Importing raw video footage

carolinaadi wrote on 12/17/2007, 7:16 PM
I just had a guy film an event this weekend using a very high end camera. He is capturing the raw video into his MAC in Final Cut Pro and saving on an external hard drive that I gave him.

I have a PC with WinXP and use Sony Vegas Movie Studio. Will I be able to just plug the ext. Hard Drive into my computer and import the files?

If so, what format should I tell him to save the raw video footage in?

thank you for your help!


Eugenia wrote on 12/17/2007, 7:51 PM
If the footage is HD, then no, you won't be able to open that on the plain version of Movie Studio. If it's not HD, then he needs to send it to you in uncompressed format in .mov. That's the only lossless format that both applications support I am afraid.

I am part of a similar project recently, I do color grading for a commercial project, and while the film was edited in Final Cut Pro, I use Vegas. The director had to send it to me in uncompressed .mov, because no other format was friendly to vegas and lossless at the same time.

The only way to go around the limitation is for both parties to buy the Cineform codec.
Chienworks wrote on 12/17/2007, 7:56 PM
If it's DV, then a DV .mov file will be the best choice as that will also be lossless, and only take up about 1/8 the drive space that uncompressed would. DV .avi would be even better since that's Vegas' favorite format. Using DV would be very important considering that there will be a 4GB file size limit on that drive. 4GB of DV is about 19 minutes whereas 4GB of uncompressed is only about 2 minutes 14 seconds. That would make for lots and lots of short files.
carolinaadi wrote on 12/17/2007, 8:29 PM
Thank you so much for your response. I have SVM Platinum 8 version. Will this work for the HD? Acutally I think it is semi-HD if there is such a thing.

(Obviously you can tell that I am a novice here)

carolinaadi wrote on 12/17/2007, 8:31 PM
Wow thank you for your response as well. This definitely sounds like the way to go.

The main concern they have is the formatting of the actual external hard drive. He said he did not want the files to get corrupted if the Mac formatted the ext. HD one way and then when I plugged it in my PC using Windows XP that it would not read it.

Should this be a concern?

thanks again!
Eugenia wrote on 12/17/2007, 8:59 PM
Yes, Platinum will work for 1440x1080 files, but not for 1920x1080 (it will force a resize)
Chienworks wrote on 12/18/2007, 12:39 AM
If you format the drive under Windows for FAT32 then both your computer and the Mac will be able to read from it and write to it. FAT32 has a 4GB file size limitation though.
carolinaadi wrote on 12/18/2007, 5:43 AM
Thanks again for your incredible insight. As a novice I am shy to ask but need to:

1. How do I format my new ext. hard drive (300GB) for the FAT32?

2. What do you mean by 4gb limit?

ggrussell wrote on 12/18/2007, 7:51 AM
Cheinworks - at least you finally qualified your mis leading statement in the first post. FAT32 hasn't been used in the PC world in years. WinXP native file system is NTFS which handles files up to 2TB. Yes, that's 2 terabytes!

Read up on PC file systems here:
carolinaadi wrote on 12/18/2007, 7:59 AM
Okay now I am confused. So what does this mean and what would you suggest that I do?

thanks a ton!
Chienworks wrote on 12/18/2007, 10:05 AM
ggrussell: i know all about NTFS. I also know that NTFS write support for Mac is extremely rare, hence knowing that the drive would have to be FAT32 for this project. And, as it turns out, for this and other reasons (some of them bad), FAT32 is still alive and well and used quite often.
Chienworks wrote on 12/18/2007, 10:10 AM
Jeremy, well, the first thing to do is see if the drive is already in FAT32. Many external drives ship with this format so they can be used with Macs or PCs interchangably. Find the icon for the drive in MY Computer, right-mouse-button click on it, and choose properties. It should say either NTFS or FAT32 if the drive is formatted. If you need to format it, right-mouse-button click on it again and choose Format from the popup menu. One of the options in the format process is the file system type. Choose FAT32.


So, if you had anything on there that you want to keep, save it someplace else first.

As ggrussell points out, NTFS allows much huger files. FAT32 can't store a file larger than 4GB (4096MB). It's just the way the two file systems are designed. Back when FAT32 was introduced most files were very tiny compared to what we use today in video editing so there wasn't perceived to be a need for files larger than 4GB.