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Old February 28th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #1
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Compression in FCP

What compression should I use working in FCP with an output to miniDV and DVDr?

I've been using Adobe Premiere 6.5, and tomorrow finally getting FCP Studio.

I've been using Quicktime for output and was told today that I should use AVI. I see in an older version of FCP 3.0 Quicktime AVI....is that what I should use for the least compression?

I'm a bit confused at this point and wanted to get some advice.

Thanks for any of it!

Lucinda
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Old February 28th, 2006, 08:16 PM   #2
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Lucinda, if you're outputting to miniDV you don't have to do any compression, just use print to video. To put on DVD just export quicktime movie, not quicktime compression, and unceck "make movie self-contained" then use this Quicktime movie in your compression software. This is just a reference movie so it won't be a very big file, and you can delete it when you're done the DVD.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 01:07 AM   #3
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Hi,

I was told that quicktime is lossy compression...is that the right word and that avi is akin to dv. I know about outputting to miniDV, but I still need help with the .avi issue.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 01:17 AM   #4
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AVI and QuickTime are not compression schemes or codecs - they are just file formats. The type and amount of compression you apply depends on the codec you choose. Both AVI and QuickTime support many types of lossy and lossless compression. Generally it's best to output with the codec you used for editing. So if you edited DV then output a QuickTime movie using the DV codec (which uses lossy compression no matter which file format you choose). Nate's instructions will help you with that. Unless you have a specific need for AVI then stick with QuickTime on the Mac.

If for some reason you need an AVI (to work in a Windows application, for example) then you can use QuickTime conversion to output an AVI, but your AVI options are limited in Final Cut. If you're working in DV then you have the DV/DVC Pro codec, and you can set the framerate and quality to match your timeline. Otherwise your only good option is uncompressed, which is not a good option at all for most people.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 01:26 AM   #5
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Hi Zach,

Good to hear from you again. I have been using what you've mentioned all along. I just got this other opinion today about .avi files not being compressed while quicktime files are...so I wanted to learn more about that. Why would using an uncompressed file as you said at the last not be a good option? because the file size would be too large?

The other issue I have is, and it is related to the above one--is that I have the movie on dvdr which is now mpeg, (I burned to dvdr using a dvd recorder), and I need to capture this movie and make some changes to the audio, not the video. I can't work in the timeline in FCP in .mpeg, so I assume I will use quicktime? but won't I loose quality? or if I work in the timeline using quicktime and then I would export using .mpeg in order not to loose resolution? is that correct?

Thanks so much for your help!

Lucinda
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Old March 1st, 2006, 07:04 AM   #6
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I'm pretty sure that you can't edit native mpeg in FCP so try using mpeg streamclip to convert the files on the dvd to something that you can edit natively in FCP.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 04:25 PM   #7
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Yes, uncompressed is a bad option for most people because the file size is large. If you're working in DV, it's unlikely you would see any benefit from rendering an uncompressed file so it's not worth it for the massive disk space increase (it goes from something like 13GB/hr for DV to 1.1GB/min for uncompressed SD).

You will lose some quality when you recompress the MPEG-2 from the DVD, but if that's the only source you have then I don't think there's another option. FCP5 can edit the HDV version of MPEG-2, but I don't think that helps you with clips from a DVD.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 05:21 PM   #8
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The quality loss is too bad, but I've learned my lesson and will make a copy of every movie on dvdr as well as miniDV so I can keep the original resolution.

Lucinda
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