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Old June 21st, 2005, 10:14 AM   #1
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FCP 5 > Render & Export to QT Movie Looks Bad

Hello,

I recently purchased a new G5 Dual 2.7ghz and Final Cut Studio. I'm making the switch from Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 with a Matrox RT.X100 hardware card on a PC. I was editing a wedding on my PC and premiere pro did a beautiful job of corrupting my project file and about 3 weeks worth of work. I know I should have backed things up... my bad.

Now since I have my G5 and Final Cut Studio up and running... I would like to start re-cutting the wedding in FCP 5. I transfered all of my media files over to the G5 from the PC. When I import them into FCP 5 it warns me that they are not optimized for RT playback... don't remember the exact message. I used compressor to convert everything to DV NTSC 48kHz QT .mov files and everything imported fine.

Now... when I lay a couple clips into the timeline and go to File > Export > QT Movie ... import the newly exported file and place it on my timeline... the quality of the video is bad. It flickers and the colors look blotchy in areas. I'm new to the Mac platform, and have been reading the manuals, but there is alot to read, and need to get this problem worked out asap.

Last night I let the system sit with FCP 5 open and when I came back it had auto rendered my sequence, and the rendered areas that had the light green bar over the clips have the same look as my exported quicktime movies.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Matt
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Old June 21st, 2005, 02:05 PM   #2
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More info on your workflow is needed. Need to know your timeline settings, imported media type, how you are exporting. FCP will export a full res master based on your timeline settings and will not change the quality of the video.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 04:41 PM   #3
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Settings and Preferences

Thanks for the reply... here is information on my project settings and the details on the media files that I am using.

Final Cut Pro 5 > Sequence > Settings

> General
Frame Size: 720 x 480 NTSC DV (3:2)
Pixel Aspect: NTSC - CCIR 601 / DV (720 x 480) Non - Anamorphic
Field Dominance: Lower (Even)
Timebase: 29.97fps

Quicktime Video Settings
Compressor: DV/DVCPRO - NTSC
Quality: 100%
Advanced Settings
FPS: 29.97
Quality: Best
Scan Mode: Interlaced
Aspect: 4:3
Audio Settings
Rate: 48kHz
Depth: 16-bit
Config: Default

> Video Processing

Render in 8-bit YUV
Process Max White As: White
Motion Filtering Quality: Normal

> Timeline Options

Starting Timecode: 01:00:00;00 - DF
Track Size: Small
Thumb Display: Name Plus Thumbnail
Audio Track Labels: Sequential

Track Display (Items Selected)
Show Through Edits

Clip Keyframes (box not checked - all boxes below are checked)

> Render Control

Render & Playback
Filters
Frame Blending For Speed
Motion Blur
Render
Frame Rate: 100%
Resolution: 100%

> Audio Outputs

Outputs: 2
Downmix (dB): 0
Grouping: Stereo



***Media File Properties***

General:

Kind: QuickTime Movie
Size: ----
Where: ----
Created: ----
Modified: ----
Color Label: ----

Stationary Pad: ----
Locked: ----

More Info:

Dimensions: 720 x 480
Codecs: DV/DVCPRO - NTSC.
Integer (Big Endian),
Timecode
Channel Count: 2
Duration 03'13
Last Opened: ----

Name and Extension:

Ceremony 01-DV NTSC.mov


*** Steps When Exporting ***

Final Cut Pro 5 > File > Export > QuickTime Movie...

Setting: Current Settings
Include: Audio and Video
Markers: None
Recompress All Frames: UnChecked
Make Movie Self-Contained: Checked


If any other information would be helpful please let me know. I've been reading the manuals all day... jumping around the different volumes... and havn't figured out what I'm doing wrong.

When I choose Sequence > Render All > Both the resulting video looks the same as the exported QuickTime. I have green preview and orange unlimited render indicators along the top of the timeline.

Thanks All,

Matt Trubac
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Old June 21st, 2005, 05:27 PM   #4
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Matt - would recapturing from source instead of importing be the solution ?
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Old June 21st, 2005, 05:34 PM   #5
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Matt,

Everything looks correct to me. I still use FCP HD (4.5) and am not sure if the export settings dialog box has changed in the new version. However, I've always found it best to completely render your timeline before exporting, no green bars, no orange bars, etc.

You say that you get a message saying that the files you import are not optimized for RT playback. When you place one of those files in the timeline do any render bars appear at the top? Such as red, orange, or green? If so, then your timeline settings don't match the media file properties. You stated that you are new to Macs but obviously you are not new to NLEs or editing since you took the time to convert all of your footage using Compressor. Good thinking.

If you use the Media Manager, you can create a copy of the project that will optimize the files for FCP. I'm not exactly sure what it does but I don't think it does anything regarding compression codecs, I think it's simply creating meta adata for FCP to use to optimize playback, rendering, RT playback, etc.

When I'm finished with a project and want to archive a master, I go to File > Export > QuickTime Movie (NOT QuickTime Conversion) and make sure "Make Movie Self Contained" is checked. This will export a movie file that has the same properties as you time line.

Congratulations on your switch. I'm confident that when you become more familiar with the Mac and FCP you will be quite glad you made the switch.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 10:07 PM   #6
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Thanks

I'm not sure if the clips direct from the pc have any bars over them when imported, but clips in the timeline linked to media converted by compressor always have a green bar over them, regardless of filter settings. Does this seem normal?

You mentioned rendering everything before I export. I've tried this. After I render, playing back from the timeline gives the same blotchy flickering results as the Quicktime Movie export. I may try the media manager... and if I have to... recapturing in Final Cut. Could it be that the media was originally captured on a PC using the firewire port on my Matrox capture card / RT Accelerator?

Importing the files and playing back straight from the timeline looks great. After rendering or exporting the results look terrible. I am going out firewire to my DVX100a and out S-Video to an NTSC Monitor.

Thanks for all the help,

Matt Trubac
TruVision Studios
Phone: 517-282-2915
http://www.TruVisionStudios.com
Matt@TruVisionStudios.com
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 06:37 AM   #7
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Matt,

I would try recapturing a 30 sec clip of something you already have in the time line and compare the two. Then you can have that base covered.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 08:12 AM   #8
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Also, any footage which you've converted in compressor will have undergone both a Y'CbCr -> RGB -> Y'CbCr transformation and a DV to DV render, which will effect the raw footage quality. I'd just bring it into FCP and ignore FCP's warnings, as long as it comes in and is recognised as standard DV that does not need rendering. If that's not the case, bring it back in from tape for best quality results.

Graeme
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 08:34 AM   #9
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Thanks

Thanks Guys... Will Do.

Graeme... Does FCP have any type of built in soft focus or glow filter that you know of? I used to use these type of effects in Premiere Pro in my wedding videos.. but havn't found anything like this built into FCP. I've downloaded the set 1 demo from your site and tried playing around with the G Beauty effect. Might end up going this route. Do you not offer the Glow Dissolve effect anymore? I've read that it used to be in your free section but I didn't see it.

Thanks,

Matt Trubac
TruVision Studios
Phone: 517-282-2915
http://www.TruVisionStudios.com
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 08:39 AM   #10
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There is not an inbuilt effect in FCP. But as you've found out, my Set 1 does have one, and there's similar stuff in Film Effects too. As for glow dissolve, is it not in the free downloads? I'll have to check.... http://www.dvuser.co.uk/Main%20pages...ple%20mac.html might also help.....

Graeme
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 12:24 PM   #11
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Figured Something Out

Graeme Thanks for the link. I'm debating between your Film Effects, Set 1, or both.

Back to my original problem... I figured out that when I select a clip... go to the speed settings using "command + J" and turn off Frame Blending the rendered and exported video doesn't flicker like it does with frame blending enabled. Does this sound right?

When frame blending is enabled the worst looking shots (when rendered or exported) are the static shots, but everything looks fine off the timeline with the green preview indicator over it.

Thank You,

Matt Trubac
TruVision Studios
Phone: 517-282-2915
http://www.TruVisionStudios.com
Matt@TruVisionStudios.com
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 10:36 PM   #12
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Hey Matt,

Congratulations on the switch, I also switched from Premiere Pro 1.5 and Matrox rtx 100a. to a Dual G5 2.7.

Correct me if Im wrong but when you import with a matrox, it is DV but I thought it was Matrox version codec DV. I thought I remember having problems bringing anything I captured with my matrox card in to another editing program.

Anyway I know that I am having problems with jittery playback when I just did a project with still pictures around 2000x2500 in size, all the pans and zooms are very jittery and look horrible on my playback monitor. I did turn off field blending and it helped some also, but when I actually rendered and exported my movie it looked alot better. Someone told me it could be the new Dynamic RT doing its thing. Dunno for sure though.

Good luck, Im still trying to get used to the switch too.

Steve
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Old June 27th, 2005, 11:43 AM   #13
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Any Ideas

Hello,

Does Anybody Have A Clue As To Why Everything Looks Fine Before Rendering With Frame Blending Enabled... But After Rendering Doesn't? I have all the Render Control Options under "Sequence > Settings > Render Control" enabled and set to the full resolution and frame rate. I'm getting closer but still havn't quite got this figured out.

Thank You,

Matt Trubac
TruVision Studios
Phone: (517) 282-2915
http://www.TruVisionStudios.com
Matt@TruVisionStudios.com
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Old June 27th, 2005, 07:18 PM   #14
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As Dave Perry pointed out, the fact that you get a green line when dragging the footage to the timeline shows that there is a difference between the format of your clip and the format of your timeline, control click (right click) on the clip in the media browser and go to "item properties/format" take a look at all the settings and compare them to the information from control clicking on the sequence and going to "item properties/item properties" (was it redundant before FCP5? I don't recall). If you notice any difference between the two, you should make a new sequence that is the same settings as your clips. I don't know why final cut is doing a poor job of rerendering the files, but off the bat it shouldn't require rendering at all (you should get the blue grey line where you now see green when dragging into the timeline).
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Old June 27th, 2005, 07:23 PM   #15
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Matt,

Have you tried a test by just capturing some new footage from the same tapes your Matrox project was shot on?
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