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AVCHD Workflow help

Community Beginner ,
May 14, 2012

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Hello all,

I will be migrating to Premiere Pro CS6 from FInal Cut Pro 7 starting this fall for all of my video production classes.  I need some guidance on workflow. 

We currently shoot on Sony NX70u which uses the AVCHD codec producing .MTS files.  I've been working with the native AVCHD files on PP CS6 for a few days now to get acquainted with the workflow and performance on our Macs (some iMacs and some Mac Pro towers) and so far so good.  My question:

I know PP CS6 will work with the native AVCHD files, but I'm worried about performace issues with my Macs.  Is there any reason to transcode the AVCHD files to another codec before editing in PP?  I guess I'm still in the Final Cut Pro-Log and Transfer mode of thinking about files

Cheers,

Micheal

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AVCHD Workflow help

Community Beginner ,
May 14, 2012

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Hello all,

I will be migrating to Premiere Pro CS6 from FInal Cut Pro 7 starting this fall for all of my video production classes.  I need some guidance on workflow. 

We currently shoot on Sony NX70u which uses the AVCHD codec producing .MTS files.  I've been working with the native AVCHD files on PP CS6 for a few days now to get acquainted with the workflow and performance on our Macs (some iMacs and some Mac Pro towers) and so far so good.  My question:

I know PP CS6 will work with the native AVCHD files, but I'm worried about performace issues with my Macs.  Is there any reason to transcode the AVCHD files to another codec before editing in PP?  I guess I'm still in the Final Cut Pro-Log and Transfer mode of thinking about files

Cheers,

Micheal

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LEGEND ,
May 14, 2012

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If it works, why mess with it?

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Adobe Employee ,
May 14, 2012

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Simple answer. No.

If you run into performance issues during playback of your AVCHD footage, you have the option to change the playback resolution to accomodate your configuration.

Reg Santo Tomas

Premiere Pro

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Enthusiast ,
May 14, 2012

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Be aware that I've found a problem with some AVCHD footage in CS6 that didn't exist in CS5.5, namely that of long / spanned clips.  Shorter (non spanned) clips don't appear to have a problem, and if that's what you are feeding in to CS6 then stay with AVCHD, there is no reason to transcode.   Hopefully Adobe will fix the problem in the first update.

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Community Beginner ,
May 14, 2012

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Hey Exactimage,

Students will be shooting long events (e.g. theater productions) and might have a problem with spanning, but for the most part they will be shooting shorter clips.

Micheal

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 14, 2012

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>long / spanned clips

You don't say... are you copying just the clips from media to hard drive, or the entire folder from media to hard drive?

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Enthusiast ,
May 14, 2012

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Via the media browser, just like you're supposed to

Also, there is a related bug in Media Encoder.  Drop this (30 min spanned) file on to a sequence in 5.5 and export via media encoder and it takes around 80 mins to export to H264.   Media Encoder CS6 starts off saying about 80 mins, then it goes up, and up, and up, and up and TBH I gave up at 9+ hours and only 30% encoded.

The problem appears to be that it's reparsing the entire file all the time and this can be seen in the Windows resources monitor (where you can see the files than an App has open and how much it's reading).   Hopefully they figure this one out soon because it's causing me major problems.  

Yes, I've submitted a bug report complete with a sample project demonstrating the problem.

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LEGEND ,
May 14, 2012

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Curious though that you're the only one I've seen report the issue so far.  It's unlikely you're the only one using spanned AVCHD media in CS6.

So...anyone else seeing this same problem?  Anyone else NOT seeing this problem with that media?

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Enthusiast ,
May 14, 2012

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I'm not the only one.  See other topics that mention problems playing back multiple video tracks and multicam.

It makes sense that multicam is the one place it showed up first because that's where you tend to have the longest clips.

And....it's not just one computer.  We have the same problem on 3 PCs here, and a Mac Pro and another editor off site - same problem - repeatable every time.   That's why I sent Adobe a sample project complete with source media.   They grabbed it late Friday so hopefully some one will have recreated the problem in house by now.

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LEGEND ,
May 14, 2012

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See other topics that mention problems playing back multiple video tracks and multicam.

The only one I recall was about 8 tracks I think.  Fewer tracks worked fine, so I don't know if your issue is the same as that issue.

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Enthusiast ,
May 14, 2012

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Well Jim,  I'm happy for you to download the sample project and see if you have the same problem..... it's only 5GB, but I don't want to post a public link here.....

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LEGEND ,
May 14, 2012

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Click my name.

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Enthusiast ,
May 14, 2012

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Sent.

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LEGEND ,
May 15, 2012

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Man, you're right!  Something is definitely wonky with AVCHD in CS6.

I also now understand how Harm was getting 50 MB/s reads when trying to play this stuff.  It's not the media, it's CS6.  Opening the same exact file in CS5 works no problem, and reads at the expected 5 MB/s.

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Enthusiast ,
May 15, 2012

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Thank you Sir!   My sanity is restored!

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LEGEND ,
May 15, 2012

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Yeah, this one is definitely a show stopper.  CS6 is just completely unusable in this current state.

I'm kind of glad I don't (yet?) work with AVCHD.

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Enthusiast ,
May 15, 2012

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Jim Simon wrote:

Yeah, this one is definitely a show stopper.  CS6 is just completely unusable in this current state.

I'm kind of glad I don't (yet?) work with AVCHD.

Yes indeed.  That's why I felt compelled to put that sample project together and send to Adobe.  I can't beleive they missed this in beta testing....

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LEGEND ,
May 15, 2012

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Right?

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Enthusiast ,
May 15, 2012

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Wow.  Just got an email from Adobe acknowledging the problem and it's been passed to engineering.   Let's hope for some quick progress and a fix sooooooon

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LEGEND ,
May 15, 2012

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Well, that's very good news.

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Adobe Employee ,
May 15, 2012

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ExactImage (or Jim since you have the files as well ),

Can you try and delete any XMP and pek files in the actual MTS directory and reimport the clips in CS6 to see if that improves the performance on your end? It seems that it may be some incompatibility with these files when moving from CS5.5 to CS6.

It's still an issue but this may be a quick remedy for you


Reg Santo Tomas

Premiere Pro QE

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Enthusiast ,
May 15, 2012

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Reg Santo Tomas wrote:

ExactImage (or Jim since you have the files as well ),

Can you try and delete any XMP and pek files in the actual MTS directory and reimport the clips in CS6 to see if that improves the performance on your end? It seems that it may be some incompatibility with these files when moving from CS5.5 to CS6.

It's still an issue but this may be a quick remedy for you


Reg Santo Tomas

Premiere Pro QE

That would have been awesome if it had worked !    But alas it's made no difference, and if anything, it's made it worse.  Now I can't even play the first few seconds either   I do get audio but the video is stuck on the first frame.

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Adobe Employee ,
May 15, 2012

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Hmm...

OK, when I delete the XMP files and create a new project and import the mts file you provided, I am getting smooth playback on both Mac and PC.

Prior to that, I was experiencing the same behavior that you had reported.

EDIT: Scratch that. The playback seems to regress in performance after I start jumping around the clip.

Back to more investigation. Stay tuned.

Reg Santo Tomas

Premiere Pro QE

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LEGEND ,
May 15, 2012

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No, that didn't really do anything.

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Enthusiast ,
May 15, 2012

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I just checked on the Mac too and no difference there either.

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Explorer ,
May 17, 2012

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Add me to the list having trouble w/ AVCHD files. I just finished a project with two tracks of DV and one of AVCHD (all in a DV timeline), originally started in CS5 and finished in CS6 and had no problems at all. Takes that are 1hr+, clips that are broken up into at most 24 minute segments (once it hit 4gb). I was actually thrilled that CS6 had such snappier performance.

But today I start another project, 1 track of DV and 1 of AVCHD, similar file lengths, and I'm having all sorts of trouble with media pending, no video and only audio, frozen images. Sometimes if I sit long enough it'll catch back up. It's just my AVCHD files, and not all of them do it, or some don't do it as bad. Or parts of the file will be ok but the beginning or end causes trouble.

Until this is fixed I either can't use CS6 or I have to waste hours transcoding all this footage into a different file format before using it (which I'm doing w/ CS5, cause Media Encoder in CS6 seems to be cranky with it too). Adobe, when can we expect a fix for this? PLEASE don't tell me CS6.5...

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Community Beginner ,
May 30, 2012

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Hello All

Add me to the list.

In addition to the problems mentioned above, all of which I have with a project in which I have 1 set of MOV files and 2 sets of AVCHD files (3 cameras at a wedding), I am getting a clip that shows green frames whenever and wherever I stop scrubbing on that clip. I think the green frame = media pending but I haven't seen premiere do that before. This clip plays fine in all the media players I have installed, but premiere garbles it. The other clips from the same camera are fine. The clips from the other 2 cameras are fine. And I have tried copying the offending clip 3 times each to a different hard drive and loaded it into my project. Each attempt failed to change anything.

I was going to recode the footage to make it more palatable for premiere, but I am not sure what to use. Anyone have suggestions? And Jim I did try the UT AVI file format you mentioned, the resulting file was twice the size! Is there a way to get it to stay around the same size as the original and keep the quality?

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Enthusiast ,
May 30, 2012

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We're currently transcoding AVCHD fotage to either Prores or DNxHD, but you could equally well transcode to a high bitrate MPEG2 or H264 and it still work, as long as it's a single file!

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LEGEND ,
May 30, 2012

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Is there a way to get it to stay around the same size as the original and keep the quality?

No.  Anything that small will require lossy compression.  You'll have to decide between quality and size.  You can't have both.

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New Here ,
May 19, 2012

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I just tried to use PP6 with AVCHD for the first time and had no luck.   Clips play for a few seconds and then get completely stuck.   This is video from a Canon HF G10.    Prelude had the same issues, too.

Niels.

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New Here ,
May 20, 2012

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I'm having the same issue.  I'm shooting with a Panasonic AF-100, and at this point I'm still using Final Cut to transcode my footage so I can have audio.  I've also noticed the video jumps around even when it does have audio.  Prelude has been extremely problematic for me, and it doesn't have a way to bring in clips that returned errors upon importing, I have to write down the clip numbers and bring them in individually.  I've also tried just dropping the file structure from the card straight to the hard drive.  It's a huge problem, and is keeping me from making the switch fully from FCP 7.

-Joe

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LEGEND ,
May 20, 2012

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Prelude has been extremely problematic for me

There is a separate forum for Prelude.

http://forums.adobe.com/community/premiere/prelude?view=discussions&start=0&numResults=30

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Explorer ,
May 21, 2012

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Editing MOV "wrapped" AVCHD in PP CS6 is definitely a very slow and challenging experience on my end as well. Size and number of clips has no bearing on the speed at which PP operates.

Glad to know that Adobe is on this -back to CS5.5 for now.

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Participant ,
May 23, 2012

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I can see that this is an existing problem that is being looked at by Adobe, but thought I'd chime in that it's effecting me too, so they can see it's wide spread. FS100 footage wrapped to .mov, media pending for ages every time you go to a new clip, and then when it does play it will often only play the video.

First edit after moving our company to Adobe to avoid all the transcoding we've been having to do to work in FCP, and I find myself having to transcode most of my footage! Foolishly did all my testing in 5.5, which is now uninstalled. Bit of a shame, hopefully Adobe will get it sorted soon.

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LEGEND ,
May 24, 2012

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FS100 footage wrapped to .mov

Why on earth would you do that?

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Participant ,
May 24, 2012

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Because we're coming from a Final Cut based workflow where it was essential. Also it means anyone can view the files, so helpful for directors and other people other than our editors with Premiere installed. Why wouldn't you do it? It's just re-wrapped, not transcoded. Anyway, the media plays back just as badly when imported directly as .mts files.

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LEGEND ,
May 24, 2012

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Why wouldn't you do it? It's just re-wrapped

Because QuickTime is still a 32 bit application, and Premiere Pro needs a 'band-aid' to work with MOV files.

Keep them native.  There are plenty of media players than can play the .mts streams directly, including VLC, which is one of the best media players on the planet and available for Windows, Mac and Linux, so pretty much anyone can install and use it.

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Explorer ,
May 24, 2012

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I do the same thing, and have run into the exact same issues with MOV wrapped FS100 footage as SimonHy. This was no problem in CS5.5.

Jim Simon wrote:

FS100 footage wrapped to .mov

Why on earth would you do that?

FYI- One reason that we wrap the footage is beacuse as it stands, there is no good way to catalog and add/manage metadata with AVCHD files- sidecars, ugh. Using Clipwrap to "wrap" the AVCHD files in MOV wrappers provides an extremely fast solution for adding inclusive metadata capabilities to each clip. It takes about the same ammount of time to transfer from card to disk, as it does to "wrap" AVCHD while transferring from card to disk.

I don't see any advantage to keeping MTS files native for working in any NLE.

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LEGEND ,
May 24, 2012

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I don't see any advantage to keeping MTS files native for working in any NLE.

If you insist on turning the 64 bit nature of PR back into the past and to 32 bit only, you are correct. But why then did you upgrade to a version over CS4? That was 32 bit.

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Explorer ,
May 24, 2012

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Harm Millaard wrote:

I don't see any advantage to keeping MTS files native for working in any NLE.

If you insist on turning the 64 bit nature of PR back into the past and to 32 bit only, you are correct. But why then did you upgrade to a version over CS4? That was 32 bit.

Wait, I'm confused... Are you saying that MTS files are the only type supported in 64bit realm? Because if that were the case, then I'd eat my words.

Perhaps you read me wrong; I merely said that I see no advantages in keeping MTS files native. I did not say that I only see advantages in keeping MOV files.

Anyhow, back to what this thread is really about: AVCHD does not play well in Premiere Pro CS6, regardless of opinions or how it's brought in.

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LEGEND ,
May 24, 2012

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I have no problems with any AVCHD footage natively at all, but that may be a PC thing. I do have problems with MOV material.

Wait, I'm confused... Are you saying that MTS files are the only type supported in 64bit realm?

Not at all. There are many formats supported in 64 bit native format, just not with that crappy Quircktime wrapper.

If AVCHD does not play well in native mode, it is because of lacking hardware or OE.

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Community Beginner ,
May 24, 2012

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well I hope Adobe remedies this... it will be easier to teach my intro to video production students if I can leave the files in .MTS and not have to transcode them.  Some of them get really confued about the process of transcoding

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Explorer ,
May 24, 2012

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They better fix it fast, cause right now I can't use the software I paid several hundred dollars for. The same thing happened (different bug) with CS5.5, to the point that I had to return the program because it was unusable.

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Enthusiast ,
May 24, 2012

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Well, I hope you and EVERYONE who has this problem has filled out the bug report because we need to make sure it's super high priority for them and not something that gets put on the back burner because other people are screaming louder about something else.

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Participant ,
May 24, 2012

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Jim Simon wrote:

Why wouldn't you do it? It's just re-wrapped

Because QuickTime is still a 32 bit application, and Premiere Pro needs a 'band-aid' to work with MOV files.

Keep them native.  There are plenty of media players than can play the .mts streams directly, including VLC, which is one of the best media players on the planet and available for Windows, Mac and Linux, so pretty much anyone can install and use it.

Thanks, that makes sense. There's a lot involved in changing everything in the company over to a new workflow, and we have a lot of media that's already been wrapped, so will probably still be dealing with .movs for some time to come, but at least I can start heading the ship in the right direction. And all those wrapped files played fine in CS5.5, so I'm still hoping they do get it working better.

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Explorer ,
Aug 23, 2012

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I have the same issues with playback using AVCHD footage in PPCS6....  I thought it was just my computer struggling to deal with the files...but they were not very large...or long...  I get audio but the video freezes on one frame... all the time.  I hope Adobe fixes this and doesn't charge us an extra few hundred dollars for an upgrade.  That is the one thing that frustrates me with Adobe, they charge you hundreds of dollars for the "newest" and "best" that is full of bugs and then charge you more so you can actually use the software.  I am about ready to quit and go to Sony! Does anybody at Adobe actually pay attention to these forums?

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New Here ,
Aug 23, 2012

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I am amazed that such a giant sotware company as Adobe can have such a blatant problem, that didn't exist in previous versions and that is still unresolved months after it's release. Native AVCHD editing and muticam are major selling points for Premiere. On my system it is completely impossible to work with spanned AVCHD footage, particularly in multi-cam.  I have the same problem with spanned AVCHD footage from both Panasonic and Sony sources so it is not the AVCHD format. I have also tried importing the footage first in CS5 as suggested by Joe Fannta in post #88 which diod not help. How widespread is this ? Are there some users who can successfully edit multicam spanned AVCHD footage in CS6? If so can we compare machine specs to see if it is a hardware issue? My system exceeds the minimum spec and the same hardware runs CS5 spanned multi-cam perfectly ok.

If you want to run a test, please make sure you are using CS6 and clips that are more than 20 minutes long - stack two or three tracks and then set up a multicam edit - play from the multi-cam window and the problem should show up within a few seconds.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 23, 2012

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Are there some users who can successfully edit multicam spanned AVCHD footage in CS6?

Yes, actually.  I did have a problem with a clip uploaded by another user, but the media form my own Panasonic GH2 edits perfectly fine.  So this is not a consistent problem with all media across all cameras.  I can't tell you why it works for some and not others, I don't know what could possibly be different with the GH2.  It caries the AVCHD logo, which means it must comply with the AVCHD specs and shouldn't be any different than AVCHD from any other camera.  Yet...for some reason the GH2 spanned clips work.

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Advocate ,
Aug 23, 2012

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Jim,

I am afraid that not all AVCHD is created equal!  See this article and its predecessors in the series:

http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/atepper/story/psf8217s_missing_workflow_part_7_adobe_premiere...

He is talking about a different problem, which I know to my cost affects my Canon HF S30, but I would think that there may well be common cause here.  I note that in one part of the series he notes that Panasonic AVCAM cameras do not seem to be affected.

Perhaps someone who suffers from the problems described here would like to try see if Premiere correctly recognises their files.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 23, 2012

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See this article

Ugh!  Not in the mood for that kind of reading.  Just give us the upshot.

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Advocate ,
Aug 23, 2012

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Basically, what he is saying is that there are two kinds of AVCHD which are distinguished by the way Premiere CS5.5 and CS6 react to them.  He has christened them Benign PsF and Malignant PsF.

When you drag a Benign PsF clip onto the "New Item" icon in the Premiere project panel, the sequence that is created is the correct format for the clip, in particular the fact that it is progressive is recognised.

When you drag a Malignant PsF clip on the icon, the sequence that is created does not have the correct parameters and is always upper field first.

Progressive clips from both my Canon Legria HF S30, and my Sony V1E (as you know, I am in PAL land) both turn out to be Malignant.  Premiere creates an AVCintra 100 50Hz UFF sequence for my Canon files!  These are AVCHD, progressive (PsF), 25 fps, and around 21 mbps.

Correct recognition is achieved by R clicking on the clip and selecting Modify>Interpret Footage.  Change the  field order to Conform to "No Fields (Progressive)".  An appropriate sequence can then be created.

He reckons from observation that the problem is widespread, affecting most if not all Canon AVCHD cameras, Sony 's AVCHD and NXCAM ranges, and some Panasonic cameras.  He mentions the Panasonic AF100 and AG-HMC40 as producing Benign files.  The problem is not a PAL problem, the writer is based in Florida, and the cameras he quotes are almost all N or S America models.

He argues that correct recognition is possible as Clipwrap can achieve this - unfortunately it is MAC only.  Also Atomos have software called Stripper which can sort this out.  He has had contacts with Adobe - he mentions a conversation with Carl Soule about this.

If this is correct, and these files have a problem with Premiere, then it is possible that the problems being experienced here have their origins in the same place.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 23, 2012

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He mentions the Panasonic AF100 and AG-HMC40 as producing Benign files.

That's because those cameras don't record PsF, but true progressive frames.  They're not 'wrapped' in an interlaced format.

I'm not sure that relates to this issue, though.  The HMC150 spanned clips have issues, the GH2 spanned clips do not.  Both are Panasonic, both record true progressive frames (when shooting that way).  But even my interlaced spanned clips (1080i/30) from the GH2 play just fine in CS6.

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Enthusiast ,
Aug 23, 2012

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What would be really nice is if some one from Adobe could tell us they found / fixed the problem and it will be included in the next maintainace release - when ever that will be. 

We could all then rest easy knowing it's coming instead of looking at each other wondering if Adobe have it fixed or not, or will ever fix it.  It cleary used to work....

Anyone from Adobe care to comment?

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 23, 2012

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AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!

Almost but no cigar. this seems to have corrected the problem i was having with green frames. but the lag still stands.

Adobe where is the FIX!?!?!?

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New Here ,
Aug 24, 2012

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Interesting stuff but for me anyway, it doesn't solve the spanned AVCHD multicam issue. I found I had mixed PsF and true progressive but using either just the true progressive or PsF interpreted as progressive CS6 is still unusable for multicam - freezes on a single frame after a few seconds. In any case this doesn't explain why CS5/5.5 can handle ANY AVCHD fine whereas CS6 can't.

So in summary whilst an interesting and valid point it is a bit of a red-herring as far as this topic is concerned.

Reiterating ExactImage's comment, please Adobe, this is a major issue for many of us - what is the status of this problem and when will it be resolved?

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New Here ,
Aug 24, 2012

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I have just had a nightmare eveing getting an edit ready for a client - Adobe please get this sorted!

Edited 8 x short clips - shortest 40 seconds, longest 3 minutes. Multicamera shoot, 2 x Sony NX5 AVCHD 1920x1080i, 1 x JVC MP4 1440 x 1080i. All media PAL interlaced.

Edited fine. All looked perfect in timeline

Encoded to 1920 Progressive MP4 for upload to YouTube- only 2 clips fine, the other 6 had black and green flashes, mostly within the first 10 seconds - audio fine on all clips.

Solution? Copy the project to a separate drive (luckily only 32 gig in total), open it in another computer running CS5, media encoder same MP4 1920 progessive.

Result - all edit clips perfect! Overall time wasted on CS6 encoding = 4 hours

WHY!!!!!!!!!! Adobe, sort this for goodness sake!!!!!!!!

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 24, 2012

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We cannot make any announcements prior to an official release - we don't want to promise anything that cannot be delivered.  However, we are not ignoring this issue - we just don't have any official word yet.

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New Here ,
Sep 02, 2012

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Any idea when there will be an "official" announcement. I'm itching to move up to premiere pro ... but AVCHD problems would be a complete show stopper for me. That's all I'm using now.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 03, 2012

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Install the trial and check it out.  Not all AVCHD media is affected.

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Enthusiast ,
Sep 03, 2012

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In my personal experince with premiere cs6 I haven't ever had any issues with AVCHD footage. I use AVCHD footage from several different camera models as well. I'd recommend you try it out like Jim recommended.

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