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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old July 24th, 2006, 04:08 PM   #1
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Retaining quality in FCP

Ok, I've been shooting on my XL2 for a bit over a year now, and I've had one burning question the entire time:

What settings do I use to retain the full 16:9 (960x480 according to the watchdog) resolution of the chip?

I mean, the footage looks gorgeous when I play the footage back on a tv with forced aspect ratio from the original mini DV tape, but once I capture the footage digitally, it seems to restrict it to a 720x 480 image which needs to have an animorphic squeeze placed on it (thus reducing the resolution to that of a camera that has a regular 4x3 CCD). It still looks nice, but I know the camera can look so much better.

How do I retain the full res image to take advantage of the native 16:9 CCD in my FInal Cut?! I tried using the DV NTSC Anamorphic capture settings, but that just seems to put a squeeze on the viewer and not really affect the capture quality.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 04:20 PM   #2
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Hi Nick, and welcome to DVinfo. The easy answer is that you're already doing everything you can to get the best quality image. You're confusing the resolution of the CCD's in the XL2 with the resolution which is recorded to tape. All DV is 720x480, and your camera downsamples to that size before writing the data to tape. See the following:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=55380
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=29087
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Old July 24th, 2006, 08:23 PM   #3
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Thank you so much Boyd, makes me feel a slight bit less stupid... here I thought I'd been giving my clients less than full quality products!

So, this brings me to my next question. I want to be sure that my footage will play back on all televisions, hopefully without having to do any resizing (like proper DVD's allow) on widescreen televisions. Thus far, I've been editing on a 3:2 NTSC DV timeline which renders the animorphic squeeze into the final image... meaning, that what I print out is already squeezed with letterbox bars, and a portion of the vertical resolution is dedicated now to the black bars, rather than more image data. A widescreen tv requires that I change the aspect ratio until it fills the screen, but I feel I'm losing quality over a timeline that doesn't actually render the bars and allows the TV's wide native aspect to correct the image. I've tried using a 3:2 NTSC DV timeline that recognizes the 16:9 aspect ratio, but does not render the bars onto it, but when I export and burn a DVD, on a 4:3 tv, it will, of course, still be stretched out.

Is there a way to export the video without the anamorphic squeeze, but have the dvd player detect that it is anamorphic and place the squeeze on naturally, or detect that it is a widescreen TV or 4:3? Is this making sense? In short, what is the best way to keep the highest quality, but also have it appear in its correct aspect ratio on all televisions?
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Old July 24th, 2006, 08:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nick Harris
Is there a way to export the video without the anamorphic squeeze, but have the dvd player detect that it is anamorphic and place the squeeze on naturally, or detect that it is a widescreen TV or 4:3? Is this making sense? In short, what is the best way to keep the highest quality, but also have it appear in its correct aspect ratio on all televisions?
You basically keep everything with the anamorphic check box applied all the way through. When you author in DVDSP, there's a setting to tell it that the video asset is anamorphic. When you get ready to create the DVD image, there's an 'anamorphic bit' selection in the properties inspector. Setting that bit when burning the DVD will tell the player how to handle the output when being shown on different tv aspect ratios. Letterbox for 4:3 sets, nothing for 16:9 sets. This is dependent however, on the end user telling their player what type of display is attached. It's usually in some type of video set-up menu on the customer's player.

The only exception to the above is for graphic elements. If you generate graphics in Motion or Livetype, you typically set those for 853X480 resolution to give the correct 16:9 aspect ratio.

-gb-
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Old July 27th, 2006, 10:54 PM   #5
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Effects and mixed framerates

Thanks a lot for the responses, your help has quelled a constant nervous feeling of being shafted by my own lack of knowledge...

I do have another question though. I have recently done some key frame editing in my DP reel. The edits play beautifully on the computer, in both final cut AND quicktime... but when I burn it to dvd, it makes not only the key frame edits play really jittery, but also some clips which are completely unrelated to these edits on the timeline. I know that my burner has been acting up lately, but I feel it's more a problem with my file output, or the toast titanium software itself. I've had some similar problems when attempting to use both 30p and 24p (2:3) footage in a normal 60i timeline. I was under the impression that the 24p was engineered to fit into a 60i timeline... I mean, that is the setting I have to use regardless, so I don't quite understand why 30p or 60i intermixed on a 60i timeline would conflict with 24p on that same timeline. Is this just impossible? Or is there a way around this? I have a mix of clips of varying framerates that I would love to use on the same timeline, and it seems to work fine on a computer, but the DVD players/burners just don't seem to like it.

So, what do I have to do to make these 60i keyframe edits (which I'm assuming the timeline is reading as such, versus the 24p footage it's interpreting as 60i?) fit with the rest of the darn footage?

If it's the software, I use a lacie external DVD burner on a mac G4, and I Don't believe it is compatible with DVD studio pro (or that's what mac would like me to think... although I must say, I might have been duped because I haven't even checked up on this yet!). If anyone else uses Toast to burn their DVD's, is this a problem that persists for you? Really, I only uses the burner to make copies of my reel, so I don't need fancy menus or any of that jazz...
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