First of all thanks in advance for your help as I see this is not the first time this gets posted but I can´t seem to find the answer to what I needm which is quite simple in reality.
I have a Sony A7 that and I work with AVCHD (H264, MTS files). I do use Davince Resolve 12.5 to edit my videos, color correction and so on... but I have encountered a problem when using different source videos as even tweaking playback options in my project is never smooth enough, and even more of an issue if I have any 4K videos in. MY computer specs are OK, not a great thing but should be OK for an HD project (i7 4800HQ, 16GB, SSD+HDD, ATI R 290M 4Gb).
All in all, that should be enough to edit my videos OK, but after reading so many related problems many people has recommended me to transcode all videos into ProRes HQ or AVID DNxHR for easier handling.
I have donwloaded the AVID 2.7.3 and tried using different converters. HandBrake, WinFF, FFMpeg, AVIdemux and MPEG Streamclip. With the only one I made just a bit of progression is with MPEG Streamclip but it gives me a ton of errors when exporting and it never allows me to open MTS files without errors.
To sum it up, what would you use to transcode from MTS (H264) to AVID or ProRes win Windows (10), more importantly... FREE
I appreciate your help.
BTW: as you can imagine I´m quite a newbie on this, as I don´t even think ProRes is suitable for Windows ....
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You can use Shotcut for free but, for a few bucks, you can buy faster converter V4 from HDCinematics.com. I'm using this piece of software for mts to prores conversion. Give it a try!
Grass Valley HQX as an alternative intermediate format?
You can register an account with Grass Valley and download the codec and their very useful converter utility from their website... or you can get direct links for those items from this page in my 'slo-mo' guide: http://www.slomo.jp137.com/index-hqx.html (The guide was originally written for a 'non tech' person - hence the 'left click - right click' type instructions)
Or, if you just need the codec - and not the converter utility - you can use the link in the first line of this post
I've found HQX an excellent format, and it's easy to convert ACVHD to HQX, using the converter utility....
Use ClipToolz V2, which was made free, but hard to find now (the old website is gone).
Place for other info
I have V126.96.36.199. It is 82 meg and I could upload somewhere.
The new website of HDCinematics has the V4 as a payware version:
Sadly it is locked to your machine and license is not transferable, so I'd avoid it. V4 doesn't really offer anything over the old freeware one.
Last edited by ron spencer; 7th Jan 2017 at 23:34.'Do I look absolutely divine and regal, and yet at the same time very pretty and rather accessible?' - Queenie
Yeah, I've had cliptoolz for 3 years now and it has helped a bunch. Specifically good with AVCHD to Dnxhd or Prores.
Of course, it is a specialized pro-oriented GUI/frontend to work with ffmbc, but you could just pick up ffmbc yourself for free if you are OK with command-line apps.
I do appreciate all your answers, I´ll give them a go and see which one fits my needs better.
You may want to familiarize yourself with Resolve's proxy workflow. They call it "optimized media." There are instructions in their manual as well as easily found tutorials all over the web.
Basically, you generate low res, easy to use copies of your footage, make your editing decisions and then link back to the original footage for output -- all within Resolve. It makes editing responsive without generating huge intermediate files.
Last edited by smrpix; 8th Jan 2017 at 08:09.
Thanks for all the replies, I have tried ClipToolz and ShotCut and they´re both awesome, they do a great job with ProRes and AVID, problem is the much muhc bigger files, as expected.
Speaking of what @smrpix was talking about, I´m trying to get myself familiarized with Davinci Resolve as I made that choice as I come form a photographic background and I´be been working with RAW files for several years before. The workflow in Davinci looks familiar and they way I woth with the Histogram and colors is pretty similar, so the step is not that steep.
For know what I know is that Davinci works differently to other linea Video Editors like premiere of Final Cut, as they rely very much on the CPU and Davinci relies almost on the GPU, that changes things a bit, so real-time play-back is a nightmare on Davinci. BUT, as you suggested I may consider using Proxy setting and playback options in a much lower res so it can manage the project a lot smoother.
For the meantime I just bought an extra pair od SODIMMS so in total I now have 32Gb of RAM that will help just a bit when doing medium size projects. I will also set a dedicated hardrive just for video editing projects.
Hopefully it will get better.
Thanks all for your help. You have halped me a lot.
--one hardisk has OS on it, possibly SSD, you install SSD and you never even think otherwise, you want it fast but no data storing on it at all, well here and there system or something stores data on it but as a user, avoid it all the time, when I create custom batch scripts, even temp files are stored somewhere else
--extra hardisk should be for just reading files, or reading intermediate files
--another extra hardisk might store rendered files, final rendering
You are right that playback in Resolve can be a challenge. It is a function of the bitrate of the media, how hard/easy it is to decode, the number of nodes you have applied, and last but not least, the hardware you are running it on. Regarding the hardware, Resolve was programmed with pro studios in mind so the minimum specs tend to go way beyond the average joe pc let alone a laptop which you seem to be using. But even if you have the recommended hardware (e.g. 6 GB of VRAM), Resolve stinks at h.264 decoding which is why everyone recommends transcoding to either ProRes or DNxHD/HR. Yes, the files are bigger—that is so the Resolve has to spend less time decrunching the video.
Also, Resolve is not really a true NLE. It is a color correction/grading tool that BMD decided to build NLE functionality into. Now, don't get me wrong, Resolve has some great editing functionality and each version starting around 11 has dramatically improved over the previous version. However, many pro editors still prefer to edit in programs like FCP and just use Resolve for applying LUTs and the like. IMHO, Resolve simply fails to recognize far too many video codecs (e.g. DV-AVI) to be considered a full-fledged NLE. And having to transcode all the time is annoying.
Which brings me to my final point. Why are you using Resolve? I can guess one of the reasons, but if you are using it to color correct, that really shouldn't be done on a laptop screen. Of course it doesn't stop legions of people from doing so, but while BMD offers what is essentially a very lightly crippled $1000 sw for free (which is fantastic), what most miss is that the sw easily demands that much or more in hw to run properly. So while it is great you now have 32 GB of system RAM, I am afraid you have only scratched the surface.
Hi SameSelf and _Al_
@_Al_ I´m already using an SSD for my OS and programs, (Crucial MT240), I use a SATA 6Gb 7200RPM (1TB) for my Data (user data and so on), including video projects that now I intend to get a separate drive for.
@ SameSelf, you´re right and it is enlighting to read between the lines and learn from that (your message). Yes, I´m using a laptop (not really, is a portable), is an own built CLEVO P157SM, winth an i7 4800MQ, ATI 290M/8970M (4GB VRAM GDDR5), it has 4 slots for HDD, so I have an SSD and a SATA 7200rpm as stated above. I know this hardware is barely enough to edit at "serious" level, but considering I´m just an amateur willing to learn and that enjoys editing a ton, I´m not willing to spend 3000€ on a new top-tie laptop/PC. Wonñt even consider MAC.
So yes, I have only scrached the surface and to answer your question, I got used to Davinci just because it was more natural to me than Premiere or Sony Vegas, besides, I´m using the free version (Lite) and when I was trying different NLE I didn´t like much the "freeware" versions available so I have to use Premiere or any of the pro ones paying for them... or not... you know what I mean, but I would like to avoid doing so.
To your point... What would you consider a good option then if not using resolve giving the harware I have at the moment. I can get a bigger SSD (1Tb lets say) just for video editing if necessary. What would be your recommendation, I´m wide open to learn.
Resolve and Premiere are very similar when it comes to actual editing, they even share a lot of the same keyboard shortcuts. Premier has more capability as you dive in deeper, but nothing (affordable) beats Resolve for color correction.
That said, I've always found Vegas Movie Studio to be extremely powerful at a very low price. The learning curve is pretty gentle IMHO. I have not used it since Sony sold it to Magix, but it has always been very quick and resource-efficient and I would expect that to remain true. There are trial versions available.
@tob11, if you are only using Resolve to edit video, and not color correcting, then I agree with smrpix's suggestion. You are probably much better off with a lightweight NLE like Sony Movie Studio which can be had for only $50. Movie Studio should playback your video much more seamlessly than Resolve without having to throw more hardware than you already have at it. And trust me, smooth scrubbing of video is far more important during the editing phase than all the bells and whistles found on Resolve's Color tab. Also, the export options in Movie Studio are likely much better than the limited options in Resolve which are not geared towards final delivery. But then $50 is infinitely more than free (unless you factor in additional hw), and this forum is the king of "what free tool...?"
Now, granted I say all these things having never used Movie Studio, but there is a free trial available.
EDIT: As for your question of what additional hw would I recommend if you commit to Resolve, well, it is very hard to answer because it depends on what you are doing mainly. If you want smooth playback, I have no idea other than what BMD recommends. I would go to the Resolve forum for better answers. If you are using it for color grading/correction then you need a calibrated monitor that is separate from the GUI. Then you need some sort of calibration device, color management hardware, a darkened room, and well, as you can see, it gets very complicated, very fast. Like I said, you haven't even scratched the surface. Do you really want to go down that path if all you are doing is editing the video?
Just buy Sony Movie Studio. You will be glad you did.
Thanks for your replies again. I do use Davinci Mainly for the color correction feature yes, but do not use it deeply, just gamma correction, tones, highs and lows, tints... quite standard tbh. For the editing I found it quite straightforward even when using the tracking options available for simple things like a face or an object, that is a much as I can do at the moment. I don't even use effects as I'n still learning nor any other advanced feature so I'm quite simplistic that is why Davinci Resolve Lite is ok with me, but overkill yet, like many of the pro editors. I like it a lot and every time I use it I want to go deeper, but then constantly crashes up to the point I have to enable auto-save every 30 minutes... and that is a pain, that is the only downside I found so far (Aside from the playback jittering-slowness thing)
I had a look at Sony Movie Studio 13 and it seems more than enough for my needs, it lack of color correction for primary levels but I think I could workaround it, I still need to see if that one has tracking and stabilization options but it seems like a good candidate.
Free would be my main choice for the purpose I use or edit my videos/projects, but spending 50-150€ on software that wouldn't be an issue, the issue will be spending a thousand euros on something I won't even use at 10%. It just doesn't make any sense spending thousands on cameras, glasses, recorders, lighting, mics and so on and no having at leas something to edit that S*** properly... wouldn't make much sense .
I will try it and see if it fits my needs.
Question is, do I need to use an intermediate codec no matter what NLE I use or that is just for professional projects?
btw, if you see I make too many mistakes is that I'm not native english speaker.
tob11, your English is quite good. Hats off to ya!
One important thing to realize. The free version of DR is just called Resolve, and the paid for version is Resolve Studio. You might think I am being pedantic, but I think BMD's reasoning to drop Lite from the name was quite enlightened. You see, there is nothing "Lite" about Resolve. In fact, it is quite a heavy program as you have discovered from the constant crashing and slow playback. IOW, it may be free, but it will quickly expose the weaknesses of your system like an emperor with no clothes. Then you suddenly feel like you need to throw more hw at it. I don't think $$$ is lost in translation, no?
But for some reason, people love to spend money on expensive hardware for their PC, but find spending even $50 on software distasteful. Maybe because most $50 sw is crap. But Movie Studio has to have some levels/curves effects? But then, maybe those features are only in the full blown "Platinum" edition.
At the end of the day, it is your choice. But if you are hoping to solve your crashing and playback problems, I fear the only rational choice is to chuck your entire system in favor of a new build that is much more powerful. I never experience crashing or playback problems, but my system goes far beyond the average computer build (don't pay attention to my system specs, it is way out of date).
I was trying yesterday the trial version of Sony Vegas and Movie Studio, Vegas has color correction too and it is quite user friendly, movie studio is a bit more simplistic but effective for most of the job that I do, the rendering options are great, on both, better than Davinci actually, that is good.
I was doing some tests yesterday.
I have transcoded some 4K footage that I had in H.264 into ProRes (4:2:2 overkill, but just to try) and I got a 12Gb file to work with, not even 3 minutes. After configuring Sony Vegas and Davinci to use similar parameters (quarter Res playback, proxy mode, optimized media enabled, what to cache...) Vegas seemed to me A LOT faster than Davinci. Trying to stabilize that footage and Davinvi almost dies and took ages, Sony did too, but did not struggled that much.
All in all, I like Davinci UI better, but Sony is quite user friendly too. As you said, Davinci really exposes the weak points of you system quickly while, in this case, Sony managed it much better.
I think I need to change my NLE to feel more comfortable when editing or I'll just keep thinking I need better hardware.
On the other hand, and getting back on track for the sake of this post:
- Is 12Gb ProRes file for 3 mins footage a "normal" thing for 4K low quality footage? (transcoded with Shotcut)
- what parameters should I use to transcode video from a 4:2:0 source?
What convertet should I sue for batch processing, ShotCut does not work very well with batches. Free if possible
Thanks for your help!
Take a look again at my suggestions in posts #3 and #7....
• Excellent quality conversions with smaller file sizes than ProRes... (file sizes are adjustable - see details the white paper linked to in post #7).....
• Drag and drop into the conversion utility for batch conversions ...
@tob11, that is great that you are getting better results with Vegas/MS. And, yes, Resolve will just make you feel like you need to throw gobs of hw at it to run properly. I did not realize you were editing 4K content. No wonder you have problems. 4K will be a challenge unless you have the most powerful hw available. And by powerful I mean something like a GeForce 1080 with at least 8 GB of ram, at least 64 GB of system ram, and raid 0 level ssd's. I don't think a single colorist on the BMD DR forum who gets seamless playback even with multiple nodes is running anything less. In fact, most of them run dual 1080s with 128 GB of ram. I think the only place there is room to compromise, if that is even possible, is the cpu.
So there you have it. Go with either Vegas or MS, avoid needless transcodes, get seamless playback, no more crashing, enjoy the much better export options, and certainly not least of all, avoid spending literally hundreds maybe thousands on new hw.
Last of all, spend some time learning Vegas or MS inside and out. Resolve will always be there waiting for you if you find you have outgrown Vegas or MS. FWIW, I spent years doing all my grading in After Effects and Color Finesse (which is very powerful). It was only last year when I finally made the switch to DR. However, I still love jumping into After Effects and making various special effects for my video. So I don't regret my time spent learning that sw at all. I can say the same for Premiere Pro and numerous other tools. Knowing how to use all that just makes me better. And I am confident you will feel the same.
P.S. If you are seriously thinking about investing in Vegas which is much more pricey than MS, two thoughts. One, Sony sold Vegas to Magix, and I don't know how good support will be going forward. Two, Sony is now offering Catalyst as their flagship NLE. It runs about $400. The reason I mention it is because Sony basically rewrote their NLE from the ground up with 4K support in mind (recall that Sony is one of the big forces behind 4K). I have not demo'd it, but it is something that has been on my mind as potentially the perfect tool for 4K post production.
@pippas - Apologies my friend, did read you, opened the document that compared the 3 codecs and the left it there as I got busy with something else and didn't pick it up again. I'll get back to it and let you know my feedback then! thanks for your help.
@SameSelf - It is enriching reading your posts, a pleasure but the more I read, the more I get confused sometimes. Nothing bad at all as this is called learning, and the more you learn the more you discover how ignorant you're (speaking of oneself). I saw that Catalyst has a trial too, to try I'll just download it and see what I can get from it. TBH in the end I think I won't spend 400-500 in that software for the moment but I could do it in the future.
All in all, tremendous help I got from that community. EXCELLENT!
Thanks all guys, I'll keep trying.
Yes, $400 is a lot to bite off on. Fortunately Sony offers a trial, but it is hard for me to find time to demo sw. So if you get a chance, please post back here with your thoughts on and experience with Catalyst since you are keen to give it test run. I am eager to know if the 4K playback/editing is smooth as Sony claims.
Just 3 words for Sony Catalyst Suite, NOT WORTH IT. It is just very unmature at the moment, looks familiar to everything but lacks of the speed of other NLE... not experienced myself at all, just have the feeling is a mixture between Abobe suite and Davinci, you need Catalyst Prepare to create your storyboard and do some color correction, and then Catalyst Edit to do basic edit, nothing else. I Like the GUI, I hate the layout, is not as modular as for example VEGAS is, aside from that, it constantly crashes like crazy when trying to stress it out just a bit. Even with very simple task or low res videos from an old phones or cameras. Possibly my system but is just too much. I´ll give it two years and the it will be at todays' NLE levels.
Just my 50 cents, for professional people, it might be the pinnacle of editing workflow. Just not for me.
I´m making some good progress with Davinci and Vegas, I like them both. Davinci running with recommended setting for non-real time 4K playback works much faster and it does not crash at all... so far. Still tracking and stabilizing is extremelly slow (in 4K), EXTREMELLY slow.
Vegas is a lot more intuitive than I thought it will be, but not quite confident about adopting it as a permanent solution as I don´t know much about Magix and I´m afraid it could get worse or just simply the community will let it aside.
Thank you so much.
Thanks for the feedback tob11. That is disappointing that Catalyst seems to be still in beta mode, if you will. I had read similarly skeptical reviews in other places. It could be also be that Catalyst is heavily optimized for XAVC workflows—which is fine if you own a Sony camera—I do not. Sigh.
As for the future of Magix support, that is a tough call. But, here is the deal. Sony had basically stopped developing Vegas at around version 10 or so. So in actuality no support had already happened. But Vegas does have a very large user base (not me). And I don't think Magix would have paid any money for the IP if they just planned on letting it die a slow death. That IP is worthless if you can't convince people to pony up for newer versions. While the functionality of NLEs hasn't really changed much in the last decade, codecs and various other things about video are in constant flux. So there is a case to be made that Sony selling Vegas to Magix is the best thing to happen to Vegas in the last five years, and Magix just might bring Vegas into the modern era.