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h.264 color problem (?)

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Hans Damkoehler
h.264 color problem (?)
on Mar 30, 2009 at 6:40:39 pm

Hey folks,

I think I am missing something here but I can't figure it out:

I'm exporting my final cut timeline using h.264. The resulting images of the h.264 file look blown out and bright compared to what I am seeing in the canvas ... side-by-side on the same monitor with the h.264 pulled up in Quicktime. Why is that?

I have a monitor that is calibrated, there are no special filters run on the export ... I just don't understand why the image is so drastically different.

Thanks!

- H


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Chris Blair
Re: h.264 color problem (?)
on Mar 31, 2009 at 3:00:50 am

There's a well-know issue with the Apple H264 codec using Quicktime as the wrapper. Do a search in this forum and you'll find multiple posts and solutions. The easiest one is to use a different H264 codec. I believe there's a freely available one called x264 that solves the issue.

Another solution (I think) is to not use the quicktime wrapper. Export to H264 using MP4 or Flash (F4V) as the wrapper.

There are other solutions too...so seek and ye shall find.


Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Daniel Low
Re: h.264 color problem (?)
on Mar 31, 2009 at 9:48:19 am

The best method to get around this is to export from FCP by reference using the Animation Codec and then transcode to H.264 in Compressor. This has been tested and works.

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Hans Damkoehler
Re: h.264 color problem (?)
on Mar 31, 2009 at 4:13:27 pm

Thanks guys.

I tried the animation export then to h.264 through compressor and still had the same problem. Animation export looked fine but h.264 through compressor messed it up again in the same way ... odd.

I'll scour through the posts for more answers and options. Thanks again for the replies!


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Hans Damkoehler
Re: h.264 color problem (?)
on Mar 31, 2009 at 7:17:00 pm

A follow up ...

I downloaded the free x264 version via MacUpdate http://www.macupdate.com/download.php/20273/x264qtcodec-1.1.0.dmg

Using the x264 generated a file much more to my liking in terms of color, yay! ... the file size however is much bigger. Ah, the trade-offs.


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Craig Seeman
Re: h.264 color problem (?)
on Mar 31, 2009 at 8:37:04 pm

[Hans Damkoehler] "the file size however is much bigger."
File size is determined by the data rate. The math is pretty simple. If you have x bits a second and your file is y seconds long, you've pretty much have the file size.

Keep in mind quality involves a whole bunch of other things such as frame size and frame rate which has some impact on how those bits are applied. In addition there's CBR vs VBR encode, the number of passes, key frame rate, use of Predicative and BiDirectional frames.

x264 doesn't make a bigger file, you do by the choice of data rate.




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Jay Couvillon
Re: h.264 color problem (?)
on Jun 24, 2009 at 6:37:26 pm

Hello,

I am exporting videos for streaming and am getting the same blown-out look you mentioned. I installed that x264 codec and it crashed FCP when I tried to use it. All I have to do is select it from the list and FCP goes down.

Another problem I have is that the final output needs to be mp4 so that it can be streamed via the flash interface that my company uses. (At least I believe it has to be mp4.)

Have you, by any chance, come across another fix for this problem, or know how I might fix this fix for my system?

Cheers


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Otto Nergom
Re: h.264 color problem (?)
on Jul 28, 2009 at 9:11:25 pm

FCP crashes for me too, try exporting with x264 through compressor, it will work, but I got qualitybroblem with the x264-codec, anyone else? It's like the edges of things in the video get pixelated,even though I have a resolution of 1280x720 and high bitrate

To fix h264 to mp4:
open the h264-file in quicktime>export>movie to MPEG-4>then in videoformat choose "pass"(I thing it is, I dont have English Quicktime...)
then it will just change the container of the file, it goes fast.



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