Flip Camera Footage -- Ack!

Posted by starvideo 
Flip Camera Footage -- Ack!
September 23, 2009 06:41PM
A client brought in her masterpiece today that she had shot on her Flip Camera. Oy! Anyway, almost all her clips are H.264. Anyone know what sequence settings I should use? Under sequence settings, I put in H.264 for the QT video settings, but when I go to render, it says, wrong codec and gives me an error.

Anybody have any suggestions? Unfortunately she waited until the last minute to bring me all this stuff. The party where this is to be shown is Friday.

On a related matter, her brother has posted some footage HE wants to include on the Flip Video website. Any clues about how to download that?
Re: Flip Camera Footage -- Ack!
September 23, 2009 06:50PM
Is the stuff from your client closer to being NTSC, or is it closer to being HD? That's question one. Question two is what are you delivering to your client? A Quicktime of a certain format? An NTSC tape? An HD tape? The answer to those two questions will determine what you should convert the source footage to before editing it.

As for the second question ? no. Sorry, can't help you there at all.

Re: Flip Camera Footage -- Ack!
September 23, 2009 07:57PM
Never use those kinds of clips as-is. Convert them to an editing-friendly codec. QuickTime Player, Compressor and MPEG Streamclip can all do this. Check the frame rate, frame size etc of the original clips before you proceed.

Clients have a right to shoot on whatever they like. It's your job to know how to deal with it. Or lose the business by telling them you can't deal with that kind of clip.

Re: Flip Camera Footage -- Ack!
September 23, 2009 07:59PM
Yeah, it really is exactly the same as if a client came to you with a set of (as we've been discussing in another thread) PAL tapes. Before you can work with source material that doesn't conform to your standard, you have to convert that source material to your standard.

Re: Flip Camera Footage -- Ack!
September 23, 2009 08:44PM
Basically throw a ProRes wrapper around it- cauterize the wound.


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Re: Flip Camera Footage -- Ack!
September 23, 2009 10:25PM
I always convert HD Flip cam footage to DVCPRO HD. Works fine for me.
Re: Flip Camera Footage -- Ack!
September 24, 2009 07:59AM
Hey Starvideo

Flip use's for HD 1280X720@30 and it is H.264 and audio is ACC
I got that info from their website.

Videos for their website you may want to try this:

Hope this helps.
Re: Flip Camera Footage -- Ack!
September 24, 2009 10:30AM
Hi, Jeff:

Thanks for your response. I'm not sure I know the answer. Is there a way to tell in FCP?
Re: Flip Camera Footage -- Ack!
September 24, 2009 10:31AM
Thanks, Derek:

That was really helpful
Re: Flip Camera Footage -- Ack!
September 30, 2009 05:59PM
What about size of the original MP4 versus the new ProRes/DVCPro HD/etc.?
I'm gonna be in Afghanistan using the FlipHD as an additional camera and I need to be efficient in my storage space (one years worth of footage). I really don't want to permanently convert the MP4s to a codec 4x the size, but I have to have something thats editable.

Any suggestions on any plan of action?
Re: Flip Camera Footage -- Ack!
September 30, 2009 07:01PM
Are you editing as you shoot? If so, you'll need to convert the files -- and you'll need to keep both the converted files and the MP4 originals, plus backups.

If you're not editing, there's no reason why you can't wait on the conversion.

If you're worried about storage (not an unreasonable concern), and you must start editing while there (also not unreasonable), then I'd suggest doing an offline. You still need to convert the MP4s because they're bad news for editing. But choose a low-data-rate codec like DV NTSC, or even the old Photo JPEG Offline RT standby.

Come up with a system for conversion that results in file names that make sense, so that "09-28 Clip 01 MP4" corresponds to "09-28 Clip 01 PhotoJPEG".

You should prep a copy of a batch-renaming software like R-Name. With that much material and the potential need for an online/offline workflow, you will not want to stick with whatever file names the Flip gives to the clips.

Re: Flip Camera Footage -- Ack!
September 30, 2009 10:34PM
thanks derek! i'll start looking into what you're suggesting. I might go with backing all the MP4s up to Blu-Ray and sticking with DVCProHD for the edit since I'll want to export short videos with a decent codec to YouTube HD. I can't decide whether trashing the projects will come back to haunt me when I go to put something big together after I get back...
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