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Neil Davis
Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 10, 2010 at 2:15:50 am

Hello everybody,

I'm a newbie with FCP so any help would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance......

Soooo..a friend of a friend gave me a bunch of footage to edit, which I gladly did. He was not sure what type of camera the footage was shot on but in the .mov files the info reads:

Dimensions: 960 x540
Codecs: Integer (Big Endian), Apple Intermediate Codec

So I edited the footage in FCP 6.0.6 (and did the sequence settings to match the footage) and exported out for the web with h.264 codec at 1280x720.

NOW, a production company wants to use the footage as a part of their show for a convention, and apparently the footage is going to be shown on "big screens". I haven't been told how big the screens are, and they've only instructed me to just get the "highest resolution possible" to them.

I've done some online searches, and I'm sure the answer is out there, and is simple, but I just can't seem to figure it out. Don't know if this is making any sense, but basically, I just need to learn how to export my project so it can be shown at the highest resolution possible. Help!


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 10, 2010 at 2:56:08 am

Apple ProRes 422

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 10, 2010 at 2:57:50 am

[Neil Davis] "they've only instructed me to just get the "highest resolution possible" to them."

You need to speak to someone at the production company that knows what they actually need. If you sent them your original frame size Uncompressed 10 bit, that is it. The resolution is determined by your frame size and the codec you have chosen which isn't a great codec. If they want to spend some money and get that scaled up to a higher resolution via hardware or software, then that is the only way to improve on the current situation.

If they tell you they want 1920 x 1080 and in what codec, then use Compressor to upscale from your 950 x 540 AIC timeline. Compressor is the best tool in the FCS suite for upscaling.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 10, 2010 at 4:03:18 am

If they will show your movie fully finished, send them a H264 1280 x 720 at high data rate (25Mbps).
If they will re-edit send them a 1280 x 720 Prores or the original footage.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 10, 2010 at 4:05:25 am

AIC is not gonna get any better than ProRes no matter what.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 10, 2010 at 4:29:41 am

[David Roth Weiss] "AIC is not gonna get any better than ProRes no matter what."

True but when someone asks for "the highest resolution possible.." I would be inclined to give them either a copy of the AIC original or bump it up to something difficult like Uncompressed 10 bit 1920 x 1080 so there is no complaint.

I also would never presume they had ProRes codecs on their machines.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 10, 2010 at 1:30:47 pm

Michael, ProRes is ubiquitous now, built into all versions of QuickTime on Windows too... The ProRes decoder is as likely to be on a client's machine the uncompressed codecs.


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Neil Davis
Re: Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 10, 2010 at 12:09:06 pm

Hello everybody,

Thanks for all your input and the speedy response.

I have taken Mr. Glissing's advice into action and have reached out to the production company about what they require for res and codecs, so I'll wait to see what their needs are.

I'll keep you posted (because I know you're just dying to find out what happens..ha)

Thanks again guys!

n.


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Neil Davis
Re: Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 10, 2010 at 1:42:48 pm

Hello everybody,

Thanks for all your input and the speedy response.

I have taken Mr. Glissing's advice into action and have reached out to the production company about what they require for res and codecs, so I'll wait to see what their needs are.

I'll keep you posted (because I know you're just dying to find out what happens..ha)

Thanks again guys!

n.


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Neil Davis
Re: Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 10, 2010 at 3:38:59 pm

Hello everybody,

Thanks for all your input and the speedy response.

I have taken Mr. Glissing's advice into action and have reached out to the production company about what they require for res and codecs, here's what they say......

"we are aiming for HD footage essentially, or the closest you can to do to fake it. 1920 x 1080i, the highest resolution as possible (not too sure about the codec). if you are resaving the commercial, just set it to the highest possible quality setting and thats pretty much exactly what we need. keep in mind this footage is going to be blown up on a screen outside of madison square garden, so its going to be stretched out by at least 20 feet if not more.

so my best way to describe how to get the footage is to just make it as large as possible. if its easier, when saving it just split it into two files or even three and this way u can upload them to a site for online delivery, or even to make it more manageable for hand delivery when i need to go thru the files.

if your raw footage isnt big enough to be stretched like that then we will work with what we have, but if you can save it as a larger resolution file, then great! let me know if that helps, thanks"

Ha, 20 feet....wtf????!! Is that even possible with using footage that's at 960 x 540? Is upscaling going to have to be involved for what they want?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 10, 2010 at 4:53:56 pm

Neil,

A perfect anamorphic SD DVD will typically look better than a mediocre blowup to HD. Uprezing to HD can introduce bad artifacting that will be magnified by projection. So, you are better off to deliver a perfect anamorphic SD copy.

BTW, the decision to use the Apple Intermediate Codec was the big mistake in this workflow. It is a "lossy" codec that throws away a fairly large amount of color information. An anamorphic SD output from AIC to ProRes will be indistinquisable from the original.


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Neil Davis
Re: Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 10, 2010 at 6:56:26 pm

Thanks David,

Unfortunately the footage was already in AIC when given to me...

...wait, does that mean that the "cinematographer" who captured the footage compressed it to AIC after the fact, or was it just shot that way originally? Because if he compressed it after the fact, perhaps it's possible to get the original (non AIC) footage from him?

But let's say I'm stuck with this AIC footage...how would I set my export settings to make a perfect anamorphic SD DVD?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 10, 2010 at 8:14:46 pm

It absolutely means it was shot as something else then captured as AIC.

Don't make a DVD, just transcode to ProRes 422. My mention of the SD was simply an example, but probably not good enough sounding for your client.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Paul Carlin
Re: Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 11, 2010 at 5:21:10 am

There is no camera that records 960x540 and uses the Apple Intermediate Codec. Someone transcoded the original media into the QuickTimes you now have.

If you want to deliver the best possible quality, you need to get on the phone and get the ORIGINAL camera sources... whatever those may be. You then need to re-conform the spot using the ORIGINAL camera media. Then export the timeline to a ProRes HQ Quicktime.

What matters here is your reputation. If you want to establish yourself as a professional, then I highly suggest you do the required legwork to make this spot look as good as possible. The consequences of not doing so will seal your fate in this industry.

- Paul


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Neil Davis
Re: Exporting full resolution in FCP
on Sep 11, 2010 at 4:01:38 pm

Thanks David, Paul and everybody else for all your advice. It's very much appreciated.


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