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Why Am I Losing Image Quality when Moving JPEGS into FC?

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Thomas Hughes
Why Am I Losing Image Quality when Moving JPEGS into FC?
on Jul 9, 2010 at 12:46:05 am

I've got a client with an ancient tapestry that he needs to sell. He paid over a million dollars for it many years ago and now needs to create a video to send to the major museums to sell it.

He's brought a whole bunch of really beautiful JPEGS to us of shots of it from every conceivable angle and close-up. He's got a script that we've had a VO talent record and are now matching the images to the VO.

When we look at the raw JPEG files on our 30" mac computer monitor they look breathtaking. When we grab the file and move it into a FC bin then look at it, it loses a lot of resolution and detail. Is there a setting we need to adjust so they're going into the FC program at their highest resolution and quality? tx


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Michael Gissing
Re: Why Am I Losing Image Quality when Moving JPEGS into FC?
on Jul 9, 2010 at 1:20:09 am


You need an HD timeline for starters to maintain any quality. ProRes is a fine codec to use. Uncomressed 10 bit is better but needs a really fast RAID hard drive system. Bear in mind that HD is 1920 x 1080 maximum and the jpegs must not exceed 4,000 pixels width.

Bottom line though is how is this video going to be delivered? If you end up with a DVD that means standard def and your resolution will suffer. If it must be then SD then Uncompressed 10 bit or ProRes are the best bets.



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Thomas Hughes
Re: Why Am I Losing Image Quality when Moving JPEGS into FC?
on Jul 9, 2010 at 1:31:33 am

We use ProRes but I completely forgot that even in ProRes we are compressing it, thus like you said there's nothing better than uncompressed. We'll do some tests with uncompressed. Thank you.

Thomas H


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Doug Metz
Re: Why Am I Losing Image Quality when Moving JPEGS into FC?
on Jul 9, 2010 at 3:39:03 pm

Also be sure to check that your sequence settings are set to progressive, square pixels.

Doug Metz

Anode


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Michael Sacci
Re: Why Am I Losing Image Quality when Moving JPEGS into FC?
on Jul 9, 2010 at 2:05:58 am

unless you are looking at the timeline rendered and out to a monitor you are not looking at final quality. the canvas down rez's the image.

To judge quality you MUST have a video card/device out of a monitor (not a computer monitor).


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Jason Brown
Re: Why Am I Losing Image Quality when Moving JPEGS into FC?
on Jul 9, 2010 at 2:45:46 am

I think I can shed some light with a personal experience that gave me some insight into how FCP works with JPG's.

First off, work at the highest video resolution available...HD 1920x1080.

If you have the timeline codec set to ProRes...you'll have to render large JPGs that are imported into that timeline.

I was bringing in a photo that was something like 5000 pixels wide, FCP would scale it down to 20 something percent to fit it to canvas. Then when I would scale it to 100%, it would be pixelated. The bar above the timeline was green, so it was only showing a preview at lowered resolution. If I changed the sequence codec to Animation it would force render that frame on preview and it would look fine...so my experience taught me that your preview is just that, a preview...not final until it is rendered.

HTH.

-Jason


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Michael Gissing
Re: Why Am I Losing Image Quality when Moving JPEGS into FC?
on Jul 9, 2010 at 5:09:01 am


I wouldn't use animation codec. Firstly it is 8 bit and secondly it isn't an edit codec so constant rendering will drive you nuts.


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Jason Brown
Re: Why Am I Losing Image Quality when Moving JPEGS into FC?
on Jul 9, 2010 at 2:11:55 pm

Let me be clear, I'm not advocating for the use of Animation codec...simply that when forced to render the still frame the scale to 100% looked fine, where as when set to prores...it didn't because it was giving me a "preview" with the green bar above the timeline.


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Thomas Hughes
Re: Why Am I Losing Image Quality when Moving JPEGS into FC?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 12:16:30 am

So we've used uncompressed 10 bit and the images look better. But now when we play the program, it hiccups, doesn't play smoothly.

I've got a fast hard drive but I'm guessing that because we normally don't cut uncompressed, it's set for a slower throughput speed. Does that sound right? (I'm outside of my area of expertise here). If yes, how do I adjust it to run at it's fastest speed?

It's a G-Speed 3000 FC-R. Thank you.

Thomas H


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