Latest post Sun, Apr 24 2011 8:21 PM by hbrock. 3 replies.
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  • Mon, Apr 4 2011 9:13 AM

    Best settings for Media Composer 5.0.3 on Mac for AVCHD import

    I couldn't find a thread that addressed this, I apologize if there is one out there already please direct me to it.

    It appears that the best way to import media into media composer from my Canon vixia HFM31 is to first import into iMovie, which brings it in as Video standard: "NTSC-30 fps" and Import HD video as: "Full-original size" and then I can export as a Quicktime Movie which I can then import into Media Composer.

    1. Do I make this Quicktime movie without any compression to keep the quality as high as possible?

    2. Is there a compression that would be recomended at this point so that I am not degrading the image?

    3. Or do I import the clips directly into a media composer bin before exporting a Quicktime movie and edit from there?

    What are the best settings that I should have for Media Composer if the end goal is burning a DVD?

    Should FORMAT settings be set to 30i NTSC with aspect ration of 4:3?

    What will be the best import settings?

    1. IMAGE TAB:

         A. IMAGE SIZE ADJUSTMENT: resize image to fit format raster?

         B. FILE PIXEL TO VIDEO MAPPING: 601 sd or 709 HD (16-235)?

         C. FIELD ORDERING IN FILE: Ordered for current format?

         D. ALPHA CHANNEL: Ignore

    2. OMFI/AAF TAB;

         RESOLUTION:  Ask me to set the resolution for each file that is different...

    And then, once the sequence is edited and complete, what will be the best export compression to maintain the highest quality for the finished DVD? Please be as detailed as possible down to SCAN MODE: interlaced or progressive. I have been doing trial and error with a multitude of configurations at every stage and it is driving me crazy. it appears that the highest quality image is when the project was in iMovie and that can't be right.

     

    system: MacPro OS 10.6.7 - Processor is 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon - 6 GB memory - Media Composer 5.0.3 - NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT

     

    Thank you for any help that you can offer.

     

    Curt

     

     

     

     

  • Tue, Apr 5 2011 6:25 PM In reply to

    • hbrock
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Santa Monica, CA
    • Posts 5,541
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    • Moderator: Avid Xpress Pro Mac
      Moderator: MCA Mac
      Moderator: Media Composer Getting Started

    Re: Best settings for Media Composer 5.0.3 on Mac for AVCHD import

    If the clips are not spanned, you can just import them into Media Composer and convert them into a suitable codec.  I'd suggest DV for SD material and DNxHD 1xx for HD.  If the clips are spanned (longer than 2 GB or 12 minutes perhaps), Avid doesn't import Canon spanned clips so you'll need to use another program to convert the AVCHD into something you can import into Media Composer.  Do a search here for alternatives or you can indeed use iMovie which will convert the material into Apple Intermediate and you can bring that material into Media Composer via AMA.

    Get a version of Media Composer at least 5.0.3.5 or higher.  You can find them here on the patch page.

    And specifically in regards to your questions:

     

    1. Do I make this Quicktime movie without any compression to keep the quality as high as possible?

    No.  You'll just be wasting space.  DV for SD, DNx1xx for HD will be more than sufficient.  Note that the files will be substantially larger than the AVCHD sources.  This is because of the different compression methods.

    2. Is there a compression that would be recomended at this point so that I am not degrading the image?

    See #1.

    3. Or do I import the clips directly into a media composer bin before exporting a Quicktime movie and edit from there?

    Get the clips into Media Composer in the formats suggested above.  You can do this by converting outside of Media Composer, when importing AVCHD or by transcoding AMA clips.

    What are the best settings that I should have for Media Composer if the end goal is burning a DVD?  Should FORMAT settings be set to 30i NTSC with aspect ration of 4:3?

    Work in the 30i NTSC project setting for making a DVD.  Use the aspect ratio that corresponds to your project.  Because 4:3 and 16:9 SD projects use the same number of pixels and the flag that indicates this sometimes gets "lost", you might not see the proper aspect ratio when the finished file goes to the DVD authoring program.  You can generally override this in the DVD program if necessary.  If not, just ask when you get close to that stage and we'll chime in.

    What will be the best import settings?

    1. IMAGE TAB:

         A. IMAGE SIZE ADJUSTMENT: resize image to fit format raster?

    Yes.

         B. FILE PIXEL TO VIDEO MAPPING: 601 sd or 709 HD (16-235)?

    Avid works in 601/709.  If your source material looks too dark, set this option to RGB.

         C. FIELD ORDERING IN FILE: Ordered for current format?

    Yes,

         D. ALPHA CHANNEL: Ignore

    Yes.

    2. OMFI/AAF TAB;

         RESOLUTION:  Ask me to set the resolution for each file that is different...

    OMF is for SD formats, MXF/AAF is for HD.  You're not really going to need this for making a DVD.

    And then, once the sequence is edited and complete, what will be the best export compression to maintain the highest quality for the finished DVD? Please be as detailed as possible down to SCAN MODE: interlaced or progressive. I have been doing trial and error with a multitude of configurations at every stage and it is driving me crazy. it appears that the highest quality image is when the project was in iMovie and that can't be right.

    Interlaced or progressive will depend on your source material.  Unless you are shooting in a real progressive format, assume that you're working with interlaced images.  Depending on what program you'll be using for making a DVD you may need to set the export settings to RGB levels as opposed to 601/709.  If you use the same codec for all the clips on your timeline you can simply export a QuickTime reference movie and use that as the source in your DVD authoring program.  For simple DVD encoding, try iDVD and use RGB levels.  If a QuickTime reference movie doesn't seem to work, export a self-contained QuickTime in DV format.

    Do a bit of testing and follow up here if you have any more questions.

    MacPro, MacBook Pro and a Cube (masquerading as a kleenex dispenser). [view my complete system specs]

    Must think of something clever to go here...

  • Sun, Apr 24 2011 7:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Best settings for Media Composer 5.0.3 on Mac for AVCHD import

    When I try to import directly from my Canon Vixia HFM31 I get the direction that I need to activate Dolby AC-3. Is this a viable short cut or a necessary step in importing directly from the Canon to Avid Media Composer. I do not see where I can choose to use DV for SD or DNx1xx for HD?

    Thamks for your help.

     

    Curt

  • Sun, Apr 24 2011 8:21 PM In reply to

    • hbrock
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Santa Monica, CA
    • Posts 5,541
    • Points 64,320
    • Moderator: Avid Xpress Pro Mac
      Moderator: MCA Mac
      Moderator: Media Composer Getting Started

    Re: Best settings for Media Composer 5.0.3 on Mac for AVCHD import

    The Dolby activation is a necessary licensing thing.  It doesn't cost you anything and avoiding it just prolongs that annoying dialog box.

    You choose DV or DNx (depending on what you've set on the Format tab) in the Transcode dialog.  Get all of your clips in a bin via AMA and then select them all and go to the Clip menu and select Transcode.  If you're importing, it's a choice in the import dialog (again, dependent upon what format you've selected).

    MacPro, MacBook Pro and a Cube (masquerading as a kleenex dispenser). [view my complete system specs]

    Must think of something clever to go here...

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