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Old June 6th, 2005, 03:43 PM   #1
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Trouble Downconverting in FCP

Hey,

I just finished a video shot on an FX1. I have to letterbox and downconvert to SD for distribution. Because Lumiere isn't working properly for me (if you can help me with that issue, see my thread in the Lumiere forum), I captured my footage using iMovie, then converted it to DVCPRO HD 1080i for editing. The finished movie, when viewed in HD, looks excellent. The problems occur when downconverted to SD (putting the HD sequence in an SD sequence in FCP)--the video gets extremely blurry, a motion blur type issue. I tried a de-interlace filter on the footage, and that helped a lot, but didn't entirely get rid of the problem. This leads me to think the blur is an interlace issue.

My question is, is there a better way to downconvert than I'm doing? Anyone here use FCP to edit, and do you have any suggestions on how to downconvert? Thanks in advance for any help!
Eric Wotila is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2005, 04:28 PM   #2
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What version of FCP are you running? I think I've read that FCP 5 can do a better job of this...
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Old June 6th, 2005, 05:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
What version of FCP are you running? I think I've read that FCP 5 can do a better job of this...
4.5--FCPHD.

If someone can find a solution or workaround ASAP--I would really appreciate it. I have a separate piece I have to have downconverted (edge cropped) by 8:30 to 9:00 tonight--a news story we need done for tonight's news at 10.

We just started the transistion to HD with this FX1, and (obviously) are still working out the bugs. Right now, we're shooting some stories in HD, then (as of now, attempting to be) downconverting them for the news at 10. This was our first story--and first glitch in the process. Anyway, I'm rambling on, but if someone can find a solution for this ASAP, we'd all appreciate it!

Thanks in advance.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 07:06 PM   #4
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So far I have had no luck trying to downconvert in software. I believe it can be done with Compressor, but haven't found the magic combination of settings. My failed attempts have taken an incredibly long time (12 to 14 times running time), so I have had to look for a better way, and this is what I have found:

Hook up your FX1 via firewire to your system and do a Print to Tape (check your A/V settings and be sure your FX1 is shown as the device for Print to Tape). Also be sure your FX1 is set to record in HDV mode. When you click on the Print to Tape option (file menu, I believe) your project will be re-conformed to the HDV spec before recording can begin. This takes about 4 times the running time of your project to accomplish on a dual 2gig G5. You will then be prompted to start recording on your FX1 and click the enter button to start the transfer.

When the recording is finished, create a new DV project in FCP, re-set the FX1 to downconvert to DV over firewire (iLink) and set the television size to 4:3, and then capture the whole thing back to your system.

The obvious downside is the unavoidable loss of quality due to the added conversions, but the final result looks better than images recorded into the FX1 in DV mode. Not a perfect solution, but it is simple and reliable.

If anyone knows how to get Compressor to do this properly, many of us would appreciate learning the method!
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Old June 6th, 2005, 07:12 PM   #5
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That's a great backup plan, but it doesn't work at the moment--I forgot to mention, my FX1 had a problem with the deck (EXTREMELY noisy, and Sony told me there was a problem with the camera)--so it went out for repair today before I was able to edit the piece. It's good to keep in mind for next time, though! Thanks!

In the mean time, a de-interlace filter works pretty well, and when you're on a news deadline... pretty well is good enough, usually. Hopefully my boss will think so!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Koepnick
So far I have had no luck trying to downconvert in software. I believe it can be done with Compressor, but haven't found the magic combination of settings. My failed attempts have taken an incredibly long time (12 to 14 times running time), so I have had to look for a better way, and this is what I have found:

Hook up your FX1 via firewire to your system and do a Print to Tape (check your A/V settings and be sure your FX1 is shown as the device for Print to Tape). Also be sure your FX1 is set to record in HDV mode. When you click on the Print to Tape option (file menu, I believe) your project will be re-conformed to the HDV spec before recording can begin. This takes about 4 times the running time of your project to accomplish on a dual 2gig G5. You will then be prompted to start recording on your FX1 and click the enter button to start the transfer.

When the recording is finished, create a new DV project in FCP, re-set the FX1 to downconvert to DV over firewire (iLink) and set the television size to 4:3, and then capture the whole thing back to your system.

The obvious downside is the unavoidable loss of quality due to the added conversions, but the final result looks better than images recorded into the FX1 in DV mode. Not a perfect solution, but it is simple and reliable.

If anyone knows how to get Compressor to do this properly, many of us would appreciate learning the method!
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Old June 6th, 2005, 07:41 PM   #6
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Eric:

I am in the same situation as you are in that I am originating in HDV for broadcast in SD. My workflow is a little different in that I am trying to avoid the Apple Intermediate Codec which I understand causes lots of problems. This is what I'm trying to do:

- Capture via HDVxDV (or DVHSCap, or similar) to obtain .m2t transport stream
- Use MPEG Streamclip to convert .m2t to DVCPro50
- Import DVCPro50 into FCP, edit, print to tape

Steven White takes it a step further:

- Shoot 1080i HDV (to tape)
- Capture 1080i HDV to M2T or a (virtually lossless) digital intermediate (i.e., Cineform)
- Place 1080i in a 1440x1080, 59.94 fps timeline, and deinterlace (upper fields first, highest quality available) to 1080p60
- Render 1080p60 to 720x480p60 uncompressed (4:4:4)
- Render 720x480p60 to 720x480i60 uncompressed (4:4:4)


That's from this post:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=45165

Takes a lot longer but he says it yields the best results for him...

Good luck! Mark
Mark Ross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2005, 08:24 PM   #7
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Hey, thanks for the tip!

As to the piece tonight, my boss didn't even notice the blur. So, we're good with that one. For the future--great tip, thanks!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Ross
Eric:

I am in the same situation as you are in that I am originating in HDV for broadcast in SD. My workflow is a little different in that I am trying to avoid the Apple Intermediate Codec which I understand causes lots of problems. This is what I'm trying to do:

- Capture via HDVxDV (or DVHSCap, or similar) to obtain .m2t transport stream
- Use MPEG Streamclip to convert .m2t to DVCPro50
- Import DVCPro50 into FCP, edit, print to tape

Steven White takes it a step further:

- Shoot 1080i HDV (to tape)
- Capture 1080i HDV to M2T or a (virtually lossless) digital intermediate (i.e., Cineform)
- Place 1080i in a 1440x1080, 59.94 fps timeline, and deinterlace (upper fields first, highest quality available) to 1080p60
- Render 1080p60 to 720x480p60 uncompressed (4:4:4)
- Render 720x480p60 to 720x480i60 uncompressed (4:4:4)


That's from this post:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=45165

Takes a lot longer but he says it yields the best results for him...

Good luck! Mark
Eric Wotila is offline   Reply
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