Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Can't we all just be friends?

     So in the spirit of the holidays....

I'm a Mac guy.  I loved FCP, and FCP 7 was just my favorite.  It had everything I needed.
When I heard Apple was going to upgrade it to fully utilize the multi threaded, multi
core Macs, I couldn't wait.  Then came FCP X.  Nothing against it, I was just 
expecting something more like.....well like every other professional editor EVER, 
that's all!  So now I'm in this strange place.  I use FCP 7 a lot still.  I also DO have
FCP X and slowly struggle to learn to use it.  But another editor has also found it's
way onto my system.  Adobe Premiere Pro CS 6.  Really if you are going to get
After Effects and Photoshop anyways.....might as well buy the whole suite.  And
guess what?  Premiere Pro CS 6 is kind of like what I thought 'FCP 8' would be like.
It's not perfect, and there are some annoyances but to me, it's easier to learn than
FCP X as you aren't 'relearning' everything.  You can even bring over the FCP 7 
keyboard shortcuts which is really nice.

OK, so I also shoot a lot with my FS100.  Memory cards are pretty cheap ($33 or so for
a class 10 32 gig SDHC card at Walmart) but I'm not going to archive most of my stuff on
cards, because.....lets face it, I do fairly low budget stuff.  So I have come up with my own
archive system which I will fully describe in another post.  But, it involves transferring 
the video off the cards.  Now if you leave the file and folder system intact, you can 
just load the folder into Premiere Pro CS 6.  But you can't view the video anywhere
but in Premiere Pro!  So if you wanted to just take a look through some folders and
'scan' the video real quick.....you are kind of SOL on a Mac, as the .MTS files are
kind of like the mean kid at school that wouldn't play nice.  Quicktime has no
idea what to do with the .MTS files.  Enter Clipwrap.  It will 'rewrap' these .MTS
files into a nice .mov file.  No transcoding or image degradation, just wraps the
video in a .mov wrapper so you can view them nicely in Quicktime.....which
can be nice if you want to scan through the folders quickly.  However, I found
ANOTHER problem.  These new .MOV files, will work with Quicktime, but
now Quicktime is it's 'bestest friend forever' and Premiere Pro is the one being 
left out!  The files will 'sorta kinda' work in Premiere Pro CS 6, but OMG they are
more sluggish than me at 6am on a Monday!  I'm not running a top of the line system, 
but I have a hyperthreaded Quad Core with 16 gigs of Ram and a CUDA enabled 
Quadro FX4800 video card, so asking for realtime playback of a single video track 
with no effects on it didn't seem too much to ask did it?  Silly kids, I just
needed to figure out how to get them to ALL be friends together!
And of course, being such a BRILLIANT* dude, I figured out the solution.  You see, 
the way I understand it, Quicktime uses old 32 bit code.  Premiere Pro CS 6 doesn't
really like crotchety old guys that  'lived when there were stagecoaches....or dinosaurs'.
So I tried something.  After I 'rewrapped' the clips with ClipWrap to a .mov file,
I changed their extension to .mpg.  Guess what?  Now they hum right along in Premiere
Pro CS 6!  And you can still view them in Quicktime.  Not sure WHY this works, but
you might give it a try if you have a similar problem with ClipWrapped .MOV's 
bogging down CS6.  Now my last problem, was that I had folders and folders of
archived video files with a .mov extension.  Man it was going to take forever
to go through and rename them all to .mpg.  You can only do ONE at a time, and 
it asks you each time if you are SURE you want to change the extension....it's
like it's advising you to cut the red wire and not the blue one!  Seriously, it's not
like I'm going to blow UP something! **
So I made up a  little action in Automator to batch rename EVERY file in a folder from
.mov to .mpg.  It takes less than a second to change 500 or 1000 video files
from .mov to .mpg.  And it's available, free, to all subscribers of my blog 
right here.

All you do, is open the script, then click on the 'Run' button in the upper
right hand corner.  Open the folder full of .mov files.  Click on the top
one, then hit shift and click on the bottom one (or select 'all')  Once you
have all the .mov files selected, click on choose.  POOF!  Now all
your ClipWrap .mov files have been converted to .mpg files that will
play nice with both Premiere Pro AND Quicktime!  Why can't we all
just get along?  I guess maybe now we can......until I find the next strange
problem with my system......

Any questions, let me know!

* Luck may have had a bit to do with it but you didn't hear that from me....

** I mean I don't THINK I'm going to blow anything up by changing some file extensions
from .mov to .mpg.  On second thought, DON'T PRESS THAT BUTTON!
(Just kidding...........you hope........)

Gabe Strong
G-Force Productions
Digital Cinema | Websites | Consulting | Multimedia

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