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How to compress AIC to H264 without the jumpy and ghosting footage

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Jake Williams
How to compress AIC to H264 without the jumpy and ghosting footage
on Jul 17, 2011 at 3:06:53 pm

Hello,

I recently upgraded from a Canon HV40 to a Canon XF100 and switched from a tape based work flow to a Compact Flash based work flow. I transferred the files to FCP just fine, edited the project, and found that the best way to export the footage from FCP was by using the Apple Intermediate Codec. The resulting MOV file looked exactly like the footage in FCP, but of course hadn't been compressed very much.

Now I have an AIC MOV file that will not upload to Youtube, because it is an intermediate video file and not a file ready for upload.

My question is how do I compress this AIC MOV file to H264 format for the web without having the jumpy footage and ghosting effect during the motion shots?

Also, does this have to do with interlaced or progressive footage?

When I was using the 1440x1080 HV40 footage in the past I exported a Final Cut Pro Movie file from FCP, pulled it into Compressor, and compressed to H264 from there. I didn't do that this time, because I was working with true HD footage and not HDV. Should I do that this time?

My Final Cut Pro sequence settings are:

Frame Size: 1920x1080
Vid Rate: 29.97 fps
Field Dominance: Upper (Odd)
Pixel Aspect: Square

I'll provide any other information that can be useful.

Thanks,

Jake Williams


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Craig Seeman
Re: How to compress AIC to H264 without the jumpy and ghosting footage
on Jul 17, 2011 at 3:47:53 pm

For AVCHD (H.264) source the best way to edited is in Apple ProRes (LT variant is good). You should export using the sequence setting.

You mention exporting AIC but don't mention workflow. AIC though isn't as good as ProRes but passable.

You should start with using a Compressor H.264 .mov Web preset. You're going to want a very high data rate if it's going to YouTube or Vimeo because it's going to get recompressed. I'd recommend around 5000kbps for that. Otherwise the data rate depends on your targeted use such as Web or iDevice of some sort.

Since you haven't told us what settings you used to shoot I can't make specific recommendations about that. look at the Summary tab in Compressor though.



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Jake Williams
Re: How to compress AIC to H264 without the jumpy and ghosting footage
on Jul 17, 2011 at 4:06:30 pm

Thanks Craig,

I believe the footage was shot in 1080i 60 fps, but when I brought the footage into FCP and had FCP auto-correct the sequence to match the video file settings, the footage adjusted to 30fps.

I've tried using a h264 web preset for Youtube and the footage is as jumpy as it was when I exported h264 straight out of FCP.

What I am currently doing is this. I've exported a small clip out of FCP as a Final Cut Pro Movie File. I've then put a H264 Youtube preset on it and am now processing it. The trouble is that it is taking Compressor 4 hours to compress a six second clip.

Let me know what other pertinent info I can give.

Thanks,

Jake


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Craig Seeman
Re: How to compress AIC to H264 without the jumpy and ghosting footage
on Jul 17, 2011 at 4:28:46 pm

[Jake Williams] "when I brought the footage into FCP "

How did you do this? It's best not to edit H.264 natively in FCP. You should convert to ProRes first.

[Jake Williams] "the footage is as jumpy"

I don't know what jumpy is. It can mean too many things. Describe what you are seeing as if you were talking to a blind surgeon and your life depended on it. Maybe your data rate is too hight for your computer. Maybe you need to deinterlace. Maybe the issue is with the camera work.

At the top of this forum there is a sticky about getting the fastest help. Please read it. You can get the answer in one post or Q&A can go on for days.

BTW FCPX would probably take care of most of this for you since it can handle H.264 natively and transcode to ProRes in the background.



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Jake Williams
Re: How to compress AIC to H264 without the jumpy and ghosting footage
on Jul 17, 2011 at 5:12:28 pm

Hey Craig,

Sorry for the confusion. I must not have explained myself well enough. I'm not editing H264 footage at all. I captured the footage from the camera using Log and Transfer in Final Cut Pro. The footage was 30 fps and I used Pro Res 422 time line to edit. I first tried to export the footage from Final Cut Pro using h264, but the resulting MOV file looked jerky and had aliasing during the moving footage. The source video was handheld and a little jerky, but not as bad as the exported version from Final Cut Pro. I decided to trash this video and try a different setting.

On my next export from Final Cut Pro, I exported the video as a Apple Intermediate Codec file which gave me a great result with no jerkiness or aliasing. Now that I have this AIC MOV file I am trying to convert it to H264 so I can upload it to Youtube. The trouble is when I try to convert the AIC MOV files to H264 in Compressor, the resulting video looks like the bad H264 files I exported from Final Cut Pro the first time.

I don't know what jumpy is. It can mean too many things. Describe what you are seeing as if you were talking to a blind surgeon and your life depended on it. Maybe your data rate is too hight for your computer. Maybe you need to deinterlace. Maybe the issue is with the camera work.

The jumpiness looks like there are dropped frames and the computer is trying to compensate by having blurred motion. I tried to deinterlace the footage when I exported with H264 originally from Final Cut Pro, but it did not look correct. The only export from Final Cut Pro that has looked like the source video is the Apple Intermediate Codec export.

I apologize for not explaining my issue properly.

Thanks,

Jake


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Craig Seeman
Re: How to compress AIC to H264 without the jumpy and ghosting footage
on Jul 17, 2011 at 6:14:33 pm

[Jake Williams] "The footage was 30 fps and I used Pro Res 422 time line to edit"

Export using the timeline codec ("current" settings) to a self contained Quicktime Movie and play that back in Quicktime and see how that looks.

[Jake Williams] "The jumpiness looks like there are dropped frames and the computer is trying to compensate by having blurred motion"

Dropped frames has nothing to do with interlacing. It may be your computer can't handle playing at the data rate you've chosen.

Blurriness can be caused by deinterlacing.

[Jake Williams] "The trouble is when I try to convert the AIC MOV files to H264 in Compressor"

I really wish you'd read the sticky I referred to. This tells me nothing other than source and destination codec. There's nothing in there about settings.

Please follow my instructions carefully. Read Sticky. Export in timeline codec and play in Quicktime.



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