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HMC40 Workflow Help For a Total Newb

skatethefly's picture
Last seen: 5 years 5 months ago
Joined: 03/17/2010 - 4:19am

TOTAL Newbie here. Any help is appreciated.

I'm learning to shoot video for web based purposes and just purchased the Panasonic HMC40. I'm trying to determine the best (most efficient) workflow for the equipment I have at my disposal. I have a MacBook Pro 2.5 GHz Core 2 Duo machine, with 4 gb of RAM. I'm attempting to use Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 for editing.

In trying to edit the .mts files, i've found the playback quality to be really choppy. Is my best option to use the Mac MTS Converter program to convert the files to AVI, mpeg4, or similar first? Then import into Premiere for editing? How does this process work? Is there a better way?

Why was it so easy in iMovie '08 vs. more pro editing programs?


CraftersOfLight's picture
Last seen: 2 months 11 hours ago
Joined: 02/17/2009 - 5:42am
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HMC40 records AVCHD codec. AVCHD is a very processor intensive codec because of its compression format. It is quite possible you don't have enough processor bandwidth to manage it. You could try the different renders you suggested on the same short clip and see which one gives you the best looking playback. Keep in mind each re-rendering takes away a little on the resolutions.

Some of the HMC40s came with a Canopus' Edius Neo 2 Booster editing software from Grass Valley. I have been impressed with the way it is handling the native AVCHD and its ability to scrub very smoothly through the clips forwards and backwards. Maybe give it a try to see if there is any improvement?

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Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

"Keep in mind each re-rendering takes away a little on the resolutions."

If you mean rendering while your editing, that is wrong. Rendering during your edit does not cause your video to lose quality. All you're doing is allowing your computer to do some processing BEFORE playback as opposed to making it do all the processing on the fly during playback.

However, if you mean rendering for output, then yea you're right. But only during export does your video potentially take a hit.

"I just purchased Final Cut and am going to try that."

Since you have FCP, transcode your AVCHD to ProRes (not ProRes HQ). The file sizes are larger, but the video is less demanding because ProRes uses i-frame compression, whereas AVCHD uses Long GOP compression.

pseudosafari's picture
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 01/19/2009 - 2:09am
Plus Member

I had a similar problem, posted before but no replies. Perhaps I'm having the same problem?

I was trying a simple shot, to make a character become invisible. I shot the character on screen using my Sony Handycam HD camera. Then I shot some footage of the set, without the character. In Premiere Pro, I set it up with the character walking across the screen on Track Two. Then in Track One, I have nothing until the part where the character becomes invisible--then I have the set without the character, and at that point I turn the opacity of Track Two down to 33% or so, so you can just barely see the character.In playback, the software starts to lag as soon as the second clip comes in. It plays fine before that. It's only a 9 second clip, so I can't imagine it's eating up too many resources.

I tried switching Track One and Two back and forth, but no difference.

Is this just the way it is in the software? If so, I guess I can live with it, but it makes it hard to edit since the movement of the "invisible" character on the screen is choppy.

I can't imagine my machine is too weak, but FYI: Intel Core 2 Quad, 2.83 GHz, 8 GB RAM DDR2, Vista 64bit Ultimate, NVIDIA Gforce GTS 250 vid card.

Camera is a Sony HDR-CX12--also AVCHD?

Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm


Like I said over and over on this forum, AVCHD (as well as many other consumer HD formats) uses Long GOP compression. This means frames of video are sharing data with one another. This is probably why your computer is choking up. 2 video tracks consisting of Long GOP video? That's a lot of computing that your computer has to do in real time.

Since Adobe hasn't created an intermediate codec like Apple's ProRes or Avid's DNxHD, try converting your footage to DVCProHD first and then try the effect you're going for.