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Old June 25th, 2010, 10:51 PM   #1
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Pain in the rear

This is really having me pull my hair out.

Edited video for a client for that will be used for webstreaming. Insisted on using photos in the production even though I was against it. Looks cheesy in my opinion.

Edited the video in FCP 5. Video includes panning photos and slow zooms. I then sent it to Motion for graphics.

I sent him an .mov file I thought looked good: 2 and a half minutes at 500 meg. Client and the person who is doing his webpage, etc says it looks grainy and the photos have jaggy edges. I look at the video again and I believe it looks good. However, it does have jaggy edges. I assume there is a compression problem giving it a grainy look. I fix the jaggies in PS sending them back to FCP as tiff's.. Or so i though....I still have the jagged edges.

Any ideas on how to get rid of jagged edges in photos?
Is there a FCP "secret" to compressing video?

I'm to the point where I'm about to send him the tape and let him hire some other poor sap to work on this. I'm loosing money and frankly, I'm fed up.

Thanks for any and all help.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 11:01 PM   #2
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Are you working in an interlaced format? That will likely be the cause of your "jaggies".
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Old June 25th, 2010, 11:07 PM   #3
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Well, I've sent it out interlaced. Let me check the deinterlace feature on the export and see what it does.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 11:11 PM   #4
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Still don't understand this graininess it supposedly has. I set the project as a 720x 405 (widescreen) and compressor as a PNG and it looks bit better. I'm rendering the deinterlaced and will see what happens.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 12:04 AM   #5
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Another question. This one probably simple to answer.

My photos look good in the timeline while the timeline stands still. However, when I hit 'play', the get fuzzy. And when I render them, they look fuzzy as well.

Forgive my ignorance. I'm used to editing video and not adding photos to a project. This is all new to me.

Regards,
Marc S
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Old June 26th, 2010, 04:46 AM   #6
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Adding photos to a project adds a number of complications:

Firstly, people are used to seeing photos at much higher resolution than they are video, so there is always an instant reaction that the photos 'don't look that good' when they are in video, especially SD video. This is simply a human perception/understanding thing.

Secondly, interlace artifacting - which is particularly tricky when using moving photos, because they are starting as single progressive source, you are having to move them, and often you are scaling them down a lot which creates even more headaches in terms of interlace line twitter and sub pixel detail issues. Some sort of interlacing artifacting is almost certainly the cause of your 'they look good when still, but not when moving on the timeline' issues (but it could also be render settings and other potential problems).

Thirdly, bad scaling of large images can create both aliasing and moire - so you need to have a workflow in place in terms of how you are ingesting your images into your NLE.

Fourthly, delivering a project for both video and the web that uses both interlaced video and progressive photos is doubly tricky, because in the case of the web, you will need to deinterlace your project. In this case you will be throwing away half the resolution of your video, and MAY also be throwing away half the resolution of your already down scaled pictures, depending on your workflow.

For Final Cut, here are some basic concepts:

1) Always scale large pictures in Photoshop or another image editing program to roughly the maximum size you will need them in your timeline BEFORE bringing them into your project.

By this I mean if someone sends you a 2000 by 1800 pixel photo, and you are working on an SD timeline - don't just drop it in your project at that resolution. Scale it so that the maximum amount you will zoom into the photo in the given shot is no larger than your SD frame size (in your case that's 720 wide). Not only will this make your renders much lighter, it will also avoid the bad job of scaling that Final Cut's timeline will do compared to the much better job that an image editor will do (with variable options regarding which method of scaling to do).

If you were doing the moves in Motion or After Effects, this is much less of an issue, but when doing image pans and zooms in Final Cut, this is particularly important.

2) Ensure your timeline settings match your key deliverable. If your key deliverable is web video, then you want to be working on a progressive (no field order) timeline so your images never get interlaced. This means you don't have to deinterlace the photos at the end and throw away resolution, and you'll only deinterlace the video - which HAS to be deinterlaced for the web anyway. It also means you shouldn't deinterlace your final export.

3) If your key deliverable IS for interlaced video, make sure you have decent plugins for dealing with interlace line twitter/flicker. The Too Much Too Soon free plugins have a very good Reduce Flicker plugin, and a bunch of other very useful plugins, and did I say they were free. Everyone should have these plugins.

So in your case, as the project is for web streaming video, first and foremost work in a deinterlaced timeline (no field order). This will get rid of a large amount of your issues. Secondly scale the photos to an SD friendly size before working with them in Final Cut - this will also deal with a lot of your issues.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 05:47 AM   #7
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I agree with Craig on scaling photos in Photoshop.

I know it's easy to throw them into FCP but spending a few more minutes in PS will yield better results.

Oh, Craig I have looked at your work on your web and outstanding media you are producing.

Cheers
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Old June 26th, 2010, 06:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Oh, Craig I have looked at your work on your web and outstanding media you are producing.
Thanks - although I can't take credit for a lot of the work there as a creative - I'm just Post Production Supervisor and occasional an editor - so I'm mostly dealing with workflow issues and client liason. We have a couple of very talented motion graphics guys in house who deserve the lion share of the credit when it comes to the cooler looking projects we do.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 07:00 AM   #9
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Although this is probably not the issue, client miscommunication is sometime the problem. One, if it's a standard definition project make sure the client is using a SD TV Monitor not an HD set or even worse, a computer monitor. Can't tell you how many times I get, "Wow, it looks good now, what did you do?" when I have them switch to a regular TV set.

Two, make sure the client is properly communicating what they need. I spent a week of back and forth with a client who had insisted that they were mastering a DVD when in fact they were mastering a BluRay. I got the same complaints about jaggies as you did. The client should have known better as they are a commercial release movie distributor and they make BluRays all the time. Finally I located the manager in charge of the authoring facility and asked pointblank, "What are you making?" That settled I spent a couple of hours reformatting the half hour extra to the exact standard the authoring house needed and sent it out.

All said, it pays to make sure the client is aware of the technology involved ahead of time and not assume that they understand everything. My mistake was to assume that the movie distributor had experienced people but in fact they were all new hires making rookie mistakes. I'll try not to make that mistake again.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 08:44 AM   #10
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Wow!

Great information from all of you. Thanks for posting. I played around late into the the night (prior to seeing your advice) and have at least made a bit of progress. However, I'm not sure if this is going to solve the problem. I will use all of what's here and see what happens.

The video is for a man who owns a hotel. As for client communication, I believe this is a big part of it. The client knows little to nothing about video production. He's a businessman wanting an inexpensive production. At first he liked the video. However, he changed his mind when he sent it to a friend who supposedly does video production. I spoke with the video production friend and he said he thought it was grainy and then told me his 20 plus years experience doing production and he's not-trying-to-tell-me-how-to-do-my-job.

I fell all of this began when we started to throw in stills in place of video. And believe me..some of the stills were absolutely horrible. One was a cartoon-like drawing. Unbelievable. But, it's his production.

I'll post my results as I continue to drag this production out.

One other thing.... I delivered the final product (a 2-minute video) on a thumbdrive in an .mov format at 500 meg. This was to allow the video production friend to convert it into a format he can use on the web. Having said all this...could all of my problems be due to the delivery method?



Thanks a million!

Last edited by Marc W Shepherd; June 26th, 2010 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Adding more information
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Old June 26th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #11
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Oh boy, the "expert" friend. I've encountered those more often then I would have liked. That's a big problem and it rarely turns out good for everybody involved. Somebody invariably gets insulted or humiliated. Good luck.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #12
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If final delivery was intended for web you were better-off following a progressive workflow (no need of interlaced video or sequences here).
Great advice in all replies!
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Old June 26th, 2010, 12:25 PM   #13
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Don't you hate those "I have a friend..."? If his friend is so good, then why didn't HE do the project...

One thing that has made a tremendous difference is a simple procedure: In Quicktime, the high quality box MUST be checked. If it isn't, then it looks low grade. After it's checked, and the video reopened under the new configuration, it looks much better. I have a feeling that "friend" doesn't have this box checked. He's an AVID editor and probably doesn't use Quicktime that much.

I'm going to post a link to the video after I upload it to YouTube. (If this is allowed in the forum) If allowed, I'll let you know so (if interested) you can check it out for you opinion. Not that YouTube is the greatest, but it should give you an idea.

Thanks
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Old June 26th, 2010, 12:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc W Shepherd View Post
One other thing.... I delivered the final product (a 2-minute video) on a thumbdrive in an .mov format at 500 meg. This was to allow the video production friend to convert it into a format he can use on the web. Having said all this...could all of my problems be due to the delivery method?
Do you mean that the .MOV file is 500MB in size? If so what CODEC did you put in the .MOV wrapper because that is pretty monstrous for an 2 minute SD video file.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 12:52 PM   #15
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Hi Nigel,

CODEC:
DV/DVCPRO-NTSC
Big Indian
720 x 480

BTW, I live in Chateauroux for about 2 years. My mother is French. Great place. How far is it from where you live?
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