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How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?

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John Ranta
How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 4:51:52 pm

I teach Video Production, and am one of the managers for our community access cable channel. The video server for the cable channel only accepts mpeg2 files. I can't find an mpeg2 output format for FCP in the Export menus. I have searched these forums (fora?) and have not found a way to render mpeg2 out of FCP (unless I use Compressor). Is there a way to Export mpeg2 out of FCP?

Thanks, JR


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Rob Grauert
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 5:06:51 pm

I don't believe FCP is capable of outputting MPEG. Your best option is Compressor. Do you know how to do this?

Rob Grauert, Jr.
http://www.robgrauert.com
command-r.tumblr.com


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John Ranta
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 5:10:50 pm

Damn, another program to learn :)

No, I have not used Compressor. I did accidentally click on it once, on one of our iMacs, and for weeks afterwards we got CompressorD messages all the time. I think I've been avoiding it...

Are there good tutorials out there? I'm guessing that some 11 year old will teach me everything I need on youtube, in a video tutorial...JR


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Bouke Vahl
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 5:17:05 pm

check the specs for the playout system.

You can export from FCP to XDcam in MXF, using the (free) Sony XDcam transfer application.
This is in fact MpegII, but another style as you would put on a DVD.
(and way better looking)

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


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Knox Harrington
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Jan 21, 2011 at 9:41:20 pm

what if Compressor crapped out a while ago... anything to download that could compress a quicktime to mpeg2 from FCP? thank you


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Walter Soyka
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 5:19:28 pm

[John Ranta] "The video server for the cable channel only accepts mpeg2 files."

A lot of video servers have very specific compression requirements. Not all servers will play just any MPEG-2 file. Can you get more information on what you'll need to provide from the broadcaster?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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John Ranta
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 5:32:37 pm

Thanks to all for the quick answers. Further questions, and info:

What is MXF and XDcam? I'm not familiar with these acronyms. It may help to explain more of how the process works for me. I have Vegas and FCP systems, all on our internet. I also have the video server for the cable channel on the same internet. When we render videos out of Vegas as mpeg-2 videos (straight to a hard disk file - not to tape or DVD), I simply transfer these over the network to the Nexus server, and schedule them to run. I'd like to be able to do the same on FCP - export an mpeg-2 video our of an FCP editing session straight to a hard disk file, and then transfer that file over the net to the Nexus server.

As for the Nexus mpeg-2 requirements (I am the broadcaster :) ) - they are:

• Acceptable stream types:


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John Ranta
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 5:40:20 pm

(post was cutoff) The NEXUS supports
• MPEG-1 System Stream or MPEG-2 Program Stream
* Elementary video stream
• Three video resolutions (pixels) are allowed.
352 x 240 (Horizontal x Vertical)
352 x 480
720 x 480
• Picture rate must be 29.97 pictures per second.
• A maximum bit rate of 10 Mb/s is allowed.
• National TV Standards Committee (NTSC) with 4:3 aspect ratio required.
• Audio, if present, must be encoded into the MPEG file using Audio layer II, encoded at a 32, 44.1, or 48KHz sampling frequency.
• MPEG filenames may contain up to 27 characters (no spaces) in addition to the required “.mpg” extension.


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Bouke Vahl
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 5:40:48 pm

Sorry, but you TEACH video production?

I would recommend you get some education first, to know the basics.
(and that includes a tech background and knowing how to read manuals, test and experiment before asking others.)

I'm out of this thread.

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


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Walter Soyka
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 5:59:25 pm

Bouke, I have tremendous respect for you and your work, and I have learned a lot from you going back to the Avid-L -- and thank you for that! John may be a teacher, but he's here to learn, too.

John, perhaps you have more of a traditional video engineering background, but it sounds like you're new to the video/IT convergence that's been going for a few years.

Compressor itself is pretty easy to learn -- once you understand a bit about video compression. The Compressor manual is a bit of a slog, but reading the intro and the section on MPEG-2 will help you understand the Nexxus spec.

Wikipedia has pretty decent (though somewhat dry) explanations of MXF and XDCAM. I'd start there for the basics, then come back with questions.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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John Ranta
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 6:13:50 pm

Walter, thanks. I come from high tech, having worked in Unix, CAD/CAM and Publishing for 25 years, but I'm pretty new to video. I've been teaching high school for 9 years now, and added Video Production to my classes (which include Flash Animation, 3D Studio Animation, Advertising, Entrepreneurship, and Broadcasting) 4 years ago when the teacher who taught it retired. I'm self-taught, and being the only Tech/Media teacher in the school I need to know a little about a lot of things. It's a lot of fun, actually, and my students do quite well in film contests and college acceptances.

I've taught myself the basics of editing with Vegas and Final Cut, but I've never worked in the film/video industry (pre or post convergence). I didn't mean to abuse the forum, I first did a search here (and in Google) on exporting mpeg-2 from FCP, and found very little. I'll do some more research, and figure it out. It sounds like it's time to learn Compressor.

Bouke, you may yet have one or two things to learn, yourself...


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Walter Soyka
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 6:22:40 pm

To be fair, Bouke is absolutely brilliant, very helpful, and completely correct that everything you're asking about is well-covered in the manuals.

Personally, I believe one of the hardest parts about learning something new is finding out the right terminology. I'm not surprised that "rendering MPEG-2" didn't turn up much in an FCP forum.

Now that you know to export a self-contained movie and bring that to Compressor, you'll be off to a solid start and able to come back with specific questions if you run across anything. Good luck!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Bouke Vahl
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 11:16:56 pm

[John Ranta] "Bouke, you may yet have one or two things to learn, yourself..."

Oy...
Yes, you're right, I've got lots of things to learn.
But i do exactly that, not by asking others to read the manuals for me.
(and yes, it takes time and effort, hoping that this is correct English.)

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


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John Ranta
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 11:34:15 pm

Bouke, one thing you may want to learn is not to judge people you don't know too quickly.

I have read the documentation on exporting videos from Final Cut Pro. My students and I have exported a hundred or more videos over the past year, in various formats, from FCP. That was not my question.

I was hoping to find a way to export a video from FCP in an mpeg-2 format. In the FCP docs I did not find any mention of exporting mpeg-2 format. I thought to myself "mpeg-2 is such a common format, there should be a way to do this in FCP. Maybe I've missed something. I'll search Creative Cow". But after doing a search of the Creative Cow forums, I did not find any answers to this question. So I thought, "I'll post a question to see if there's a short cut or trick to doing this that I've missed."

I found two things - one is that I can only do this through Compressor - and two is that asking a question on Creative Cow can result in unwanted and unhelpful criticism.


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Zane Barker
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 5:21:14 pm

[John Ranta] "I teach Video Production"

[John Ranta] "How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?"

Umm you don't render out of FCP. You render a timeline, and you export out of FCP.

You will need to export a self contained file and then bring it into compressor.

If you don't know compressor LEARN it, it can be your BEST friend. I rely on it more then I do FCP.

**Hindsight is always 1080p**


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Rafael Amador
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 6:33:58 pm

MPEG-2 is just a little flavor of something call Digital video.
That's what you need to learn.
Is all about to understand how two Analog signals (A/V) are sampled, packaged and compressed.
That shouldn't be difficult to understand with your background.
Understand the nature of Video and Audio may require more efforts for you.

Lucky you, now there are documents available like this:
http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=final+cut+7+profesional...
And you have the COW here, willing to answer the questions that you will find in your way.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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John Ranta
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 6:39:12 pm

Perhaps I worded my question poorly. I understand how to export self-contained movies out of FCP, and I know what mpeg-2 is. What I was really wondering was why I can so easily export an mpeg-2 video out of a program like Vegas, but it is not possible to do this with Final Cut (without the extra step of going to Compressor). What I was wondering was if I was missing something because I could not find a way to export an mpeg-2 format video directly from FCP.

In any case, I get it - Compressor is the answer.


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Rafael Amador
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 14, 2010 at 8:31:18 pm

[John Ranta] "Perhaps I worded my question poorly. I understand how to export self-contained movies out of FCP, and I know what mpeg-2 is. What I was really wondering was why I can so easily export an mpeg-2 video out of a program like Vegas,"

10 years ago, MPEG-2 wasn't on the scope of any Video Editing system.
In the end is all about if you like to use an "All in one" tool or separated tools, to do the same task.
IMO, there is not a single tool that will give you the same result that when you select the best tools for each task.
FC used to have available a "QT MPEG-2 Export Component", that allowed export MPEG-2 through QT Conversion. Very little recommendable if you care about quality.
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Michael Alberts
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 15, 2010 at 1:27:30 am

If you absolutely HAD to do this in one step you could simply create you're own specific MPEG-2 preset in Compressor and then simply use the "Share" feature in FCP and select that preset. This is a one-step process for all future Exports of MPEG-2.

Michael Alberts
Ambidextrous Productions, Inc.
http://www.ambidextrous.net


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John Ranta
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 15, 2010 at 1:57:28 am

Again, the fact that my cable channel video server only supports mpeg-2 means that yes, I absolutely have to do this.

And, the fact that my sysadmin installed Compressor in such a way that one has to have admin privileges to configure and run it on our iMacs means that I will either have to provide admin privileges to all of my high school students (which I can't do) or that I will have to login as admin and run Compressor myself every time a student is exporting a video for broadcast on the cable channel.

This is such an easy thing to do out of Vegas (and I suspect other digital editing programs). Why is there such resistance to exporting an mpeg-2 video in the FCP world? I freely admit to not being a video geek with 20 years in the business, but it seems rather arbitrary and unuseful that I can't export an mpeg-2 video out of FCP. Is this some sort of religious restriction?

Again, thanks to all who have replied (well, most of you, anyways). I've learned a bit about FCP and mpeg-2, in any case. JR


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Zane Barker
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 15, 2010 at 5:12:52 am

[John Ranta] "And, the fact that my sysadmin installed Compressor in such a way that one has to have admin privileges to configure and run it on our iMacs means that I will either have to provide admin privileges to all of my high school students (which I can't do) or that I will have to login as admin and run Compressor myself every time a student is exporting a video for broadcast on the cable channel. "

Just use compressor to create a droplet and then give the droplet to your students to use to compress their files. The droplet will contain all the settings and all they have to do is drag there exported video onto the droplet and compressor works in the background to encode. And a droplet should not require any administrator rights to use.

**Hindsight is always 1080p**


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Rafael Amador
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 15, 2010 at 11:48:09 am

[John Ranta] "Is this some sort of religious restriction? "
The only restrictions are on your improperly set system and on your environment.
FC may be too professional for educational purposes.
You should keep on Vegas, and tell your student to jump to FC when ready for a professional workflow, on a system properly set.
What and how you want to teach your students is up to you, but if you want to teach them as professionals, stop discussing about "religious restrictions" in FC, fix your system, and teach them to work with whatever tool they need.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 15, 2010 at 3:02:09 pm

[John Ranta] "This is such an easy thing to do out of Vegas (and I suspect other digital editing programs). Why is there such resistance to exporting an mpeg-2 video in the FCP world? I freely admit to not being a video geek with 20 years in the business, but it seems rather arbitrary and unuseful that I can't export an mpeg-2 video out of FCP. Is this some sort of religious restriction?"

This is not a "religious" restriction at all -- I think it's more historical and philosophical.

When Final Cut Pro's architecture was designed (at Macromedia in the late 90s), video production and delivery still happened on video tape. Digital delivery didn't exist. Since then, Apple has added a suite of products around Final Cut Pro -- some developed internally, and some acquired from other developers. The philosophy of Final Cut Suite has been Final Cut Pro for editorial at the center of the workflow, with specialized products (Compressor, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, Color) adding capability around it.

I think that most other applications also use separate compression utilities. Of course FCP ships with Compressor, but Avid Media Composer ships with Sorenson Squeeze, and Adobe Premiere Pro ships with Adobe Media Encoder.

There has been speculation of an integrated uber-app in a future release of FCS, but no one knows for sure what the future will bring.

Personally, I like specialized tools for specific work. It's kind of a UNIX-y approach: a series of smaller, tighter tools that can be combined in many different ways. This is especially useful when multiple deliverable formats are required for the same asset. Also, Compressor is not always the right tool for the job, so it's nice to be able to use other compression apps like Episode Pro, Squeeze, Bitvice, and ProCoder. Each application has strengths and weaknesses, and each fits into a different workflow for me depending on my deliverable.

None of this makes it any more convenient to get MPEG-2 video from FCP, but hopefully it provides a little context for how we got here.

Finally, if Compressor isn't working properly on your workstations, you might try Compressor Repair:

http://www.digitalrebellion.com/compressor_repair.htm

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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shawn bockoven
Re: How to render MPEG2 out of FCP?
on Dec 16, 2010 at 11:40:05 pm

If you would like to send me an email, I can pass on what we are doing at our TV station. The process is quick, good-great quality and successful.

sbockoven@mcoe.org

One of three bald guys.


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