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Old October 26th, 2003, 09:51 PM   #1
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Pixelated video in Quicktime

I use FCP4 for editing and shoot with a DVX100. I shot some footage in 60i which looked fine when played back on the LCD. Then I captured into FCP4 and the footage looked fine in the browser, but when I put the finished product into Quicktime format, it looks very pixelated and just plain bad. Anyone have any suggestions about why this is happening? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old October 26th, 2003, 10:31 PM   #2
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You might be exporting to a QuickTime low bandwidth codec... try using another codec or setting the quality slider to higher values. Are you exporting directly from FCP4 itself or are you using Compressor? What codec are you using in QuickTime? What parameters are set for the QuickTime movie in terms of image size, frame rate and data rate?

What is the destination of the QuickTime file? Will it be for a web site, a CD-ROM, hard disk play back, multimedia cellphone? Tell us what you need the QuickTime for and we can try help you make the best decisions about codecs and so forth.
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Old October 26th, 2003, 10:48 PM   #3
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Ignacio asked all the important questions, and your answers will help us understand the problem. But realize that FCP's native file format IS Quicktime actually. So if you're just looking for a file to play from your hard drive with Quicktime full size on a computer screen you don't need to export it as Quicktime. Just export as an FCP movie. It will open and play just fine with Quicktime.

Also note that if you use Quicktime Pro you should select the movie properties and enable high quality playback, it makes a very noticeable difference. However, even with all this I find that DV files played back with Quicktime on my computer screen still leave something to be desired.... they always seem to look better on a video monitor via firewire.
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Old October 27th, 2003, 08:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I will attempt to answer what I can of the questions you both asked so you can better understand my situation. I just wanted to let you know that I am very new to FCP and also very new to Macintosh in general. First off, exported through FCP by going to File, Export, Using Quicktime Conversion. (Is there another way I should convert to get higher quality video?) Secondly, I am using Quicktime Player Version 6.1.1, I do not think this is Pro but is there a way to enable high quality playback on regular Quicktime Player? As for what is the destination of this movie... well, this is really just some footage of my nephew's soccer game that I am practicing with so it's really not going anywhere I just want to be able to know how to export video for Web use in the highest possible quality. This is all of your questions I can answer, because like I said I am very new to MAC and to FCP. I doubt you can help me anymore from this information, sorry. But, I don't know anything about codecs or how to check the parameters for Quicktime. If either of you (or anyone else) could explain to me how to check these things I will do it and get back to you. I am usually pretty quick at learning these things but being new to both MAC and FCP, it is a little overwhelming to say the least. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old October 27th, 2003, 10:59 PM   #5
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Try the MPEG4 web video presets in Compressor

Darrel, if what you need is web video then export through Compressor and use the MPEG4 web video presets which Apple has provided. The result will not look as good as DV, but files will be much smaller and suitable for 'broadband' Internet delivery.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 04:40 AM   #6
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You need to use the pro version of QuickTime with FCP. It comes with your install disks, it just needs to be registered.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 08:41 PM   #7
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Ok, I ran into another problem. Actually, I accidentally caused it (idiot!!!). Well anyways I was using the compressor like u said and i went to the presets and selected MPEG-4 NTSC Source Material, which contained 5 presets. I assume the one I would want for Web video is MPEG-4 Improved NTSC for Fast Cable Streaming. Anyway, I selected it and accidentally clicked on the - (minus) sign at the top left of the presets window and poof the preset is gone. I have looked all over my hard drive to see if maybe the minus sign just moved it to a different folder but apparently it deleted because I can not find it anywhere. This is probably a very elementary problem but like I said I know nothing to very little about MACs so could someone please help me out. Does the minus sign indeed delete the presets (if so that just seems very strange to me that it would delete something like that without asking if you were sure or putting it in the trash)? If so, how can I get that particular preset back? Would it be on my backup disk that came with the computer or is there a place on the web I could get it? Thanks for any help.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 08:58 PM   #8
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> If so, how can I get that particular preset back?

Well yes, I presume it would have been nice for Compressor to ask you before deleting the think from your hard disk. Anyway, I presume you can get presets back by simply running the installer again. Another --more adventorous-- route would be to duplicate another MPEG4 preset nd modify it's parameters. You could try using the NTSC Large Progressive setup and changing the audio to 48Kbps and the video to 236Kbps.

Hope this helps.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 09:26 PM   #9
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When you say "run the installer again", do u mean the FCP4 installer or the backup disk for my computer? Because I have already re-installed FCE and FCP4 (I upgraded from FCE) because I didn't know if Compressor came with FC or if it was already on my hard disk when I got the computer. After I re-installed everything the preset was still missing so I assumed that Compressor must have come with the computer. But I think I understand what you are saying about duplicating another preset and modifying its parameters. So if you are saying Compressor comes with FC then I'll probably try duplicating another preset (if Compressor does come with FC, I wonder why it didn't re-install the preset?). Thanks a million Ignacio, you have been extremely helpful.
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Old October 31st, 2003, 05:21 PM   #10
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> if Compressor does come with FC, I wonder why it didn't
> re-install the preset?

It does. I also wonder. So you will have to build the preset manually but that is cool because it will give you more insight into Compressor, which is a great tool but it does have some bugs.

Keep us up to date and do not hesitate to ask, we all enjoy helping out 'cause (1) many of us have learned much of what we know here, and (2) it just feels good to help ;-)
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