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Retouching video clip - length of clip changes!?

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Susan Dempster
Retouching video clip - length of clip changes!?
on Jul 23, 2009 at 4:10:03 pm

Hi All,

I'm hoping someone can shed some light on my situation - I have a 104 frame video clip exported from FCPro as a quicktime movie 1920x1080p 23.98fps. I have spent literally DAYS retouching each frame layer in photoshop. It looks great- hooray!
Now the problem... when I export from photoshop with the same qt settings as above, my newly retouched clip winds up only being 83 frames?! PLEASE HELP ME!
I can't understand how a 4 sec 8 frame clip can morph into a 3 sec 11 frame clip. I have actually tried bringing in a new clip into photoshop that is also 04:08 then immediately exporting as a quicktime without making any changes or adjustments to the file and the same thing happens.... 03:11 length, again!

Has ANYONE had any similar experiences? At first I thought it was an improper export setting, but I think I have tried just about every combination change and no matter what, I never end up with a 4 sec, 08 frame clip.

HELP?!?




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ronaldo montalvo
Re: Retouching video clip - length of clip changes!?
on Jul 23, 2009 at 5:10:10 pm

I don't think you've lost any frames. Seems the 24fps is being interpreted as 30 fps at some step in your process, maybe on re-import to FCP. (multiply your 104 frames x .8 and you get 83 which is the exact diff between 30 and 24 fps.)

I'd check the re-imported clip in FCP and confirm that it actually is being interpreted as 24 ((23.98), if it's not then manually change it.

Also confirm that your pshop timeline was 24 and not 30. In Pshop when you create a new document, the default timeline duration is 10 seconds and the frame rate is 30 fps. To change it, from the Animation palette menu, you can choose Document Settings. Enter or choose values for Duration and Frame Rate.

Even if the pshop timeline was set to 30 I think you should still be able to interpret the 30fps roto'd clip as 23.98 and your work will be OK.



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Susan Dempster
Re: Retouching video clip - length of clip changes!?
on Jul 23, 2009 at 6:08:55 pm

Ronaldo - Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! I'm at such a loss on my own!

ok, so just to make sure I'm doing this right i did a test...
I exported a fresh clip from my FCP timeline - 4:08 length 23.98 fps
Import into photoshop via File> Import> Frames to layers - 104 frames.
next I went to the timeline, changed the document settings like you suggested from 30 to 23.976, and the duration from 03:14 to the correct 4:08.
Export > render video - double check quicktime settings and render options....
and I now get a 23.98 fps clip that is 4:07 in length and the last 19 frames are duplicates of the 84th frame.

(Note, when I went to export from Photoshop, i noticed that the available "Range" in the export dialogue box was Frames 0-103? what happened to frame 104?)

Did I miss something really obvious??


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ronaldo montalvo
Re: Retouching video clip - length of clip changes!?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:07:35 am

not sure. seems like your process is right but there is still a frame rate discrepancy between fcp and photoshop. when you import into pshop if the file is actually 23.98 (23.976) and 4:08 long (104 frames) you shouldn't have to change the duration, it should import and show the correct duration automatically if the timeline is also set to 23.976. extending the duration is what i think accounts for the dup frames you got. the fact it showed a duration of 3:14 rather than 4:04 accounts for those 19 frames.

can you import or look at your exported fcp clips in after effects or qtime pro to confirm that they are in fact 4:08 at 23.976 frames, (or as final cut calls it 23.98)?

dunno, the 103/104 difference might be just a numbering convention that's off, like it starts with frame 1 rather than frame 0.

also, did you try to change the frame interpretation in final cut of your original roto'd pshop export to see if that worked and that clip is maybe OK?





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Susan Dempster
Re: Retouching video clip - length of clip changes!?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:11:48 pm


"can you import or look at your exported fcp clips in after effects or qtime pro to confirm that they are in fact 4:08 at 23.976 frames, (or as final cut calls it 23.98)
?


Yes - it's correct.

"... when you import into pshop if the file is actually 23.98 (23.976) and 4:08 long (104 frames) you shouldn't have to change the duration, it should import and show the correct duration automatically if the timeline is also set to 23.976..."


If I simply "open" a mov file instead of "import > Frames to layers" then the frame rate and length are both imported correctly. (I realize now, this is what I should have done in the first place.) Still, with this method, when I export from Photoshop and return to FCP, although my frame rate and duration are correct and have not been changed, the last two frames are identical - the REAL last frame was replaced with the second to last frame!? how frustrating!
Unfortunately, with my current project, I already brought the file into photoshop through "import>frames to layers." So my fr was set to 30 by default as you mentioned earlier, and the length 3:14... At least I know now the better procedure for bringing video in to photoshop for my next project....

"also, did you try to change the frame interpretation in final cut of your original roto'd pshop export to see if that worked and that clip is maybe OK? "


1-tried leaving ps file as incorrect 30fps, 3:14 duration. export 30fps. fcp sees as such. i'm not really sure how to change the frame interpretation... but I did try changing the duration so that the clip played at 79.81% speed to become 4:08... but that didn't look so good.
2- tried just changing the fr in the timeline in ps to the correct 23.976, left at 3:14 duration, exported 23.976 fps. fcp sees 85 frames, 23.98, 3:14 duration.
3-tried changing to 23.976 and 4:08 in ps, exported 23.976, FCP sees 23.98, 4:07, last 19 frames repeated.

Maybe I'll just have to bring the un-retouched version back in to photoshop though "open" then copy and paste the retouched frames from the old file into this new one and see what happens...
Thanks again for your advice and your time! I'll let you know what happens....


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Tiago Ribeiro
Re: Retouching video clip - length of clip changes!?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 12:45:43 pm

hi,
i will make a suggestion, based on what i am understanding about this problem
it-s something i see frequently when using various different software to edit/produce a video or film
personally, i have some rules of thumb:
convert all raw footage to uncompressed avi files, as this is the most generic format, basically no editing software will not support it, and it delivers higher performance while editing and compositing (because the software doesn't have to decode it on each frame)
in some cases this will look kind of megalomanous, because uncompressed 1080p video will just fill up all your hard drives =) so this is a rule that i always use, as long as i have enough available storage resources.
the other rule of thumb i use, is a bit within the same philosophy, that is to minimize or completely eliminate the problems of sharing media between software with different base formats and different purposes. Additionally, because i work mainly with animation, this rule n.2 comes in quite handy, for a multitude of reasons that each one will find along their work, and is this one which i think can fully resolve your problem, because you are sharing media between a movie production suite (fcp) and an image compositing software (pshop)
although pshop supports video, i keep an extra rule that is, you should use each software for it's specific functionality. that means that i do not use pshop to edit video, because there will always be some kind of import or export funtionality missing, or some kind of problem beyond my reach, such as mixing up framerates and stuff like that. phsop is good for photo and image, not for video..
so my rule 2 is to have my media as image sequences (BMPs) instead of video files..
why? some reasons: the reason i first did this was because when rendering animation sequences, there are always lots of interpolated animations, or visual effects that dont go perfect on every frame.. this way i can look individually at each frame (because each frame will be a separate BMP file), and check if everything is ok. if there is something wrong with frame 100 for example, i can cancel my render, quickly check out how many frame i should skip for this problem to disappear (for example, the problem may not be visible from frame 150 beyond), so i can continue rendering from frame 150 beyond, while i correct the problems i find between 100 and 150. ok, i guess my reply is getting quite extensive, i-m just trying to explain the motivation for my advices =)
the other thing that comes in quite handy is that if i want to pshop/edit some frame or some sequence of frames, guess what?my frames are simple BMP images, so i will use pshop on them, because pshop is great for editing images =)
when everything is done, i just have to import the image sequence into my compositing software (i use combustion, it supports importing an image sequence just as if it were a single video file), and i assume fcp supports this kind of import. just check out if it does, because especially if you are editing small video files, like in your case, it's nice to have each frame as a separate file, because it enables you to tweak and arrange it perfectly, without having to think about framerates or lengths. one thing at a time, first edit the frames, then think about that frame rate.
because an image sequence does not contain any framerate, this image sequence will perfectly adapt to any framerate you wish, so if you import it into a fcp 23.98 fps project, they should automatically be treated as a single 23.98 fps video file.
i have no experience with fcp, because i am a windows user - 3d studio max, combustion, photoshop and virtual dub are my main software. and following these simple rules is what makes me able to easily share my media between my different software without any problems on formats, codecs, framerates or whatsoever. it's just raw media, as rawest as it can get: pure, uncompressed image sequences =)

i hope i wasn't to long on my answer. and although it might seem a bit confusing, you should just give it a try, check if fcp can easily import an image sequence, and automatically adjust the framerate to the one of your current project. basically that's all you need...
oh, and of course, after all this, the solution to your problem would be:
export the video from photoshop as an image sequence instead of as a video. if you don't find a way to do this, you can always spend half an hour copy/pasting each frame into a new image, and saving them seperately =) that is because you have only 104 frames, which is not that much, so instead of scratching your head on export stuff, you can quickly do it manually..
what you should have done at first would be to have exported the footage from fcp as image sequence, to you could open each frame in pshop as a simple image, instead of importing the whole video. but i guess that's already done, so no point in going back =)
after you get the image sequence out of photoshop, i'm sure you will find no problem in importing it again back into fcp, with the correct frame rate.
one last notice, if you get to manually export each frame, you should know what exactly is an image sequence.
basically it's just a group of images, all stored in the same folder, in the same image format and resolution, that follow this rule: the filename of each image should start the same, and each frame should have its frame number appended to the file name. note that you should prepend 0's to the frame numbers, just to make sure any software will understand it correctly.
an example:
my_image_sequence0000.bmp
my_image_sequence0001.bmp
my_image_sequence0002.bmp
my_image_sequence0003.bmp
...
my_image_sequence0146.bmp
my_image_sequence0147.bmp
...
my_image_sequence1021.bmp
my_image_sequence1022.bmp

when importing an image sequence in combustion, i access the folder that contains the image, and the import dialog shows me a single file, that would be something like:
my_image_sequence[1023]
this means this file is an image sequence with 1023 frames (note i started on frame 0, generally software does that, so if the last frame is 1022, you have 1023 frames total)

i don't know how fcp handles this. but in combustion it gets quite simple, as i import is like if were a single file, and it automatically sequences the images throughout the timeline as if i had just imported a video file.

i hope i was clear, anyway if you find these tips interesting but don't fully understand, don't hesitate on asking anything.

if you can't manage to import the image sequence to fcp, you can always use third-party software to combine the image sequence into a video file. i use virtual dub, but once i worked on mac, and i think i used this open-source software, for my virtual-dub-needs:
http://avidemux.berlios.de/download.html
check it out as it might come in handy =)

good luck


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Susan Dempster
Re: Retouching video clip - length of clip changes!?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:57:26 pm

"oh, and of course, after all this, the solution to your problem would be:
export the video from photoshop as an image sequence instead of as a video..."


Thanks, Tiago!
I took my 104 frame file and exported it from pshop as an image sequence like you suggested. I exported 30fps (other settings just didn't work quite right). I then just imported the whole folder into FCP - brought all 104 still images into a timeline, changed the duration to 1 frame each, and now I have all 104 retouched frames, duration 4:08. whew.
Seems to playback pretty well, too!

Thanks again to both of you for taking the time to help me out and for all the advice! I don't know what I'd do without people like you!


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Tiago Ribeiro
Re: Retouching video clip - length of clip changes!?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 4:31:06 pm

glad it worked and turned out all right =)
i was afraid my suggestion would sound a bit far-fetched, but it was exactly what i would have done in that situation
all of us have used forums to search for help, so it's an awarding feeling to help other too whenever we are able..
so just feel free to keep on posting your questions =)


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ronaldo montalvo
Re: Retouching video clip - length of clip changes!?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 7:32:31 pm

that's really good advice/tips tiago has about using sequences, avoids a lot of potential problems. i also tend to use sequences (picts/tiffs) for 3D rendering and the kind of retouch/rotowork you were doing in photoshop but have never had any problem using qtime animation codec exports on the mac, should work fine. don't know what was causing your problem (it will remain a mystery) but glad that solution worked out for you.



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