FCP 4.5 Quicktime compression issues?? at DVinfo.net

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Old August 3rd, 2005, 11:08 PM   #1
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FCP 4.5 Quicktime compression issues??

I am exporting using quicktime conversion, choosing "quicktime mov." and the quality is horribly pixilated. I'm not sure if this is something to do with my overall FCP system codec settings.

This process should be simple but it's giving me a really hard time, just to export to a quicktime self contained movie.

What do you suggest?


Thank You,

Richard
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 11:54 PM   #2
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Richard,
What resolution are you working in, and what output resolution do you want? If you just want a self-contained QuickTime movie with the full resolution of your FCP project then you should export using Export>QuickTime Movie rather than Export>Using QuickTime Conversion. Just make sure you're exporting using current settings and FCP will export a full-resolution movie using your editing codec. If you want to export something for web or other computer-based delivery then you can use QuickTime Conversion and play with different codecs. In that case, you should check the DVD and Web Video delivery forum for hundreds of useful hints and platform wars about which codec to use.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 07:20 PM   #3
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making output look softer with less focus :(

I've been also having problems with my output to DVD using Quicktime. It seems to make the final output on my tv off of DVD with a softer image which makes some of what looked orignally in focus off the master tapes I shot with my XL2 that I digitized to FCP HD look somewhat out of focus with a softer image quality to the over all picture. I've been using Export Quicktime Movie for the conversion. Although, I didn;t choose "Current Setting" but chose DV/DVC Pro setting. Would there be any differance between the two. It's frustrating to not get the same , or at lease close to the same image quality / sharpness I see off the master tapes when viewing directly from my camera onto the TV. Any suggestions? The footage I shot was in 24P (not advanced) 16:9.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 07:38 PM   #4
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Joseph,
Have you viewed the QuickTime movie in FCP on your NTSC monitor? If the full-res QuickTime file looks soft then I don't know what to tell you. But if you are only seeing softness on the DVD then I imagine your MPEG-2 encoder is causing the drop in sharpness. If you are using Compressor or just dropping the file into a program like DVD Studio Pro then this would not be at all surprising. Many people complain about Compressor softening their images. I've never seen it soften the image so severely that it ruins apparent focus, but I suppose it's possible. In this case you would benefit from using a different MPEG-2 encoder. Most people who take the time to test the very few software encoders on the Mac prefer BitVice, and they laud its sharpness. I didn't find a huge quality difference when I compared the BitVice demo to Compressor, but I might not have a great eye for sharpness. You should try the demo and see if it helps. The only drawback I found in BitVice is that it is painfully slow. If that doesn't work you could also try the MainConcept encoder.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 08:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Andolina
...It seems to make the final output on my tv off of DVD with a softer image ... I've been using Export Quicktime Movie for the conversion. ... Would there be any differance between the two. ...
The proper workflow is to export from FCP using File->Export->Quicktime Movie. You may want to set the Settings dropdown manually instead of assuming it's right for the format you are working with. Exporting to Quicktime Movie assembles all of the video material and render files into a single Quicktime file (reference file or self contained depending on checkbox setting).

Richard:
The Export to QuickTime Conversion recompresses the video according to the plethora of QuickTime codecs and settings. There is no one setting that constitutes a "QuickTime movie". If the result is pixelated, then the settings were wrong for the way you are playing it (window size etc). If you don't know what you are doing, use the presets to pick the basic scneario you plan to use for playback (web, DSL, CDROM etc). If you want the highest quality possible, don't export using QuickTime Conversion, export to a QuickTime Movie instead. THe file will be large but it will be great looking. To make it better, turn on the high quality settings in the QuickTime player.
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