Final cut pro vs. Compressor - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 16th, 2009, 11:39 PM   #16
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Winnipeg Canada
Posts: 532
i don't think DVDSP re-compresses after compressor has already done the job.
as far as i know, DVDSP and compressor share the same encoder (if that is the right word for it) but compressor gives you precise control over the many facets of the processing which, if used properly, will produce a better product.
i have had horrible results from compressor, and then, when i learned more about the program and improved my overall shooting/capturing/editing/output workflow, had amazing results.
Brian David Melnyk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2009, 08:34 AM   #17
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: London
Posts: 222
two pass vbr

the only thing i picked up in a forum was that compressor has some problem with 2-pass VBR for encoding to mpeg-2 dvd such that it is not much better than 1 pass VBR, so I have used 1 pass VBR in compressor in my projects (to go from prores to mpeg2)

anyone else ever hear of this?

cheers
Sherif Choudhry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2009, 01:06 PM   #18
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hocking View Post
There are lots of more detailed threads on this topic in the DVD Authoring section of this forum, however generally speaking, if you export out a "Quicktime Movie" and then bring that into Compressor you will achieve fantastic results. Compressor's "90 Minutes Best Quality" preset will achieve nice results, however you can play around with those settings (deinterlace, add sharpness, etc.) to really fine tune the result.
this is also exactly what i did and when i watch it back on my 720 flat panel tv and my imac for that matter, the DVD i made is pixelated! counter tops are jagged squares instead of a nice line. is there a secret check box i'm missing? is there one hidden that says "remove jagged pixels from video?" i got the best results when i exported as a really sweet 1920 HD in H.264 from FCP (no compressor.) i took this massive file and brought into iDVD and let iDVD encode it. the SD DVD looks really good this way. i would love to use DVD studio pro but it doesn't handle H.264 unless i'm making an HD DVD, which i don't want to do... i need to make an SD DVD.

so i guess for whatever reason, i'm stuck using iDVD for SD DVDs and whatever i need to do to make blu ray. i have the blu ray burner but now need to read up on that process.

Sherif, i have heard of that same thing myself.

i want to thank everyone here for being so helpful and thanks for your knowledge! i'm doing exactly what everyone else is doing from what i can see, but it's pixelated! the only time it's not is when i drop that H.264 file into iDVD. during playback it's like....THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN' ABOUT!!! NICE VIDEO!

it's unfortunate that dvd studio pro makes you jump through hoops to get great video out of the presets. you should have to hunt for all the hidden check boxes.

Steve
__________________
www.rotterstudios.com photo-video-pro tools audio
Steve Rotter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #19
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 1,124
In my opinion, the "trick" is to use the Frames settings in Compressor to convert your interlaced footage to progressive. This is something that Compressor does very well (and that iDVD, or DVDStudio Pro won't do)

Leonard gave you the answer in the XDCAM EX forum: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/1448608-post26.html

But yes, I agree. It's silly that Apple didn't turn on the Frames settings in any of their factory settings, but I'm guessing they did that to save people time on encoding.
__________________
Sony EX3, Canon 5D MkII, Chrosziel Matte Box, Sachtler tripod, Steadicam Flyer, Mac Pro, Apple/Adobe software - 20 years as a local videographer/editor
Mitchell Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2009, 06:31 PM   #20
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 595
Hi Steve,

1. What exact version of Final Cut Pro are you running (i.e. 7.0.1)?
2. What version of Mac OS are you running?
3. What version of Quicktime are you running?
4. What camera and format are you shooting on (i.e. Sony Z1P, HDV, 1080i)?
5. How are you bringing that footage into FCP (i.e. Log & Transfer, Red Rushes, etc.)?
6. What are your sequence settings? Can you post a screen shot?
7. What effects, if any, are you applying to the footage?

Brian is correct - both Compressor and DVD Studio Pro use the same underlying technology to transcode footage. He is also correct in saying that if you bring transcoded footage from Compressor into DVD Studio Pro it will not go through the transcoding process again.

Exporting to H264 prior to MPEG is a horrible workflow that I would certainly not recommend. NEVER compress things more than you have to - and never just throw out information for the sake of it.

I would suggest that the issues you are having are all due to the fact that you are shooting on an interlaced format and then trying to view it on a progressive screen.

Have you tried Mitchell's suggestion of using the Frame Controls?

Unless you've undiscovered some serious flaw with the latest version of Compressor, I would suggest that it's a problem with your workflow, rather than Compressor being at fault.

We are currently dual booting both FCS2 and the latest version of FCS and haven't found any of the issues you're having with Compressor, and we use it on a daily basis.

Good luck!

Best Regards, Chris!
Chris Hocking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 18th, 2009, 09:27 AM   #21
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 94
Chris, thanks for your help...all very good questions man! here are the answers... also, unfortunately, i was unable to do anymore testing last night after work because i fell asleep on the couch at 7pm!!! due to staying up so late with this for a few days! anyway, i'm anxious to try out the TRICK.

by the way, i have NEVER exported to H.264 and then used compressor for mpeg. i know that would be very bad. it looks terrible just going from FCP timeline (pre-rendered...not that it matters) to compressor and right into DVD pro. what i did with H.264 files would be to import them right into iDVD since iDVD accepts them and encodes them really well.

here are my answers....

1. What exact version of Final Cut Pro are you running (i.e. 7.0.1)?
THE LATEST, SO I GUESS THAT WOULD BE 7.0.1

2. What version of Mac OS are you running?
SNOW LEOPARD ON IMAC 3.06GHZ CORE 2 W/ 4 GIGS RAM AND I KEEP UP WITH ALL UPDATES

3. What version of Quicktime are you running?
NEWEST...QUICKTIME X

4. What camera and format are you shooting on (i.e. Sony Z1P, HDV, 1080i)?
I SHOOT WITH CANON HV30 AND XHA1. I SHOOT IN 30P...29.97. WHEN I CAPTURE TO THE FCP TIMELINE I CAPTURE VIA TAPE AND SET TO HDV1080i60. THERE ARE SOOOO MANY CAPTURE SETTINGS. THIS IS WHAT A COUPLE FRIENDS RECOMMENDED AND IT WORKS GREAT.

5. How are you bringing that footage into FCP (i.e. Log & Transfer, Red Rushes, etc.)?
CAPTURING REAL TIME, LOG AND TRANSFER

6. What are your sequence settings? Can you post a screen shot?
I DON'T HAVE ANY SCREEN SHOTS. IF YOU NEED THEM, HOW DO I DO THAT ON MAC?

7. What effects, if any, are you applying to the footage?
NO EFFECTS AT ALL. JUST FOOTAGE...MAINLY CUTS AND SOME FADES.

I have been using mac since mid-summer. i have used pc's all my life and haven't looked back at pc since my imac purchase. mac is outstanding. i know my way around machines and encoding really well but i'm getting used to the codecs. by saying this, it doesn't mean i don't know what i'm doing...i have spent hours / days with encoding on pc format and now mac. i have followed line by line and it looks bad. i'm wondering if i found the holy grail for settings with the frame setting. it's a shame one has to search multiple forums to find all the check boxes needed for an SD DVD. thanks so much and as soon as i get that test done...maybe tonight... i will post results.

I have stumbled on H.264 and LOVE the looks of it. then i read most people are using H.422. not sure what the difference would be. i bought an external blu ray and have to now figure out a blu ray workflow. it works great on the pc but i want to switch to mac. i will probably have to use encore for menus...not sure yet.

thanks,
Steve
__________________
www.rotterstudios.com photo-video-pro tools audio
Steve Rotter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 18th, 2009, 10:21 AM   #22
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 1,124
There's no such thing as "H.422". I think you're referring to ProRes 422, a great codec that would be a perfect intermediate codec to go from FCP to Compressor.
__________________
Sony EX3, Canon 5D MkII, Chrosziel Matte Box, Sachtler tripod, Steadicam Flyer, Mac Pro, Apple/Adobe software - 20 years as a local videographer/editor
Mitchell Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 18th, 2009, 10:34 AM   #23
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,555
You should do all your encoding in Compressor. Gives you more control, doesn't tie up your editor, its faster because it has been written to use all the cores of multicore processors (unlike (FCP or DVDSP), and you can batch a bunch of jobs before going to bed.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 18th, 2009, 12:59 PM   #24
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
There's no such thing as "H.422". I think you're referring to ProRes 422, a great codec that would be a perfect intermediate codec to go from FCP to Compressor.
sorry, you're right. ProRes 422, not H.422. So is this file smaller than H.264? the H.264 looks outstanding! i don't know anything about the ProRes 422, how big it is, if it's for blu ray as well, etc etc. I have seen the H.264 and it's great for blu ray. when you say go from FCP to compressor do you mean you export right from FCP timeline into compressor and use the ProRes 422 codec? or do you export from FCP using the ProRes 422 codec and then take that into compressor?
__________________
www.rotterstudios.com photo-video-pro tools audio
Steve Rotter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 18th, 2009, 01:24 PM   #25
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 595
Hi Steve,

Thank you for your reply.

To take screenshots with your Mac please refer to:

Taking Screenshots in Mac OS X - Mac Guides

1. Could you please take a screenshot of the "Final Cut Pro > About" menu, so that we can determine exactly what version of FCP you're running? Just saying "the latest" really don't help if you're not completely sure.

2. Could you please take a screenshot of the "Apple Logo > About This Mac" menu. That way we can determine the exact specs of your machine.

3. Do you have Quicktime 7 installed? If not, I highly recommend installing it. For details please refer to:

Installing QuickTime Player 7 on Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard

Once you've done this could you please take a screenshot of both the "Quicktime Player X > About" menu and "Quicktime Player 7 > About" menu.

4. Before you capture and start a new project. Please try going to "Final Cut Pro > Easy Setup", then select "HD", "29.97" then "HDV 1080i". This should set up your timeline correctly. Try starting a new project, capture a minute of footage from your HV30, then click "File > Export > Quicktime Movie". Open this file in Compressor. Apply the "DVD Best Quality 90mins" preset. Let it do it's thing. Then bring that file into DVD Studio Pro. How does that look?

5. I think you mean "Log & Capture"...?

6. If you could take a screenshot of your sequence settings that would be great.

If you're still having issues, try trashing your Final Cut Pro preferences. For details please refer to:

Technique: Trouble-shooting Your FCP System

To be perfectly honest Steve, the fact that you don't know how to take screenshots on a Mac, nor do you know the difference between H264 and ProRes 422 tells me that you are still very much a beginner when it comes to video editing on the Mac. That's not a problem at all - but please don't say that "Compressor is garbage" when you have no idea what you're doing...

Please be aware that I'm live in PAL land - so if anyone else notices some advice I given that's incorrect in terms of frame rate settings please let everyone know!

Good luck Steve!

Best Regards, Chris!
Chris Hocking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 18th, 2009, 02:10 PM   #26
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 94
Chris, thanks for the info and i will try that stuff as soon as i can. i'm learning FCP and all the steps so i am a beginner with this OS but what i mean by garbage is...it just doesn't make sense that there are so many hidden check marks to mark off such as the frame rate settings for quality, etc. not sure why apple didn't make that a default as on. i love FCP but from a standpoint of settings and such, there are just as many as adobe products but they at least have the defaults at what they should be. i'm in no way a beginner to editing and its frustrations but with the mac, i am. i have been wrestling with FCP and finding out how it does things for the last couple months. i never quit and never give up but when i keep reading to try the same things that have a success for everyone, and i still get pixelations, well, i've had it. i will try what you suggest. i do have it set for easy setup with the 1080i when capturing. by the way, i have done pretty much what you said to already and the video looks great on the screen on the imac with DVD preview. after it is burned to disc it is, what i say, garbage. so there seems to be something that happens when i click on BURN DISC. that is why i was wondering if DVD studio pro will encode what was already encoded. i was told that isn't so. i can't think of anything else. it looks great till i view that DVD. i do have QT 7 on my mac. not sure why both 7 and X are on there. i would think that X would override 7. at least, that's how it would be in pc world.
thanks,
steve
__________________
www.rotterstudios.com photo-video-pro tools audio
Steve Rotter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2009, 12:33 AM   #27
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 595
Hi Steve,

I can completely understand your frustrations... There are always a million road blocks and detours with video editing... The more time you spend doing it, the more second nature navigating around the back roads becomes!

Before you do anything, make sure you have "Use High Quality When Available" selected in the Quicktime Player 7 preferences.

1. If you export a self-contained "Quicktime Movie" of the sequence and view it in QT7, how does it look? Screenshot?
2. If you bring that Quicktime Movie into Compressor and use the "Best Quality 90mins" preset, then bring the MT2 file into DVD Studio Pro and simulate it, how does it look? Screenshot?
3. If you Build & Burn it, how does it look when played on the Mac in DVD Player? Screenshot?
4. How does it look on a standard DVD player connected to your TV? What kind of TV do you have? LCD? Plasma? CRT?
3. If you bring the Quicktime Movie into iDVD and preview it how does it look? Screenshot?
4. How does it look after you burn it to DVD both on the Mac and on your TV?

Again, I think what's happening is simply an issue with viewing interlaced footage on a progressive screen.

Have you tried using MPEG Streamclip?

Can anyone else who uses the HV30 in NTSC land provide any helpful advice?

Thanks!

Best Regards, Chris!
Chris Hocking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2009, 11:32 AM   #28
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 94
Chris,
thanks again! the most recent update is rendering / encoding in both iDVD and compressor as a test last night. i have yet to see the results.

what i did:

exported the hi - rez H.264 QT file right from FCP7 at 1920X1080 and imported that file right into iDVD09. made a menu and it took about 4.5 hours for iDVD to encode this and burn a disc (i went to bed so i will check it out tonight.) i know it will look great since i have done this before.

also, i ran the test and frame optimization was already on for compressor. i exported to the 90 min. profile right from FCP7 to compressor but i altered it, making it CBR 6.8. i do not like VBR at all. imac said 14 hours to render this but it was done sometime before 6am when i checked it (taking less than 8 hours since i started it sometime around 10pm.) when i get home i will feed these 2 files: vid and audio from compressor, into DVD studio pro and see if it makes any difference. there were only a couple settings that i changed in compressor, remember, frame optimization was already on and one of the only things i changed was going from "project settings" to "progressive." sorry if the terminology (timeline / project settings) is wrong...i'm not in front of the imac and there are a lot of settings to remember.

if this compressor thing doesn't work, i'm perfectly happy exporting the sweet hi-rez H.264 file from FCP7 right into iDVD09. it works and the menus are nice...pretty much the same. i will come back to this eventually but right now i have wasted every night till midnight for the last week in experiments. i need sleep and i need to get projects done.

to answer your questions...

Before you do anything, make sure you have "Use High Quality When Available" selected in the Quicktime Player 7 preferences.

1. If you export a self-contained "Quicktime Movie" of the sequence and view it in QT7, how does it look? Screenshot?

NO SCREEN SHOTS, IT LOOKS AWESOME!

2. If you bring that Quicktime Movie into Compressor and use the "Best Quality 90mins" preset, then bring the MT2 file into DVD Studio Pro and simulate it, how does it look? Screenshot?

NO SCREEN SHOTS, IT LOOKS PRETTY GOOD

3. If you Build & Burn it, how does it look when played on the Mac in DVD Player? Screenshot?

NO SCREENSHOTS. IT LOOKS BAD! PIXELATED! STRAIGHT LINES, LIKE COUNTER TOPS, WHATEVER, ARE MADE OF SQUARE DOTS, AND REZ LOOKS LIKE VHS TAPE.

4. How does it look on a standard DVD player connected to your TV? What kind of TV do you have? LCD? Plasma? CRT?

GARBAGE...LIKE IN #3. LIKE A DECENT VHS TAPE. I HAVE A PLASMA 720P. WHEN I MAKE IT IN IDVD, BRINGING IN HI REZ QT MOVIE INTO IDVD AND LETTING IDVD TAKE THE 1920 H.264 FILE DOWN TO 720x480, IT LOOKS NICE.

3. If you bring the Quicktime Movie into iDVD and preview it how does it look? Screenshot?

NO SCREENSHOTS, IT LOOKS NICE.

4. How does it look after you burn it to DVD both on the Mac and on your TV?
LOOKS BAD, LIKE A DECENT VHS TAPE. THIS TELLS ME THAT SOMETHING IS GOING ON IN DVD STUDIO PRO AFTER COMPRESSOR.

I SHOOT IN 30P, CINEMODE USUALLY. something is wrong with something in compressor or dvd studio pro and i have done everything. the viewing tonight will tell. the only thing i changed was to PROGRESSIVE instead of TIMELINE SETTINGS for frame settings...
__________________
www.rotterstudios.com photo-video-pro tools audio
Steve Rotter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2009, 12:36 AM   #29
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Winnipeg Canada
Posts: 532
not sure about what is going wrong, but to save a lot of time you could only transcode one minute of your sequence to check the quality...
Brian David Melnyk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2009, 09:21 AM   #30
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 94
hey guys!! success, i'm pretty sure. stayed up till midnight last night looking over all settings, making new menu from scratch in dvd studio pro and importing the file encoded from compressor. from what i can tell, i did nothing different except:

compressor setting - FRAME CONTROL! this was already on by the way when it looked pixelated for me. the only thing i changed was resize filter = BEST and changed output fields to progressive. these 2 little settings and it looks different. i have yet to view it on the tv upstairs. on the imac it looks nice...i was happy.

i did notice some pixelation, especially with text / titles. this is when it was full size on the 24" imac. when i right-clicked and selected half-size, it went away...hope it looks good on the tv.

the only thing i notice that i don't like is the video clips i chose for the drop zones in the menu. they do look noticably pixelated! but, i exported 30 second clips using the exact same compression preset, exporting right from FCP7 timeline into compressor. not sure what the deal is with that. looks fine during preview in DVD studio pro but not on actual DVD.

to answer my question from before... doesn't look like DVD studio pro encodes again. compressor already did it so it just burns it after compiling the menu. for the menu, 45 minute movie, it took about 8 mins. to encode the entire disc!

encoding the 45 minute movie directly from FCP7 to compressor with the 90 minute best setting (tweaked by me to be CBR 7), it started at 9:30pm roughly, and ended at 3:45am. not too bad...about 6 hours for 45 mins? so i guess 12 hours for 2 hours you can say...to go from 1920 HD to 720 SD via compressor. i will keep you posted of any other events. you guys were awesome!

i knew what i was doing, but those 2 little settings....why would they do that! it's tricky and there are so many workflows!

i wonder if this should be a concern.... i shoot in 30p and capture in 1080i...easy setup...then i export to progressive. going from progressive to capturing in 1080i then to progressive vs. 1080i.... throws me.
__________________
www.rotterstudios.com photo-video-pro tools audio

Last edited by Steve Rotter; November 20th, 2009 at 10:25 AM.
Steve Rotter is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:00 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network