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Old July 16th, 2008, 12:19 AM   #1
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Transfering Final Cut Footage part 1

Hey boys,

I've got two questions about showing Final Cut Pro footage in its best, most prestine possible form. The first question is: I spent forever (because it was all new to me) editing an "epic" home movie covering every event of my best friends' wedding. I shot it on various hi-def cameras--mainly an Fx1 50i. And when I put some of the footage in HD on Vimeo it looked like crap--about VHS quality. Now I'm going through every possible thing on quicktime conversions to make them prettier but...

... my friend the bride, she has a powerbook laptop with Final Cut which she's never used (got it through her work). IF I were to transfer copies of the best possible versions of each sequence (plus copies of the clips bin), could I buy a 60gb exernal hard drive, transfer all the edited sequences to that, give them the hard drive as their master master copy and she could plug it into her power book and then plug the power book into their 1080p tv set? Would that work? If so, are there any special steps/pitfalls involved?

Second question to come--cliffhanger!
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Old July 16th, 2008, 09:10 PM   #2
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If you are done editing and she does not want to go any further with it then you can create a self contained quicktime reference. You can do this by going to file>export>Quicktime Movie, from there you shouldn't have to touch anything except the last check box on the bottom which asks if you want it self contained or not. You want it to be self contained otherwise you would get a small quicktime that only points whatever application you are playing it with to where the media is. You are basically giving her your timeline minus the cuts. It is commonly used for the purpose of taking a sequence to a post house to lay it to tape or some other format.

For uploading to Vimeo, that is a tough decision on what to do. First off in my book is does it really have to go there because you can rent or even find free FTP sites and your friends can download the movie from there. If you plan on uploading to a site you must find out what type of compression they are using and create a strategy from there to best match how they are compressing. For example, youtube uses CBR so if you create a video make it CBR because youtube will cut your movie down to it's own bit rate.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 03:42 AM   #3
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The most pristine form is probably something you are not going to be able to distribute around to friends either on disc or internet. Here are some options that use HD sets which is probably the best way to screen the piece:

1) Create a 16:9 standard definition DVD in DVDStudioPro. It's downgraded but it'll look good on many HD sets depending on the DVD player.

2) If the project is shorter than 1 hour you can actually make a HD BluRay compatible disc using DVD blanks. I don't know the exact procedure but a friend has been distributing a home made travelogue to friends with BluRay players with great success. You'll need Toast to burn the disc. The method to make these faux BluRay discs is available with a search on Google.

3) Render the project, record it back to tape in the camera and hook the camera to the HD set by component or HDMI.

4) Make a FCP self-contained movie and hook up your friend's Mac to the HD set. This will work after a lot of setting up in the computer's system preferences and in FCP but the colors and contrast might still be off. I do this when I need to rough screen HD footage at home but it's usually unsatisfactory to me.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #4
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Betsy,

James suggestion for outputting a stand-alone QT file would be the easiest and simplest method but, it would require that the Quicktime Player the people are using has the HD codec on-board that you edited on. Otherwise you'll have to transcode it into an H.264 which is a universal QT codec that can be played on any machine, PC or Mac. In fact most of the commercial movie trailers you see on the 'net are using H.264.

The other option - which would require spending some money on your part and be less-likely people could watch it - is you *can* create a Blu-Ray compatible encode using Compressor, then using Toast 9 Titanium (with the BR plug-in) burn it to a BR disc. But that also means spending money on a BR burner, internal or external. And it means your friends would need a BR player, obviously.

Which way to go is up to you, but you've got 2 solid options.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 02:48 PM   #5
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Wow, these are great tips, guys.

William, per: "4) Make a FCP self-contained movie and hook up your friend's Mac to the HD set. This will work after a lot of setting up in the computer's system preferences and in FCP but the colors and contrast might still be off. I do this when I need to rough screen HD footage at home but it's usually unsatisfactory to me" when you say "setting up the computer screen's preferences" do you mean my computer's prefs or my gal friend's (the bride's) mac?

Would things get wonky if I was transferring files from a G5 onto an external hard drive and she had a G4 or an Intel?
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Old July 18th, 2008, 10:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Betsy Moore View Post
Wow, these are great tips, guys.

William, per: "4) Make a FCP self-contained movie and hook up your friend's Mac to the HD set. This will work after a lot of setting up in the computer's system preferences and in FCP but the colors and contrast might still be off. I do this when I need to rough screen HD footage at home but it's usually unsatisfactory to me" when you say "setting up the computer screen's preferences" do you mean my computer's prefs or my gal friend's (the bride's) mac?

Would things get wonky if I was transferring files from a G5 onto an external hard drive and she had a G4 or an Intel?
You would have to go into your friend's Mac display preferences for the second monitor and make sure it was putting out the correct screen resolution (although Macs tend to pick the right one automatically) and then adjust the color prefs if the video looks flat. Sometimes you don't have to do anything but my experience is that you will.

The QuickTime file you export is not computer specific and will play on Final Cut Pro. if your friend's G4 hasn't been updated in a very long time there might be some problems but it's unlikely.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 04:22 PM   #7
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Ahh, very good, very good:) This is going to be the Citizen Kane of all wedding videos, a thousand thanks:)
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Old July 18th, 2008, 09:27 PM   #8
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Complete with a sled?
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Old July 19th, 2008, 02:25 PM   #9
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Hey, don't give anything away for the newbies!

PS Bruce Willis is a ghost

PPS Harrison Ford's wife killed his girlfriend

PPPS Michael Caine is Inspector Doppler
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