Final Cut Express HD capture: many clips and flat horrid color - help! at DVinfo.net

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Old August 22nd, 2007, 09:23 PM   #1
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Final Cut Express HD capture: many clips and flat horrid color - help!

I just got my first "successful" capture. I'm on FCP HD express 3.0. Mac 10.4.10

Couple important questions:

1) Instead of giving me one big file on the hardrive as I was hoping, I see 30 different clips of various lenghts from 10mb to 2 GB. all over the place in size. Named : John 1, John 2 etc. My editor want to pick this up right away to start working on this, (in one large clip, not 30 little clips) so I'm waiting to see if anyone here can tell me why this happened. I don't see anything in the preferences that speaks to this bizarre issue. Why did I not get one big big continuous clip?

2) The color is horrendous. Shot on white backdrop, everything looks yellow and flat and lifeless. Yet on the LCD, it's gorgeours. And I know if I played it on TV would be fine. But capturing, and then looking at one of the quicktime clips -- it's just atrocious -- it's like something abou bringing into the computer makes it ugly. What the deal on this? thanks.

3) sometime I see 1% behind camera, what, and why is that? (it went away after awhile.)
thanks! appreciate the help
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 10:32 PM   #2
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1) Your tape has broken timecode, or you have it set to create a new clip at a timecode break. I don't have Express, but Final Cut Pro does have that option.

2) Did you use manual white balance? Try that next time.

3) Not sure what "1% behind the camera" means. Maybe an Express thing?
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 04:16 AM   #3
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NO, did not set it for that, cant even find anything like that. Don't think timecode broken either. Auto white balance works great and it look great on lcd, as well as TV, just not in FCE.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 10:49 AM   #4
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Have you calibrated your monitor? Go into System Preferences, Displays, and click the color tab. You can either try picking a different profile or make a new one by clicking Calibrate...
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 12:29 PM   #5
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Sorry, ED, thought I pointed out using calibrated monitors. But we are still way off base. HOpefully someone who uses FCE a lot will finally jump in and help here. or I gotta get full version.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 01:42 PM   #6
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1-If you're using HDV, HDV always gets broken up into shots upon ingest with FCE or FCP. It has to do with the way FCP handles MPEG. Nothing to be done about it except possibly buy an Intensity, Decklink, or Kona card and digitize via HDMI or component to a different codec.

2-You're using an HC3, right? If things look spiff on an LCD HD set, then the LCD set is lying to you by boosting chroma, enhancing contrast, and rounding off resolution. What you see in FCP is, how should I put it, a more clinical view.

When editing HD with lower end cameras, just get used to the idea that things are always going to look nicer on an external HD set built for HD viewing, whether that's a plasma, LCD, or CRT.

Or put another way, FCP is showing you in vivid detail the HC3's shortcomings.

3-"1% behind camera" in the digitizing window? That means you're digitizing in AIC, and the computer is transcoding to AIC codec on the fly while the tape is rolling. Sometimes the computer falls "behind" in the process and makes a buffer so it can hopefully catch up. The message disappeared when it caught up.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 02:37 PM   #7
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thanks Nate
1) thanks, my editor is just concerned that with many clips it could be stitched, but if there are any dropouts things could look real bad. your solution to digitize via hdmi, is a bit over my head right now, maybe your could put that in laymans terms. isn't this a bit odd all these shots getting broken up? couldn't they have figured that out?

2) Like I said, what I see on the LCD is pretty darn accurate. Its' killer on a TV from camera too. Why it's so horrd in FCP, so flat, yellow, gross I don't get. But if I play from camera to TV look great. (normal old tube TV - pre HD) just like on LCD. in short, great on lcd and external old tube TV, horrid on monitor (calibrated)

3) AIC, I'll take your word on that, I just choose DV from the easy set up drop down, and funny enough, all I get is a window to name the file, thats it, you have to hit play on camera, the "normal' log and catpure window does not appear for HD capturing appearantly.

BTW, I going through this trouble of capturing HD becuase in "future" what few years from now, I may then be able to market this footage on blu ray DVD's etc or even show HD on the web.... do you agree it's best to start our with a HD capture and then output now for current needs, ie normal web codecs and DVDs, or would you just capture standard def, now and then re-capture everything down the road again in HD later? I always like to do it right and do it once, but this is a lot of extra work and storage for a format that may now be upon the masses for quite a while still
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 03:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Carter View Post
1)couldn't they have figured that out?
It has to do with the way MPEG gets written to tape. It was easier to do it this way, and I think some people like it better this way anyway...I know I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Carter View Post
2) Like I said, what I see on the LCD is pretty darn accurate. Its' killer on a TV from camera too. Why it's so horrd in FCP, so flat, yellow, gross I don't get.
That is the issue entirely. The LCD is too accurate. Think of the standard def CRT that it looks great on as "rose-tinted glasses".

LCD has much higher gamut than the camera, therefore what the camera puts out looks pale by comparison. Forgive the analogies to the still world, but the HC3 would be equivalent to the $75 dollar digital still camera on an endcap at BestBuy. A $75,000 Sony F900 would be equivalent to an EOS-1 DS, and look much better on your LCD in FCP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Carter View Post
do you agree it's best to start our with a HD capture and then output now for current needs, ie normal web codecs and DVDs, or would you just capture standard def, now and then re-capture everything down the road again in HD later?
Yes, you should start with HD if you can. The reason, simply put, it oversampling. If you start out with a big image and shrink it later, it will always look better than if you started out small to begin with. In some cameras/post situations, the camera does this for you (say, a $20K Panasonic SDX records to nothing but standard definition, but the CCDs inside are higher res than the tape format it records to) Oversampling IN the camera, as opposed to shooting HD and making SD in your edit (oversampling in post)
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 06:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nate Weaver View Post
1-If you're using HDV, HDV always gets broken up into shots upon ingest with FCE or FCP. It has to do with the way FCP handles MPEG. Nothing to be done about it except possibly buy an Intensity, Decklink, or Kona card and digitize via HDMI or component to a different codec.
This hasn't been my experience while using FCP, Nate. Our shooters went HDV months ago and unless I forget to uncheck the "make new clip on start/stop" check box (which is "on" by default) I can log and batch capture HDV via FW just like I do other formats. Occasionally I'll get a random break where there isn't a TC break in the tape that I chalk up to a quirk of working w/HDV but that's it.


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Old August 23rd, 2007, 06:54 PM   #10
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This hasn't been my experience while using FCP, Nate. Our shooters went HDV months ago and unless I forget to uncheck the "make new clip on start/stop" check box (which is "on" by default) I can log and batch capture HDV via FW just like I do other formats. Occasionally I'll get a random break where there isn't a TC break in the tape that I chalk up to a quirk of working w/HDV but that's it.
Maybe there's some camera out there that writes a stream without GOP breaks, but out of the cameras I've used (HD100, FX-1, V1U), FCP always makes a new clip when digitizing native HDV, whether I have that option on or not.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 07:01 PM   #11
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Maybe there's some camera out there that writes a stream without GOP breaks, but out of the cameras I've used (HD100, FX-1, V1U), FCP always makes a new clip when digitizing native HDV, whether I have that option on or not.
Our guys use Z1U's and V1U's so who knows... just another example of technology making our lives easier. :p


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Old August 24th, 2007, 06:38 PM   #12
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thanks Nate:
so HD is mpeg? standard is not? Why do you like it this way? Wouldn't it be nice to just hand over a long clip to an editor without him having to stitch it together and worry about dropouts between these clips?

Yeah, but Nate, not just LCD, the video looks terrific , as good as the lcd when played back on my TV. (did not understand you anlogy too well sorry) I know you mean well though! Again, if it looks great on lcd and looks great on the TV, shouldn't it look at least almost great on the monitor? It look horrrrrrific on the monitor (as captured by FCE).

Thanks for confirmations on starting with HD. I have to say though, at 15GB for just 35 minutes, which will probably double is size, after making various versions for web, DVD etc. man, I'm really gonna need a ton on terrabytes and that expense will be more than I was hoping for. Dang, hardrive technology and price is lagging.

Lastly, on what Andrew is, saying, again, it's not an issue that I have FCE )express), I ask because I do not see in Express an option --make new clip on start/stop" that I can uncheck.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 01:11 AM   #13
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Again, if it looks great on lcd and looks great on the TV, shouldn't it look at least almost great on the monitor? It look horrrrrrific on the monitor (as captured by FCE).
And again, I'll tell you that it's just the way it is. It's about gamut, resolution, and the fact that consumer sets do a lot of destructive things to make the picture look "better".

Do you think something's broken with your setup? If it looks worse in FCE, I can tell you that's "just the way it is".

That's why, if you concerned about the quality of your images, you need a proper external monitoring setup and not judge your footage on the computer screen (that is, unless you've been doing it for years and know what it's SUPPOSED to look like on a computer monitor)
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Old August 27th, 2007, 08:53 PM   #14
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thanks Nate, you were right. The editor was able to make it look right. just saw first edited clips today. I may need to get better with manual WB and lighting the subject and background more direct as well.
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