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Old July 12th, 2007, 01:23 PM   #1
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DV 60i, FCP and Interlacing

Not sure if this is the correct forum for this post but was hoping that some of my fellow JVC users could lend a hand. I shot video with an HD-110 set to DV mode; the frame rate was 60i (60/30). I recorded onto a Firestore HD-100 recording QuickTime. I transferred the Firestore QuickTime clips to a Mac dual G5, which has a Blackmagic Decklink card. I then imported the clips from the Mac into Final Cut Pro v4.5, set the FCP “Easy Setup” menu to “DV NTSC” and began editing the project.

I think I’m having an interlace issue. The footage when viewed on an NTSC monitor is not sharp/crisp…there are thin lines mostly visible in highlight areas and around the edges of objects and people’s bodies. What makes me think it’s an interlace issue is that when I still frame the FCP timeline the picture is sharp/correct. Playing the timeline reveals the problem. I also see this issue on the LCD computer monitor only it’s much more subtle. I’ve made one deviation from the standard FCP “Easy Setup” DV NTSC mode. I have set the “video playback” not to “Firewire DV” but to “Blackmagic 8 bit”.

After two days of reading manuals and forum posts I’m beginning to feel like I did when I was a child trying to find out how to spell a word. “Look in the dictionary” was always what I was told but often not knowing how to spell the word made it difficult to find the correct page of the dictionary If you can’t give me the answer to the problem, could someone at least point me to the right page so I can make some forward progress?
Lance Russell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #2
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Try switching back to Firewire DV and recording a bit to tape. Play to the NTSC monitor from the camera to see if the problem goes away.

If the tape plays OK, you know you can ignore the error on the monitor for projects going back to the hd100 as the DV tape recorder.

I have the same camera and Mac but a Kona card, so I can't test here.
George Strother is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2007, 11:57 PM   #3
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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
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You can't judge the quality of the video on the FCP screens, you must only look at your NTSC output to see what the final image will really look like.

FCP takes certain 'shortcuts,' depending on your RAM, processor speed, etc in order to show the video in real-time, on the mac's monitor, while playing at full speed. This may include pixel reduction, lower frame rates, or both. FCP seems to add 'sharpening' on the interface image (but not the actual output) when paused to make the reduced dimensions easier to see.

DV in fairly foolproof. The decklink will take the lower field first dominance into consideration when outputting DV-NTSC video.

If it looks correct on your NTSC output, then you have nothing to worry about.

Since you think the image is soft on the NTSC monitor, I suggest you capture or download some other DV samples (that you know to be sharp) and see if the problem still exists. If it does, then the problem may be in the NTSC monitor settings (aperture or sharpness, or maybe blooming from excessive contrast.)
If you are only experiencing lack of sharpness on HD100 originated footage, please check your detail setting in the camera. If it is set to -7 or lower you will likely need to add sharpness back into the image with either the sharpness filter or unsharp mask.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 02:29 AM   #4
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DV 60i, FCP and Interlacing

Thanks for the responses guys, I appreciate your having taken the time. I'm sure I'll be spending more hours trying to get to the bottom of this issue but, unfortunately, this week is not the week for that chore.

I ended up copying the completed edit from the original FCP project, opening up another FCP project with the "Easy Setup" settings that I normally use (Blackmagic 8 bit) and pasting the copied footage. I had to render all of the footage but that work-around did the trick. The footage is sharp and looks like it did when I shot it. All-in all it was considerably easier and quicker than slogging through manuals and forum posts searching for clues. Again, thanks for your help.
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