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DVCPRO HD not true DVCPRO HD

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Ben Insler
DVCPRO HD not true DVCPRO HD
on Nov 2, 2006 at 11:54:09 pm

Hey All,

I'm an After Effects guy, I have to say, but I'm trying hard to become farmiliar with Motion - especially since I'm also a Final Cut Editor. I'm working on a project that was shot and is being edited in DVCPRO HD. I needed to composite some graphics in motion, so I created my project settings to match our FCP sequence settings (standard DVCPRO HD 1280x1080), pulled in my media and everything appeared to work flawlessly, exporting our final composites as animation quicktimes with embedded alphas. When I bring those QTs back into FCP, turns out that there is a transparent line running across the top of the comp - the equivalent of about 6-10 pixels, but enough to see any image that's moving in a video layer below the graphic. Now I know the easy fix is just to not put anything below my graphic, although that doesn't work if the graphic fades up because then you see the image pop away in this top area - but more than a quick fix, I'd like to know how to set up Motion so that my exported files will embed into FCP correctly, given that my sequence/project settings are identical for both. The interesting part about all this is that if I tell FCP to ignore the graphic's alpha, the transparent row of pixels at the top turns black (which is the fill color in that area), so it seems like an alpha problem, not a pixel aspect ratio or aspect ratio issue. I've checked in Motion, and there is no alpha transparency drawn for that region, so I shouldn't be able to see anything through this top row when the alpha is applied. Any thoughts?

Also, if anyone is feeling especially generous with their time, why is it that when I send a DVCPRO HD clip from FCP to Motion (say to bulr out a logo or something) and then jump back into FCP, the clip is darker, less saturated, and has lost contrast? Is there a way to fix this? My limited understanding of Motion tells me that I must have an color, display or rendering profile set incorrectly for HD, and so motion is outputting the clip differently, but I can't say that I fully know all the details of this to make a more sound judgement.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Best,

Ben


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Noah Kadner
Re: DVCPRO HD not true DVCPRO HD
on Nov 3, 2006 at 5:07:03 am

You should not be using DVCPROHD as an animation codec because you're losing a lot more quality that way. Instead use uncompressed TGA or TIF image sequences to exchange footage with AFX. This issue will go right away.

Noah


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Ben Insler
Re: DVCPRO HD not true DVCPRO HD
on Nov 3, 2006 at 2:34:25 pm

Thanks Noah. Good advice. Any particularities about integration with Final Cut Pro?


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Noah Kadner
Re: DVCPRO HD not true DVCPRO HD
on Nov 3, 2006 at 3:40:11 pm

Not sure what you mean...

-Noah


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Ben Insler
Re: DVCPRO HD not true DVCPRO HD
on Nov 3, 2006 at 5:22:48 pm

Well, I'm not going between motion and AE, I'm going between motion and Final Cut Pro (something that actually should work seamlessly, since they're both made by apple and come bundled together... but you know). Final Cut Pro works differntly than AE, and image sequences are just not a good thing to use. You can, but this usually ends up taking some fun out of your day. I understand what you're saying with uncompressed for AE, but Final Cut's workflow isn't the same and so I was hoping that there was a solution when exporting to quicktime. I'm also distributing these files to other editors, so it is best if the alphas can be embedded (rather than passing out fills and mattes).

Thanks again,

Ben


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Zak Mussig
Re: DVCPRO HD not true DVCPRO HD
on Nov 3, 2006 at 5:39:58 pm

Ben,
What are your export settings in Motion? I had problems with bringing QT with alpha from Motion to FCP (just didn't look right) until I started exporting with straight alpha. Now I export as Animation QT with the "pre-multiply alpha" unchecked (options dialog > output tap). I've been very happy with this export setting. FCP brings the clips in, recognizes the alpha as straight, and all is well.


Zak


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Noah Kadner
Re: DVCPRO HD not true DVCPRO HD
on Nov 3, 2006 at 7:22:45 pm

I would never recommend passing DVCPROHD files back and forth for animation purposes from FCP to Motion, AFX or what have you. Because each time you are adding a compression step and losing precious image quality. A TIF sequence is very universal- Motion can open it, QuickTime Player can open it, AFX can open it- a PC can open it, etc.

You could also go Animation codec in QuickTime but then you face potential compatibility issues if a PC compositor comes into the mix. And image sequences have the added bonus of only having to re-render bad frames rather than a whole video. This can be a huge plus when working with 3D.

So the workflow I suggest is the best way to maintain the highest possible image quality while really not adding much extra work. Export to Image sequence is built into all QuickTime compatible apps for this very reason.



-Noah



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