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Old December 31st, 2009, 01:37 AM   #46
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So I"m a chump for exporting a QT reference movie with current settings and dropping it in DVDSP to encode (with DVDSP usually set to CBR 7.0)? I always had problems trying to encode the video in a DVD friendly format first, it would always tell me in DVDSP that the file I was trying to import wasn't legal, or some such. Probabaly cause I used FCP to encode the DVD-friendly files in a bad format or something.

Anyway, for what it's worth, I've been screwing with compressor the last few days trying to prepare an SD movie for transfer to HD Tape. I did a buttload of tests and used compressor to uprez it to 1920x1080 from plain old 720x480 anamorphic. Here was my workflow. . .

FCP timeline is 720x480 anamorphic, interlaced/60i, just like my footage. Export QT reference movie with current settings, drop into compressor. Encode with the HD 1080/60i setting, modifying a few things like frame controls for "Best" resizing. This one's REALLY important. I did little tests and the quality difference between best and better is noticeable.

I do the same thing for DVDs, except bypass compressor. So I export a QT reference movie with current settings (from a timeline that exactly matches my original footage settings) and drop the ref movie in DVDSP, letting it do the video encoding. I made a separate audio AC3 file in compressor. Looks just fine to me. Maybe next time I'll try compressor for the DVD video files. . .maybe it'll make my fades up from black look less funky?
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Old January 5th, 2010, 02:49 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Craig Parkes View Post
Steve - sounds to me like you are REALLY over complicating your workflow which is causing the bad results.

Here is what you need to do. You need to have your timeline settings IDENTICAL to what you shot as.

Just dragging one of your regular clips into an empty timeline will do this. Assuming your existing work hasn't had any weird changes to it's settings you should be able to copy and paste everything from the existing sequence into this new sequence and see no difference.

Then you can change your compression on your timeline settings to Prores (either Standard or HQ). That's all you need to do.

Your timeline will be unrendered. Render your timeline.

Export a Quicktime with CURRENT SETTINGS chosen.

Don't use export using Quicktime conversion or anything else.

Bring this into compressor, use the best quality DVD settings. Modify these settings to ensure that you are using the Frame Controls (fourth button in), and that the Resize filter is set to Best and that under Encoder (second button in) it is converting as UPPER field order with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

The only real concern I have is the fact that you are shooting as progressive but capturing as interlaced. Unless you were capturing as PsF or something this sounds to me like you would be losing half of your vertical resolution and may be a big source of your problems.

I haven't worked with 30P at all (live in PAL land) but can't you capture as progressive if you are shooting progressive? (In which case you field order would be set to None in both Compressor and Final Cut).
Craig, thank you for this workflow! I have been MIA for a short bit. I was overcomplicating it. that's easy to do when you're inundated with hundreds of settings. I will export using Quicktime conversion only when I want to make an H.264 file for blu ray.

For my SD workflow, I shoot in HD always...1920 30p and will be capturing in pro res 422 into a pro res 422 timeline and doing file / export / quicktime movie. with that mpeg2 qt movie i just put it into IDVD and it looks great. i bypass compressor. things look great. i really stressed myself out and had to step away after the few weeks of constant brain meltdowns i was having. hehe. thanks so much to everyone!
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Old January 5th, 2010, 02:54 PM   #48
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Shoot, edit and export to DVD in 24p or 60i. Leave the 30p to the web videos. Give it a shot and see what happens.
Alex, thanks for this as well. i am still shooting in 30p but will stop and see what happens. i like the framerate look as opposed to 60i. 60i has the look of old school video cameras, like at a kids bday party, know what i mean? i enjoy the progressive look. i guess i could do 24p to get that, but then won't it be even more jittery when panning?

yes, i was filming in 30p and capturing in 60i (that's what a couple people using fcp told me to do and i have stopped.) from now on i will film, edit and export in the same rate. i will be setting my timeline to pro res 422 or HDV. i heard pro res 422 is the better approach.

thanks to everyone
Steve
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Old January 7th, 2010, 11:09 PM   #49
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If I switch to 60i (even though I hate that smooth look), should I capture in HDV 1080 60i, or pro res 422? thoughts?
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Old January 7th, 2010, 11:25 PM   #50
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Depends on what you're going to do with it.

If you're just documenting something and the video is going to go straight to DVD or the web, without and post processing (color grading, chroma key, etc..) I think HDV looks pretty darn good. I use it all the time with our Sony EX3 (1080 60i SQ).

The problem with HDV is that it doesn't hold up that well when you "push it hard". Just keep that in mind and you'll be fine.
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Old January 9th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #51
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Mitchell, thanks. I'm starting a new project now that was shot with a Canon XH A1 at 30p. I set final cut to be HDV30p across the board, and capture settings being HDV. we'll see what happens. I did initially have it set to HDV30p with capture settings set to apple pro res 422 but this made my capture window look different....there were no options, just a screen showing me what is being captured.

Not sure if there will be a difference setting the capture codec to HDV vs. apple pro res 422.

If I did set the capture to apple pro res 422 with a timeline of HDV30p, wouldn't that cause issues? I would have to render the entire timeline to allow for the apple pro res 422 on a HDV 30p timeline?

Is this the golden rule?.... make it all HDV30p across the board OR apple pro res 30p across the board?

thanks!
steve
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Old January 9th, 2010, 12:11 PM   #52
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Honestly I've never captured as Pro Res.....sorry.

I would recommend capturing as HDV30p, but here's the important part.....create a new sequence and go to Modify>Sequence Settings. Go the Render tab and change the render from Same As Source to ProRes. That way, when ever FCP needs to render (graphics, multilayer video, etc...) it will render as ProRes. Slightly better quality, but more importantly rendering seems more consistent and dependable.

The challenge is to remember to do this every time you create a new sequence.
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Old January 9th, 2010, 12:57 PM   #53
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thanks for that tip....i am about 45 mins into a capture and it's set to same as timeline...damn. oh well, next time.

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