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Old May 9th, 2005, 07:02 PM   #241
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Artifacts and exporting to DVD FCP3

I have a few reoccurring problems that are bothering me:

1. I have become more aware of that my deck and cameras are leaving artifacts or what I call glitches (for a faction of a second see pixelization and a skip in the sound). I first bought a cleaning cassette and found limited results.

The deck was so bad I sent it back to Sony for repair for $200. Which seemed to be ok until I started to get back into video again. Now I notice it’s starting to do it again after very little use. I'm at a dilemma whether to send it back for another repair or demand a new one. This was like $1,000 Sony mini deck.

The cameras (Sony vx1000, vx2000 and canon alura) all leave these glitches when capturing, some more than other you can never tell when it's going to do it until you review the footage and notice it.

You might be asking, how do I know if its the equipment. Today I was capturing a 20 second clip, we see a clip, pop the tape into his brand new camera and bingo its not there.

So my question: Is this a common problem that any of you have experienced? Do the heads have a short life of few years before they start doing this sort of thing? I've got more important projects down the road and I can't afford for this to keep happening. It's making me look unprofessional.

2. A while back I exported a movie for an informational interview and the movie hesitated and wouldn't display any transitions or effects (cross dissolves, fades, etc). A friend later clued me in on those FCP3 only exports as QuickTime mpeg 4, which don't run properly on older DVD players. I recently read FCP3 help file that said if DVD studio pro is installed that FCP will you the option to export as an mpeg 2 which will play on all DVD players. I installed DVD Studio pro2 but I still don't see an mpeg export option. Can anyone help me out?
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Old May 9th, 2005, 11:45 PM   #242
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Pete,
Most people call those glitches dropped frames. They do have to do with the record heads in your camera and deck, and cleaning the heads is a good place to start. I have read reports of switching tape stocks causing horrible dirty heads, so if you used Sony tapes for a while and switched to Panasonic then that could cause the problem (this is supposedly an issue with different lubricants, but I have never found a definitive answer to the tape lubricant question). You might also have to send your camera or deck in for repair to solve the problem. Or, at best, you might just switch to a higher quality brand of tapes. All the DVX users I know who use the Panasonic Master Quality tapes have no problems with dropped frames, and I've had no problems with high quality Sony tapes and the PD-170s I used to use.

As for the MPEG-2 export, you'll find it in FCP under File>Export>Using QuickTime Conversion. Select MPEG-2 from the dropdown menu, and then you can tweak the settings. But you'll probably have better results if you export a QuickTime movie and run it through Compressor, which ships with both FCP4 and DVDSP. By the way, MPEG-4 won't likely run on any DVD player, older or otherwise. DVD-Video is all MPEG-2. Best of luck.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 04:31 AM   #243
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I have a Panasonic Deck. I've always used the same Sony tapes on it (shot on XL1s), and it was super fine. Then one day, I had to capture 5 hours of panasonic tapes; and thats where it got messed up. After capturing, the deck heads were really messed up. Strong noise and glitches. So I ran and got a cleaning tape and ran it in the deck.
Now it's much better. But I get those annoying glitches (a glitch every 1 minute). I know it's not a big deal, but it's really annoying when the glitch appears in a crucial frame. I have to re-capture the tape, or go fix the frame in Photoshop!!
Now I have to send it back to Panasonic to fix it. But from the threads in this forum, it seems that this problem always comes back :S
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Old May 10th, 2005, 01:06 PM   #244
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thx

To wrap up here's my status:

1. For dropped frames: I'll use the cassette cleaner again, return the deck for another repair, buys the high end sony dv tapes, and just live with the results.

2. FCP3 mpeg 2 export to dvd. I looked again and found it in the format list.

thx for the help, you guys are great resource!
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Old May 15th, 2005, 09:36 PM   #245
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Chroma Key FCP Help please!

I've got a project due this Wednesday (May 18th) and I'm having problems with getting the chroma key right. I showed it to my producer and he said the previous editor was able to achieve a better key than me using the same screen set up. My edges are soft and and have a purple fringe. I'm using Final Cut Pro 3 and the video was shot on a green screen. Does FCP do a good job keying if not plugin or software suggestions?

I uploaded still images of before and after.
http://mydesignbiz.com/download/key/chroma_before.jpg
http://mydesignbiz.com/download/key/chroma_after.jpg
http://mydesignbiz.com/download/key/chroma2_before.jpg

If someone could try keying one of the before stills and let me know if its possible to get a good key with lighting and what settings you used to achieve it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. thx

My Filters settings are as follows:

Blue and Green
color level = 95
color tolerance = 74
edge thin = 62
edge feather = 10

Matte Choker
edge thin = 64
edge feather = 100

Spill Suppress
amount = 73
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Old May 16th, 2005, 07:21 AM   #246
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Was the shot lit the same for the previous editor. That chroma key lighting is HORRID. Lighting the background FLAT AND EVEN are key to a good chroma key especially if your source is DV.

It's been a long time since I used FCP3. FCP4.5 has nice built in chroma keying especially with the added 4:1:1 chroma smother filter which helps keying in "DV" color space.

There are some great 3rd party chroma key plugins for FCP if they can budget for them.

The key material you've been given is NOT GOOD though. I'd love to see what the "previous editor" was given to work with.
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Old May 16th, 2005, 07:55 AM   #247
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I had a feel it was uneven lighting causing the problem, but since this is the first time I've done chroma keying and my producer was so adament it should work I figured it was something I was doing wrong.

Its a low budget production. My producer has a wall painted green in his apartment with two clamp lights at 45 degrees. The subject is around 3ft from wall (it would probably be better if he was farther away but its a small room). Any suggestions to evenly light green screen?

I tried adobe premier (which the previous editor used) and it worked better even though it's older and less sophisticated.
http://mydesignbiz.com/download/key/chroma-premiere.jpg

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; May 16th, 2005 at 08:39 AM. Reason: added link
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Old June 14th, 2005, 02:41 PM   #248
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Can't capture--Error message irrelevant

Hi,

I'm using FCP3 on a 15" G4/1200, OSX. When I ry to capture I get an error:

"An error occurred finding one or more of the specified capture scratch volume(s). Verify that both audio and video scratch disks are set in the Preferences."

My prefs are fine. Any idea what's up?

thanks,
elmer
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Old June 14th, 2005, 03:01 PM   #249
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I thought this problem was specific to FCP 4.x, but it might also affect FCP 3:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=44189

Also see the following info on how to delete corrupted preference files:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....57&postcount=6
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Old June 14th, 2005, 03:29 PM   #250
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Close but...

Boyd,

Before seeing your reply I found I could capture 'Now' but not batch capture.

Thanks for the quick help, I checked it out. No good. Same thing. This has happened before and went away. I'll just shut down and suck my thumb.

thanks for trying.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 03:59 PM   #251
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What version of OS X are you running?
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Old June 14th, 2005, 04:28 PM   #252
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Sir,

10.3.9.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 04:52 PM   #253
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I know that 10.3.9 broke some things with FCP 4.5, Apple issued a patch for it. I'm sure they didn't bother to patch an old application like FCP 3 however. Did you ever have this problem before updating to 10.3.9? You could go back to 10.3.8 but it might be a pain. AFAIK, you'd have to reinstall from whatever version of 10.3 you originally bought, then install the 10.3.8 update here:

http://www.apple.com/support/downloa...1038combo.html
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Old August 11th, 2005, 02:36 AM   #254
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I had this same problem today on FCE. Boyd - I followed a link you posted in another thread - http://www.apple.com/support/finalcutexpress/

Here it addressed this very problem in FAQ. It turns out using a solidus (i.e. a forward slash ' / ') in your captured file description (say 'WS dog/child'), it causes problems with the Capture Scratch directory leading to this error message. I in fact had used a solidus and once I renamed all files minus the '/' I am capturing without problem (touch wood.)
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Old August 11th, 2005, 07:59 AM   #255
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"Solidus?" Wow - you just taught me something.... never heard that term before.

That wouldn't have occured to me, but never would have happened to me either. MacOS X is unix, and the / character is the path delimiter. In other words, if I have a file named "example" in my Documents folder the full pathname of that file would be /Users/ostroff/Documents/example. Of course DOS and Windows use the \ character instead, which is the mark of the Devil ;-) MacOS 9 and earlier versions used the colon : for this purpose, and wouldn't allow you to put it in a filename.

MacOS X is pretty good at dealing with these issues so a regular user won't normally run into them. For example, there are lots of reserved characters you can't put in real unix filenames, like blank spaces, asterisks, question marks, etc. These reserved characters can be used in filenamesif they're "escaped" by placing the \ character in front of them. So normally under OS X if you name a file "I'm not sure?" the user interface will automatically convert it to I\'m\ not\ sure\?

Apple had to build this into MacOS X or there would have been lots of problems when the switch came along since unix can be very unforgiving about filenames. In fact, they made one big kludge in OS X which can actually be a compatability problem with other versions of unix. MacOS 9 didn't differentiate between upper and lower case. This little hack, which pretty much dates back to a time when people used teletype machines without lowercase (same with MS DOS) was a big oversight in MacOS I think. But Apple had to grandfather it into OS X. Under every other version of unix a file named "Example" would be completely differerent from one named "example", and you could have them both in the same directory without conflict. But under OS X you couldn't have both of those files in the same directory, the operating system would view them as being the same. MacOS X simply ignores case.

OK, now I've strayed WAY off topic and told you much more than you ever wanted to know. But if anyone is still reading... it's probably safest not to use the / character in file names. Use a dash, and underscore, etc. It shouldn't be a problem to use the / however you've just seen that certain software may have bugs which don't properly filter out reserved characters. With my unix background, I just don't use any of those characters in filenames, and I don't usually put blank spaces in them either. For one thing, if you upload files like that to a unix/linux webserver you're asking for trouble.

Final bit of trivia... if you're curious as to how MacOS deals with these names, or what it translates the full path of a directory to, open the Terminal application (in the Utilities folder). Drag any file or folder into the terminal window and it will display the actual file name.

Anyway, thanks a lot for uncovering this glitch Daniel, it may save someone else a lot of trouble!
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