How well does the sequencer handle mov files? Question regarding EOS 550D clips

I’m planning on buying a HD camera, and after reading dozens of reviews I have decided that the canon EOS 550D is the best value for money choice I can make:

http://www.canon.co.uk/For_Home/Product_Finder/Cameras/Digital_SLR/EOS_550D/

Needless to say that I will use the sequencer to edit all the clips that I will shoot! :slight_smile: According to the specs mov is the only video format supported! My experiences with quicktime clips in the VSE thus far have been rather disappointing.

So here are my questions to fellow blenderheads:
#1. if you have a similar camera and you use the sequencer for video editing, what are your experiences? How well does the VSE handle the hd move files (with and/or without proxies)?
#2. if you obtain mov clips from other cameras do you import them directly in the sequencer for editing or do you have to convert them to an intermediate format before importing in the VSE?

Quite curious about what you guys think and have to recommend.

All I can say is good luck.
Did you see the announcement that Quicktime is being dropped from Blender?
If you really want to be a video editor, use Final Cut.
Another solution is to buy quicktime pro and convert your MOV files to some other output that Blender can read.

Have you looked at the blog in my sig below? There is a lot of info there for h264 playback (mostly not good), generaly you have to proxy the footage first but then FCP7 must transcode too.

Let us know what you think and have missed.

If you need a free Open Source NLA editor that can handle quicktime you should take a look at Lightworks.
http://www.lightworksbeta.com/

Still transcodes the source for use though.

@MadMesh: Have you actually tried downloading LightWorks? It seems like they have disabled new user sign up and login. There is no way to actually get the program.

Gee, what a promising start!!! :0

Did you see the announcement that Quicktime is being dropped from Blender?
No! When did that happen?

If you really want to be a video editor, use Final Cut.
I don’t want to be a video editor, I just want to use one. And the one I’ve been using for the past 5 years is the sequencer and I hope to keep it that way.

As for FC/FCP thanx for the suggestion I’m not really much of an Apple funboy. The only thing I ever bought from that company was an iphone and that was by far the worst purchase I ever made. Brilliant device and the worst lock-in I’ve ever experienced. Because of that I’ve come to see Apple as more evil than M$! :wink:

Anywayz, I’m on linux and last time I checked FCP was not available on linux so I guess that’s not an option for me.

Moreover, I’ve never used FCP myself so I don’t know how it compares to the sequencer. I’ve watched severals tutorials though and the impression I got is that I could do most of the stuff in the VSE (perhaps with more effort and less grace but oh well…). If I don’t know what I’m talking about here feel free to say so - it’s not my intention to start a debate though.

Btw, I was reading this review the other day and it was very negative:
http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/06/apple-final-cut-pro-x-reviewed-not-ready-for-professionals/
It’s not about FCP but some other lightweight NLE that Apple wants to promote to replace it.

Another solution is to buy quicktime pro and convert your MOV files to some other output that Blender can read.
Interesting. Does quicktime pro covert mov files losslessly? Have you ever actually used it in conjunction with the sequencer?

What a question! I do follow the blog and post comments and questions too (use a different alias though: b.compositor)

There is a lot of info there for h264 playback (mostly not good),
Well I’ve read the post but didn’t realize at the time that it was the same camera!

generaly you have to proxy the footage first

I can live with that if that’s all it takes.
Haven’t checked btw if proxies are back in trunk. That would make life easier.

but then FCP7 must transcode too.

Not a problem since I cannot use FCP on linux! :slight_smile:

Let us know what you think and have missed.

Well, my crappy SD camera records mpeg-2 @10mbps and this is the source material I usually handle.
I tend to avoid quicktime because I get all sorts of problems with it. I don’t really understand why but it usually gives me a hard time (e.g. slow playback, image-audio out of sync, difficult to cut etc).
A few months ago I got several HD quicktime clips from a friend who wanted to make a video. Direct editing in quicktime was so painstakingly slow that I got upset and explored other options. I used ffmpeg to transcode quicktime to DNxHD at a ridiculously high bitrate (about 120 mbps), imported it to the sequencer and edited without problems!!! It was hard to believe that importing huge files would entail smoother editing than the original quicktime ones.

Do you know which intermediate format FCP transcodes to?

Thanx for the suggestion MadMesh. No linux version though! :frowning:
If it is ever ported to linux and the sequencer hasn’t matured enough in the meantime, I might consider it as an option. Right now my hopes are with project mango. I guess that’s the last possibility to see important advances in video editing and compositing.

I wouldn’t be surprised if blender choked a bit trying to edit full high def H264, not unlike some other software. Just convert it to a lossless image sequence in blender and then edit that.

@Richard: my observation is that the sequencer is very sluggish particularly with full HD quicktime files. Lossless image sequences is a failsafe method indeed. It was amazing how easily blender could handle those DNxHD monsters though! I haven’t tested which is faster to convert, DNxHD or losseless img sequences. Will run a few tests with some of the NASA HD clips that I have available on my system.

Btw which NLE software are you implying/referring to?

Hey blendercomp , just to let you know that I own a Canon 500d, I shoot at 720p and have done a lot of work/tests recently using the quicktime footage that comes straight out of the camera in both the Compositor and the sequence editor with no problems other than the human error of trying to be too fast at times. Yes Blender has crashed a couple of times but don’t all packages at some point!!

I highly recommend getting the Canon 550d as it is a great solution for the cost and youtube channels like FreddieW, Corridor Digital and Film Riot all have used this camera and still do in some capacity.

I recently imported some footage I shot against a green screen directly into an image input node and keyed out the background very easily and with good results then added some effects and rendered out to H.264 format and with great results!!

Tom

Sorry tomjelfs, but I cringe at shooting 720 on the 550D, as the aliasing and morie is so savage.

The sluggish playback of course is related to the massive amount of work that decompressing the files produces. As the PC you are using is not designed to do that most efficiently (where the camera is).

And I like frame sequences but I need the audio muxing too. You are best to use a built in proxy function but it is quite there yet (some function but not all).

Actually when I use the VSE I set the View Render Size to Proxy 25% and it cuts the mustard.

As for shooting at 720p that’s just personal preference because my current card speed is only 15 meg and I don’t want to ask to much of it, I’ll upgrade to a 40 meg card to get the best capture speed soon but for the moment I’m happy. I don’t suffer with aliasing that I’m aware of.

Remember all cameras / software do the pretty much the same thing at the end of the day it’s what you do with the tools that matter.

The Canon 5D spits out the same video format as the 500D and loads of professionals use the 5D.

I registered a while back, havent tried to download it recently.

Ok it looks like there are no other 550D owners who edit their shots with blender! Guess FCP is more popular (and sensible) for editing quicktime videos.
I’ve read even more reviews and watched several videos too. My initial impression was re-confirmed. I’ve ordered it and I expect to get it on Monday!
I did some tests with DNxHD using some of the free full HD NASA videos. My laptop can certainly handle these monsters without proxies. More info when I get the camera and do more thorough tests.

Well I do (edit my 550D footage in Blender) but find the editing tools a bit primitive (no proper edit points or clip browsing). The VSE is really good for piecing together animation from 3D scenes, but for larger scale sorting and cutting it’s a bit clumsy. As well as slow, depending on your proxy system or workflow.

I did some tests with DNxHD using some of the free full HD NASA videos. My laptop can certainly handle these monsters without proxies. More info when I get the camera and do more thorough tests.

I gather that DNxHD is a lower compressed format that is designed for editing. While h264 is not designed for post production. I find that I can easily edit frame sequences at full HD, but HDD capacity soon runs low.

3point disk space is a problem with HD video, even more so with lossless img sequences.
DNxHD is an intermediate format with insanely high bitrates (100-200 mbps) which is meant for editing. The cool thing about it is seamless ffmpeg support on linux.

Upside would be that, you can archive all the footage in original format (h264) and it doesn’t use so much space :slight_smile: as long as you can regenerate the proxies later (when you pull it up from archive).