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White Screen of Agony

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Tom Donnelly
White Screen of Agony
on Jun 18, 2009 at 1:51:35 pm

The problem:

Using footage captured on PC with FRAPS codec, de-coded on Mac using Perian. Trying to compress to Apple Intermediate Codec using Compressor.

- Quicktime reads the FRAPS file correctly
- Preview window in Compressor sees the files correctly.
- Upon compressing to AIC, resulting QT is nothing but the White Screen of Agony.



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Tom Donnelly
ADDITIONAL INFO - White Screen of Agony
on Jun 18, 2009 at 2:34:58 pm

Footage comes from a PC, Windows XP, Service Pack 3
Encoded with FRAPS codec, decoded on Mac using Perian
Attempted compression to Apple Intermediate Codec on Mac OS 10.4.11
Compressor v. 2.3
Quicktime v. 7.6.2

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Brian Alexander
Re: White Screen of Agony
on Jun 19, 2009 at 4:44:19 am

I have a feeling that this has something to do with Perian decoding the file for viewing but the quicktime encoding engine does not know what the heck is going on.

This could also be an issue by encoding to Apple's AIC. The Apple AIC was developed for transcoding HDV material before HDV was easy to use with Final Cut. It could be that the GOP sequence between AIC and FRAPS are very different. I recommend using Apple Pro Res as your intermediate format; besides, I would bet that FRAPS is using a standard square pixel and of course the AIC is based on rectangle pixels. You'll be doing a disservice to the quality of your image with this workflow.

I would suggest trying an export directly from Quicktime. Just a short test to help figure out whether this issue is coming from Compressor or the Quicktime encoding engine.

If that doesn't work, try a different format like h.264 or prores (just for testing/troubleshooting purposes).

If that doesn't work (you're still getting the white screen) try the transcode with MPEG Streamclip. As long as it opens the file you may have better luck. Again, just use a short test clip.

If that doesn't work, I would look at transcoding to a high quality I-frame based format with the PC before bringing it over to the Mac.

Let us know what you find.

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Tom Donnelly
Re: White Screen of Agony
on Jun 19, 2009 at 5:28:10 pm

Do not have FCStudio 2 on that machine, using FCP 5. Thus, Compressor v.2.3. SO - cannot first transcode to ProRes, or I would be using that (this is actually for a co-worker at a different location than me - trying to find a decent editing codec for him since he does not have access to ProRes.)

(Unless I'm mistaken - I know there's a ProRes decoder available - is than an ENCODER as well for those without FCP Studio 2?)

Exporting directly from QT to the AIC DOES work, which is why it not working in Compressor is such a mystery. All other formats coming out of Compressor work fine.

He just tried MPEGStreamclip per your suggestion, and it appears to work, so MUST be a Compressor issue. He has already uninstalled and re-installed the entire FC Suite.


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