So I wanted to do a mashup video for personal usage, meaning scenes cut from downloaded commercial movies or Youtube. This is typically relatively highly compressed h264-material.

The workflow that I attempted, but feel is not optimal, is to:

  1. Remux losslessly to .mov containers and stereo-only audio where applicable
  2. On 2x speed, watch through in QuickTime Player X. Whenever I want to use something, I use the Trim function, Duplicate the trimmed movie, save the duplicate, and then undo the changes in the original and continue.
  3. In FCPX, I import the clips and put them in a project.

The problems in my workflow is, that it would be great with a tool that is more optimal to scan large amount of video (e.g. a full length movie) and mark sections to become clips. Secondly, FCPX frequently crashes when I try to use the clips natively. I have converted some of them to Optimized Media (Prores 422).

Is there a better tool, or a workflow combining tools, that makes it particularly easy to do these types of video mashups?


Not on FCPX, but on Avid. However, this is what I do and it may help:

  1. Download at the maximum possible resolution you can download at.
  2. Use AVIDemux as my rough-cut tool to mark 'A' and 'B' and save as clips with meaningful names. Leave a few seconds on either side.
  3. Import clips into Avid

Sometimes, I have to convert the container to 'MP4' or resample frame rates and AVIDemux handles these well.

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  • For me, FCPX is barely able to handle these MP4-clips. The transcoding just stops, and the program crashes. – RipperDoc Mar 1 '13 at 12:34

Why are you not simply using the video editing package to scrub for clips? My preference has always been to do things in the editing software directly. I'm a Premiere guy not a FCPX guy, but is there any method to form a virtual clip based on given start and end points in FCPX? How powerful is your system if it is crashing trying to scrub H264 files? It sounds like there are some bigger issues going on with your hardware or software. Either that or FCP has really truly fallen off the wagon with X.

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  • Yes, I could, I am able to scrub. Problem is, even all the clips are h264, depending on details in them (presumably, which profile or whether there are errors in frames), FCPX will choke on it and either just give up or crash. Same files play fine in Quicktime. So it looks to me like a software issue. – RipperDoc Mar 2 '13 at 3:52
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    Post your cpu specs, this should not be happening, I really dont like FCPX I would highly recommned getting a free 30-day trial on premiere pro however, if you computer is choking on FCPX I am questioning the computer setup...Yes H264 files are ram intensive...but not that much – Chris James Champeau Mar 3 '13 at 19:17
  • It's a MBP Retina with Quadcore 2.4 Ghz. It plays fine with most out-of-camera H264s but not with highly compressed ones, e.g. what you'd get out from Youtube. – RipperDoc Jun 6 '13 at 7:53

Another option worth exploring would be to use Cineform Studio (http://gopro.com/software-app/cineform-studio) from GoPro.

It allows you to mark clips within a larger movie file, and to individually export the clips as separate .mov files, which can then be imported into your favourite editor.

While Cineform Studio is developed by GoPro, I've found that it works fine on H.264 DSLR video footage. I can't confirm whether it will work for a full-length movie, however.

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  • Good suggestion, will give it a go! – RipperDoc Jun 6 '13 at 7:53

If you search for a tool that has a great performance with h.264 editing. Try Adobe Premiere Pro CS5+ (though CS6 is recommended, it has improved perofrmance with DSLR footage which is basically h.264 for most cameras), you can edit natively with nearly no frame drops even on lower end systems. Though that might be a bit expensive for a hobby solution. If its a one time project the 30 days trial version might be an option.

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