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Artifacts and project corruption in Final Cut Pro with 5D Mark II footage

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Ryan McMackin
Artifacts and project corruption in Final Cut Pro with 5D Mark II footage
on Apr 21, 2010 at 6:26:34 pm

Earlier today I began to notice some colorful blocky artifacts in my footage when playing back in FCP. The errors were consistent in their location and were present both in the "Viewer" window and "Canvas" when playing back from the timeline. This is what the artifacts look like:

The footage in question was shot on a Canon 5D Mark II at 1080 24p and was transcoded using the "Log and Transfer" function in FCP. This project was the first instance I have used this function since installing the Canon EOS MOVIE Plugin-E1.

Fearing something was wrong with my camera, I opened several of the affected clips with Quicktime and was relieved to find them free of the artifacts.

My next test was to re-transcode one of the clips to see if the problem would reoccur—it did—though not in the same place. This time the error appeared in a frame seconds before the original. This is where things began to snowball. After I rendered a particularly long clip I found that the problem and gotten substantially worse. The errors appeared with much greater frequency and occupied greater area than before. I tried exporting a clip of this particularly messy footage to see if the problem was only within the application and found inconsistent results.

Here is a frame from a clip I exported using Export > QuickTime Movie (artifacts are circled in red).

Here is that same frame from a clip I exported, from the same timeline, using the same method, only this time I checked the box for "Recompress all frames"—the entire clip was artifact free!

At this point, I closed my project, rebooted my computer and followed the steps to repair disk permissions and trash FCP preferences. I also, uninstalled Magic Bullet Looks, which I had installed just before this problem surfaced. Once all of this was complete I opened up Final Cut Pro and started a new project. I imported some of the same material using the Log and Capture function and experienced the same problem, though, the errors in the footage were unique. Next, I imported a clip that I had transcoded using MPEG Streamclip and it too had an issue, though, it's error evolved as I scrubbed back on forth on the clip in the viewer window. This is what it looked like:

I closed this new project and attempted to open my original project and received this message, "This project is unreadable or may be too new for this version of Final Cut."

My problem seems to be escalating and not knowing what else to do, my next plan of action is to reinstall FCP and start over on my project. For what it's worth I don't see this problem in 1080 30p footage from my 5D Mark II. Even when it is imported into the same project and rendered on the same timeline as the footage I am experiencing trouble with. All technical information about my computer/software can be found below. Any thoughts, advice, or, otherwise would be greatly appreciated.

MacBook Pro 2.53 GHz Intel Core Duo
OSX 10.5.8

FCP v7.0.2

Project drive:
WD MyBook Pro 1TB - RAID1
via ExpressCard/34 > ESata adapter

Thanks, Ryan

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Noah Kadner
Re: Artifacts and project corruption in Final Cut Pro with 5D Mark II footage
on Apr 22, 2010 at 2:05:00 pm

I'd suggest retransferring the footage from the original card to another hard drive- because it looks more like data corruption at the OS level than something up with your camera.


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Bob Dix
Re: Artifacts and project corruption in Final Cut Pro with 5D Mark II footage
on Apr 27, 2010 at 11:21:33 pm

For what it is worth, we only had problems after Installing the Firmware 2.0.4 and changed from 30 fps to 25 fps( mainly in the clip speed being recorded as 2.5 fps in Premiere Pro) Manual Note Canon HV20 page 37. but, not artifacts and banding like you have, I have noticed this in clips from a Canon HV20 ,but, caused by dirty heads?

Freelance Imaging & Video

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Reuben Evans
Re: Artifacts and project corruption in Final Cut Pro with 5D Mark II footage
on Sep 1, 2010 at 4:13:33 am

Were you ever able to resolve this? I transferred some Quicktime movies to a raid and now I am seeing similar artifacting.

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Ryan McMackin
Re: Artifacts and project corruption in Final Cut Pro with 5D Mark II footage
on Sep 2, 2010 at 11:00:43 am

Yes and no. I concluded that the corruption was due to the ExpressCard/34 eSATA adapter that I was using. When I did the same processes via FW800 I had no corruption problems. I also noticed corrupt files in some photos I had transferred via Expresscard34/eSATA. Here's a link to the adapter I was using:

I contacted OWC about it and they sent me a new adapter, though, I haven't had the time or desire to try it again.

Hope that helps.


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