Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Flip video not working with Final Cut Pro

I couple of weeks aog I came across a forum post from someone having problems with Flip video in Final Cut Pro:
When I import either a Flip MP4 file or [opening them in QT and saving as .mov files] the QT .mov file into FCP, FCP will not allow me to play the file in any window. It goes to "general error" or a window that says the format is not compatible with what is specified in the sequence.
First things first, I don't know exactly why it's not working in Final Cut Pro, yet it is in Final Cut Express. In theory the video should work in both, but my first question would be: what version of Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express is being used? If the latest version of Express (4.0) was being used, but an older version of FCP (i.e. 5.0 or 6.0) that might explain it. If they're using the latest version of FCP (7.0), then I am puzzled!

An important thing to note is that when you use QuickTime Player to Save As an MP4 file as a .mov file, what QuickTime Player does is put a .mov wrapper around the MP4 file. It doesn't really do anything else. The video data is still the same, so if your program doesn't like the compressor in the MP4 file, it won't like it in the .mov file.

This probably explains why both the MP4 and .mov don't work. Another thing to note is that H.264 (the compressor the Flip uses) isn't one of Final Cut's favorites. While it *should* work, you usually end up having to rerender sequences all the time and performance is pretty bad.

Recompressing to a different compressor is recommended.

I wrote the above a couple of weeks ago, and never published it, but yesterday I encountered a somewhat similar issue with video captured with a small DXG camcorder belonging to a friend of mine. Somewhat similar; unfortunately, while QuickTime player will open and play it, neither FCP or FCExpress will let you import the file.

QuickTimePlayer displays the Format as: mbarella AVC encode** pasp(clap, whatever that means. (It seems that Ambarella is a company that writes compressors.)

I used MPEG Streamclip to recompress the video to the ProRes codec, which worked just fine. Check out this page, where a guy is using MPEG Steamclip to recompress clips from MP4 to QuickTime using a different compressor: Flip Video and Final Cut Pro Workflow


1 comment:

Zac said...

Hi there,

I have recently been dealing with this issue with the flip video footage in final cut.
The work around I have used is to open the flip video in quicktime and Save As HD720p, which works fine in final cut.