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Old March 4th, 2010, 12:43 PM   #1
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1080P using Streamclip to FCP

I'm having trouble keeping my 5D footage as 1080P after converting from H264 to ProRes in MPEG Streamclip. When I bring the footage into FCP, it sees the footage as 1080i, If I take it into After Effects, it interprets it as 1080P. I don't know another way to tell whether it is actually interlaced or not.

When I edit in FCP, it does not want to work correctly unless my timeline is 1080i.

If I use MPEG Streamclip with the same settings, but select 720P, it works correctly in FCP.

So, I guess my questions is does MPEG Streamclip convert 5D footage to 1080P, or just 1080i?

Settings in MPEG Streamclip are:

Compression: Apple ProRes 422 (tried HQ and LT as well)
Frame Size: 1920x180 (unscaled)
Frame Rate: 30
Frame Blending: unchecked
Better Downscaling: unchecked
Interlaced Scaling: unchecked
Deinterlace Video: unchecked

Field Dominance: Upper Field First (there is no option for progressive)
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Old March 4th, 2010, 03:12 PM   #2
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Do you mean that Final Cut defaults to sequence settings that seem "interlaced"? It would be helpful if you'd post a cap of your sequence settings. For example, this is I think pretty standard for a 5D Mark II timeline, with Frame Size set to HDTV 1080i and Field Dominance set to Upper.
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1080P using Streamclip to FCP-fcp5d.png  
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Old March 4th, 2010, 04:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response Erik.

What I meant was that when I checked Item>Format on the clips, FCP says they are upper field first. That makes them 1080i. I can make it work fine 1080i (with settings that you showed) but I hate interlacing - can't for the life of me figure out why they even created an interlaced version of HD. I'm trying to figure out how to work with the footage as 1080P, as is they way I believe it is shot.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 07:41 PM   #4
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If you import a raw .264 file, Final Cut will also report the Field Dominance as "Upper." Maybe someone with more knowledge can explain why, but this is a known behavior of Final Cut. The footage *is* progressive, not interlaced. As I mentioned, the correct sequence setting is Field Dominance Upper, though the footage itself and the video that you render out is progressive. If you set your sequence field dominance to None, you'll notice a reverse telecine-type effect, that looks like the aliasing has become much worse.

So based on my experience, everything is fine and your footage is progressive, it's just a idiosyncrasy of FCP.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 11:08 PM   #5
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It is actually 1080P footage. For some reason FCP sees it as interlaced, but if you change the field dominance to "none" in your timeline settings you can actually edit in a progressive timeline without having to render.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 12:08 AM   #6
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Ryan, are you sure that setting dominance to none is correct? I've done tests and found that doing so added to the "jaggies" or stair-stepping associated with the aliasing done by the 5D. Or it may be introducing totally separate stair-stepping that just worsens the aliasing.

I used to override FCP and set field dominance to none until reading that this was wrong. Since then I've gone with upper - which FCP selects anyway, probably for a reason - and have noticed better results.

[One strange thing I've noticed is in connection with SmoothCam. If I need to smooth a small chunk of a long clip, my workflow is to export that chunk and re-import it as a new clip. I then apply SmoothCam to just that chunk rather than the entire clip (which could be as long as 12 minutes). Problem is that if I export the timeline using "current settings" - including upper field dominance - the SmoothCam shots are interlaced. So this forces me to deinterlace the entire movie to go to, say, Vimeo. If there are no SmoothCam shots, this isn't a problem as the entire movie is progressive (despite the field dominance). Can't figure this one out.]

It would be great for someone "expert" to weigh in and finally answer this basic question.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #7
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I too can only get FCP to look right with upper field in the sequence settings. It seems strange that this would show in the settings but still actually be 1080P. Especially given that it sees 720P as field dominance none.
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Old March 14th, 2010, 03:14 PM   #8
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I run into this problem with both 1080p footage and 480p footage - if it's a format that the broadcast standard is interlaced, then the footage and sequence defaults to interlaced. When I have this happen, I go into Item>Format and change that dominance to none and then change the sequence as well and all is good. If you just change your sequence it still reads the footage as interlaced and adds jaggies.
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Old March 14th, 2010, 08:50 PM   #9
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Kevin, brilliant. I've just tried this. As you suggest I changed the clips to dominance none in the Final Cut Browser. I created a new sequence with no field dominance. I compared it to the same shot with both the clip and the sequence set to field dominance upper. There was a big improvement in aliasing. Aliasing is still present, but greatly reduced.

A sequence I had edited was in Upper field dominance. Changing the clips themselves did nothing, but if I added the clips (now with no field dominance) I noticed the same improvement.

Thanks!

I'm just curious, am I just very late in finding out about something so fundamental, or is this just widely unknown??
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Old March 15th, 2010, 11:22 AM   #10
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I'm not sure how known it is - I just noticed it was misinterpreting stuff I brought in from After Effects consistently.

Also, changing the clips in the browser doesn't affect what's already on your timeline for some reason - so you have to manually change them in the timeline (or re-insert them).
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Old March 15th, 2010, 01:02 PM   #11
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Yes, I noticed that. You need to select up to 100 clips in the timeline, then go to Item Properties --> Format and change them to "None." Or is there a way to paste this attribute to clips in a sequence?

Thanks again, 5D stuff is looking much nicer now.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 02:35 PM   #12
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I don't know of a way to change multiple clips already on the timeline.

The easiest to me is just to select them all and go to Item Properties>Format and then just scroll along changing each one...
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Old March 15th, 2010, 02:55 PM   #13
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In the browser window itself, select all the clips to be changed and then find the "field dominance" row in the browser and then right click and change to "none". This will change all clips simultaneously.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 03:49 PM   #14
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Yes, but if you'd previously edited a sequence with the Field Dominance set to Upper, changing the clips to None in the browser does not affect the sequence. The clips there will still be Upper. You need to change the clips within your timeline, or replace them with the updated clips.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 08:25 PM   #15
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Just a quick tip guys: if you're using Compressor or a droplet to convert your files or if you use the new EOS E-1 plugin that's coming, choose "Pro Res for Progressive material" as your transcode and everything will come into your browser already set with No Field Dominance.

And you don't have to do anything with the Sequence Settings. As soon as you drop your first Pro Res clip in the timeline it will configure it all correctly and give you the cleanest image.

There is no question that in FCP, using a standard 5D clip in a progressive timeline will show more moire than changing that clip to "None"
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