New FX1 user--need help for widescreen quicktime at

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old March 30th, 2006, 10:16 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Montara, California
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New FX1 user--need help for widescreen quicktime

Hi folks,

This is my first post--just bought an FX1 and I need a few pointers from more experienced hands...

My immediate problem is to produce output for streaming quicktime though later I'll be working with making DVDs, etc. My background is photography though I've done a little video work and have spent a lot of time with this and other forums trying to get up to speed.

I would like te quicktime to be "widescreen format," perhaps 400 pixels horiz.

Here are the problems I've enountered:

1) Slow workflow--too many steps. Right now I've found two ways to get from HD to my widescreen quicktime: Download the HD to iMovie, edit while sqeezed, and then convert to quicktime; and downconvert in-camera to DV anamorphic using quicktime pro and then resize screen, output back to iMovie for editing.

Both produce acceptable results but are so slow (slow download/slow conversion to quicktime in the first case; slow conversion from Quicktime to iMovie/slow import into iMovie/slow conversion back to quicktime in the second case)--I have slow Macs and am waiting for the Mac/Intel towers later his year or early next. Downloading HD is 1/4 to 1/8 speed; converting to quicktime, etc is very, very slow.

Is there a way to resize the anamorphic DV from within iMovie? That would save a big step. All I see is the otion to allow it to letterbox which gives me the black bars, which I don't want. I can download DV is real time which is a big savings.

2) The FX1 and iMovie don't seem to get along. iMovie will often not see the incoming footage when I have the HDV->DV conversion turned on. The FX1 complains that the firewire cable is plugged in when it is not. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't--mostly doesn't. I can download in Quicktime Pro with no problem. I've seen mention of this problem on the forums but did not see a solution.

3) I have an old FCP that I could maybe upgrade if I had to, or spend the $99 upgrade money elsewhere if needed (though I'd be sorry to lose the simplicity of iMovie in editing) if that is part of a solution. However I'm not in a position to spend gobs of money on new hardware or software--getting the FX1 was a stretch (I'm doing sort of a volunteer journalism in my part of the country). Need to squeek by on what I have for the most part until new Macs arrive.

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

Darin Boville is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 12:59 PM   #2
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Just received my FX1 yesterday and am playing with this very thing. In iMovie HD if I go to File Menu --> Share --> Quicktime/Expert Settings --> Export to MPEG-4 --> Options --> Set Video tab settings to:

File Format: MP4

Video Format: H.264
Data Rate: 256 kbits/sec
Image size: Custom W:320 X H:180
Frame Rate: 30
Key Frame: Every 24 frames
"Video Options" use defaults

This seemed to produce a pretty good product and a 45 sec clip was about 2.1MB. Let me know if it works for you.
Daniel Pratt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 01:05 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Berkshire, UK
Posts: 1,562
Originally Posted by Darin Boville
I would like the quicktime to be "widescreen format," perhaps 400 pixels horiz.
Relax - it's all totally doable. Your tools may need an upward hike, but what you want to do is totally doable. H264 is a danger area with compatibility problems. You can do everything you want with QT6.

I shoot almost all of my stuff in HDV on a Z1 - 16:9. I keep my clients up to date via a web version of the edit using QuickTime movies at 384x216 (you will need to read up on embedded QuickTime movies on web pages, including the 16 pixels added to the depth so you can show the controller, plus ensuring you compress for progressive download, and yada yada yada - hence the fear over web movies)

The arcane numbers I quote should be followed - I could banter about quantisation, harmonics, the nature of Discrete Cosine Transformations, but I won't.

So do those numbers, encode to QuickTime Sorenson 3 and checking Streaming options, and you will have a movie that progressively downloads on ADSL and displays in a natural 16:9 format a bit like this:

1x VBR at 300 Kbps
Audio uses MP3 codec
Video uses Sorenson codec

PLEASE NOTE - and pretty please with sugar on top - this is just a work in progress to demonstrate HDV in 16:9 to show the client the pre-edit. Sound is crap, we didn't intend to do voxpops but they happened. I didn't even have time to get focus right. Please don't link to it. :-)

Hope this helps,

Matt Davis is offline   Reply

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