Hi there, I hope you can help me. I've spend the last several hours trawling through sites trying to get information on how best to solve the problem I'm having, but my lack of experience is getting in the way every time.
Here's my situation:
I have an Matroska MKV file (yes, believe me, if I had something which wasn't encoded for transport, I would LOVE to use that instead).
The video stream is 1280x544 (2.35:1) at 25fps, AVC. The audio stream is 6 channel AC3 (at 48KHz).
I've tried everything to get this file imported into Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 so I can make the necessary changes, but I'm just having no luck whatsoever.
I've demuxed the file and successfully imported the video from the pure AVC video stream file, but Adobe Premiere refuses to accept the AC3 audio file. If there a way I can convert the six channel AC3 into 6 wavs and re-encode into Dolby Digital 5.1 later? (I have a fear that this isn't possible.)
Finally, even once I have imported everything, the bizarre aspect ratio of my video stream is going to cause me problems, so I wanted to export it as an anamorphic video at 720 x 363(finally, 720 × 480 with added black bars) at 29.97 fps(!).
I am wondering if I am attempting the impossible!
Thanks for any assistance with part or all of these problems!
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For 5.1 AC3 to 6 mono wavs use eac3to (it's command line application, but there are some GUI's for it)
eac3to input.ac3 output.wavs
If you wanted a single 5.1 WAVE (I can't recall if PP will accept this)
eac3to input.ac3 output.wav
(notice the difference between wav and "wavs")
1280x544 is the cropped 2.35 AR for 1280x720
For a NTSC SD DVD in 16:9 format, it would be ~720x368 with 56px + 56px letterboxxing top & bottom
Since you have a 25FPS source , one way is to do a PAL slowdown (if this is a film source it probably was originally 23.976 anyway) . You can actually do the slowdown in eac3to
eac3to input.ac3 output.wavs -slowdown
For the video , rightclick the asset and interpret as 23.976 (24000/1001) in premiere , also use 23.976 fps sequence settings
Then encode as DVD with soft telecine flags (23.976=>29.97)
BUT, why aren't you making a PAL dvd ? Your location is UK ? and your source is 25FPS (I'm assuming you're going to DVD-video since you mentioned 720x480)
Also, Premiere should accept 5.1 AC3 natively (It does in CS4/5) - try installing AC3Filter and/or AC3ACM
Last edited by poisondeathray; 13th Jan 2011 at 15:53.
Thanks for your help, I'm going to start looking into what you've said immediately!
Also, that's a very good question! I want to send this to a friend in the states as a gift. I think he'll get a kick out of it, and since I can view NTSC DVDs here no problem, it makes sense just to put it in NTSC so we both can enjoy it easily.
I didn't realise it was possible to make a single 5.1 WAVE -- that probably sounds the easiest thing to mess around with. I hope exporting it will be ok!
^I made some edits above
I just tested and all of them are accepted natively - single 5.1 wave, 5.1 ac3, and 6 mono wavs - but this was tested on CS4
Really? CS4 accepts a 6 channel .ac3 file natively? Hmm! Very annoying that I'm stuck with CS3! I wonder if there's a workaround.
Thanks again for your help!
Edit: I saw your edit about AC3ACM -- I've already installed that. Also, I saw a hack in these very forums that suggested placing the ad2ac3dec.dll from the Encore folder into the Premiere folder allows opening of AC3 files in CS3.
Sadly neither have worked for me so far... Maybe a restart is in order?
But there might be something peculiar about your ac3 file, for example a header difference might prevent it from loading
how did the quality drop ? there should be none, at least in terms of compression
it removes dialog normalization by default, you can disable it if you want
you can try other converters e.g. foobar2k , avisynth's soundout() , or audacity even, but they all should produce the same results when converting to wave +/- dialog normalization (there might be some rounding differences when using audacity in default mode)
Well it's noticibly quiter is certain parts of the sound. Maybe quality drop isn't the right way of describing it. Maybe it's the 4% speedloss conning my ears?
It does sound pretty damn good, though. It seems the only problem I have now are the project settings themselves... I have no idea what I should use to get my anamorphic NTSC DVD. Should I set the frame size to 720x480 and leave it at that, or should it be 720x368? I know I want 23.976 fps and Progressive Scan.
I was wondering if I should just reformat the entire image by itself, converting 1280x544 to 720x368, and then go about importing THAT into my editing project?
Thanks again for your help!
Last edited by JCW2001; 14th Jan 2011 at 14:03.
There are many ways to approach this....it depends on your editing style
You could use custom sequence settings: 23.976fps, 720x480, DV NTSC Widescreen (16:9) , Progressive (no fields)
When importing the asset, interpret the frame rate as 23.976, and then scale the clip manually until it "fits". This would probably be the "easy way"
Another way is to use square pixel 720x368 sequence but then you would have to letterbox after
I prefer to do manipulations in avisynth, before importing, including the letterboxing. You can use the avs importer into premiere, or use a lossless intermediate
Yes, you can frameserve into CS3 (works for CS3 and CS4, not very well in CS5)
So you don't need to import audio separately, or use intermediate files
It requires basic scripting and avisynth knowledge. I can walk you through it if you want to learn
1) install avisynth. For more reference
2) install premiere avs import plugin
3) install ffms2 plugin (unzip and put contents, especially .dll and .exe into avisynth/plugins folder)
4) create a script. In notepad, open file in same directory as video. Copy & paste, changing filenames to match. Save. Change extension from .txt to .avs
5) open that .avs in premiere (to premiere it "looks" like a video)
6) use sequence settings as above (720x480, widescreen, 23.976, progressive, 48Khz 5.1 audio)
(Note: the quality of the audio slowdown might be lower using this method than using eac3to or proper slowdown, so you may still want to import audio separately)
If you don't want to frame serve, you can still use the same script to generate a lossless intermediate for import
Last edited by poisondeathray; 14th Jan 2011 at 14:26.
when I used to professionally author DVD's in the 90's in Australia we would often get audio from one country and the telecine from another.
it wasn't uncommon that the audio had been sped up/slowed down to push 24->25fps or vice versa.
A good example of someone making this mistake is the US release of the remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair". The menu audio (which is the first couple of bars of the opening credits) must have come from a PAL (ie 25fps) country because it's slightly higher. you hear it, hit play and it then drops pitch.
Anyhow, I dygress. If you're going the slow-down route of 25->24 and then doing 3:2 pullup then I'd suggest you apply the Premiere Audio Filter "PitchShifter" to bring it back to where it originally was.
As for how I'd personally config the sequence, I don't use AVIsynth so I would use the DV NTSC Widescreen preset then manually change the scale of the video in the Effects Controls panel (or drag the corner of the video in the Preview Monitor) until it's the right size. your source is 720p HD anyhow so there has to be some rescale at some point to downres it to DVD.
I'm curious - how did you get AVC to import into CS3? Do you have the Main Concept plugin or did you do it some other way. I gave up trying to use CS3 (for non DV editing) and sucked it up and paid for CS4 to get all the native AVC/h.264 & MPEG2 support that was needed with the Main Concept plugin for CS3. I'm much happier for it because CS4 has queued rendering. I love that I can send off a dozen jobs to be rendered overnight and can continue to edit until I'm done for the day.
Last edited by rallymax; 14th Jan 2011 at 14:25.
Wow, two solutions! Thanks very much to the both of you.
Poison: If I change the "aud" to the audio WAV I've already extracted, is that a good idea?
Rallymax: I used eac3to to convert the AC3 to a 5.1 wave file, and imported that separately. I notice that your solution would have me importing the video at 29.97fps... is that what you intended?
Wow, poisondeathray, I followed what you said and it looks like it worked perfectly! Thanks so much!
One question, do I need to change the settings in the "Premiere AVS GUI.exe" that came with the AVS Import plugin?
I don't recall what that is... where is it located ?
OK i see, I have it set on my CS4 computer to Lanczos, conform audio, ignore set memory max
Cool. I thought so, but you didn't mention it, so I wasn't sure. This is great, thanks so much, once again!
I think I'll have to do that. Thanks once again for your superb assistance!
Ha. Superb. I don't need to worry then.
Do you have any suggestions for output format when I'm rendering it?
I've tried MPEG2-DVD NTSC Widescreen (with PCM) but I'm getting tons of interlacing artefacts. Should I be outputting to a different format in preparation for Encore?
I ramped up the quality settings and changed the output to Progressive... I'm guessing Encore will change it to Interlaced during it authoring. Damn, it looks really nice!