ProRes looks the best in Final Cut? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 12th, 2010, 02:10 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Posts: 616
ProRes looks the best in Final Cut?

I've done a test exporting an animation from After Effects with 3 different codecs. The gigantic "animation codec" the more gigantic "uncompressed 422" and the manageable "ProRes HQ". They looked exactly the same to me in quicktime, but in Final Cut the animation and uncompressed versions were jaggy, even after compressing or exporting from Final Cut. The Pro Res version looked way better.
I have no question that using ProRes is the best option for me because it takes up less space than the other codecs. But I am surprised that the higher quality codecs couldn't hold up in Final Cut. I've seen this before many years ago in animation class when we were all told to use animation codec when exporting for Final Cut because it's the best quality. It just looked crunchy to me when it was in the timeline. Has anyone else noticed this?
Aric Mannion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2010, 03:09 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 785
I won't use ProRes when I send a clip to Motion. Sometimes I've noticed a slight color shift when I finish the round trip back into the FCP sequence. So I always use the Animation codec these days because it keeps the colors pristine. Mind you, I'm running FCP 6.0.6 and Motion 3.0.2.
David Knaggs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New York NY
Posts: 322
Aric, do you have an external broadcast monitor hooked up? It's best to evaluate your footage there, especially for this kind of side-by-side testing.

FWIW, I prefer to render out of AE, Shake or Motion in a codec that matches my FCP timeline. If I need an alpha channel for transparency, then I would use animation or the new ProRes 4444.
Arnie Schlissel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2010, 06:41 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 444
Are you putting the files on sequence with a non matching timeline? Do they come up with an orange bar above them (meaning you are unlimited realtime and they need rendering) - Could be your viewing conditions/lack of render rather than anything directly relating to Final Cut.
__________________
www.afterglow.co.nz
Craig Parkes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 11:01 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Posts: 616
I'm looking at a new apple screen, not a broadcast monitor. But I'm not looking at color, I'm looking at jaggies which are only introduced by my non-pro res clips after rendering or exporting from final cut. I can't imagine editing with my sequence settings set as uncompressed or animation, so admittedly the clips do not match my sequence settings. I know I can't trust FCP canvas, but even after export the pro res clips look better.
If you guys have time maybe you could put a ProRes HQ, animation, and uncompress 422 clips in a timeline, and export them to see which looks best. Everything but pro res causes my image to have jagged edges.

I'll try to upload screenshots when I have time.
Aric Mannion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 11:30 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New York NY
Posts: 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aric Mannion View Post
I'm looking at a new apple screen, not a broadcast monitor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aric Mannion View Post
I know I can't trust FCP canvas
Well, this is why it's important to use a broadcast monitor. The FCP canvas is designed for performance and convenience, and it only works at half resolution most of the time. IOW, don't trust the canvas.
Arnie Schlissel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 02:02 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Posts: 616
I'm not looking at the canvas Arnie, I'm talking about the final export. Apple monitors are nice enough for me to see that a jaggy video looks bad and a crisp video looks good.
Anyway I'm not making this for broadcast and I'd be surprised if the results were opposite when viewed on a broadcast monitor.
Aric Mannion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2010, 12:41 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 444
Arnie - because the sequence settings aren't matching your footage is going through two lots of compression, once out of after effects, and again on the timeline out of Final Cut when you export again. Not knowing more details about your project (Resolution, Pixel Aspect Ratio etc.) or how you have exported from either Final Cut or After Effects its near impossible to tell what's going on - there are a number of quirks with how quicktime plays back different footage that could be impacting you, but it's probably most likely to do with the sequence settings on your timeline.

Could also be an interlacing issue - again this depends on your sequence settings and your project settings.
__________________
www.afterglow.co.nz
Craig Parkes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 15th, 2010, 10:54 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Posts: 616
Craig, that was directed to me not Arnie.
I have proof right here that in all instances ProRes looks better in Final Cut than animation or uncompressed 422.
I have exported the exact same clip from After Effects three times: once with animation codec, once as Pro Res HQ, and once as Uncompressed 422. I have brought these three clips into a Final Cut Pro timeline with a 1920x1080 sequence and fields set to none. I have made three final cut timelines, the only difference being that one sequence setting is set to "uncompressed 422" one sequence setting is set to "animation" and one sequence setting is set to "ProRes HQ". I have labeled with final cut's text which is which (so the text quality is not part of the test). In all sequences the ProRes HQ looks the best. Please take a look at this attachment for yourself, it is the animation sequence version but all three versions had identical results. You can clearly see that Uncompressed and animation codec videos in Final Cut are Jagged when compared to ProResHQ, and therefore not usable to me. This is just a circle made in After Effects with the shape tool, but I have the same issue with HD video shot from various cameras as well as any of my animation work that I do.
This is as detailed a response as I can give, and if any of you still have doubts please do a test and help me understand.
Attached Files
File Type: mov animation sequence.mov (519.5 KB, 149 views)
Aric Mannion is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:22 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network