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Old July 3rd, 2009, 09:56 PM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 55
Need help exporting videos in final cut

Hi guys, I have been using Final Cut for about 6 months now and I am STILL having trouble exporting my files. I mean there are so many options I am unsure which one to choose.

This current wedding video I did for a client...due to my lack of expertise, the footage turned out very grainy. I still put together a decent video, and it was time for me to export the video in order to upload on vimeo. I do not know the proper settings to use when uploading to vimeo, so I just use Final Cut's Quicktime Conversion and I just export the file with LAN/Intranet settings. When I saw this footage, I noticed the grain was ALL GONE... but has aliasing

question # 1...why did this happen?

If I export the file as quicktime movie, the grain is all still there.

When its time for me to burn the movie, exported sending the the file to compression, and then using DVD: Best quality 90 minutes setting

when I saw the footage, GRAINY again!!

I threw the smaller file which had no grain on it but had aliasing...and the dvd, looked okay but the aliasing was still there, so obviously I'm doing SOMETHING wrong..

here's the file
This is a password protected video on Vimeo
pass: vimeoaccount101

Question #2: What is the best way for me to export my movies so that I see minimal grain and no Aliasing..

Rishi Kumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 4th, 2009, 01:49 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 628
I didn't look at your footage but I can tell you it is not common that grain is ever removed by exporting. The adage goes like this: Garbage in Garbage out (I'm not saying your footage is bad - just an expression to illustrate the work flow).

There is no setting that I know that removes grain by a simple export. There are, of course, filters which remove grain and potential export to After Effects / Motion will have ways to treat grainy material.

The broader question: How do I pick the correct setting to export? Well, that is always determined by what you want to do with it but more importantly, you didn't even indicate which camera you shot on or what framerate. These are both vital questions for your answer.

Another question: How did your footage become grainy? In video, we have the usual suspects - 1) not enough light 2) Auto-Gain is on.

My advice is to check these settings on which ever camera you are using. It's always easier to fix while you are shooting it - never the other way around.

If you just need to get it on vimeo - I'd look into the compressor presets. They usually have a decent H.264 bitrate and that is the most used codec (a glorified MP4).

Hope this helps,
Christopher Drews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 7th, 2009, 03:42 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 327
What I'm seeing from your footage on Vimeo is not excessive grain, but rather interlace artifacts.

It's really bad. And it's all over the video. It's really distracting, and if this is indeed what you're referring to, it's relatively easy to fix. I am always surprised by how often this type of problem makes it onto web videos. I've even seen this kind of interlace artifact on people's demo reel - yikes!

Anytime you shoot in an interlaced video format, and have to deliver that video on the web, you need to convert the video to progressive frames. All computer displays are by nature progressive, so when they attempt to play back interlaced content, you often get this "combing" effect, where any horizontal movement shows spatially offset pixels from the two fields. This is because the two fields were actually captured 1/60th (or 1/50th) of a second apart. In that fraction of a second, the subject or camera has moved, creating 2 pictures at different positions that are then combined in alternating lines to create 1 frame of video. That's why you only notice it when the subject or the camera moves.

Forgive me if I'm being too basic, here, or if you are referring to an actual grain issue that I just can't see. It's just that I saw the same problems on the "Vibhu & Shastyna Wedding 5.23.09 ", and "Jon Sam wedding 05.16.09" videos, but not on the "Sangeet Part 1" (progressive format shot?) or "Untitled " (output from an animation program?)

Often, when you de-interlace a video, it can become quite aliased because the software you use either just throws away one of the two fields, or uses some sort of bad interpolation. I'm assuming that's what you're referring to as "aliasing". This is often most apparent as stair-stepped jaggies in diagonal lines or objects. A direct export from FCP is possible, but I believe Compressor generally does a better job a de-interlacing than just Quicktime or FCP.

I don't know exactly what Vimeo uses to re-encode files to the proper format during upload, but they have some general guidelines you may find useful:

Compression guidelines on Vimeo

There's also a page full of tutorials for exporting (HD, in this case) from many NLE's:

TUTORIALS: Vimeo HD exporting guides from many editors in the Help Forum on Vimeo

Including a step-by step in Apple's Compressor:

Vimeo Encoding Tutorial

As far as I know, Vimeo always re-encodes your video, but you can make your original uploaded file available for download. If you follow these guidelines, you can get some pretty good quality out of Vimeo. Take a look at Ed McNichol's tutorial, then make your own preset in Compressor using presets appropriate for your content.

Another way to deal with interlaced footage is to use a 3rd party filter for high quality de-interlacing in FCP before your export:

Joe’s Filters : Joe’s De-Interlacer

RE:Vision Effects, Inc. : Products: FieldsKit

These 3rd party filters can really help, but they are probably not necessary for what you're trying to do. Just get the right settings in compressor, and your Vimeo video will look great!
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