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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Feb 23, 2010
    Question AVCHD Plan to use Low HDD, CPU and Memory while editting!

    My plan, though I don't know how to do it or if it has already been done is the following:

    1. Archive all the footage on the RAID hdd drive in AVCHD full HD format.
    2. Transcode all the footage to a low res version.
    3. Create my movie timeline using the low res version.
    4. Then export my movie in FULL HD using the original archived footage!

    Is this possible and how can it be done?

    I note it used to possible on tape video cams back in the day in final cut.
    I have searched for ages and cant find an answer.

    I believe this will solve alot of peoples low hdd, low resource problems!

    I have been acumulating footage (weddings, holidays etc) on my Full HD sony AVCHD memory stick for the last 24 months.

    I did own a imac 24inch ( just died) will soon own an imac 27inch i5 processor and a macbook pro 13" and have been storing the video on a dual raid 1TB drive with firewire 800 connection.

    I have access to finalcut (though cant use it very well) and imovie 09 (can use it well)
    I have been waiting on a way to edit the footage efficiently with a small amount of disc space and resources . I have been hoping that native AVCHD would occur which it hasn't.

  2. #2
    AVCHD is not an "editing" format.

    This isn't really my area of expertise, but my understanding is that Final Cut Studio works in exactly the way you describe, using a lower-res and smaller "intermediate" format for your editing which is then applied to the logged HD output.

    You'd probably want to head down to your local megabookshop, find a primer on Final Cut Studio (the current version) and read up on it to be sure it will meet your needs, but as you described it above I think FCS will fit the bill.

    iMovie 09 will not do what you want in this particular case.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Feb 23, 2010
    Thanks mate. Very helpful. I think I will try to get my hands on this primer. I'll try and find a book store that stocks the primers over the next few days and post the results.

    I had played around with the "logging" feature but had only been able to use it to convert the footage to the different formats.

    A few links to primers and information i found below:

    if anyone knowns an exact book that would be good please post.

    Apple - Pro Applications - Training - Courses Editing Techniques with Final Cut Pro (0785342734836): Michael Wohl: Books
    Call Box - High Definition Survival Guide - The Final Cut Studio Workflow for HD Cameras

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Feb 25, 2009
    Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10
    Actually, Chas_m is wrong here.

    When you import and transfer your HD footage into Final Cut it is converted into a highly editable, VERY LARGE HD codec that you will solely use - even when exporting, it won't use the original file to export from, it will use the transcode that Final Cut uses.

    In Final Cut Express (and iMovie) you will use Apple Intermediate Codec. In Final Cut Pro you will use ProRES (which results in significantly larger files than AIC, although you can still use AIC, ProRES is a better option).

    Hard drive storage is dirt cheap these days. I'll admit, once, not terribly long ago, it could get real expensive to get enough storage to do HD editing, but today it's not the same way.

    Could you do what you want? Possibly, using 3rd party programs to do conversions, then taking the EDL out of Final Cut, modifying it to reflect the correct file names, then use some other 3rd party program to apply to the AVCHD masters - of course, if you use any special effects, transitions, etc. you'll loose them as all of those goodies within FCP (or any other tool in the FCS suite) would need to do their work directly to the output which it can't do to AVCHD. But, when it (Final Cut Express/Pro or iMovie) transcodes your AVCHD into what it can edit, all work is applied to a near non-compressed, easily editable format - and once done you can export it and use Compressor (or other transcoder) to convert the AIC/ProRES output into a highly compressed H.264 or other codec for distribution.
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

  5. #5
    Thanks very much for the assist, Nethfel!

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