Final Cut Express 4

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Final Cut Express 4

Postby gotenks794 » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:06 pm

I'm editing in FCE4 and was wondering how I get the best quality footage to edit. Right now I'm ripping the DVDs into MPEG 4 using handbrake, then converting them to DV using MPEG Streamclip. Is there a way to get any better quality then that?
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Postby DeinReich » Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:24 pm

Unless you can rip the .vobs straight with a program like MacTheRipper, you are pretty out of luck aside from ripping the way you are doing. For the record, though, Final Cut seems to handle H.264 and even DivX/XviD very well in my experience.

If you have Quicktime Pro, though, you may be able to export the disc's .vobs to something like Apple ProRes, which seems to edit very well despite their large file sizes. If you go this route, expect to have your footage eat up a lot of disc space.
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Postby Castor Troy » Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:52 pm

I've been messing with Final Cut Studio (which has Final Cut Pro 6) on my new macbook today.

I ripped a dvd with mactheripper and used ffmpegx to convert one of the vobs into a pretty large video file using the native mac dv codec. I also tried converting the vob with mp4 compression and it came out much smaller with really good quality.

I'm also still messing around with mac compression and it's definitely a HUGE difference from PC editing..
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Postby DeinReich » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:33 am

Castor Troy wrote:I've been messing with Final Cut Studio (which has Final Cut Pro 6) on my new macbook today.

I ripped a dvd with mactheripper and used ffmpegx to convert one of the vobs into a pretty large video file using the native mac dv codec. I also tried converting the vob with mp4 compression and it came out much smaller with really good quality.

I'm also still messing around with mac compression and it's definitely a HUGE difference from PC editing..


The thing is that he is limited to Final Cut Express, though. It's like Photoshop Elements, but with Final Cut. It's more or less a middle ground between iMovie and Final Cut Studio that doesn't have the strong compression tools that FCS has.

Also, MacTheRipper will not rip copy-protected discs, unless there is some sort of workaround that I don't know about (and if there is I would LOVE to hear it).
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Postby gotenks794 » Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:37 am

Wait, FCP can edit mp4?
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Postby Castor Troy » Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:31 am

DeinReich wrote:
Castor Troy wrote:I've been messing with Final Cut Studio (which has Final Cut Pro 6) on my new macbook today.

I ripped a dvd with mactheripper and used ffmpegx to convert one of the vobs into a pretty large video file using the native mac dv codec. I also tried converting the vob with mp4 compression and it came out much smaller with really good quality.

I'm also still messing around with mac compression and it's definitely a HUGE difference from PC editing..


The thing is that he is limited to Final Cut Express, though. It's like Photoshop Elements, but with Final Cut. It's more or less a middle ground between iMovie and Final Cut Studio that doesn't have the strong compression tools that FCS has.

Also, MacTheRipper will not rip copy-protected discs, unless there is some sort of workaround that I don't know about (and if there is I would LOVE to hear it).


Oh really? I do admit that I ripped up a backup disc of something I already had, but never realized that... this definitely won't be good when I have to use my actual discs... :x
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Postby DeinReich » Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:30 pm

Castor Troy wrote:
DeinReich wrote:
Castor Troy wrote:I've been messing with Final Cut Studio (which has Final Cut Pro 6) on my new macbook today.

I ripped a dvd with mactheripper and used ffmpegx to convert one of the vobs into a pretty large video file using the native mac dv codec. I also tried converting the vob with mp4 compression and it came out much smaller with really good quality.

I'm also still messing around with mac compression and it's definitely a HUGE difference from PC editing..


The thing is that he is limited to Final Cut Express, though. It's like Photoshop Elements, but with Final Cut. It's more or less a middle ground between iMovie and Final Cut Studio that doesn't have the strong compression tools that FCS has.

Also, MacTheRipper will not rip copy-protected discs, unless there is some sort of workaround that I don't know about (and if there is I would LOVE to hear it).


Oh really? I do admit that I ripped up a backup disc of something I already had, but never realized that... this definitely won't be good when I have to use my actual discs... :x


Well like I said, If you can get your hands on QT Pro (it's only $30), it has some very strong ripping and compression tools built right in. After all, Final Cut is based on the same engine as Quicktime.
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Postby mahler » Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:29 pm

Final Cut Express edits DV and Apple Intermediate codec. If you import something else (like H.264 or XviD or even ProRes) all it'll do is convert it over to DV or Apple Intermediate codec (this is what the red bar means in your timeline).

Save yourself some time and just convert your footage to DV MOV or DV (using MPEG Streamclip) to start. You're going to end up with essentially DV (or Intermediate Codec) anyway, in the timeline. You won't get the red bar, and scrolling through lots of footage will be smooth. I've tried editing in XviD and H.264—scrolling to just the right spot is slow and torturous, and sometimes Final Cut will crash on you. Also, the quality of DV in particular is really great. Depending on the settings you use for XviD or H.264, maybe not so much.
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Postby mahler » Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:35 pm

gotenks794 wrote:Wait, FCP can edit mp4?

I tried, it crashed. (Meaning, I tried to set up a project with H.264 as the editing codec, but all that happened was that FCP crashed when I tried placing clips in the timeline.) H.264 is compressed; it's not going to work well for editing. All that will happen is either FCP will crash (if you try to set up a project as H.264) or it'll render to DV or something like that. (Whatever your project settings are.)

You're going to have to go with a more editable codec (some flavor of DV, uncompressed, Prores, something like that) for FCP. As I said previously, Final Cut Express is limited to DV (not DVCPRO 50, just DV) and Apple Intermediate Codec. And HD versions of DV, AVCHD. But not all the other various codecs that FCP will accept.
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Postby kmv » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:59 am

DeinReich wrote:Also, MacTheRipper will not rip copy-protected discs, unless there is some sort of workaround that I don't know about (and if there is I would LOVE to hear it).

Are you using v3?
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Postby DeinReich » Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:57 am

No, I haven't. Does it rip right protected discs? I haven't bothered since it is in beta form.
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Postby mahler » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:40 am

I have used Mac The Ripper to rip many protected disks. Never any problems. I hear that some DVDs (like from Sony) have unique protection and that might be a problem, but so far I haven't attempted to rip such disks.
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Postby obh04 » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:42 pm

I use MacTheRipper to rip my anime DVDs. From what I remember I have not had a problem with protection.
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Postby gotenks794 » Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:19 pm

When I try to convert vobs to DV, MPEG streamclip says it needs the MPEG 2 playback component thing. It only costs $20, but is there a free-er way?
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Postby mahler » Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:06 am

No, there is not a free-er way with MPEG Streamclip on the Mac.

You can convert MPEG-2 files to DV by using ffmpegX ($15 shareware), but MPEG Streamclip lets you select just the scenes you want to convert to DV (instead of the whole VOB file). Also, MPEG Streamclip is pretty good about making a DV file which retains its aspect ratio within Final Cut. Meaning, if you select the 16:9 setting, Final Cut will open the DV file as 16:9—you won't have to manually adjust it. I've not been able to get DV files made in ffmpegX to do that.
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