Following an energized thread on the FCP-L, I thought I’d post how I deal with footage from my 5dmarkii. For starters, dtev001 asked the list why not just use the EOS plug-in Canon provides? Oliver Peters chimed in with a great response, answering:
The trouble I’ve had (just this week) was that when I L&T’ed Canon EOS files, about 10% came in at less than full length. It appeared to be random. I’m not going to commit time and potentially 1,000s of clips that would have to be checked, to an unreliable workflow.
One other advantage to these various alternate workflows is that you can do it on a machine that doesn’t necessarily have FCS installed. On an 8-core MacPro, Compressor converts these H264 files to ProRes in about 1.5X running time. A 32GB card hold approx. 90 minutes of footage, so figure a ballpark of about 2.5hrs/card for conversion. That’s in addition to H264 copying time for card to hard drive.
Of course, if you REALLY want to go “old-school”, you could use Premiere Pro CS5 or Avid MC5 (with video output hardware), drop the clips on a timeline, output in real-time to videotape and then re-ingest into FCP. I believe that’s actually similar to the post workflow used on “House” – i.e. go to tape first and then follow a traditional offline/online editing procedure.
Personally, I don’t care for the EOS plug-in either. While I haven’t experienced the terribleness Oliver went through, his retelling makes me even less likely to go that route in the future. I’m more of a stick shift guy, so I like to load the h264 footage straight from the card onto my editing storage. Then, I simply run all my clips through Compressor, converting them to Apple ProRes 422 using an 8-core QuickCluster.
Click the pic for a link to download my Compressor setting. I’ve come to trust Compressor after a long love / hate relationship. Especially Qmaster and multi-core processing.
Mike Flamino’s video tutorial has been a wonderful resource. Having watched it I’m harnessing 8 cores in my QuickCluster just fine. Processing time is fast. I’m not here to do speed tests, and you’re performance will vary depending on your system, but I will go so far as to say it works faster than the EOS plug-in and I get more control. Faster + more control = happy.
Oh yeah, audio. I record 4 channel audio with my Zoom and use either the onboard mic or a Sennheiser MKE-400 boom for reference audio on the camera recorded into the footage. I hand sync the Zoom audio to the onboard mic audio. I make sure to convert my lav track to mono and boost the amplitude as needed in Soundtrack Pro.
Once all this converting is done, I’ll drop all my video and audio files into my FCP project, add some project specific extensions to the clip names and set the file names to match. This way I don’t get duplicate generic file names in multiple projects. That can be irritating. Then I string all my footage out into one timeline with the video and audio synced up and go from there. It’s not automated, you can make mistakes along the way and it’s worked well for me so far. Hope this helps.
proactively • please just let fcp playback h264 in real time • peter
Disclosure, to comply with the FTC’s new rules
None of the manufacturers listed above are paying Peter Salvia to write this article and, so far, none have sent him any samples or demonstration items. Peter is a B&H Sales Affiliate and receives a commission from items linked to B&H and purchased through this site. Oh yeah, and he’s an Apple Certified Trainer so you can derive his bias for yourself.