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Animation codec aliasing in ProRes sequence

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Steve Renard
Animation codec aliasing in ProRes sequence
on Nov 30, 2009 at 6:45:36 pm

Has anyone run into problems with the Animation codec picking up some (not totally nasty, but not unnoticeable either) aliasing when it gets put into a ProRes 422 HQ sequence? I have a few quicktimes that came out of AfterEffects, some with alpha (necessitating the Animation codec) and some without. Those that did not require an alpha channel I re-rendered in ProRes 422 HQ right out of AE and they look nice and clean in FCP, but anything in the Animation codec starts looking ugly. If you've run into this problem, were you able to find a solution?

I've tried changing the YUV rendering settings in the sequence options in FCP, and rendering using some different settings coming out of AE, but I haven't found anything that cleans up the aliasing. I also tried rendering anything that required an alpha channel as a straight ProRes file, and another ProRes file with the alpha data (as luma), but that also looks rough. The Animation codec files are crystal clear when played in QuickTime. All this makes me think that this problem is on FCP's end, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what it thinks it's doing.

All thoughts welcome.

Cheers,
Steve


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Animation code aliasing in ProRes sequence
on Nov 30, 2009 at 7:24:37 pm

You rendered, right?

Also, ProRes 4x4 has a real time alpha for FCP is you have FCP7.

Jeremy


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Steve Renard
Re: Animation code aliasing in ProRes sequence
on Nov 30, 2009 at 7:31:16 pm

I did render.

I'm aware that the new ProRes codec has alpha support, but that system/software upgrade is still in the future, somewhere, unfortunately.




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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Animation code aliasing in ProRes sequence
on Nov 30, 2009 at 8:01:11 pm

OK. Animation is an 8bit RGB codec. Did you render out straight or premultiplied? Have you selected the proper alpha type for the clip in the FCP browser than added it to your timeline?

Jeremy


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Steve Renard
Re: Animation code aliasing in ProRes sequence
on Nov 30, 2009 at 8:24:35 pm

Rendered premultiplied. The settings are correct in terms of the alpha in FCP, etc... but it doesn't seem like that's the problem, because even if there's no alpha (AE generated text over an AE generated image, with the QT file, for example) I still get the aliasing. The alpha only comes up because that's where I can't escape the problem by re-rendering in ProRes.

I thought it might be a frame size or scaling issue, but I've tried many different permutations of sequence frame size vs. rendered file frame size and scaling on AE output, etc. and none of them makes any difference. For whatever reason, anything rendered out of AE with the animation codec looks great in QuickTime, etc., but comes through ugly in FCP.

That gave me another thought, though, which seems to have fixed it - I was using the 1440x1080 frame size for the sequence, but changed it to 1920x1080 (which is the size of the rendered files from AE, but not the size of the footage) and that seems to have cleared it up. Still working on the logic behind that, but at least I've solved the problem for the moment.



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Kevin Monahan
Re: Animation code aliasing in ProRes sequence
on Nov 30, 2009 at 9:58:15 pm

How are you monitoring your aliasing problem? Please don't say "in the Canvas", as that's the worst place to judge render quality.

Kevin Monahan
60 Blu-ray Templates for Final Cut Studio 2009
http://www.fcpworld.com
Author - Motion Graphics and Effects in Final Cut Pro


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Josh Olenslager
Re: Animation code aliasing in ProRes sequence
on Dec 3, 2009 at 4:40:19 am

That gave me another thought, though, which seems to have fixed it - I was using the 1440x1080 frame size for the sequence, but changed it to 1920x1080 (which is the size of the rendered files from AE, but not the size of the footage) and that seems to have cleared it up. Still working on the logic behind that

Sounds like a pixel ratio issue. I've seen it before with HDV pixel ratios verses the full frame ratio--and how FCP is interpreting the data. I haven't dug into it by any means, but if you're determined to get into that logic, that's where I'd start. That territory is ripe for problems like you're seeing.

Josh


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Aivaras Seduika
Re: Animation code aliasing in ProRes sequence
on Sep 3, 2012 at 9:45:47 am

This has been bugging me for years, and finally figured out the problem!
For any video format with an alpha channel (ani, dnhxd, mpng, etc etc) FCP seems to assume the clip is interlaced with a field dominance.
So when you drop the clip into your clip browser, scroll the window to the right till you see field dominance, and set it to 'none' (if you're working in a progressive sequence). Then drop it into the sequence. Voila, super sharpness!
Note:
Once it's in the sequence, setting the field dominance column in the clip browser will have no effect on the clip's instance already in the sequence.


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