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need AVCHD to FCP workflow advice please

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Steve Foley
need AVCHD to FCP workflow advice please
on Oct 20, 2010 at 1:29:55 am

Hi I need help!

I realize this may be a little out of the scope of this forum -- but somebody here has surely run into this so here goes ---

I need help setting up projects using some converted AVCHD footage in Final Cut Pro. I'm not used to working in widescreen, so all of the various setup and rendering options in FCP are making me nuts.

OK first of all -- I'm using Voltaic to convert footage shot in the highest quality setting of my Vixia HFS10. The file dimensions come out to the expected 1920 X 1080. By the way, I'm using the VoltaicHD default settings (AIC codec) cuz I'm working on a G5 Power Mac with Final Cut Pro 5.1.4 --- the ProRes codecs are not available on that.

Anyway -- comes time to set up the project properly for this footage and I don't know what to do. I've tried using the "Easy Setup" DV/NTSC Anamorphic --- and exporting my Quicktime using "current settings" -- and something just doesn't look right. The footage doesn't quite fill up the screen -- no surprise when the rendered product dimensions are smaller than the beginning footage was.

So I've also tried lots of "custom" combinations in both project setup and rendering -- but just don't know what is correct. Sometimes things look stretched out, sometimes squished, sometimes with letterboxing above and below the picture --- etc etc. After a while it all runs together. I keep checking the results by going the long way round the barn and burning (widescreen mode) DVDs of each try and viewing them on both old 4:3 tube TVs and my brand spankin new Sony HDTV. Mind you, I'm making SD DVDs here -- not blueray -- but the resulting video should still fill up the screen, shouldn't it??

All I'm looking for here is a way to work with this footage so that the end result is actually WIDESCREEN -- or whatever you call it -- filling up the whole 16:9 TV. And it would be nice if the picture was in some way acceptable to viewers using the old 4:3 sets.

Any advice on the proper way to do this would be appreciated.


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