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Old November 23rd, 2007, 02:25 PM   #1
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Quicktime delivery conundrum?

Hi,
Just had a quick scan over the net on these boards but can't immediately find an answer. I have a feeling this is pretty obvious but having never come across this before I'm left stumped...and I've got to hand some tests over very quickly!

I've today attempted to deliver some test footage for a new project to show somebody - it's by no means a 'final cut' but still, it's important to show at this stage.
I shot the footage in HDV 720p25 and exported as a quicktime mov.
The burned disk works fine on my computer (either via FCP or QT pro...) but seemingly not on the clients (both macbook and iMac).
It appears he is running an older version of both QT and Mac OX X (10.4...) and I guess this is where the problem lies (although I'm not sure why exactly I can't play a .mov file here).
Would I be correct in saying the type of codec may explain this? The codec on the mov info states: HDV 720p25, Little Endian..whilst another file I gave him today worked fine (codec: Integer (big Endian), H.264.

We'll both be delivering this to another client in a couple of weeks (most likely end up as web delivered) so I'm trying to ascertain how's best to hand this over.

btw - I exported my original QT mov (HDV footage) as mov to quicktime movie - it's turned out a bit 'youtube' - really soft and blurry.
Whilst typing this I'm coming round to thinking I should've exported a SD timeline (made from the original HDV timeline) instead??

Any guiders on this would be most helpful.
Cheers.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 02:36 PM   #2
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...just reading up...might it be I should in fact be sending this HDV timeline as a Quicktime Conversion...QT movie or Mpeg 4?
I've seen some very good quality QT movies, so I'd like how I can keep the quality as a 'lossless' as possible.
As I'm quicktime converting it appears to be taking a fair amount of time compared to QT export (as HDV codec)?
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 10:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood View Post
Would I be correct in saying the type of codec may explain this?
Hi David.

Does the client's Mac have Final Cut Studio installed on it? If not, I doubt he'd be able to play HDV 720p25 footage. If you want a "safe" codec to play a Quicktime on someone else's computer, H.264 is always a good option. And it wouldn't hurt for him to update his Quicktime application either.

Compressor has a lot of good H.264 options. Maybe even try exporting from Compressor as an HD DVD Quicktime in H.264 (using the HD DVD: H.264 settings). Or, if you are looking at eventual web delivery, export from Compressor with the H.264 LAN settings. Compressor 3 does an amazing job of compressing a web movie using the LAN settings. It's the "opposite" of YouTube quality.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 11:57 PM   #4
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This may not be the best way to do it, but I normally export the timeline out as using the "Photo - JPEG" QT codec. That way I know that they'll be watching it at a very high quality, and I know it will play on all versions of QT. If you film is large, you won't be able to burn it to DVD (as "Photo JPEG" files are quite large), so I normally just bring along a external hard drive for these kinds of things.

Having said all this, I normally work in SD until the final conform. If you're working in HD, then maybe H.264 might be the way to go. Personally though, I'd probably stick with "Photo - JPEG".

I'm sure others will disagree with my methods!

Chris!
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Old November 24th, 2007, 03:40 AM   #5
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Thanks David (hey how are you? finally getting round to using your HDV workarounds you posted many moons ago!) & Chris (both Melbourne!).

I tried a QT conversion last night - the QT file ended up as: Integer (Little Endian), H.264.
Other QT shorts downloaded from the net are often Integer (Big Endian) - is there a major difference between the two?
It's pretty evident that a fair amount of clarity and quality has been lost unfortunately. There are times when you really need a magnifying glass to check for results with different codecs but this is plain obvious. I'd rather the client came round to mine and viewed it in it's natural form especially after telling him how good HDV is! He does have FCS installed but still couldn't play the file.

I'll give the compressor route a go (although I'm running version 2) and also the photo jpeg (it's only 1 1/2 minutes long) and play around till I find the most suitable method. I honestly never thought that only certain QT files could be universally played.
This will most probably end up on the web (alongside DVD copies which isn't a problem) - does Compressor 2 have similarly decent Web/Lan settings?

Thanks once again folks.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 09:25 PM   #6
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Yes, Compressor 2 has the settings for H.264 LAN for a web video.

I'm surprised that the client couldn't play the HDV 720p25 Quicktime. If he has at least FCP 5.1.2 installed then he should have the codec for it (that's when HDV 720p25 was introduced).

If you are losing a fair amount of clarity and quality, there must be something non-optimum with your workflow.

1/ Did you set FCP to the Easy Setup for HDV 720p25?
2/ Did you then capture the footage natively through FCP or did you use DVHSCap to capture the .m2t and then transcode the .m2t into a Quicktime movie with MPEG Streamclip?
3/ When you export the Quicktime, are you leaving it at "Current Settings"?
4/ When you look at the poorer-quality Quicktime in the Quicktime player (after exporting), did you click Window>Movie Properties and then scroll down in the new window, click Video Track and make sure the High Quality box has a check mark in it?

Also, a fast way for your client to see how good the quality of your HDV footage is (without having to come over) would be to capture some footage off the tape as an .m2t file (with DVHSCap) and send the .m2t to the client. He can download the free VLC player and then watch the .m2t on his own computer.

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
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Old November 24th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood View Post
Thanks David (hey how are you? finally getting round to using your HDV workarounds you posted many moons ago!) & Chris (both Melbourne!).

I tried a QT conversion last night - the QT file ended up as: Integer (Little Endian), H.264.
Other QT shorts downloaded from the net are often Integer (Big Endian) - is there a major difference between the two?
It's pretty evident that a fair amount of clarity and quality has been lost unfortunately. There are times when you really need a magnifying glass to check for results with different codecs but this is plain obvious. I'd rather the client came round to mine and viewed it in it's natural form especially after telling him how good HDV is! He does have FCS installed but still couldn't play the file.

I'll give the compressor route a go (although I'm running version 2) and also the photo jpeg (it's only 1 1/2 minutes long) and play around till I find the most suitable method. I honestly never thought that only certain QT files could be universally played.
This will most probably end up on the web (alongside DVD copies which isn't a problem) - does Compressor 2 have similarly decent Web/Lan settings?

Thanks once again folks.
Try this for a small full res demo file.

Use Compressor to create an MPEG2 video file and a AC3 audio file. Bring these files into DVD Studio Pro and make a demo DVD (with or without a menu). But at this point, don't burn a DVD, just make a VideoTS folder. Send this folder to the client with simple instructions on how to view it with their DVD player program in their computer.
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Old November 25th, 2007, 11:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Knaggs View Post
Yes, Compressor 2 has the settings for H.264 LAN for a web video.

I'm surprised that the client couldn't play the HDV 720p25 Quicktime. If he has at least FCP 5.1.2 installed then he should have the codec for it (that's when HDV 720p25 was introduced).

If you are losing a fair amount of clarity and quality, there must be something non-optimum with your workflow.

1/ Did you set FCP to the Easy Setup for HDV 720p25?
2/ Did you then capture the footage natively through FCP or did you use DVHSCap to capture the .m2t and then transcode the .m2t into a Quicktime movie with MPEG Streamclip?
3/ When you export the Quicktime, are you leaving it at "Current Settings"?
4/ When you look at the poorer-quality Quicktime in the Quicktime player (after exporting), did you click Window>Movie Properties and then scroll down in the new window, click Video Track and make sure the High Quality box has a check mark in it?

Also, a fast way for your client to see how good the quality of your HDV footage is (without having to come over) would be to capture some footage off the tape as an .m2t file (with DVHSCap) and send the .m2t to the client. He can download the free VLC player and then watch the .m2t on his own computer.

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
I think he may have a pre HDV compatible version of FCP...he mainly works within design & web rather than video these days.

1 & 2: Yes - FCP easy setup for HDV 720p25 - there were only a few segments I required from the footage so the drop out/missing footage issue wasn't a problem otherwise I would've headed down the DVHScap route.

3: Yes - current settings. The first time I exported as quicktime movie (which ended up with the QT HDV codec). I then exported as QT conversion - Integer (little endian - this is correct for such footage isn't it?) and H.264 - this file had compressed placed within the name...and it's fairly heavy handed compression by the looks of the resulting footage.

4: I remember when you mentioned this to me some time ago - it was a total revelation at the time...couldn't understand (neither could the client at the time) why the camera could produce such soft/blurry results...that tip rescued me is understating it!
Actually this is set to 'high settings' (although turning it on and off has no effect here).

I'll send him the VLC linkie - that's a good idea.
Cheers David...and hope the new government serves you Aussie's well?!?

William - I'll also try your DVD studio pro route...having never tried this before (video TS folder) not quite sure how this works (and how I would explain to him how this would work!) but I'll give it a go.
This is all compounded by the fact that the footage was shot at the last minute under a darkish subway at night (lit only by those garish underground flourescents) - having the gain up and and iris pretty wide open didn't help too much.

Many thanks for the help.
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