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How to compress to get the best out of multiple formats in FCP?

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Lizi Hesling
How to compress to get the best out of multiple formats in FCP?
on Sep 27, 2011 at 6:08:43 pm

Hi all,
I have a multi-format edit that I'm working on (using FCP 6) - got HDV, DV anamorphic, DVCPRO-PAL anamorphic, and HD H.264. I want to convert the footage to allow for: ease of use in FCP, and top quality output.
I've already converted the HD footage into ProRes 422 (not HQ), 1920x1080, no field dominance, square pixels.
I've put everything into a ProRes sequence and it works fine.
But I'm worried about output - worried that all those different frame sizes, field dominance, pixel aspects, etc will come back and bite me.
I also want to improve the look of the DV footage. I've been doing compression experiments, but haven't yet found the best settings. I mainly want to deal with the interlacing and pixelation issues DV has. HDV too - I would like to de-interlace.
1. How should I prepare my footage?
2. What compression software should I use (I've tried Quicktime Player, Compressor, and MPEG Streamclip)?
3. What are the best settings? (Please be as detailed as possible!)
Compression has long been a nightmare for me (especially using Compressor - I think I'm jinxed) - so I would really appreciate any advice people can give!
PS Is ProRes 422 a better codec than ProRes 422 HQ? How are they different?

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Jeff Greenberg
Re: How to compress to get the best out of multiple formats in FCP?
on Sep 28, 2011 at 2:42:17 am

I'll suggest two tools:
Nattress Converters:
Red Giant Instant HD:

Both will do some level of conversions for you.

1) I'd pick a format based on my output. In doubt, I'd pick everything to be the same format. If everything was shot interlaced 29.97, I'd work interlaced.
2) MPEG streamclip is fine. Compressor has superior (longer transcode) format conversions and scaling.

ProRes 422 runs around 140mb/s , where HQ runs 220 (or so.) If you're coming from HDV/DSLR etc, there's no need to go HQ.


Jeff G

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