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john crossfield
which codec to avoid shaky result on speeded up 16:9 dv pal footage?
on Jul 22, 2010 at 2:12:13 pm

Hi, working on a kids project where record our (mostly 16:9) footage on a mixture of Sony Z1 (HD and SD), sony handycams and some cheap toshiba camileo SD card based HD camcorders that rec in H264 I think.

We take all this footage, add sound, stills, text, effects, speed up/ slow down, time remap etc. These pieces often involve several layers of footage/ stills using transparencies and motion tracking to float images/ footage around the screen. (these are teenagers, they like the goodies on offer!!)Then ultimately burn to (SD) DVD as more accessible for kids and their families. We also convert for web for individuals own websites etc.

So I have several questions........


I want to set up a custom sequence setting, what shall I use and which codec?

Is there anything I should do with the footage before getting it into FCP? ie downconvert HD footage/ convert H264 footage?

Best RT settings for previewing footage with effects etc?

Best FC export settings? QT

Best Compressor settings to avoid stuff like shaky, squiggly footage on speed altered footage and text made in FC? (are we working with interlaced footage or de-interlaced? I never know!)

Should I avoid using the FC text creator? had problems previously with quality when wanting to zoom in and out of FC generated text. If so, what would you recommend we use? motion and import as a motn file or dv file?

Thanks

John


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Michael Gissing
Re: which codec to avoid shaky result on speeded up 16:9 dv pal footage?
on Jul 23, 2010 at 2:23:58 am


Your work flow means that you have a mixture of upper field footage (everything in PAL except DV is upper) and DV, the lone lower field codec.

As you are making a DVD, I would suggest using ProRes both as the best codec to convert your h264 footage too and as the SD sequence setting. So anamorphic ProRes 422 720 x 576 for the sequence. You can just drop the HD content into that time line but it will need to render.

The speed changes will be a problem with the DV footage as the field order is changed by the shift fields filter. Unfortunately, the frame blending that happens with a speed change happens before the field shift so it look jerky. Best way to fix this is to convert the DV footage to ProRes in Compressor which will then change the field order to upper on the ProRes files and that solves the problem before you do speed ramps.


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john crossfield
Re: which codec to avoid shaky result on speeded up 16:9 dv pal footage?
on Jul 27, 2010 at 2:42:21 pm

thanks Michael,

Just to check that I've understood your advice.

"Your work flow means that you have a mixture of upper field footage (everything in PAL except DV is upper) and DV, the lone lower field codec.

So HDV and H264 are both upper field?

As you are making a DVD, I would suggest using ProRes both as the best codec to convert your h264 footage too and as the SD sequence setting. So anamorphic ProRes 422 720 x 576 for the sequence. You can just drop the HD content into that time line but it will need to render.

Do you mean the HDV footage of the sony Z1 can just be dropped in and then rendered or the HD (h264) footage.

Will I lose much quality converting it first?

As I'm only creating and SD DVD should I downconvert the HDV footage from the Sony Z1 straight from the camera when capturing to FCP or capture as HDV?


The speed changes will be a problem with the DV footage as the field order is changed by the shift fields filter. Unfortunately, the frame blending that happens with a speed change happens before the field shift so it look jerky. Best way to fix this is to convert the DV footage to ProRes in Compressor which will then change the field order to upper on the ProRes files and that solves the problem before you do speed ramps."

If I then have a timeline with HDV, (ProRes) converted H264 footage and (ProRes) converted DV footage for the time remaped stuff, can I still use other (non speed changed) DV footage in the same timeline without causing any problems or losing significant quality?

As I ask this I also ask myself should we not just stick to one camera format per project!!


again, many thanks Michael.


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