Canon C300 H264 to Avid MC8.3 work flow questionsPosted by Zoe Westley on January 15, 2016 at 8:48 pm
Happy new year everyone
I have a technical workflow question that i was hoping someone can help me with.
I am going to be editing a small 5min music video that is being shot on the Canon C300 camera. They will be shooting HD 1920×1080 – not 2K or 4K. my question is what is the best way of converting the H264 footage at 1:1 quality so that i can edit it in avid MC.
I am using Avid MC8.3
Imac retina 5K, 16GB
I want to edit at 1:1 as I need to export an HD QT that will be graded.
(We don’t have time to work offline and conform on this project)
I will export a Same as Source (DNXHD QT) for grading
thanks so much
January 15, 2016 at 8:57 pm
The C300 shoots XDCAM 422 MXF files, not H.264. I work on two shows that use this camera. For one we work in offline quality, but for the other, full resolution. So for that one we AMA Link and then CONSOLIDATE…don’t transcode. XDCAM 422 is a native resolution in Avid…and MXF is the native format, so we consolidate to basically put it into the Avid File Structure, and then edit full resolution.
NOW…when you export for grading, depending on how you do it, you can export an AAF linked and give them the drive and that file, and Resolve will import and work with the footage without converting anything. OR…you can do a Video Mixdown to DNxHD 220 and export SAME AS SOURCE QT for grading. You can’t export SAME AS SOURCE XDCAM, as same as source doesn’t work with GOP formats, and XDCAM is a GOP format.
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January 15, 2016 at 10:22 pm
thanks for your speedy response,massively appreciated
I was under the impression that the Canon C300 creates H264. is it just the compression that is H264 – if so that might be a problem as they are shooting on location and need to upload the rushes to me every night. will the file sizes be massive? it looks like 43mins of shooting(1920×1080 4.2.2) will create approx 23GB off data. Does that sound about right?
on the other side, thats better for me being avid friendly
so workflow wise, i’ve never had much luck with link to AMA and then consolidating. I find the AMA link too slow and sluggish – especially on an iMac. Please can you talk me through the process/options you use – it would be massively appreciated. I’m only working on an iMac for this project, although i anticipate that there won’t be much footage at all.
Exporting as a linked AFF Sounds a great idea, I’ll ask the Grade if they can work with that. alternatively if i do a mix down at Video Mixdown to DNxHD 220 – would that be high enough quality?
thanks so much for your help
January 15, 2016 at 10:38 pm
sorry i should have also said, how i normally link to AMA is
Create bin – File – AMA Link – change file type to Quick time – find the folder on my drive and click open.
I find that working this way can be quite sluggish with large files. Although i have only ever worked withQT this way, maybe XDCAM will be more efficient? is there anything different i should be doing?
January 15, 2016 at 10:50 pm
Canon C300 records an MXF wrapped longGOP MPEG format that comes in three data rates:
25 Mbps (1440×1080) referred to as “thins raster” in Media Composer
35 Mbps (1280×720 and 1920×1080)
50 Mbps (1280×720 and 1920×1080)
Frame rates: 23.99p, 25p, 25i, 20.97p, 19,97i, 50p, 59.94p
8 bit video
4:2:0 in 25 and 25 Mbps modes
4:2:2 in 50 Mbps mode
every 1 hour of middle quality (35Mbps) at 23.976 will be 16.43GB
Higher quality (50Mbps) will be 23.18GB
January 15, 2016 at 10:51 pm
[Zoe Westley] ”
I was under the impression that the Canon C300 creates H264. is it just the compression that is H264″
Nope. It’s the “Canon XF format,” that’s an MPEG-2 variant…XDCAM.
[Zoe Westley] ” if so that might be a problem as they are shooting on location and need to upload the rushes to me every night.”
Might be. Are they compressing it to H.264 and sending it to you? How did you get H.264 into your noggin?
[Zoe Westley] “will the file sizes be massive? it looks like 43mins of shooting(1920×1080 4.2.2) will create approx 23GB off data. Does that sound about right? “
I don’t have access to the raw media at this moment to verify that….I can later tonight, give me a few.
[Zoe Westley] ” i’ve never had much luck with link to AMA and then consolidating. I find the AMA link too slow and sluggish – especially on an iMac”
Sluggish? It’s only sluggish when you PLAY the footage. AMA linking is instantaneous…well, near instantaneous.
[Zoe Westley] “Please can you talk me through the process/options you use – it would be massively appreciated.”
AMA link each card into a separate bin. Once populated (it takes seconds), I highlight all the footage, and in the CLIP menu choose CONSOLIDATE/TRANSCODE. I use the CONSOLIDATE option…set a target drive and let it rip. All that does is copy the media from the backup drive the masters are on to the MEDIA drive I use to edit with. It takes as long as a drag and drop copy would. And you can do it in the background if you have MC7 or higher. Then I take the .new clips and organize those. Pretty straighforward.
If I transcoded, I’d just use the TRANSCODE option and transcode to DNx145 or 175. This will take longer as it’s converting the media, recompressing it. But in a near lossless way.
[Zoe Westley] “alternatively if i do a mix down at Video Mixdown to DNxHD 220 – would that be high enough quality?”
Uhm…yeah. That’s a VERY high end, high data rate codec. A lot of people don’t even go there because the data rate is much higher than the source. Given the source, DNx145 is a good option as well. You REALLY won’t see any loss doing that.
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January 16, 2016 at 10:45 am
Great thanks Michael, I dont know where i got H264 from. But that all sounds great.
January 16, 2016 at 10:50 am
thanks Shane. i’ve just tested this avid AMA linking to some QTs I have, and they seem to play okay, and it doesn’t seem sluggish,, so should be a good workflow. out of interest would i have to transcode, could i just AMA link and edit from there? thanks for the tip.
Sorry it was a long day yesterday i misread DNxHD 220, yes indeed that is super quality. Thank you. will do that.
January 16, 2016 at 10:52 am
i got the H264 because i was under the impression that they could set the camera to H264 or Mpeg video codecs. Looks like i am wrong. either way it seems like straight forward workflow
January 17, 2016 at 11:59 am
I have one last question, there is a possibility that they will be shooting 2K now, and shipping a drive, not uploading, would the workflow be the same? ie: Link to Ama then Consolidate?
January 17, 2016 at 7:41 pm
Workflow will be the same. What is the final delivery of the music video, 1920×1080? If so, then the 2K will be scaled or you will have the ability to so very slight re-composition of the image – but only ever so slight.