Latest post Sun, Jun 21 2009 5:59 PM by Brian Suttie. 7 replies.
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  • Tue, Jun 16 2009 4:31 PM

    • MarcRose
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, Nov 19 2008
    • Rochester, NY
    • Posts 21
    • Points 320

    AVCHD Workflow into Avid from Sony HDR-SR11

    We were recently shooting an HD doc in the Sudan, We gave one of our subjects a Sony HDR-SR11 AVCHD HDD camera to pick-up additional footage. Had quite a time getting the footage into our system but came up with a process that in the end is fairly close to realtime. Hope this helps someone in the same boat as me...


    Using Sorenson Squeeze to convert AVCHD to DNxHD.

    This was done specifically to files from a Sony HDR-SR11 Camera

    1. Copy the "xxx.MTS" files from the camera to a new desktop folder. MTS files are located in: AVCHD\BDMV\STREAM folder. You could also just copy the entire STREAM folder containing the .MTS files.

    3. Sorenson Squeeze does not understand the ".MTS" file extension. Manually change the extension to ".m2ts" on all of the source files. (If you have lots of clips it might be worth investigating PC utilities capable of doing a batch operation to change the file extensions.)

    4. Start Sorenson Squeeze and drag the .m2ts files into Sorenson.

     

    5. Create a Preset in Sorenson Squeeze for trascoding the files. I duplicated the "HQ" Quicktime Preset and made the following changes:
    Codec: Avid DNxHD Codec
    Method: 1 pass CBR
    Frame Size: Same as Source
    Frame Rate: 1:1
    Key Frame Every: 300 frames
    Options (for me a bug in the Options window  for the DNxHD Codec - it opens barely showing the top of the drop down for the DNxHD options it can be clicked on however and the box does drop down): Color Levels: 709, Alpha: no selection, Codec: 1080i/59.94 DNxHD 145 8bit. The Apply/Save box is invisible so hit enter once your DNxHD options are set to save the changes.

    Audio: (I did not change these from the default settings of the HQ Quicktime Preset)
    Codec: MPEG-4 Audio, Data Rate: NA, Sample Size: 16, Sample Rate: 44100, Channels: Stereo, Options: left at default AAC, Specified Bitrate, 128kbits/second, 44.100 kHz, Best


    **Transcode time is approx. 1:5 (1 minute takes 5 minutes to do).
    **File size increase is approx 10X the original.

    6. Import resulting Quicktime movies into Avid 1080i project using normal procedures. Avid will do a "Fast Import" and files come in 5X faster than realtime. So, with a 5 times longer transcode and a 5 times faster import we're nearly back to realtime for the whole process!

    Again, hope this helps somebody out. I came across a few other methods utilizing 3rd party software. I like this one as aside from the initial copy off the camera HDD it's fairly close to realtime and utilizes Sorenson Squeeze which came with MC. Also like that I can play/preview the camera files in Squeeze prior to transcoding and get rid of what I don't need and cut off heads and tails. It would be nice if Squeeze recognized the .MTS directly - even nicer if MC could import/transcode directly!

    If anyone has a better or faster workflow I'd love to hear it.

    MC 3.1.3, HP XW8400, 2TB Unity, [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Jun 16 2009 5:51 PM In reply to

    • Brian Suttie
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Edinburgh, Scotland
    • Posts 917
    • Points 11,570

    Re: AVCHD Workflow into Avid from Sony HDR-SR11

    So if you have one hour of footage it takes five hours to transcode, then 12 minutes to import.

    I make that 5 hours 12 minutes for one hour.  Not sure how you make that "close to realtime" ? ? ?

    Have just bought myself a Canon HF 100 which records AVCHD so I'd also be interested in quicker routes.

    regards

    Brian

     

    "We'll fix it in post"
    "This is post"
    "aaaahh"

  • Sat, Jun 20 2009 7:15 PM In reply to

    • Ixchiguan
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Fri, Jan 26 2007
    • Wilmington, DE
    • Posts 16
    • Points 180

    Re: AVCHD Workflow into Avid from Sony HDR-SR11

    I am presently using a sony HDR-SR12 as a "specials" camera to support my work with an EX-1.

    I have researched various ways to import the AVCHD into the AVID (MAC Intel Quad-core) and found a number of the software solutions to be less than ideal. I tested Roxio and also Isoft.

    I finally resorted to using an HD-Connect MI box was designed for a slightly different purpose. the box is designed to accept HDMI in, split out the firewire Timecode and provide RS 422 and HD SDI (bnc) out. This allows the box function as both a converter (audio too) and also read TC from the original HDV tapes.

    In this case, I run the HDMI from the SR12 into the box, and feed the HD SDI directly into the AVID. Working in FH (the highest quality resolution on the camera), the pictures look great and there seems to be no artifacting whatsover.

     

    Of the the HD-Connect box is about $500, but it also serves the purpose of upconverting thin raster HDV material to full 1080---which is what I really use it for.

     

     

    Symphony/MC 8.4.2, Nitris DX, Intel MAC 12-Core,64GB RAM, EVGA 980 TI Graphics Card, Firmtek e-sata drive housings (4 x 5 drives each) with Firmtek 6G... [view my complete system specs]
  • Sun, Jun 21 2009 9:21 AM In reply to

    Re: AVCHD Workflow into Avid from Sony HDR-SR11

    Ixchiguan

    Thx for pointing us towards this great product.

    http://www.convergent-design.com

    That is what should be integrated in a mojo dx, nitris etc...

     

     

    From the old Apple Quadro 950 to HP Z8xx. My current own system: 1x Z420 E5 1650 16GB memory, 128GB SSD, 1x XW8600, 2x 3.0Ghz Quadcore, 12GB memory... [view my complete system specs]

    Jeroen van Eekeres 

    Technical director, Broadcast support engineer, Avid ACSR.

     

    Always have a backup of your projects....Always!!!! Yes Always!!!!

    A.V.I.D....... Another Version In Development

    www.mediaoffline.com

     

     

     

  • Sun, Jun 21 2009 11:23 AM In reply to

    • macjaeger
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Jun 16 2008
    • Coburg, Germany
    • Posts 241
    • Points 2,890

    Re: AVCHD Workflow into Avid from Sony HDR-SR11

    I'm using NewBlue Vasst AVCHDUpshift and achieve "slightly faster than realtime" results on the system described in my signature.

    AVCHDUpshift is a straight forward conversion tool: Drop the files in (even the *.mts files directly from your AVCHD camcorders harddrive or memory card), setup destination folder and format properties (once), and press "Upshift".

    On my Core2Quad (4x2.4 ghz) converting a 10 minute clip takes roughly 7 minutes at the "low speed, high quality" settings, eating up the whole 100% of cpu time of all four cores. The result is a HDV clip (*.m2ts) which can be fast imported into MediaComposer as DNxHD in under a minute.

    Older versions of the tool had compatibility issues with Sonys AVCHD implementation, but the latest versions are doing a great job for a $50 / EUR40 programm.

    MC 3.0 (soft) on 2.4Ghz Intel Core2Quad, 4GB, Win7, 3 Screens hooked to Nvidia GTX260 & 9500GT, 1 TB striping RAID [view my complete system specs]

    not a pro, just a teacher...

  • Sun, Jun 21 2009 4:09 PM In reply to

    • Brian Suttie
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Edinburgh, Scotland
    • Posts 917
    • Points 11,570

    Re: AVCHD Workflow into Avid from Sony HDR-SR11

    macjaeger:
     The result is a HDV clip (*.m2ts) which can be fast imported into MediaComposer as DNxHD in under a minute.

    Hi, can you share the settings you used in AVCHDUpshift and in Avid?  I tried a 25mbps file but it didn't fast import.

    regards

    Brian

     

    "We'll fix it in post"
    "This is post"
    "aaaahh"

  • Sun, Jun 21 2009 4:25 PM In reply to

    • macjaeger
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Jun 16 2008
    • Coburg, Germany
    • Posts 241
    • Points 2,890

    Re: AVCHD Workflow into Avid from Sony HDR-SR11

    Usually i use the default "Low Speed / High Quality" settings: 50 Mbps, constant bitrate, Keyframe 1, GOP Size 1, interlaced as input, but i also had success with other settings. I know there have been issues with the first versions of AVCHDUpshift, I'm running version 1.0h now.

    The other thing you may need to look at are your project and import settings in MC. The settings i successfully used are "project type: 1080i / 50", "raster type: HDV" (my source clips mainly come from consumer cameras shooting in 1440x1080i, and i'm living in a PAL country). I import the clips as DNxHD-TR 120 MXF.

    I have not tested many other settings once i had a stable workflow, but i'm sure the same way is viable for full raster and non-PAL format - why shouldn't i?

    Good Luck!

    MC 3.0 (soft) on 2.4Ghz Intel Core2Quad, 4GB, Win7, 3 Screens hooked to Nvidia GTX260 & 9500GT, 1 TB striping RAID [view my complete system specs]

    not a pro, just a teacher...

  • Sun, Jun 21 2009 5:59 PM In reply to

    • Brian Suttie
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Edinburgh, Scotland
    • Posts 917
    • Points 11,570

    Re: AVCHD Workflow into Avid from Sony HDR-SR11

    Thanks for that.  I think that my problem was trying to use the highest quality on my Canon camera which is 1920 x 1080.  As soon as I switched to a 1440 x 1080 mode that works a treat and is a far faster way to go.

    regards

    Brian

     

    "We'll fix it in post"
    "This is post"
    "aaaahh"

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