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Old January 3rd, 2008, 02:28 AM   #1
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What in the world is causing this text error during export?

I can't wrap my head around this one. I'm using FCP 5.1. I open a project from maybe 8 months ago, export using Compressor to a H.264 Quicktime, and some of my text gets stretched around and moved. 8 months ago when I originally finished the project, I exported to many different formats, including the same H.264 QT preset, all with no problems. Today, an HDV export gives me no problems, but an H.264 export leaves me with the stretched out text:


It's the same version of Final Cut Pro (5.1) that I originally created it on, and it's not a Leopard issue either, as I've had this problem since Tiger. I even deleted the titles and re-did them, and still the problem remains. Is it possible that my project file is corrupt? Any other ideas?
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 03:40 AM   #2
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That's a strange one, i can't imagine what could be causing it! I'm amazed it happens even after deleting the text. Could it be somehow that your text is somehow working off a different aspect ratio? Long shot i know but it's the only thing that comes to mind.

Why don't you get your H.264 compression by importing your other full resolution HD export into compressor, instead of compressing straight from FCP. At least then you know you're not going to get that problem.

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Old January 3rd, 2008, 09:35 AM   #3
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I don't know what would cause this specifically, but I have a few workaround suggestions:

As Neil said, why not just have compressor work off your successful HDV output? You really won't lose any quality, and this frees up FCP to do more work while Compressor is chugging away on the H.264 version. You could even try exporting as a by-reference movie (that is, uncheck the make self-contained checkbox in the export dialog) if you don't want to have a full-size HDV export taking up your drive space.

Also, try doing a "Sequence>Render All" before the export to Compressor. FCP can have wonky errors like this if you haven't pre-rendered your composites. It's just always a good rule of thumb to render everything before export.

As a last resort, you could pre-build your text and balloon in a pre-composed sequence, then bring that into your main sequence. That way, FCP treats the text and balloon as a single layer. You could probably just cut the layers from you current sequence, then paste them into the new Sequence, then lay that back onto your original sequence like a clip. Kind of a pain, I know, but it might change the way FCP looks at the rendering pipeline.

If you could describe precisely what the output should look like (or better yet, give us a screenshot of the correct shot), maybe we can delve deeper into this problem. by your photo, it looks like either the aspect ratio could have changed on just the text layer, the size could have bumped up, or the line spacing could have increased for some unknown reason. I'd be interested to compare.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 09:37 AM   #4
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Was this text created using Final Cut's text generator? I don't know what's going on there, but I've seen the same problem that you describe. I don't know how to fix it in FCP - what I do as a workaround, whenever exact text placement is important, is make the text a bitmap image (using Photoshop) and use that in FCP instead of the text generator. Not a convenient solution, but it works.

I'd be interested in a solution to the original problem, too, if there is one...

- Martin
Martin Pauly
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 09:46 PM   #5
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The reason why I wanted to export directly to H.264 was that I was under the impression that when you do that, FCP sends flags for transitions and such to Compressor so it gives more bitrate to the parts that need it. I guess a 2-pass VBR would do the same thing, right?

Anyway, I guess I'll try encoding from the HDV file.

Here's a screen grab of what things should look like:


The text was made using the built in FCP generator.
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