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Old August 1st, 2006, 04:45 PM   #1
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Final Cut Pro Question

We are working on a photo montage using FCP 5 and suddenly noticed that the picture quality in the viewer is high quality but in the viewer it is poor. Lots of pixelation. Seems that each time we open the project it gets worse. ??? Anyone know what might be going on? Thanks. This has to be done next week for the client. Ahhh!
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Old August 1st, 2006, 05:03 PM   #2
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FCP uses low resolution real-time previews for certain things that otherwise would have to be rendered.

Chances are you're just seeing that.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 06:27 PM   #3
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we have already rendered, would that make any difference? Thanks
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Old August 1st, 2006, 06:33 PM   #4
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Some of the RT modes do not render unless you specifically tell FCP to render those sections.

If you could post a screenshot it would help.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 03:47 AM   #5
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I've done a photo montage before where I had to scan in the images through photoshop then import to FCE.

The lessons I learnt were to scan at a really high resolution then resize to a screen ratio equal to either PAL or NTSC but in bigger dimensions (ie not 720 * 576 but 1440 * 1152)

These always looked worse on the monitor than when on DVD for the final product. In fact they usually looked better in the canvas BEFORE i rendered them!

Check out the thread

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=72085

specifically the Larry Jordan article mentioned.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 12:21 PM   #6
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Rendered or not, you usually get the same (poor) quality in the Viewer window. The Canvas window will change upon RT modes, rendered, etc.

Don't be too worried about the Viewer window. You only want to start worrying if you have poor quality in the Canvas or full-screen after rendering.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #7
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You may have to resort to exporting a small portion of the timeline to check for quality on the output. Just use the "in" and "out" markers to select a minute or two on the timeline and export it to a QuickTime compression setting close to the final output. If the output of exported clip is poor than something else is wrong with the sequence, compression or project settings. If the quality of the compressed clip is up to your standards, then continue to position the photos in low resolution knowing that the final output will look nice.

Low resolution previews are very difficult to edit with. You may want to look into hardware offerings such as AJA, Decklink or the new Matrox MXO box to improve the experience. For software only, I almost always use After Effects for picture montages because of AE's tool set and uncompressed QuickTime output.

CJ Rogers
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