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'SAVE CURRENT FRAME' significantly degrades image quality for HD footage

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Rob Postroz
'SAVE CURRENT FRAME' significantly degrades image quality for HD footage
on Apr 27, 2019 at 8:21:34 am

Hi All,
Very frustrated because I'm trying to export still images of HD footage from a FCP X project using the 'save current frame' function, but the exported stills are a much lower quality than what i'm seeing in my FCP X viewer (and of the footage itself). I'm able to export the stills from the raw footage in Quicktime with no visible loss in quality - but I can't seem to do this in my FCP X project. See attached image of a comparison of the crappy still from FCP X and a screenshot from the viewer.
Any ideas why this is happening?
Any help you can provide to solve this issue is much appreciated!!
Thanks!
Rob



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Ronny Courtens
Re: 'SAVE CURRENT FRAME' significantly degrades image quality for HD footage
on Apr 27, 2019 at 10:19:32 am

Hi Rob.

Are you using PNG in your settings to save the frame? I have been exporting frames from a timeline in PNG format, then imported them again in FCP X and put them right behind the original video. And I don't see any difference between the original video and the exported frame. Even the waveform/scopes don't show any difference.



- Ronny


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Rob Postroz
Re: 'SAVE CURRENT FRAME' significantly degrades image quality for HD footage
on Apr 27, 2019 at 5:16:39 pm

Hi Ronny,
Yes I've been using PNG - have done this a lot in the past and never had the problem. I think Joe is right when he says it seems to be converting the color scale to 8 bit for some reason. So not sure why it's doing this..


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Joe Marler
Re: 'SAVE CURRENT FRAME' significantly degrades image quality for HD footage
on Apr 27, 2019 at 11:30:20 am

[Rob Postroz] "...trying to export still images of HD footage from a FCP X project using the 'save current frame' function, but the exported stills are a much lower quality than what i'm seeing in my FCP X viewer... "

I usually use TIFF for exports but even using PNG I have not seen this before. Your exported image shows color banding, as if translated from a different color space using 8-bit processing.

What color space are you using, as shown in FCPX Inspector?

Are you using a camera LUT, as shown in FCPX Inspector in the Settings option? Are there any effects whatsoever on the clip within FCPX?

Can you tell us more about your camera and codec? Also what version of FCPX and macOS?


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Rob Postroz
Re: 'SAVE CURRENT FRAME' significantly degrades image quality for HD footage
on Apr 27, 2019 at 5:07:34 pm

Hi Joe,
I tried all the file format options they give - TIFF PNG - and it's the same. You're right, it seems like 8 bit processing. When looking in inspector the 'color space override' is OFF for Camera LUT it's 'OFF'. There are no effects on this particular clip (which is 1920 x 1080 23.98 p), but i have done some minor color grading on some others in the sequence. The only thing i can think of is that this footage is in a sequence with lower-resolution 720 x 480 29.97p footage..

This footage of the screenshot i want was shot on a Nikon D810 camera (the other footage is from a Canon Xl1).
The version of FCP i'm using is 10.4.
And my Mac OS is Sierra 10.12.6
Thanks so much for the help!!
Best,
Rob


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Joe Marler
Re: 'SAVE CURRENT FRAME' significantly degrades image quality for HD footage
on Apr 27, 2019 at 7:14:33 pm

Thanks for the info. If you can upload to DropBox, etc. a short unedited out-of-camera clip I will investigate it. The D810 produces 1080p H264 material so the file shouldn't be that big.


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Rob Postroz
Re: 'SAVE CURRENT FRAME' significantly degrades image quality for HD footage
on Apr 28, 2019 at 1:48:56 am

Hi Joe,
Thanks so much for offering to investigate! that would be a great help! Ive uploaded a short clip of the raw D810 footage to a dropbox folder. Here is the link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nqqnktfpmlqa163/AAC7dMI_rQRichSzyamI8zE1a?dl=0
Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything else.
I feel like I've used 'save current frame' on this type of footage before with no problem, so I'm thinking it has something to do with the settings in this particular project I'm working on.
Thanks!
Rob


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Joe Marler
Re: 'SAVE CURRENT FRAME' significantly degrades image quality for HD footage
on Apr 28, 2019 at 11:58:17 am

Rob, I did "save current frame" if your D810 file to PNG and it looks OK: https://joema.smugmug.com/FCPX-D810-Save-Frame-Test/n-5WqLxH/

I am running FCPX 10.4.6 on Mojave 10.14.4, also Apple Pro Video Formats 2.1.

You are running FCPX 10.4 on Sierra 10.12.6. I wonder if that is the cause? Is there any way you could upgrade your software versions?


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Rob Postroz
Re: 'SAVE CURRENT FRAME' significantly degrades image quality for HD footage
on Apr 28, 2019 at 6:08:33 pm

Hi Joe,
Thanks for testing this! Yeah that screenshot looks good. Hmm. I’ll upgrade my OS and FCP and see if that does it. Will let you know if works.
Thanks again!!
Best,
Rob


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Joe Marler
Re: 'SAVE CURRENT FRAME' significantly degrades image quality for HD footage
on Apr 28, 2019 at 6:55:10 pm

When you upgrade, also make sure you upgrade to the latest version of Apple Pro Video Formats. Starting with Mojave this is done from System Preferences>Software Update.

At any time you can check what version you are running by doing About This Mac>System Report>Installations, then scrolling down to Pro Video Formats.

As always, make sure you have good backups before upgrading.

Mojave will sometimes display a 32-bit incompatibility warning for various software. This is advisory only, it doesn't cause any problems. This is to remind people the macOS version after Mojave will not support 32-bit apps or codecs.

Separately, FCPX 10.4.6 will indicate if any video files are encoded with a 32-bit codec that won't be supported in future versions. It will also give the option of transcoding those to a supported format.

None of this is related to your problem but you might see this after upgrading.


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Rob Postroz
Re: 'SAVE CURRENT FRAME' significantly degrades image quality for HD footage
on Apr 29, 2019 at 5:06:17 am

Hi Joe,
Did the upgrades to the OS and FCP and it worked!! Thanks so much for the help!! Really means a lot.
Best,
Rob


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