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Pulling my hair out: square pixels, crisp animations, and DV

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Benjamin Allison
Pulling my hair out: square pixels, crisp animations, and DV
on Jun 4, 2010 at 4:47:31 pm

So, most of the video I'm working on is for the web. Lots of 3D animation and graphics.

All the videos are 16x9, so the only real way to do that in Final Cut and still be able to work RT is to have all my footage in DV, 720x480, anamorphic.

However, scaling down my graphics to be 720 wide is just killing me. When they get stretched back out to match the anamorphic pixel ratio, they're no longer sharp. And of course, why would they be, I've lost 130 pixels of information.

I want to be able to edit my footage in FCP at 853x480, with square pixels, and have the sharpest, most crisp images possible. This just makes the most sense. In the event that I need to output for TV, it's easy enough to output a video to the correct specs.

I don't know why this isn't standard practice now: editing progressive square pixel footage, since we're all editing on computers, and it's easier to go to NTSC from that, than the other way around.

Anyway... what's the best way to be able to work in FCP at 853x480, with square pixels, and ALSO be able to render in real time?

It doesn't look like DVCPRO support square pixels in RT and I don't want to have to Command-R all the time, just to see edits I'm making...


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John Fishback
Re: Pulling my hair out: square pixels, crisp animations, and DV
on Jun 4, 2010 at 5:56:16 pm

DV is what's killing your quality. Why not work in a version of ProRes - LT or 422. You'll only get real time performance from existing EasySetups. You can try customizing an Easy Setup and see how that works.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Benjamin Allison
Re: Pulling my hair out: square pixels, crisp animations, and DV
on Jun 4, 2010 at 6:01:31 pm

Thanks for the reply!

I figured it was Dv that killing me... the resolution I want to work at doesn't really exist in DV...

I'll give Easy Setups a try!

Edit: Hmm... I'm playing with other codecs, but the still need to be rendered. And converting my footage to 422 increases the file size 10x! Yikes.

Is FCP only designed to work with DV in realtime? If so, there's my answer.


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Benjamin Allison
Re: Pulling my hair out: square pixels, crisp animations, and DV
on Jun 4, 2010 at 6:57:52 pm

WEIRD!

ProRes can play real time, but I'm noticing something odd.

When I take an image sequence from my 3D app, and make a MOV with Quicktime, it plays in FCP, no problem.

BUT, when I convert an MP4 to a ProRes MOV in Quicktime, it doesn't! I've noticed that FCP is reporting the frame rate as 10fps, even though it's not, causing it not to play in realtime in FCP.

This is odd behaviour.


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Benjamin Allison
Re: Pulling my hair out: square pixels, crisp animations, and DV
on Jun 4, 2010 at 7:06:54 pm

Ha! Tried converting footage via Compressor, and it plays without having to render.

Weird.

I wonder why Quicktime is creating semi-incompatible ProRes files...


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Michael Gissing
Re: Pulling my hair out: square pixels, crisp animations, and DV
on Jun 5, 2010 at 12:46:19 am


Because your footage is 16:9 the worst way to do that is to use standard def because it is not really 16:9 but an anamorphic fudge. And if you want to use SD then don't use DV which is a poor codec and only to be suffered if you have camera original footage in that format. Even then you change your final timeline to ProRes or uncompressed so that graphics & text are not totally slaughtered.



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Rafael Amador
Re: Pulling my hair out: square pixels, crisp animations, and DV
on Jun 5, 2010 at 2:58:16 am

Hi Benjamin,
If you want to keep the quality of the graphics, avoid any resizing in FC.
In photoshop choose the correct preset (720x480, NTSC DV Anamorphic), and in FC check them with this kind of pixels.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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