Saturday, May 30, 2009

Scrolling Playback in the Timeline

FCP doesn't really like to scroll the timeline while you playback footage. And while I wish there was an OPTION for it, I'm okay with it not scrolling at all. It really does save some CPU when you're doing HD muiltclip editing and other CPU intensive tasks as well as increase your bandwidth usage as FCP pulls thumbnails from the footage on the drives to display in the Timeline. We'd probably see a lot more dropped frames if the Timeline scrolled all the time. At least in FCS2 on Leopard.

However, if you have a Mighty Mouse you can scroll with it's trackball while you're playing footage in the Timeline but this will eat up some CPU cycles as well as use a little more bandwidth from your hard drives. But, if a client insists that they see where the playback bar is while you're editing and playing edits, keep your fingers near the Shift and PageDown keys. Shift + PageDown will advance the timeline one "screen" at a time during playback.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

VisualHub Can't Convert .flv Anymore?

A client has handed you (meaning you've used Command + Option + A in Safari to open the Activity Window and downloaded that really cool video from YouTube to email your friends) a .flv that they need in some other format for something or other. Opening it in VLC you see that it's h264/mp4a and VisualHub begets you an error like "Cannot allocate temp picture, check pix fmt"

What do you do? Well, you can try altering the Decoding parameter in VisualHub to be QuickTime or ffmpeg or whatever but your luck will vary. It may just work, or need Perian or may never work. flvs are fussy like that.

Even the power of QuickTime alone won't do it; you need 3x the transcoding power.

A) Install Perian
B) Install MPEG Streamclip.
C) Launch MPEG Streamclip and drag your fussy .flv into it.
D) Export it to H.264 (QuickTime) or the codec of your choice.

See, QuickTime + Perian will PLAY the .flv but when you export it it'll likely be MOS (Mit Out Sound). But, opening it with the power of Perian plus exporting it with the power of MPEG Streamclip will result in a transcoded file with audio.

Yup. You didn't even have to restart :) The only downside is that the resultant file will be 60-70% larger than the original .flv but monkey with the settings in MPEG Streamclip and you can bring that down significantly without very much of a loss in quality at all. The first thing to change is the Data Rate with a lower kbits/s. Also, unless you need really high quality audio, try lowering the audio to 22.050 kHz.

Great, thanks, Mr. Not Bruce, but how do I delete these two apps now?

From Perian's site:

How do I remove Perian?
Open the System Preferences. Select the Perian pane and 'Remove.' Now 'Show All' preference panes, control-click the Perian pane and 'Remove "Perian" Preference Pane.

As for MPEG Streamclip...just drag it to the trash.