    Then trim your clips. Once perfect, add transitions and colour corrections etc. In PE7 every time you add an effect it requires a re-render so thats when it gets a bit boring. The sad thing though is that having to do all this messing around detracts from the spontaneity of digital editing. You certainly wont feel like experimenting much with different combinations of effects.

    If you manage to find a way around the limitations then please post here

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpts View Post
    thanks for the advice!

    what is the best solution for converting the avchd files (canon hf20 gives me *.mts-files) into HDV?
    You can download avchd converter for everywhere,but most them are not free,so I suggest you 'd better try some other ways, if they do work, download AVCHD Video Converter
    and have a try, it help you convert or edit avchd files.

  8. #8

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    one thing again,try imovie first
    Last edited by john810; 12-23-2009 at 03:26 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpts View Post
    thanks for the advice!

    what is the best solution for converting the avchd files (canon hf20 gives me *.mts-files) into HDV?
    If your using Adobe Premiere it should have came with adobe encoder. Go through the drop boxes and you'll find all sorts of file types and presets you can encode your video to, then just re-import the encoded clips.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by john810 View Post
    You can download avchd converter for everywhere,but most them are not free,so I suggest you 'd better try some other ways, if they do work, download AVCHD Video Converter
    and have a try, it help you convert or edit avchd files.
    I tried that, lets be honest - its so much pain.

    I mean, first of all converting is like 4 minutes per second (no kidding), secondary finding a decent converter for MAC, well i'm not sure one even exists (from the free ones)...

    If you can access a windows computer tho, or have a virtual pc on your mac, then i can hook you up with some free programs... on private

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