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Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro

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Jason BernagozziVery specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 13, 2012 at 5:31:46 pm

This forum seems to be the best place for this kind of question, I apologize if it is in th wrong place:

To explain my question, in my video practice I utilize various hacking strategies to create "glitch effects" with 1080p video. Normally this is accomplished by having my custom made program glitch the video within a 1920x1080 frame (much like a 1080p QT not in fullscreen mode) and then I record using Screenflick or some other screen capture software. The reason this is not output to an external device (or internal recording) is due to the fact that the glitching is not permanent and often slows everything to a crawl if I am running more than the recording and the glitch hack, so I have to capture it the moment it happens.

Now, with the new Retina display, it would seem that I could potentially keep working in the same fashion. However my concern is with the pixel doubling: if I capture the image in a 1920x1080 window is it capturing the pixels I am actually viewing or will there be issues when I output the screen recording to a 1080p tv? It seems like it should be fine, but due to the way that the retina display scales your graphics, I am worried that what I record doesn't match what I output for delivery.

I already asked Apple reps, but they weren't much help, so I figured i'd ask here. If there is an issue, I can imagine that this display won't be terribly useful for people who do video tutorials


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Franz BieberkopfRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 13, 2012 at 5:56:49 pm

[Jason Bernagozzi] "in my video practice I utilize various hacking strategies to create "glitch effects" with 1080p video. Normally this is accomplished by having my custom made program glitch the video within a 1920x1080 frame (much like a 1080p QT not in fullscreen mode) and then I record using Screenflick or some other screen capture software."

Jason,


I have no answer to your question, but I just wanted to say this is fantastic and if you can package it in a real-time box that looks and acts like a guitar pedal, I'll buy one.


Franz.


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Douglas K. DempseyRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 13, 2012 at 6:37:08 pm

That effect sounds cool; can we see it on YouTube or Vimeo in a sample?

You indeed have a real concern. Pixel doubling and scaling always calls into question the WYSIWYG workflow.

Frankly, I have unintentional artifacts constantly, due to playback limits when editing HDV footage in FCP7 on MBP 17" i7 from mid-2011.

And then when I compress and post to Vimeo, I have more artifacts due to bandwidth problems at my house.

Are you doing a good output to broadcast monitor to make sure your video and glitch effects are perfect -- e.g. so the Retina will be the only kink in your workflow?

Doug D


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Jason BernagozziRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:55:42 pm

[Douglas K. Dempsey] "Are you doing a good output to broadcast monitor to make sure your video and glitch effects are perfect -- e.g. so the Retina will be the only kink in your workflow?"

My current setup has worked pretty well so far, but I was having some issues keeping my fps up to 30 when I switched over to the 1080p glitching. I knew that if I was going to record the 1920x1080 window, I would make sure my resolution on my monitor was 1920x1200. Everything looks good in the monitor and it matches the output.

Where I get nervous is the issue of not actually setting your choice of pixel dimensions in the display settings, rather it is a sliding scale with the new retina display of "performance" or "readability". not very helpful for a "pro" machine. Essentially, will it give me the pixels I need or is the software scaling for my eyes but not for the actual pixels being recorded?

If I knew what the actual pixels were going to be, I could bank on the new retina since I need the speed boost and I really don't want to pay for old machines at this point. I was holding out for an iMac or a Mac Pro...but we all know how that went.


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Douglas K. DempseyRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:05:19 pm

Yes, this is in fact part of the reason for this forum, the Apple use of the term "pro" as a consumer attractor, not necessarily an indicator of flexible, adjustable and manually controllable professional products. Some on the forum feel that by turning everyone into a high-quality-output user, we are democratically making everyone a little bit "pro."

The opposite opinion is this is a form of erosion that will make the term "pro" meaningless.

In any case, we will have to wait for bench-testers to hand-count the pixels and tell us what the selectable settings are for scaling on the Retina "pro."

Doug D


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Bill DavisRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:22:58 pm

[Douglas K. Dempsey] "the Apple use of the term "pro" as a consumer attractor,"

I'm not sure I undertand exactly what any OTHER use of the word "pro" would be, exactly...

Isn't that, essentially, the ONLY reason anyone ever uses that word?

To differentiate themselves in order to attract more "consumers" of ones services?

If your issue perhaps is that there are no practical, objective standard that makes one person a "pro" and another not - surely that's not Apple's fault, is it?

In our industry and in many others, Pro is essentially the province of perception and self-labeling - and as unsatisfying as that might be, I'm not sure it can be seen as Apple's fault that they choose to separate X from iMovie by using that perfectly useful general marketing term.

That it doesn't meet your, mine, or anyone else's "personal standard" here is meaningless, since we probably all have largely different definitions of what Pro means. After all, is the first year newbie editor occupying a seat at Disney more "pro" than someone who's responsible for making $150,000 wedding videos for the royal family of Lower Slobovia?

I think it's kinda a slippery slope to assume that there is any definition of Pro that goes beyond having a persona history of having relentlessly planting ones butt in the seat in front of glowing screens to make our primary livings.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Richard HerdRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:27:48 pm

"Pro" has to do with the exchange value of one's labor.


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Jason BernagozziRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:44:53 pm

It would be nice if the thread could not get derailed by an arbitrary debate about how one chooses to use the term "Pro".

If someone has an idea about the aforementioned issue, I would appreciate it greatly! Thanks!


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Douglas K. DempseyRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:14:39 pm

Sorry for the derailing of your question, Jason. I believe Rick Lang has provided a highly specific answer to your technical query.

However, don't insult Bill Davis and me for our "arbitrary" exchange on Pro.

This forum was not established as a technical how-to for FCP users; those threads are elsewhere on COW.

This forum started when the new FCPX came out, and has been concerned with both the technical implications of FCPX versus legacy and other NLEs... AND the entire question of how "pro" exactly IS the new Final Cut Pro X?

So our exchange was not arbitrary. Just off-topic for your tech query.

:)

Doug D


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Douglas K. DempseyRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:08:32 pm

Bill, I think I understand your comments about the relativistic aspects of "pro" as it applies to users. If I AM understanding you, I would agree. My point I think is a corollary to your larger view.

Simply put, my contention is that "pro" as used in marketing, has in the past been weighted toward a kind of warning to the amateur: "Beware. This product is designed for professional users and may be too complex, involved, obscure, obtuse or otherwise difficult to use without large investment of time and learning curve." Like that.

Whereas Apple as much as any company in recent memory has flogged the opposite meaning, admittedly not new or unique: "Buy this Pro product and join the pros. Get professional results. We put Pro in your hands, at the push of a button." i.e. Pro should not be exclusionary.

In some sense they are right; you can pick up a good camera and shoot near-perfect images in Auto mode. You can ingest, assemble and output high-quality movies in either iMovie or FCPX, almost intuitively...

In that sense, the mystique of "pro" is being stripped away. Francis Coppola was big on this topic 20 years ago, noting that it was only technology that kept young kids from demonstrating innate and innovative storytelling skills. He was celebrating the advent of easy to use handycams and predicting a whole generation of filmmakers about to be unleashed. This has indeed happened. I have no problem with that. In the arts the "enlightened amateur" has always been an appealing alternative to the slick and cynical "pro."

Fine.

But product-wise, the erosion or perhaps you would say the "redefining" of the term comes in insisting that products are "pro" while removing all the formerly "pro" options, like manual controls. The poster's point about a Display preference panel that does not even list pixel counts, instead using thumbnail buttons for "Larger Text" is really all I am talking about.

The meaning of "pro" has changed from "has the capacity to be manipulated by advanced users" to "has the ability to deliver a professional-looking result, at the touch of a button."

That's all I am saying.


:)

Doug D


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Rick LangRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 13, 2012 at 10:03:23 pm

Jason, the MacBook Pro Retina screen is 2880x1800 pixels. When you play a HD video without magnification, it's only going to play in an area that uses 1920x1080 pixels. Same when you display a graphic image. You should be fine. I admit the new System Preferences/Display panel, the dumbing down of the selections presented to the user on the right is quite confusing, but on the left I believe it indicates the pixel dimensions. You want to set your display to its native resolution of 2880x1800 and capture your HD image in an HD window within that larger screen using a program that just captures the image, not the screen. Is this what you need?

Sorry I can't demonstrate this today!

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Jason BernagozziRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 13, 2012 at 10:12:47 pm

Rick,
Thanks for the helpful reply. That is what I was hoping for, but AnandTech stated that there technically is no way for the user to turn off the scaling. In other words, the best "virtual" size you can get is 1920x1200 via their display settings. So, if this is the case, and I get a screen record that fills most of the screen space @ 1920x1200 (1080 window grab), will the recorded image on an output source be "off" due to the scaling?

reference: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5996/how-the-retina-display-macbook-pro-handl...


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Rick LangRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 14, 2012 at 1:42:01 am

Sorry I don't know for sure if it will work as I thought it would as I don't have the machine. I recall seeing the dumbed down Display preferences screen and seeing the pixel counts on the left side. But I think those were all custom options. I haven't seen the pixel count when the native screen is selected. It would be amazing to me not to have access to the actual 2880x1800 pixels in some way. If anyone can capture an active HD window as a TIFF, it would be so easy to calculate the actual dimension from the file size. Can someone else chime in?

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Rick LangRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 14, 2012 at 12:59:26 pm

I’ve thought about the link you provided to AnandTech. He does clearly state the native resolution is 2880x1800 but you can’t set the screen size to that. The Retina setting is 1440x900 where each virtual pixel represents four physical pixels. Larger and smaller virtual screens scale screens so that the 2880x1800 physical pixels represent virtual screens up to 1920x1080. Looking at the actual sample screenshots in the various scales offered, I see the left size doesn’t even tell you the virtual resolution. I think the label “looks like virtual 1920x1080 was annotated test from Anand. This is dumb beyond belief.

Back on topic, now. I would think the MBPR is designed to be programmed in a manner similar to the iPhone 4’s screen. If an application does not supply any additional graphic elements, such as a button, that are defined specifically for the retina screen (double the resolution), then the iPhone will scale everything in the application by doubling the resolution in each dimension. So the graphic would look a bit blocky. If the graphic is defined to support the retina resolution, then the button for example will be very smooth in all the full retina resolution.

But this pixel-doubling applies to graphic elements, like a designed button, not a photo or a video. I’m hopeful that will display in all its glorious retina resolution within the physical limits of the screen. So if you have a 1920x1080 video running in the preview window of FCP X 10.0.5, you are seeing every pixel in a fraction of the application’s screen even though the application screen looks like a virtual 1440x900. The same in Aperture on a virtual 1440x900 screen when looking at an 18 MP photo in actual size—you’re going to see about one-quarter of the actual photo at a time and be able to easily pan around to review the image.

Now we don’t have images posted that show what would happen if you ran FCP X in a 1920x1080 virtual screen, but I suspect you’ll still see every physical pixel of your 1920x1080 video in the preview window and that preview window will look to be the identical physical size because it’s displaying the real physical pixels regardless of the virtual size of the screen selected. If it can’t be programmed like this, the promotional materials on Apple’s web pages wouldn’t claim you can see these pixel-for-pixel accurate details.

If you haven’t fallen asleep reading this, in conclusion, you should be able to generate and window-capture and insert your HD special effects images/video. Go back to sleep and rest easy.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Douglas K. DempseyRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:27:05 pm

Rick, if I understand your explanation, a real-world example of this effect would be:

I called up a Vimeo clip, and clicked the "full screen" icon. As usual, Vimeo then scales the clip to the full size of your screen, and displays an icon "Scaling is On." So I am watching my 1280x720 clip scaled up to 2880x1800 pixels on the MBPR.

When I clicked the icon to toggle it to "Scaling is Off" I did not see my clip at 1280x720, as I would on a standard MBP. Instead, the clip was clearly scaled for the MBPR, to a size that looked to me as approximately the same amount of screen real estate I would see if I was watching an unscaled 1280x720 clip on a standard MBP.

I didn't see any option by which I could display my streaming clip at actual size of 1280x720 pixels on the MBPR.

Of course, I spent only a few minutes on the MBPR at an Apple store.

Doug D


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Rick LangRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 14, 2012 at 4:24:32 pm

Douglas:
"the clip was clearly scaled for the MBPR, to a size that looked to me as approximately the same amount of screen real estate I would see if I was watching an unscaled 1280x720 clip on a standard MBP."

That's very interesting but it's actually what I would expect of an application that wasn't 'retina ready' or controlling the display of the video window. I don't know what you were using as the viewer. Was it within Safari?

Ir may be additional work needs to be done in Safari or some other program like Preview to treat the video as it would be handled in FCPX or Aperture where clearly the video or photo is not being scaled up. I know what I'm thinking us being done but obviously it takes some additional code that in sure will be forthcoming if it's not already part of Mountain Lion.

Forget about the requirements of professionals for a moment. Even plebeians will like the ability to see works unscaled when it suits their purposes. Do I have to send a note to Tim Cook and sign it Franz to get some respect?

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Douglas K. DempseyRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 14, 2012 at 4:59:10 pm

Sorry, yes this was in Safari. BTW I also opened FCPX on the store MBPR but noted that they had not installed the newly released FCPX 10.0.5 (in fact they were running 10.0.2)

Anyway, the full screen Vimeo looked great on the MBPR, and the "Scaled" version looked terrific.

I doubt anyone would WANT to see the Vimeo player displayed at actual size, resulting a very-small-but-sharp window on the MBPR.

But Jason's question brings up a real issue. I would hope that any "captured" images are real pixels based on the native object, not scaled or doubled interpolations.

Shouldn't Retina display simply behave a fullscreen "magnifying glass" without any effect on native pixels of an "object?"

Doug D


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Rick LangRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 14, 2012 at 5:26:17 pm

[Douglas K. Dempsey] "Jason's question brings up a real issue. I would hope that any "captured" images are real pixels based on the native object, not scaled or doubled interpolations."

Here’s the link in the Apple Discussions forum to hopefully find an answer even it it takes Mountain lion to implement:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4028344

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Rick LangRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 14, 2012 at 5:33:46 pm

[Douglas K. Dempsey] "Jason's question brings up a real issue. I would hope that any "captured" images are real pixels based on the native object, not scaled or doubled interpolations."

Here’s the link in the Apple Discussions forum to hopefully find an answer even it it takes Mountain lion to implement:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4028344

[Douglas K. Dempsey] "I also opened FCPX on the store MBPR but noted that they had not installed the newly released FCPX 10.0.5 (in fact they were running 10.0.2)"

So that tells you when these machines were actually ready! Several months ago! Too much to expect the vendors to be able to update old software on their demo machines I suppose. Someone visiting an Apple Store soon? Ask for the software (Aperture and FCPX) to be updated and try it out? Thanks.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Rick LangRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 14, 2012 at 4:54:09 pm

Douglas or anyone with access to the MacBook Pro Retina:
Can you run a HD video through QuickTime set on 'actual size' and see if you think it's being scaled up to fill the screen or if it really looks like it's using 1080 lines of vertical resolution (60% of the physical screen height when the display preferences are set to no scaling)?

If it doesn't then QuickTime in Lion just isn't 'retina aware' either. Maybe if you know a developer with the Mountain Lion beta, ask them to test it. I can't imagine this not working on the final release if Mountain Lion. I'm going to start a thread in the Apple Discussions forum and get to the bottom of this if possible. I'd hold off purchasing the retina machine until we have this question answered. Cross your toes that the display preferences only look dumb and behind the scene AV Foundation will handle it properly, i.e. pixel-for-pixel as advertised on Apple's web page.

You know some techno-savvy lawyer has likely launched a class-action suit on this very topic as we speak. Or right after we can an answer that isn't what we were promised.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Jason BernagozziRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 14, 2012 at 6:08:26 pm

Thank you Rick for your reply. I think that you are right, but in the end I think i'll wait it out and test it with someone else's computer just to be safe. I appreciate the time and thought!


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Rick LangRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 17, 2012 at 4:24:26 pm

Dave Jenkins has posted feedback using Quicktime on the new machine and it appears to be good news. I’ve asked him if he could capture a frame from the Quicktime playback to see if it’s 1920x1080 or 3840x2160 pixels.

Here’s the other thread discussing this:
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/335/37515

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Rick LangRe: Very specific question re: Retina Macbook Pro
by on Jun 18, 2012 at 12:19:40 am

Jason and Douglas, please go back and look at the latest posts from Dave and me in this thread:
http://mobi.creativecow.net/thread/335/37515

Thanks to Dave's efforts, it's good news: you can screen grab a QuickTime window playing 1920x1080 HD video and it will capture a 1920x1080 HD-sized image. Finally got an answer and the COW provided the answer before anyone in the Apple Discussions Macbook Pro forum. I'll answer the question on Apple Discussions. Happy Father's Day.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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