Actually I'm from Scotland but when it comes to video editing I might as well be from Mars.
Been eyeing up a HD camcorder (like the rest of the planet) lately and like the majority of nooby people have been looking at the Sanyo FH1.
Did some research and found out that the format is not the most friendly to video editors. Got hold of some raw footage filmed in 1920x1080p 60fps to see if my system (p4 3.6gig DC, 2 gig ram, ATI 1950x 512mb, Asus P45) could handle it. Installed ffdshow as I'd deleted it a while ago (cant remember why) and also installed a trial version of coreavc.
VLC didn't want to know, WMPHC didn't either...strangely an ancient version of zoom player played the file perfectly? So my system can handle the files it seems.
Now to the nitty gritty...downloaded a trial version of vegas 9 pro, customised the project window to match the file settings, very jittery, tried a little trick I read about first setting the template to 'i' instead of 'p'...didn't work.
People have suggested creating an intermediate file type so I downloaded mp4camtoavi, created a source file..same problem. Have used super to convert the mp4 into a multitude of formats, fps and res, seems that vegas has a problem with the resolution? If I create a file in resolutions like 640x480 it plays fine in vegas but the quality just looks like a normal video...kind of defeats the purpose of HD video creation. The best method I have found suggested is to load the original mp4 into vegas and render out, did this to a 3mbps 640x480 30fps wmv file and it ran very smooth when imported back in. I do have a question and forgive my total noobness here but when people say 'intermediate' am I right in thinking that people can edit and create a movie in vegas using say an wmv file like I created (a clone if you will) and then when finished replace the files with the original mp4 HD files?? Vegas editing is non destructive as far as I know so this would make sense..if so how would you go about it? Just replace each file in each channel with the original? I could of course be totally off the mark!!
Thanks for any scraps anyone can throw this way...I'm just starting out and finding my feet (I haven't even bought a camera yet) but I like to research things first. I'm also not going to get one and dive straight into super crazy HD 60p fps filming and thats it, I was just doing a kind of benchmark at the highest quality to see if HD filming and editing was viable for me...seems it is if it is possible to 'substitute' the original mp4 files after editing.
On a side note I love the look of the 8mbps HD 1080 wmv files I rendered...they do look stunning
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I changed your subject so it better describes the topic. Just mp4 h264 doesn't say much.
ok thanks baldrick, how nooby of me
By the way, read some of your wonderful and helpful posts in the past...one question, do you sleep?
Originally Posted by A-thru-Z
Originally Posted by A-thru-Z
Yes, I'm quite suprised that the file plays on my system but it does and in an ancient version of zoom player to boot.
Here is a link to the file I got hold of...
In answer to your other question...yes the mp4 file is unwatchable inside vegas as a preview and therefore uneditable..lots of frame rate skips. Drops in the timeline fine etc
Files rendered from vegas using that file into other filetypes, especially WMV files play fine.
Thanks for the link. I'm downloading it now. I'll let you know what I find.
Regarding the preview in Vegas, video editors usually aren't designed as media players and their preview functions often result in jerky playback with high definition material. This is of no consequence to the files they produce. A slow computer simply takes longer to render the output file. The resulting file is exactly the same with a slow computer vs a fast computer.
I don't use Vegas so I can't answer your question about editing with a low res sample, then replacing it with the full res video just before rendering.
Vegas doesn't support proxy editing natively but there are workarounds by using easier to decode samples of the same resolution. See here
Another option is to use a digital intermediate such as cineform neo (but not free) , but even with that you probably need at least a dual core for snappy editing speed when using 1080p60. Cineform isn't lossless but it's very close (visually lossless), so most people don't even bother swapping it out
That MP4 file really is 1920x1080 at 60 fps. I know older ATI cards have some ability to assist in h.264 encoding so that must be why you can play the video smoothly with the right player. With just software decoding on my Core 2 Qaud Q6600 and CoreAVC Pro I was getting between about 35 and 50 percent CPU usage.
That camcorder produces some surprisingly good video for such an inexpensive device. It seems to blown out brights a bit though. I wonder why they left out 1280x720p60?
Yeah, its 1080p too..like I said i'm suprised my system plays it and that VLC and WMPHC dont like it but an early version of zoom player jogs along quite happily..my PC runs at 55% CPU when playing it, I have FFDshow and coreavc trial installed plus all the usual codecs is all. Yeah, I understand that what plays in the preview window in an editor is no reflection on final output..I could edit mp4s but it would be a nightmare scrubbing and finding right frames as its so jumpy and very laggy when 'scrubbing' I think is the right term?
I've checked out quite a few videos made with the FH1 and the HD2000 on vimeo and youtube and some of them are really good quality. It does seem like a really good little cam..just a shame that apparently the mp4 it outputs is very picky about how it works.
Thanks for that link...looks very interesting and a possible way I can get around the editing problem. I just want to add that I'm not exclusive to vegas. I've never really done any editing before and vegas was the first thing I came across with a trial version. I'm open to any suggestions of alternatives that possibly do proxy editing too.
Thanks both of you
Some programs are starting to use the graphics card's hardware to decode h.264 video. This has the potential (you would need a newer graphics card) to make scrubbing much faster. Of course, a faster CPU would help too.
Looking more closely at the sample file: it uses 30 frame GOPs with only one B frame IBPBPBPBPB... I wonder if Zoom player was taking shorcuts and only decoding the I and P frames. And maybe not deblocking. That would make the task much easier and the resulting ~30 fps would still look pretty smooth.
Such technical talk is going beyond my comprehension but I understand what you are saying..zoom player is balancing between visual quality and doggedly chomping through the entire process. So what I'm actually watching is a 30fps but looks better quality..you could say a 45fps 'visually' as it is missing a 3rd of the process. I remember reading something about the B frames in the files the cam outputs and someone having issues with them.