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GH2 post-production workflows
  • Discussion about GH2 post-production workflows. Biggest challenge is copying media from SD card to computer, name the files, transcode them to editing codec and don't lose any metadata in the process, back-up. What is your workflow for this?

    Main NLE software:
    Avid 6.0
    FCP X
    Premiere Pro 6.0
    Sony Vegas


    I have been working with FCPX for a while now and while it worked fine in the beginning, it really became very slow in a big project till the point of being unusable. I am currently trying out Avid. I have worked with Premiere but I hate it. Bad UI, still weird errors after all those years, cluttered interface, dynamic link has many issues, not many keyboard shortcuts, strange tool behaviour... it is a marketing hype but it sucks. I am on a mac so other tools (Lightworks, Vegas) are out of scope for me now.
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  • If you guys can come up with one or two simple workflow methods for each NLE package, please either add them to the wiki or let me know via PM so I can add them myself.

    I use Vegas Pro 10, and I think it has very good native h.264/mts file support. When dealing with high bit rate recordings, I will sometimes swap my original source files with lower bit rate mpeg-2 MTS proxy files, to make editing more snappy. Here's the gist of proxy editing:

    1. Put all of your source files in a working folder
    2. Use Proxy Stream to batch convert all of the working files to lower bit rate MPEG-2 MTS files in a proxy folder (same resolution and frame rate)
    3. Use Rename-It to make the proxy filenames match the source filenames
    4. When you want to switch between source files and proxy files, save your project and exit Vegas, and then rename the folders to make the source folder or the proxy folder be the working folder.
  • -- there's a mini tutorial on using 5DtoRGB here. GOing to be adding a DaVinci (unfortunately not the lite version, though) and Colorista II workflow as well.

    Add it to the pool and feel free to suggest changes, thoughts or anything else you want to see covered.
  • Why wouldn't the workflow still function on the lite version of DaVinci? I thought the only differences were max resolution, number of GPUs, and built-in noise reduction... nothing to do with import/export?
  • Did they change the amount of nodes that you could use? I haven't looked at it in a while.
  • Nodes are now unlimited in the lite version. :)
  • Cool! Okay then it'll be for any version.
  • *balazer.
    No need for your point 4.
    just in proxystream 1.5 choose the tab switch.

    its for vp9, but works with vegas 10a/b/c/d/e to, i use it in sony vegas pro 10
    in vegas pro 11 it dosen't work (like most scripts..
  • I'm on an avid platform, so importing .mts files couldn't be easier and there aren't the well documented quicktime gamma issues to worry about. My worries are about sequential file numbering over long-form projects where file numbers might run into the thousands, and conforming from offline rez to online rez with no dupe file names. I'm currently wrestling with the manual (having found the file re-numbering function under the 'spanner' menu) but haven't sussed how this works yet. However, i found a post on another forum that mentions a freeware re-numbering utility called ant renumbering, which am currently checking out. I'll re-post once I get some kind of shape sorted out.
  • @mrbill

    Will you renumber the raw .mts? I suppose depending on how you finish it wouldn't make a difference but yes, long form projects and similar names aren't good. IN particular the render files.

    I'll check out ant renumbering, it may be a great way to go before running 5DtoRGB to begin with. Thanks.
  • @kholi - hi and happy new year. I have to bear in mind that although I might cut whatever the project might be on an avid, I need to work out a bulletproof way of handing over to a finishing suite that might not be avid based, and embedding some kind of unique file numbering/metadata that will work for a smoke/flame/baselight grading system (or whatever else) before i import into my nle. So yes, that could well mean renumbering the raw .mts files..

    Exciting, though, that our little GH2 looks like it will be useful for 2k finishing.
  • @mozes, I didn't trust Proxy Stream to be renaming files by itself in an active project, especially since it was written for an older version of Vegas. That's why I was renaming the folders myself. But thanks for letting me know it works.
  • I have been using FCP for the longest time, since version 1 to be exact, but decided to try CS4 2 yrs ago. I now run 2 platforms, but have not upgraded to CS5 because of cost constraints. Lately I been thinking of getting an upgrade to 5.5, cos it's easier to work natively, even though I admit using a transcoder like Rarevision does help in some areas of post, like colour grading.

    How does one do grading on CS5.5? Edit natively, then apply Colourista, but that means you'd be working with 4:2:0. How does one incorporate Da Vinci into this workflow?

    Can't wait for ColourGHear to be released
  • @balazer Does proxy editing really make a difference on Vegas? I was going to try it but was wondering whether it's any better than (say) using a low quality preview instead? Or are there some operations where a proxy works better?
  • @kazuo ColorGHear is out now! Just for 25$.
  • Do other people have V-sync issues in Avid MC 6? When I playback video, the image is not always in sync which creates virtual lines
    This might be done to keep up the framerate while playing back video. I don't have this issue in PP 5.5 or FCPX (I do have it in FCPX if I set playback resolution to lower quality). Just want to know if this is normal behaviour or wrong. I have an iMac 27", 3.4Ghz i7, 2GB ATI GPU, 12GB RAM. Should be good enough!
  • @Mark_the_Harp, yes, proxy files make a difference in Vegas. On my system at least (core 2 quad), there is a slight delay anytime I seek to a different part of the video. It's not that Vegas is slow. It's just that h.264 is complex, and the bit rates are really high. (> 100 Mbps) Things are noticeably snappier when I use ~20 Mbps MPEG-2. Also, it lets me use my laptop to edit files stored over the network.
  • @balazer Thank you - I have one current project that isn't too bad but really ran into problems with lots of stuff where I was using various plugins in a previous project. Next time I get one like that I'll give the proxy thing a go.
  • Hi guys

    I'm wondering if I should be cutting on proxy as well. I've just got a two year old imac core 2 duo with 4GB RAM cutting on FCPX and yeah, it gets frustrating. Would upping the ram and/or switching to proxy do the trick… and then what- you just render it out at the end? That would be after cutting and before grading, correct?
  • @balazer
    what mpeg2 setting do you use for proxies?
  • Guys,

    what are your filenaming conventions? The camera creates 0000.mts 0001.mts... how do you rename your files? I am looking for a good system to organize my footage. I love how that works in FCPX.
  • @sohus I use a PC with Sony Vegas / Adobe Audition.

    You are right that it is very important to have a convention (regardless of the project size, really).

    Thinking of my most recent video-only project, where I had 30 different musical items gathered from three parts of a live concert, using 3 cameras and a 24 track master audio file, once you start editing you run the risk of accidentally deleting an item and / or not finding it unless you have a convention, so here's mine, using that project as an example:

    1. All of the unedited video and audio capture files and the rough master mixdowns for each part of the concert are kept in a set of "captures" folders.

      The 24-track audio rough mixdowns (recorded in Adobe Audition) and their associated multitrack source files were named ""," and and kept with the original 24 audio wav recordings in their own "audio" subfolder of "captures".

      With the camera files imported into the pc I tend to use a naming convention of item / camera person / camera + "raw" (for example caledonia_ali_xha1_raw.mts, which is the item "Caledonia" shot by Ali on my XHA1 camera and it's the raw ingested footage, or part1_gh2_raw0000.mts / part1_gh2_raw0001mts etc, in the case of my long, fixed GH2 shots which ran for the length of each of the three parts of the concert). I name them by hand as there aren't that many of them, and they all sit in a "video" subfolder of "captures"
    2. At a level above the captures folder, I created a word document which had the concert running order and all my camera directions (useful to find your way around the edit) and then created separate folders for each of the 30 or so individual musical items as I started editing each one.
    3. Once editing has commenced on an item, I start an individual folder and all the items associated with that edit (apart from the audio and video captures) go into that folder. For example, the item "Caledonia" will include rendered files (in various states of completeness), audio mixdowns (eg Caledonia.wav) and the individual Adobe Audition audio .ses files (eg which generated the mixdowns, plus the vegas .veg file for that item (eg caledonia.veg). If any item is still "work in progress" I add "WIP" in the filename to alert me to the fact that it's a work in progress, not finished yet.

    For rendered output files I've found it's really useful to incorporate the render settings in the filename. As an example, in the folder for the finished item "Caledonia", the rendered file caledonia_vimeo_25p_8H6A4L_44k1_2pass.m2t will tell me most of what I need to know about the settings I used to create it (ie, that it was destined for Vimeo upload, rendered at 25p, VBR at 8mbps high, 6 Average and 4 Low, with 44.1k audio all in a 2-pass render). In addition, in Sony Vegas I use has the same naming convention for the render preset which created this file, and that has two advantages:

    • If the output file works OK say in Vimeo, then I can apply the render preset to other materials and know roughly that it's going to work just as well, and
    • To name the output files, to save typing the details each time, I just copy the name of the preset and then add the item name to the front and that becomes my output filename.

    All of this make life easier when you have to keep track of a load of different items within one project, all at various stages in the editing process, and it also means you will think twice if you are about to delete something from the "captures" folder.

    Hope that helps to think of some of the issues around file naming and management. It's something I've evolved using my particular platform and software, to keep track of projects.


    This becomes much more important if you have publication assets (web sites / DVD covers / posters etc) associated with your video project. For a REALLY big project, and I'm thinking here of one a few years ago which was a 46-item DVD, a book and a website, you can create an uber-document, ideally an Excel spreadsheet which has links to the different files / assets. You open that and use it as your "way in" to each editing session, by listing on it all the various items and making each into a link so you just click on it to open the video / photoshop / audio project associated with that item. With Excel you can use colours to indicate the readiness of each item (ie red / yellow / green). This becomes a fantastic way of keeping track of a multimedia project which spans several different software programs when the individual items are in various stages of completion (and you can use another worksheet within the same Excel document to keep track of project finances / deadlines / permissions / replication costs etc).
  • +1 for Avid users :)

    i would be VERY happy to be provided with a best workflow for Avid on PC (considering moving to AE or similar for on line)..
    i'm still a bit confused on choosing the best optimal, easy and successfully proven workflow.. (from re-naming to preparing to export from Avid..)

    thanks very much.
  • @brianluce, for proxies in Vegas I use Mainconcept MPEG-2, GOP length=6, b-frames=2, VBR 15/10/2 Mbps, main profile @ high level, MTS, and a resolution and frame rate matching the source files. I don't think the encoding parameters matter so much for proxies, except that using a low bit rate makes video decoding faster, and using a shorter GOP speeds up seeking.
  • @rozoz

    For export (EDL, AAF etc.) the first thing to take care of from the very beginnig is reel naming, clip naming and unique timecode


    • copy your files from your SD cards to folders on your computer

    • choose an appropriate naming for your folders; name the folders as you would name "reels" (for instance by shooting session or whatever)

    • batch rename the MTS files in your folders (00000, 00001, 00002 is not appropriate)

    • create QT files from your MTS files (for instance with "5DtoRGB". On Windows you can convert to DNxHD with 5DtoRGB)

    • buy "qtChange" to modify reel names and timecode of the QT files. You can assign the folder name (or alternatively the clip names) as reel name in batch mode to all clips within a choosen folder. Choose option to assign the shooting time as timecode. Export an *.ALE from qtChange.

    • import the *.ALE into a bin in Avid MC. Ideally name the bin the same as the "reel" (the folder the QT files reside in that is)

    • batch import the clips with appropriate settings

    Your sequences will then contain clips with propper tape-IDs, unique names and unique timecode. This is an essential precondition for export/roundtripping.

  • @towi Excellent Towi, I've been trying to work out a good workflow for my Symphony. Just one question; how do you best suggest batch renaming the original MTS files?