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BD to FCPX Workflow?
#1
Assuming I have a BD reader already (see separate thread), can someone advise on software for ripping a BD on the Mac?

i have heard that makemkv can successfully rip BDs on the Mac. There's also DVDFab software but I'm not sure which version would apply.

I already have software that can extract components from a Mkv file. I think I also have software that can convert DTS to AC3 but I'm not 100% sure on that.

I also am well versed with using mpegstreamclip, which I still use even though it is only single threaded and slow, mostly because it is very reliable and works.

Essentially what I have found works best for FCPX is to create a QuickTime mov file that has prores video and 5 aiff audio streams which are assigned to each appropriate channel. The resulting file (which I create using QuickTime Pro) imports perfectly into FCPX.

so I guess I'm asking, what software do I need to get the files off the BD and into either:
(1) FCPX directly, or
(2) a format that mpegstreamclip can read

thanks for any help or advice anyone can provide!
[size=xx-small]COMPLETED: STAR WARS: Ep I - Return of the Sith RE , Ep II - Army of the Republic | The Abyss: Revisited Edition
IN PROGRESS: Weekend Pass (Rachel Getting Married) | Tales From Doctor Who: Out of Time
PLANNED: Star Wars Ep III - Fall to the Dark Side | Titanic - Revisited Edition | The Caretaker (The Shining) | The Bourne Experiment (The Bourne Trilogy)[/size]
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#2
Ok, so gleaning from other threads, it seems both Q2 and L8 (the gods of editing!) use PavTube. I'm not sure if either one of them use FCPX though, which has its own idiosyncracies as compared to FCP7 in what formats it likes to work with and how they are structured, so I will have to investigate and report back.

In the meantime, if anyone out there is using FCPX and ripping from BD, can you chime in about your ripping workflow and how you get the material into FCPX?

Thanks!
[size=xx-small]COMPLETED: STAR WARS: Ep I - Return of the Sith RE , Ep II - Army of the Republic | The Abyss: Revisited Edition
IN PROGRESS: Weekend Pass (Rachel Getting Married) | Tales From Doctor Who: Out of Time
PLANNED: Star Wars Ep III - Fall to the Dark Side | Titanic - Revisited Edition | The Caretaker (The Shining) | The Bourne Experiment (The Bourne Trilogy)[/size]
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#3
Quick update - I have tested makemkv out. It is currently free, and will remain free until it is out of beta. Apparently it has been in beta quite a while, and there is no set date yet for when it will be out of beta. You need to visit the forums periodically to get a new activation key for the software, but beyond that, it is fully functional, and from reports on the forum, most people wonder why it is still in beta (e.g., it is pretty reliable).

makemkv has two options:
(1) Complete 1:1 copy of the BD disc. It will write the full disc to a folder of your choosing on your hard drive.

This option is most probably most useful for people who want to back up their discs and/or watch the discs on their Mac using VLC (which has limited capabilities regarding dealing with removing encryption/protection).

(2) Creation of a MKV file that contains a specific title of your choosing, plus any number of audio/subtitle tracks that go with it. There is NO loss of quality -- it is just repackaged into a mkv file.

This is the best choice if you plan on ripping a BD to use in editing software. However, your next challenge is what to do with the MKV file (which will contain an h264 file and a DTS file, most probably).

ok, so now we have a mkv file. Macs usually don't play well with the mkv container without extra help, since apple prefers the .mov (e.g., quicktime) container. I will now describe how you can successfully work with mkv on the mac to get the data out, into the format which FCPX can deal with.

It's best to handle the video and audio components separately, then combine them together at the end (at least, that's how I've been doing it).

Audio
First we need to extract the DTS file and convert it to AC3.
(1) To extract the DTS file from the mkv container, I use a free application called iMkvExtract. It isn't pretty and I don't know how long it will remain functional as I don't think it is still in development, but it's simple and it works.
(a) start up the application and open the mkv file. It should show you the contents.
(b) only select the DTS file (unselect the other files if they are selected)
© Extract the file by clicking the "Extract" button. Note that the UI is partially in french, and the completion message is in french.
(d) Go to where you extracted the file; the file will be named something like audio1.???. Change the .??? to .dts
(2) To convert the DTS file to an AC3 file, I use the trial version of an application called Moyea HD Video Converter. Even though it is a trial version, it will provide full functionality when converting audio files.
(a) Open the DTS file you just extracted and renamed
(b) select the format to be "AC3"
© click settings, and make sure to choose 6 channels, 48000 SampleRate, and 448000 bitrate
(d) click the Apple in the lower right hand corner to convert. It will take a few minutes to complete.

Now you have an AC3 file successfully extracted! The next step is to convert this AC3 file into uncompressed audio files, which is the format FCPX accepts. To do this, I use a free tool called MPEG StreamClip. For my editing purposes, I like to work with 5.1 sound in FCPX using 2 stereo channels (L/R and LS/LR) and 2 mono channels (Center and LFE). You may find a different setup more to your liking; feel free to play with the options in MPEG Streamclip if so. But here's how I use MPEG Streamclip to extract 4 audio files that correspond to the aforementioned surround sound channels:
(1) Open the AC3 file in MPEG Streamclip. NOTE: you will first have to change the dropdown box at the bottom of the "open file" dialog box from "video files" to "audio files" in order to see your AC3 file. Just a quirk of MPEG Streamclip.
(2) Once you have opened the file, you will be doing an "Export to Audio" command 4 times. Each time you will need to first select what channel or channels you want to export, and then perform the command. The export will be an AIFF file, which is the uncompressed format that can be imported into FCPX directly, or combined into a quicktime (mov) file first (which is what I do...see a later step!)
(3a) To export the first audio file, select from the Audio Mode drop box the choice that corresponds to the "L/R Channels"
(3b) From the "File" menu, choose Export Audio...
(3c) Confirm the settings are: Format = "AIFF"; Channels = "Stereo"; Sample Rate = 48 Khz
(3d) Click Ok, and save the file. The export will take a few minutes.
(4a) To export the second audio file, select from the Audio Mode drop box the choice that corresponds to the "Center Channel"
(4b) From the "File" menu, choose Export Audio...
(4c) Confirm the settings are: Format = "AIFF"; Channels = "Mono"; Sample Rate = 48 Khz
(4d) Click Ok, and save the file. The export will take a few minutes.
(5a) To export the first audio file, select from the Audio Mode drop box the choice that corresponds to the "LFE Channel"
(5b) From the "File" menu, choose Export Audio...
(5c) Confirm the settings are: Format = "AIFF"; Channels = "Mono"; Sample Rate = 48 Khz
(5d) Click Ok, and save the file. The export will take a few minutes.
(6a) To export the first audio file, select from the Audio Mode drop box the choice that corresponds to the "LS/RS Channels"
(6b) From the "File" menu, choose Export Audio...
(6c) Confirm the settings are: Format = "AIFF"; Channels = "Stereo"; Sample Rate = 48 Khz
(6d) Click Ok, and save the file. The export will take a few minutes.

You should now have your audio fully extracted in 4 uncompressed AIFF files, corresponding to the different surround channels (with the front and back surround paired together in stereo. Note that these can be split apart inside FCPX if you so desire).

Time to switch to Video!

Video
Like I mentioned before, the Mac doesn't do very well with mkv files. So we need to get the video out of the mkv file and into a quicktime container, while also transcoding the h264 into something that FCPX can work with efficiently. That happens to be the prores codec. Now, there are a couple options for doing this (at least in a free manner). The aforementioned MPEG Streamclip can in fact transcode the mkv video into prores, but it is VERY slow. You might also need to install a quicktime plugin called "perian" first (this is also free and basically lets you open mkv and many other types of files directly in the quicktime player and other applications that leverage the quicktime technology).
The other option, which I just recently came across and is also free (but much, much faster), is to use ffmpeg. This is an amazing tool, and it can probably do a lot of what I described above with audio as well. But for now, I am only going to describe using it for extracting the video, transcoding it to prores, and saving it into a quicktime (mov) container.
NOTE: ffmpeg requires the use of the command line. It's well worth it though!
(1) If you don't already have it, you can obtain a pre-compiled version of ffmpeg, you can get it here:
http://ffmpegmac.net/
(2) once installed, you just need to choose which "flavor" of prores you want to use; prores 422, or prores 422 (LT). The latter will end up being about 2/3 the size of the former, while being visually identical to the former and can handle about 10 generations of saving (which you most probably won't be doing) before possibly showing some degradation. In most cases, I recommend using the LT version of prores, but you can do your own research to decide what's best for you. Anyway, I'll show you both commands.
(3) To convert to prores 422 (LT), use the following command (the mkv file you created earlier is the input file)
ffmpeg -i infile.mkv -vcodec prores -profile:v 1 -an -vendor ap10 -threads 0 outfile_video.mov
OR, for prores 422:
ffmpeg -i infile.mkv -vcodec prores -profile:v 2 -an -vendor ap10 -threads 0 outfile_video.mov

Here's what the non-obvious switches mean/do:
-an = no audio. we are only dealing with the video component right now, as we already took care of the audio earlier, remember?
-vendor ap10 = sets the output file to have a code that makes applications think apples own encoder created the file. This might make things easier when importing it into applications such as FCP.
-threads 0 = ensures ffmpeg will use all your processors.

This step will take a while, but you will see a status as it progresses.

Once it completes you now have a video file transcoded into prores that can be imported directly into FCPX! However, you might want to first combine it with the audio (though you can also do this inside FCP if you want.) I prefer to combine it outside of FCP, and then split it into multiple files, as I have found this the best way to work with material in FCPX. Splitting up the file isn't necessary for FCP7 though.

Importing into FCP(x)
As I said earlier, you should be able to import all the audio and video files generated directly into FCP7/x. You can then combine them together within the application itself. However, if you have a tool that can combine them externally, and also split them into smaller files, that is really the best way to go. I use Quicktime 7 Pro, an older tool that did cost some money. There might be other tools available to do this, but for now, I will only cover my own workflow.

Combining the Audio and Video with Quicktime 7 Pro
(1) Open all 5 files (the 4 audio files and the 1 video file) with Quicktime 7 Pro.
(2) What you are going to do is basically copy and paste each audio file into the video file. It is very important to do it in a specific order, and also after you to paste it using the correct command ("Add to Movie"). Finally, it's important to move the location of the player in the video file back to the very start of the file, so when you add the next audio file, it starts at the beginning of the movie instead of extending the movie (which would cause a mess!).
(3) The order which you must add the audio files is:
(a) L/R
(b) C
© LFE
(d) LS/LR
<more explanation to come>
(4) After you are done adding each of the files to the video file, select the video file and go to the movie properties screen (command-J).
(5) Click on the Audio tab. What you need to do is assign the audio files you added to the proper channels.
<more explanation to come>
(6) Finally, "Save As" a new file (fully contained, NOT a reference file!).
<more explanation to come>
(7) Optionally (and for FCPX I highly recommend this!), instead of step 7, or as a step after that if you want to be extra safe and have plenty of hard drive space, you should split the one large file into several smaller ones. I usually split them into about 10 minute chunks, which seems to work well with FCPX.
<more explanation to come>

Now you have one or more .mov files that have the surround sound and the video in the format which FCPX readily accepts! You can now just import it into a new event in FCPX, either by drag-and-drop or by the Import files command.

I will expand the above sections as I get time, and also fix errors that I might have made.
[size=xx-small]COMPLETED: STAR WARS: Ep I - Return of the Sith RE , Ep II - Army of the Republic | The Abyss: Revisited Edition
IN PROGRESS: Weekend Pass (Rachel Getting Married) | Tales From Doctor Who: Out of Time
PLANNED: Star Wars Ep III - Fall to the Dark Side | Titanic - Revisited Edition | The Caretaker (The Shining) | The Bourne Experiment (The Bourne Trilogy)[/size]
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#4
Hey seciors. This has been an incredibly useful thread for mapping out my workflow so far! Thanks for compiling this info.

I wonder if you could expand on this stuff:

Quote:Combining the Audio and Video with Quicktime 7 Pro
(1) Open all 5 files (the 4 audio files and the 1 video file) with Quicktime 7 Pro.
(2) What you are going to do is basically copy and paste each audio file into the video file. It is very important to do it in a specific order, and also after you to paste it using the correct command ("Add to Movie"). Finally, it's important to move the location of the player in the video file back to the very start of the file, so when you add the next audio file, it starts at the beginning of the movie instead of extending the movie (which would cause a mess!).
(3) The order which you must add the audio files is:
(a) L/R
(b) C
© LFE
(d) LS/LR
<more explanation to come>
(4) After you are done adding each of the files to the video file, select the video file and go to the movie properties screen (command-J).
(5) Click on the Audio tab. What you need to do is assign the audio files you added to the proper channels.
<more explanation to come>
(6) Finally, "Save As" a new file (fully contained, NOT a reference file!).
<more explanation to come>
(7) Optionally (and for FCPX I highly recommend this!), instead of step 7, or as a step after that if you want to be extra safe and have plenty of hard drive space, you should split the one large file into several smaller ones. I usually split them into about 10 minute chunks, which seems to work well with FCPX.
<more explanation to come>

- particularly the areas where you've indicated more explanation to come.

I've managed to find instructions online for how to add audio to video in Quicktime Pro 7, but I've stopped short of trying to assign the audio files to the proper channels. I imagine I could find instructions for this task elsewhere or just figure it out myself, but your instructions have worked like a charm so far and I'd like to follow them as closely as possible. Can you assist here, seciors?

If for whatever reason you don't happen to see this message, I will probably PM you. Thanks again.
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