I shoot my footage on an iPhone 13 Pro Max in 4K (3840 x 2160) at 60fps. I know that’s not the professional way to do it and if I’m going to take this seriously, I’m going to need to upgrade to at least a Prosumer level camera. But I can’t afford that right now and this is what I have. Plus, I see other people on YouTube using iPhones and they do just fine. But maybe they’re not trying to do what I’m trying to do with my footage.
Let me explain. As many of you already know, the iPhone (or any smartphone for that matter) shoots in Variable Frame Rate. Even then, some clips are 60fps VFR and other clips are 59.96fps VFR. Premiere Pro doesn’t play nice with VFR at all, much less mixed frame rate VFR. I see a lot of people on here refer to audio not synching up, but they never mention another side effect that’s far more important to me. I don’t care about the audio because I do a voiceover anyway.
No, instead what happens to me, happens if I speed up the footage or reverse it. If I speed up the footage or reverse it or both, some of what I call “ghost frames” get left over in the next clip. I never hear anyone talk about this, but it’s a real problem. That’s fine. I can edit those out, even if it is annoying. It’s only a frame or two. That’s no big deal.
However, if I put a transition on it that I REALLY need to be there for the clip to make sense, it’s much worse, as in a lot more frames. It’s now however long the transition is and I cannot edit this out. If I try, it just shortens the clip and the ghost frames are still there anyway. If I just keep trying to edit it out, the clip keeps getting shorter and shorter until there’s literally nothing left except the ghost frames that I don’t want. The problem is even worse if I try time remapping with keyframes. Part of the clip literally just goes black.
The only thing that seems to work for me is transcoding. I don’t mind transcoding. I have the space and the speed to do. It. But I can’t get PP to do transcoding only automatically in the ingest presets with a custom preset. All it gives me are its own “Match Source” presets which come out as variable frame rate footage and I’m right back where I started from. If I want to use a custom preset, it automatically reverts back to proxy only.
Another problem I have? If I transcode straight from Media Encoder, I have to transcode the entire clip including a lot of footage in between that I don’t need. That’s a lot of unnecessarily wasted time and space. If I transcode from PP on ingest (with one of their match source VFR presets that I can’t use, believe me I tried), only then am I able go to the Source Monitor and drag in only the part of the clip I actually need to be transcoded, saving a lot of time and space. I cannot figure out how to do this straight from Media Encoder though. Is there a way to do that?
What am I doing wrong? Am I going at it from the completely wrong angle? Should I be using “interpret footage” instead? That can also get really annoying having to do that with every clip I ever bring into the timeline and what if I forget? I don’t want to work with proxies. I want to work with as close to the original footage as I can possibly get.
I tried using Avid Media Composer. It worked beautifully. You CAN set it up to automatically transcode to a custom preset and not a proxy. When I did, it worked PERFECTLY. It was smooth as butter. The Problem? It took me an absurdly long time to figure out how to just do basic stuff and it was not intuitive. I see what people are talking about when they say the UI sucks. It really does and that was just for the most basic things. I’d hate to see what’s it’s like to do more advanced stuff. PP is way more intuitive. Plus, with PP there are a ton more tutorials out there to help you with the things that are not intuitive.
With Avid, there’s only a handful. With Avid, it seems like it’s more assumed that you are a pro and you don’t need the tutorials. I mean I just looked up the “officially supported system requirements” and they’re talking about systems with single Intel Xeon and Threadripper CPU's as being “entry level”. Even the Mac Pro listed the minimum CPU at 16 cores. The minimum recommended system I could build online was $15,000. Now, I realize that lesser systems can handle Avid and that those are just the officially supported system requirements.
I mean just look at my system. It handled it just fine, but still. When you’re in that arena, you probably either don’t need the help, or you’re paying a lot of money for that kind of support, but that’s not my only problem. My problem is, it took me a long time to learn how to use PP up to this point. I don’t want that to go to waste and to have to do it all over again on another NLE or spend even more money migrating to the Mac and Final Cut Pro. Which I hear is more limited than PP but WAY more intuitive and it... just... WORKS. Oh, and I couldn’t care less about After Effects, Audition or any of the other apps on Creative Cloud. I NEVER use them.
I reeeaaly don’t want to switch to a whole new NLE. Can someone please help me and thank you in advance. I feel like the answer is simple and staring me right in the face. I just can’t see it.
By the way, in case it matters, these are my system specs.
Ryzen 9 5950X
Aorus Master X570
128GB G.skill Trident Z 3200 CL16
OS & apps 500gb NVMe gen 4
Projects & Media 2TB NVMe gen 4
Media cache and Scratch 2TB NVMe gen 4
RTX 2080 ti
EVGA 1300W PSU
Windows 11 Pro
The most current CC, PP and ME updates along with BIOS, windows and drivers updates. My computer works flawlessly in every other way.
Error or problem
Hardware or GPU
Actually, most of us convert VFR to CFR in either Handbrake (a really old style UI) or now ShutterEncoder, which has a much newer style UI. Both are free-source apps, and work well for converting the media.
And both can do batch converting of several clips to entire folders. So I'll put what I need to convert in a folder, bring up ShutterEncoder and set it working ... and go on with other things.
In Handbrake, you need to set both the little button to CFR and set a specific framerate by number. I do recommend setting the compression to "near placebo" to keep the full original quality.