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collecting ideas to build up a AVCHD - ProRes - Resolve workflow.
  • I had two large project of 3 days shooting each (for me it's large), having shot some hundred clips in CM Intra patch means 300 - 400GB of data for each project. I had no story board as basis for a timeline just rough ideas of my clients so I had to review all the clips and started to work natively in PremierePro to create a story line. I am quite happy with Premiere and native mts files but there was some grading neccessary and I had to hand over the project to a colorist. It doesnt work with mts files.

    I could have converted all files to QT ProRes before starting editing but it's needless to mention that the huge amount of data is hard to deal with and converting is time consuming too. How could I do it better next time?

  • 40 Replies sorted by
  • @peaceonearth - All is still not lost! Check out my workflow!

    1. Edit native .MTS
    2. Apply gamma fix to all clips
    3. Try to keep your entire edit on one track, if not, collapse your final edit across the multiple tracks down to one track and export an edl. (Optional)
    4. Export the entire sequence in either ProRes 444 or DNxHD with maxed setting.
    5. Import the rendered sequence using the EDL you created. If you didn't export an EDL, tediously go through the project and use the Scene Cut Detection tool in Resolve to cut up your large clip into small clips.
    6. Grade away!
    7. Export from Resolve as ProRes 444 again and bring this file either back into Premiere or Export the audio separately from Premiere (I've had issues with DaVinci messing up my audio) and pair the ProRes 444 file up with the audio in Quicktime Pro 7. Export to necessary delivery codec.
  • @artiswar thanks so much! I will try it immediately. Do you think ProRes 444 is necessary? I normally convert to 422 HQ.

  • @peaceonearth - I only use 444 so its as lossless as possible. The above workflow has a lot of encoding steps and I really try to limit the degradation each time.

  • Since we're in idea collecting mode, FFMBC will convert all your source files to ProRes too - and fast!

  • @goanna thanks for this hint, but unfortunantelly I don't understand how to handle this encoder

    @artiswar first try failed, scene detection splitted single clips. I will try again but I see a handicap of grading exported sequences: if you have to change sth in your sequence you have to back to the NLE, export again and start grading again from the beginning.

  • @peaceonearth

    Since you'll probably just be making repeated use of one batch command string, it should be easy enough once you can get someone to install it for you.

  • In case you are not so good in command line check this out:

    Its a GUI for ffmbc and other command line based transcoders.

  • @Meierhans thanks for this link. "In case you are not so good " -> I am at zero with this.

    Are you using this encoder? How's the quality?

  • @peaceonearth You don't have to use ProRes in the newest update of Resolve 9. You can use Cineform MOV instead if you prefer.

    If you transcode at the very start of the project (before you start editing) you will have a lot easier time down the line and can take advantage of things like using FCP XML to export the multi-track session into Resolve (or from Premiere to FCP to Resolve if there are any issues with the FCP XML in the Premiere version you use).

    The EDL method does not work well at all on the projects I do because they often use several layers and predominantly use fades rather than hard cuts.

  • @thepalalias Is there an advantage of using Cineform MOV instead of ProRes? Coming from FCP7 it was almost ProRes for me.

    There a two handicaps with conforming all files to another format: it takes a lot of storage space which I don't have when I am shooting on location with my MacBookPro. It takes too much time.

    Last time I went through the clips in Adobe Bridge immediately after the shooting with my client and we put them quick and dirty in a timeline. That was perfect for me beause it saved a lot of time in editing - but I lost more time after because at home I had to pick the selected files, convert them to ProRes, set the same in and out points and replaced them in Premiere "replace with clip" This was really stupid & boring..

  • Another GUI is not an encoder itself, but a gui to use ffmbc. You basicly put ffmbc.exe in the right place once, then you can choose.from a multitude of presets, includibg Prores. The program takes away to remember command line paramaters from you amd allow batch processing.

    The quality is as good ffmbc (bc=broadcast).

  • @peaceonearth

    PV member @notrons also made a very user-friendly GUI for FFmbc. Maybe if we all ask him to include one more ProRes preset for his DSLR Post Prep application?

  • @goanna thanks again - but I see at it's a WIN workflow. I am on a Mac.

  • @peaceonearth

    Yes, I use FFmbc on Linux and only in command-line mode. Lots to explore. FFmbc also works on Mac OS command line.

    However - the sort of thing you might find useful would be an older, separate machine as a mini render-farm!

  • See Building FFMBC/FFMPEG on Mac OS X Lion:

    FFMBC is a version of FFMPEG that came out of the lab at the BBC. It’s designed for Linux, so it takes some extra effort to build it on Mac OS X.

    (That's why I say to get somebody to help you install it. Then you're away).

    BTW, I think @artiswar 's workflow is clever. Just collecting ideas here, after all.

  • The workflow that @artiswar is using reminds me a little bit of the workflow Walter Biscardi mentioned in his article on the difficulties moving from FCP 7 to CS6.

  • thanks to @nomad I wil try this:

    • first buy some more SD Cards to get the whole project on cards without formating during shooting
    • copy mts to the computer, rename them in Adobe Bridge to avoid same names from different cards
    • rewrap them to MOV and delete mts from computer (save storage)
    • start editing in Premiere
    • if neccesary to work with Resolve and ProRes: convert to and replace in Premiere's source folder, export XML to resolve
  • I have looked into writing ffmbc frontend code for Mac but have not had time to wrap my head around the Mac programming environment so have made little progress - however, if I see enough interest I think can create a menu-driven interface for ffmbc on Mac (text-based prompts, no GUI) which should provide the same functions as AWU (see below). Would this be of any value to anyone?

    For Windows users I have created a new tool designed for working with professional workflows - AWU - which automatically converts AVCHD to ProRes 422 or 444 (as well as DNxHD 1080P), derives Time-Of-Day timecode from the original files and embeds Reel Name and timecode into the conversions. It also creates half-size low-rez proxies (if desired) which contain the same timecode and reel name (with the same filename) as the HQ version for easier editing. You can then easily link in the HQ files for your final render. It is also powered by ffmbc so quality remains broadcast-quality and predictable. Transcode all of your working files just one time, then work with EDL/XML exports & imports - render only when ready for final output. Check it out at

  • @notrons: Sounds like a great tool! How did you get ProRes encoding on the PC?

    @peaceonearth: "rewrap them to MOV and delete mts from computer (save storage)" Why not keep the .MTS files for backup? You should have a backup on a physically separated medium anyway. Maybe I'm overcautious, but something can go wrong in ANY stage of a workflow. I'd never delete my original files before I've seen every single frame of the re-wrapped stuff. I assume that your work is worth more than another cheap drive…

  • I usually convert everything to prores422 hq via 5dtorgb, and then cut prores, save mts for backup... But I see that there are more efficient solutions.

  • awu without a gui for mac? super!

  • @nomad the plan is to keep all mts files on SD cards until I have seen all files on the computer. I made already bad experience with stored files on the MacBookPro and reformated SD cards. Corrupt RAM damaged files when I copied them from SD cards to my MacBookPro. I did not realize it as in this case I had to be present on the set and had no time to review them in detail during the day.

    @inqb8tr as I mentioned it's a question of time and storage if you have lot of files and hundreds of GB. All-I patch produces a lot of data. ProRes HQ will double it.

  • Clipwrap is my solution, but it doesn't work well for all formats (see older discussions here in the forum). I use it mainly for PAL. If I encounter problems, I convert such files to ProRes. Both Premiere and Resolve can handle mixed timelines quite well.

  • @nomad

    I have looked into writing ffmbc frontend code for Mac

    @notrons is using ffmbc. The existing GUI for FFmbc is written for a Microsoft .net environment and not easily adapted to Mac. However, his AWU might be easier.

  • No kidding, your typical FFmbc AVCHD>ProRes workflow can go like this, (all without any GUI):

    • You return from a shoot. Standing up, coffee in one hand, you place the SD card in your computer.
    • You click on the icon to open a command line window;
    • You tap on the UP button until you see the last-used command. (Probably just one tap)
    • You press RETURN
    • You watch rapidly scrolling text on your screen, noting there is nothing saying "FAIL"
    • After finishing your coffee, making some phone calls, you return, open your computer's ProRes destination folder and confirm your files have converted OK