Transcoding, Encoding, Etc

Okay, I'm sure this issue is like beating a dead horse, but as I browse and search through the forums I can only find bits and pieces to my answers.

I'm looking to see if there is a way to speed up my workflow within HitFilm at all.  Things aren't extremely bad the way they are, but if I can make it better, that would be great.  I know once I start working on bigger projects, or multiple cameras I start dropping frames pretty bad.

I'm on PC.  Is there a good breakdown of what could work best to encode my files and how to do it?  Again on PC, Win10, my files are mainly from Canon T6i and T5i.

Thanks as always in advance.

Comments

  • PalaconoPalacono Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,442 Enthusiast

    Perhaps you could start with what you've do so far, based on the snippets you found, to avoid people first of all asking for your full PC specs and then directing you to the several threads that cover what helps many people, if you've already been there and done that?

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,923 Enthusiast

    Please don't beat up that poor horse!!! :(

    Huge improvements in stability and smoothness are these two combined:

    MPEG Streamclip

    DNxHD (or DNxHR if you work with 4k) codec

     

    You want an editing codec when editing, a lot of people make the mistake of working with delivery codecs and then end up slowing down their whole workflow both short term and long term.

    I can't post the links to these two directly, but I'm sure others are going to step up.

    I personally work with a Canon 600D, which outputs H.264 (delivery codec) in a .MOV container. This is a horrible idea to edit with, which is why I transcode my files to DNxHD .MOV.

  • TriFlixFilmsTriFlixFilms Website User Posts: 925 Just Starting Out
    edited September 2016

    For future reference, if you hate converting files, like myself. Buy a camera that records in an editing codec. Huge help for workflow, while converting doesnt take very long... it causes a massive halt to my creativity when i shoot a video and all I want to do is edit it but have to wait 20 minutes for it to convert a couple gigabytes of data.

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,923 Enthusiast
    edited September 2016

    @TriFlixFilms

    Isn't ProRes Mac only, due to encoding issues in Windows?

    And, I would have to buy like a BlackMagic camera. To be completely honest with you, even transcoding to DNxHD 175 which is basically my go to bitrate, it's the only one which I don't see a difference in quality between what my camera outputs and what DNxHD outputs.

    It really doesn't take long to transcode the files, however I do understand that there's an advantage to just importing  and being able to use the files directly, but I haven't found a camera yet that outputs to DNxHD (or DNxHR) yet.

    Considering I don't have a budget or record enough video to justify the cost of a "higher end" camera, I'm very satisfied with the current process. I have preset ready to go, and batch processing is a breeze.

  • NormanPCNNormanPCN Website User Posts: 3,945 Enthusiast

    You can encode to Prores on Windows with some tools out there. For free, you can use the ffmpeg subsystem. For a GUI transcode tool that uses ffmpeg you can use Convert V3. It is not free, but the trial version is free and can transcode two files at a time. Some other features are not active in demo mode but the transcode is. Convert can also convert to formats other than Prores. DNxHD being one of them.

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,923 Enthusiast

    Thank you, but I think I'm going to stick with my current workflow. Bookmarked thread though.

  • NormanPCNNormanPCN Website User Posts: 3,945 Enthusiast

    I forgot to mention that Convert does not need Quicktime in any way. It is fully self contained.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    And it's on sale for $25.00 to unlock everything. The downside with anything FFMpeg based to create ProRes files is potentially running into an Apple QC check that rejects the file.

  • NormanPCNNormanPCN Website User Posts: 3,945 Enthusiast

    $25...and lots of updates recently. I harassed Wayne a tiny bit on the new apps. Small items he easily added...within a few days. He is quite responsive to suggestions.

    I have read about Apple FCP 7(X?) rejecting stuff based on the header encoder identifier. Convert handles that by faking an Apple encoder. The other is the muxer chunk size for audio. Supposedly FCP 7(?) expected audio chunks to be at least 48000 samples. The default ffmpeg chunk size it way smaller than that but easily changed.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    @NormanPCN There's still some fails if you're uploading to iTunes and apparently it isn't just the identifier. Supposedly FFMpeg mangles the header in some fashion if the start timecode is changed. I mostly brought it up for full disclosure. 

    There's others out there like MediaReactor and FootageStudio that are in the 100-200 range but still FFMpeg based and I seriously doubt they work any better than Convert V3. One plus for FootageStudio is it also works with Cineform if you have GoPro Studio installed. 

    The one that really gets me though is Cinemartin's Cinec. Up to 1000 bucks for an FFMpeg GUI

  • HarHar Website User Posts: 400 Just Starting Out

    I've been using the free/donationware Avanti frontend GUI for ffmpeg to transcode to Prores in Windows for some time now. Works fine for my needs, and will also inhale image sequences to transcode to Prores as well.

     

  • PalaconoPalacono Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,442 Enthusiast
    edited September 2016

    @Har looks interesting but the author removed 0.9.3 from service back in May 2015, due to a bug, but hasn't fixed the error and released a new version since then.

  • CervierCervier Website User Posts: 156 Just Starting Out

    I discovered yesterday night a nice free editing software you probably already knew about: Shotcut. It's free as in "open source".

    It's very basic if you compare it to HitFilm 4 Express, but has lots of built-in codecs, among which DNxHD and Prores! I just tried exporting with both and while a 85 Mb .mp4 file did turn into gigantic 1.5 Gb (DNxHD) or 1.4 (Prores) .mov clips, it did the work. Both file did open with HF  on my Windows 10 PC, even the Prores one (FYI).

    The advantage I would see in using Shotcut instead of, say, MPEG streamclip, is you can set in and out points and transcode only the part you need.

  • HarHar Website User Posts: 400 Just Starting Out

    Palacono - heh, now that you mention it I'm still using version 0.7.5. LOL Stable and has been working fine for me all along, so I guess I'll stay on that for now! 

    Looks like the older builds are still there, so might be at least worth grabbing one of those to try out since it's free. Again, I'm not using it for anything more complex than transcoding to Prores so perhaps that's why I've not run afoul of any issues.

  • TriFlixFilmsTriFlixFilms Website User Posts: 925 Just Starting Out
    edited September 2016

    I see ZERO lag in Final cut pro when using variable framerate mpeg files and variable frame clips (no converting of codecs needed), even with many effects applied... My Mac only has a 1gb GPU in it and running off a disk drive, not SSD. Its all about detailed refinements. While Apple is overpriced, I am really starting to see the benefits when it comes to wasted production time : /

    Also if prores is an issue for you on a PC, just dual boot as OSX.

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