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Old September 12th, 2007, 07:04 PM   #1
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photo movement strobing in FCE

I'm working on a short project that involves only B&W still portraits dissolving into each other. It was my first project using motion keyframes on the canvas and I was amazed at how easy it was to make some nice slow panning zooms into the photos.

I started with large TIFFs given to me on CD by a commercial photographer. I simply imported the TIFFs, dragged them to the timeline and created my moves.

Everything seemed just great except that after adding motion, dissolves and rendering, I started to notice in the hair, eyebrows, glasses frames and fine details that I could see some sort of strobing artifact. It looked like a horizontal, interlacing issue so I tried applying the video de-interlace filter. This did not help much. Then I tried the video flicker filter which made it quite a bit better but if you look closely, you still see the artifact, even after the sequence was printed to video.

The image looks so great as a still. Why does motion add these defects and what can be done?
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Old September 13th, 2007, 09:52 PM   #2
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One thing I would suggest checking is to make sure all your images are RGB and not CMYK. If you have Photoshop you can do all the conversions there. Also you could try changing your render settings to render in RGB, but only do this if all your material is stills.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 10:10 PM   #3
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This is a common problem with stills. It's rooted in the scaling required to shrink the photo to video frame size. If you can, try pre-shrinking the photo using a photo editing program such as Fireworks or Photoshop before bringing them into FCE. Just make sure you have enough of the image outside the video frame to perform the motion you desire. Something that may help for a pesky one is to apply a slight blur to the image before importing it into FCE. As a last resort, try rotating the photo slightly one way or the other.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 06:07 AM   #4
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Do it in Motion and drop the motion file into FCP. Motions been an awesome tool for that kind of stuff.

Cheers,
Scott
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Old September 15th, 2007, 11:11 AM   #5
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Thanks all for the excellent suggestions

I'll see what works.

Chuck
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Old September 15th, 2007, 12:00 PM   #6
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Deinterlacing the clip after applying that isn't the best way to go.
Instead, make your project deinterlaced to begin with, in the settings.

One trick I noticed--
I had a series of several images fading into each other. Once an image reached 100% opacity, it changed, and was more crisp. This caused a slight jump in the video.
To compensate, I just made the images only fade up to 99% opacity. You can't tell looking at them, and the slight jump is gone.
Not sure if this applies in your case.
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