The huge reality of videocameras

Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 16, 2015

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Hi folks,

I hope any of you is interested in starting a conversation about this.

Since a couple of years, maybe a bit less, I am devoting part of my time to learn the video tools and my first step was to befriend PremierePro. I went attending some classes in film editing but they were not using Premiere so I dropped the classes and now I am teaching myself with lynda and so forth.

Although, the hardest part of this I had to experience when I asked a group of video photographers and director enthusiasts to practice with them. They were searching for Final Cut users, which was the program used in the classes I dropped - that's how we found each other. I just threw a question if they would move to premiere and they did with no big issues, as I had the tool on CC.

Now what I experienced there was the hardest part, was not in the cutting and rendering and editing, which is extremely intuitive (for me at least) in premiere and does look like a funny video game.

It is the part about the video cameras. Resolution, quality, sizes - everything that comes before the editing. Gave me nightmares.

Now I train and grateful for that, using raw footage from colleagues - which means they all give me clips taken with the same camera at different times. Hard times are not to be seen as you just put together material that comes from the same tool with the same resolution and so forth.

But what if part is done with an iPhone, part is done with a video camera part is done with the heck knows what?

Tip anyone? And please, feel free to address me to books, videos, tutes or whatever might help me understand this foggy part of video-editing.

Thanks in advance!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 27, 2015

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Hah!  It's a nightmare.  Least ways that's how I remember first getting into CODECs, pixel aspect ratios (why can't pixels just be square for heck sake?) etc.  The long list of export presets in Media Encoder kind of bypasses that side of things, but you'll need to get up to speed in the long run.   Regards CODECs for your source material, perhaps a big factor is how durable they are, and how many liberties you can take before it turns to custard.  For instance I happily mix clips from a little Canon G1X compact with my XF300, and so long as the G1X footage is not laden with effects, it looks fine, but the much more robust MPEG-2 4:2:2 from the big camera still looks go no matter what you do to it.

What about hardware if you are using Prem Pro and After Effects?  They are soooooo heavy on system resources, but the Premiere Pro Hardware forum guys really know their stuff and are 'mostly' helpful.

Otherwise, the DVInfo forums are good place to pick stuff up.  The same applies to audio, which when it comes right down to it, is more complicated than video if you want the best quality.  The All Things Audio forum on DVInfo has some great people, or if you want to go a step further, join Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Facebook group.  They are serious sound engineers working on everything from TV commercials to feature films, and they love sharing what they know

DV Info Net — The Digital Video Information Network

https://www.facebook.com/groups/audiobootcamp/

[EDIT]  Out of interest, go to the Audio Bookcamp FB group and click on the banner image.  That goes into the issues the sound guy has in a studio environment.  

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 30, 2015

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Hi Flora,

I'm sure you know about this page, but in case you don't : Tweakers Page

Happy editing

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Oct 01, 2015

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But what if part is done with an iPhone, part is done with a video camera part is done with the heck knows what?

Premiere's main selling point was/is that it can mix different footage on the same timeline, automatically adapting the frame rates and color spaces. In other editing suites you had to convert everything into matching specs before importing it.

The issue with widely-varying footage is not new, but the actual variations are more complicated now than in years past, when you could hope that everything had the same frame rate even if things like color space were off. These days editors are regularly asked to intercut files from digital cinema, DSLR, cellphone and 'action cam' recordings, either to mix a drone shot into a cinema production or assemble viewer footage for a news broadcast. In Premiere the principle is to edit for the maximum quality deliverable, then export your various copies for broadcast/web/mobile from that master sequence. For most people publishing to the Web that means a sequence at 1920x1080, square pixels. The frame rate doesn't matter at all for sites like YouTube; most people either go with their TV standard (NTSC 29.97 in the USA, PAL 25 in Europe), or shoot in 24fps (actually 23.976 on consumer cameras) if they want that 'cinematic' feel. Unless you're supplying files to a TV station nobody cares one jot which you use, they all work the same online. I often see people just take whatever specs the first item in the media bin is and use that for everything, but if you have mismatched frame rates - especially with dual audio - take a moment to think. Resampling all your GoPro footage to 24P is hard work compared to resampling your DSLR footage to 25P, and YouTube don't care. If you know the sequence is only ever going to be exported to 800x450 for a mobile website then it can be sensible to use that for your sequence rather than editing in 1080p and scaling down in export - because if nothing else you'll be able to pan and zoom your source footage within the smaller frame.

Ignoring raw cinema footage for the time being, there are three situations where Premiere's "just drop it on the timeline" approach can cough:

  1. Very highly-compressed H.264 files from action cameras (GoPro, drones) take a huge amount of CPU power to scrub in real time, so on a mid-range computer they will struggle. Start applying effects and you may as well go get lunch after pressing PLAY. If you use Media Encoder to convert them into a 'mezzanine' format such as ProRes or Cineform they will behave much better. The final export quality doesn't change, it's simply about how annoying it is to try and edit the stuff when the monitor window isn't responding. With specific cameras like GoPro Heros their bundled software will do the Cineform conversion for you and apply lens corrections. Just because Premiere will read the MP4s doesn't mean it should.
  2. Some cellphones record variable frame rates, which quite frankly Premiere hates. Just. Don't. Do. It.
  3. If you're doing a demo at MAX and have a semitrailer of Mac Pros hidden behind the wall then it's all well and good to have nested 4K sequences plastered in Lumetri effects, nested in other sequences, keyed to hell and back, then dynamic-linked to After Effects compositions - but for the rest of us mortals it can be like sucking peas through a straw. If a clip is completely finalized (aka "picture lock") then it's perfectly sensible to render it out to ProRes or Cineform and use that for the remainder of your editing. Frees up a huge chunk of RAM and makes the final export a whole lot faster too.

Finally, be wary of audio settings. Premiere has a strange way of treating mono and stereo, adding 3dB pads to anything that doesn't match the master track, and switching mono<>stereo is one of the things you still can't do after creation.

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floramc AUTHOR
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 02, 2015

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Wow, thanks everybody! You are surely giving me a lot to read and think about

Trevor, I joined the group and as to AE, I am learning, very humbly very on my own as the crew who took me as their trainee is now in Brazil and I could not follow them. All I did for them was inside PrPro, I never did anything that advanced to connect AE and PrPRo. It's on the plans but when... eh, when I am ready for it

I do really appreciate the time you took to answer me, and thank you immensely for the links.

RameezKhan: no I had no idea about that page, thanks for giving me a good reference! I surely love video editing, it -is- a happy editing, thanks so kindly for giving me some info to get me up and running!

Dave: Super Dave! What can a person do without you!? So adorable to invest time telling so many useful things. You're precious!

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Ann Bens LATEST
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 12, 2015

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To add to this conversation: mixing pal and ntsc framerates is a reel pita. Either keep it 25 or 50 in. Or 24, 30 or 60. Different resolutions no problem

You can use cellphones but convert them first with HandBrake  to constant framerate.

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