Hallo everyone! I am pretty desperate!
Been working on a video project for a week, which has a quickly approaching deadline. After finishing 3 of 6 videos containing drone footage from a DJI Mavic 2 and 4K footage from my new Canon R7 and exporting without issues, I have been stuck on the last one for 2 solid days of trying to figure this out.
All shot in 4K 30fps, some color grading and slowing down added but nothing major. No other effects or complex stuff.
When exporting, all footage from the R7 runs beautifully, just the drone footage gets stuck. I have tried every single hack online. Export using Media encoder, high bitrate, low bitrate, every export preset, only software, rendering before export, deleting all the drone files from my laptop and copying them back over from my backup hard drive. Nothing works. I am pretty much at the end of my ideas. Solid 20 hours of looking up everything I could find!
Have you tried transcoding that drone footage before importing into Premiere? Would have taken a lot less than 20 hours ... and it constantly surprises me so many don't seem to think of that option.
It may fix this for this moment and get that project done.
Thanks Neil. Not a pro here at all and yeah I spent a lot of time on trying everything. I didn't transcode it before. Again, not a pro so I guess you are talking about making them into H.264 files in Media Encoder, then import, make proxys for the work flow and then export?
All this is new to me.
Probably using ShutterEncoder, as it has an easy-to-use UI.
There are two free programs that can transcode your video files.(Shutter Encoder, HandBrake.)
Thank you very much. Now, as the footage is already used in my time line, how would I go about it? Is it enough to transcode the files in my source folder on my laptop and the changes will be applied or do I have to delete all the drone files from my time line, transcode the original files and import them again? Cheers
Another question is what to transcode it into.
They are Hvec. 4.2.0 out of the drone. What would I set the media encoder or shutter encoder to in terms of trancoding?
Here an update.
I used shutter encoder to transcode all the drone files to h.264.mp4 and replaced the media in my sequence with those transcoded sources and it actually worked. Insane! Weird is that this wasn't necessary using the same footage for 3 other videos before without hassle. However, this time I applied a lot more color grading and an adjustment layer which might have made the export impossible for my rig. Moving forward I think I'll only transcode the footage from the drone and leave the Canon footage alone. Also, cresting proxys for the drone footage makes it actually stop and freeze on the time line. Very strange. Still not sure what proxy format would be ideal for this workflox. Cine form or QuickTime etc.
Thank you for the help. Lots to figure out still.
Drones are a freaking pain to edit. They get very creative with the long-GOP possible settings to get fastest writing/smallest file.
One person posted on here his testing as he had found that his drone not only did i, p & b frames ... it did partial i-frames. Which required using an i-frame in front or behind it as part of the decoding!
i-frames are complete frames ... and in between are p & b frames. Which have just a matrix of the pixels involved, those that have either changed since the last i-frame or will change before the next i-frame ... or both.
In the case of the drone user I mentioned ... he was getting a distance of over 40 frames between i-frames, but as some i-frames were only partial i-frames, so the actual 'gap' between full complete frames was at times up to 120 frames apart.
Well ... the computer then has to decode ALL 120 frames to be able to show any of them.
This type of creativity on the drone maker's part is why that stuff is so horrid to edit from. And even keeping it as long-GOP/H.264, if you simplify the cadence to 9 or 15 frames, can make a huge difference in editing performance.
That's all fine and dandy, I just don't understand how I was able to use the same footage in 3 videos of similar length and then from one day to another the footage wouldn't export anymore. Still, I am fighting with some of the files that worked before. For a new project I trancoded all drone files as part of the import to h.264 and the same files that weren't working before are freezing again, while other drone files edit and export fine. I'm currently trancoding all drone files in shutter decoder to h.264. Mp4 but it takes forever and I couldnt see where the difference would be doing that process in media encoder or shutter encoder. For someone not being familiar with all the technical blabla, which shouldn't be necessary at the end of the day, this is a whole bunch of Chinese to me and really makes me wonder.
BTW rendering the files on the time line makes them unusable and crease ting proxys also makes them freeze and unusable. No common workflow to help smoother editing seems to apply. Very frustrating.
Transcode using probably ShutterEncoder, as it's got a more modern, user-friendly UI. You can batch it while you're away. Then use those new files in Premiere, it will be fine.
Most colorists I know work on MASSIVE capable machines. Their tech knowledge of formats/codecs is always amazing to me.
And most of them simply t-code any H.264/5 that comes in with client footage to something better to work with. Period. Because it is both so crappy to work with and yes, unpredictable.
But even a t-code to 'stable' H.264/5 outta ShutterEncoder would be an improvement.
Shutter Encoder has access to better codecs. Handbrake is very limited in that regard. That's why we've all switched to Shutter.
Thank you everyone, now, shutter encoder is running but I just chose h.264 as I didn't know what would be more suitable. The resulting files are then replacing the footage on my time line amd everything exports fine so I'm very grateful. I don't understand why the media encoder wouldn't do the same for me. Anyways. If h.264, which are my export settings, isn't ideal, what other format should I t-code to?
Sure. That should work, but editors prefer an editing codec like ProRes or ProRes LT. There are advantages in all areas except file size. Files are a lot larger. I only use them to edit and delete them after the project is done, retaining my H.264 and HEVC masters. I can always make new transcodes should the project need restoring.
In the list, they have their Editing Codecs ... ProRes, DNx, and Cineform, which are all intraframe codecs. Every frame is complete in and of itself, just compressed. There are various options in eachb (essentially) for Mpbs of the file. They will be bigger, but very easy on your machine to edit from.
In the Delivery section, you can choose the H.264 and 265/HEVC options, and actually the settings used in ShutterEncoder will playback a LOT better than those of your drone. So you can keep the smaller file size, but get at least somewhat better playback.
For H.264/5, check the kbps of your file before you start. Make sure you stay at that or above in the export settings.
Thank you! That is all incredibly good information. I'll t-code to a different codec from now on as the h.264 files are still not coming out well in the export but at lead they play smoothly. In general there are a lot of minor glitches in the produces videos and I think I'll end up either trancoding through media encoder during the import or using shutter encoder and find what compressed codecs work the best for my files. Lots of quick and dirty happening in my edits as I've never learned an elegant work flow in premiere. So I guess I'm throwing a lot of mixed and matched files at my laptop to deal with.
Thank you everyone for chipping in. I have a suspicion that this won't be the end of the song but at least I got through the chorus line. Cheers
Colorists have tended to do a ton of t-coding depending on where the job comes from, as well ... doing heavy grading on messy drone/DSLR long-GOP clips and odd framerates and VFR and such just strains the system. Even for the 'heavy iron' they run.
MY system's pretty strong for an editor ... 24 core, 128GB of RAM, 2080 Ti ... but compared to a lot of colorists I know, it's pretty anemic.
Have you considered transcoding the drone footage before importing it into Premiere? It could significantly reduce the processing time, and I'm surprised more people don't explore this option. Give it a try – it might just fix the issue and help you complete the project smoothly.