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Does FCP support QuickTime movs with multiple video tracks?

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Alex Elkins
Does FCP support QuickTime movs with multiple video tracks?
on Dec 16, 2010 at 5:26:57 pm

Hi All,

I'm certain this question has come up in the past but I can't for the life of me find it. Hopefully someone can answer it again.

I've been experimenting with creating QuickTime files containing more than one video track (i.e. so that we can keep a single file containing clean cut, gfx, subtitles etc all on seperate layers). It works fine and the tracks can be extracted separately and imported into FCP.
What I can't seem to do is import or export a QuickTime file containing more than one video track with FCP, even though it clearly does contain the multiple layers in the QuickTime file properties. FCP just seems to display only the bottom layer.

Please see the screenshot below for an idea of what I'm talking about. Note the presence of Video Track 1, the programme cut, and Video Track 2, graphics with an alpha channel.




As you can see I have a QuickTime file with multiple video tracks which can be edited at will. Is there any way to get FCP to recognise this?


Many thanks,
Alex

Twitter: @postbluetv
http://www.PostBlue.tv
Shot on RED, Post on FCP/Color: Short Capoeira Film


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Does FCP support QuickTime movs with multiple video tracks?
on Dec 16, 2010 at 6:04:50 pm

Not that I know of, no.

This is a really interesting idea, though, Alex.

It certainly doesn't cut down on file size, but I guess it might be easier to keep track of?

It seems that the general framework might be there, but FCP is so old that it won't take advantage of something like this. Awesome idea, though.

Jeremy


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Alex Elkins
Re: Does FCP support QuickTime movs with multiple video tracks?
on Dec 16, 2010 at 7:01:35 pm

Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for your input. It does increase the file size. I'm testing on a 720/25p ProRes 4444 file. The total file size of the multi-track QuickTime is slightly larger that the sum of the individual layers.
However, this being ProRes the file size is variable, so for instance, the graphics layer is much smaller than the programme layer (like, 5 times smaller) despite it being the same length. It works out smaller in size compared to keeping one dirty version and one clean version of a finished programme on file.


Hi Rafael,

Thanks for your input as well. To answer your question about the usefulness of this...
[Rafael Amador] "I don't see big advantages on that feature.
In real life I don't see much need of packing together many Video tracks (security cameras?)."


We do a lot of sports broadcasting, so all of our finished programmes tend to have score graphics up pretty much throughout. Months later we might want to cut a montage of action from the pre-edited programme, but we don't want to have graphics burned in to the images. This is fine if we still have the source files on our system, but usually they will be archived onto LTO tapes and deleted from the scratch disk once the programme is delivered. We keep a master file of the finished programme on a local disk.
It would be very useful in this situation to be able to extract the clean images from a single master file (and if needed we could include the graphics, but at least we'd have the option not to). Seems more organised than keeping multiple versions - one clean, one dirty.
It would also be a handy addition to files with burnt-in-timecode in that you could turn off or on the TC burn at any point without re-rendering.

FCP has this support for audio tracks. I think, as Jeremy says, the infrastructure is there given that it all works perfectly in QuickTime player. Would be a very nice addition in my opinion.


Thanks,
Alex

Twitter: @postbluetv
http://www.PostBlue.tv
Shot on RED, Post on FCP/Color: Short Capoeira Film


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Does FCP support QuickTime movs with multiple video tracks?
on Dec 16, 2010 at 7:10:02 pm

[Alex Elkins] "FCP has this support for audio tracks. I think, as Jeremy says, the infrastructure is there given that it all works perfectly in QuickTime player. Would be a very nice addition in my opinion."

Exactly and I agree.

In the tracks column, it'd be 2V,4A or whatever. It'd be pretty slick.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Does FCP support QuickTime movs with multiple video tracks?
on Dec 16, 2010 at 6:20:20 pm

Hi Alex,
You can put many things inside a QT file, but for a video editor (and on a video editing application) I don't see big advantages on that feature.
In real life I don't see much need of packing together many Video tracks (security cameras?).
Is possible that something like AE or Combustion can tell and use more than one video track.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Does FCP support QuickTime movs with multiple video tracks?
on Dec 16, 2010 at 6:47:57 pm

[Rafael Amador] "In real life I don't see much need of packing together many Video tracks (security cameras?)."

Delivering a multicam edit with ISOs as well as a the switched edit?

Delivering a master as Alex has said, one clean, one with GFX, one with subtitles in one file?

Handing over footage to compositors in one file, giving them shot options?

Having different versions/languages of an edit inside of one file?

The list can go on and on.


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Alex Elkins
Re: Does FCP support QuickTime movs with multiple video tracks?
on Dec 16, 2010 at 7:07:19 pm

Good list Jeremy - much more concise than my example too!

BTW I tested this in After Effects and it doesn't recognise the multiple tracks. After Effects also seemed to have issues correctly interpreting the existence of the alpha channel from the GFX when I extracted the layer from the QT master. This was solved with a roundtrip from FCP to After Effects.

Alex

Twitter: @postbluetv
http://www.PostBlue.tv
Shot on RED, Post on FCP/Color: Short Capoeira Film


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Does FCP support QuickTime movs with multiple video tracks?
on Dec 16, 2010 at 7:31:21 pm

[Alex Elkins] "BTW I tested this in After Effects and it doesn't recognise the multiple tracks. After Effects also seemed to have issues correctly interpreting the existence of the alpha channel from the GFX when I extracted the layer from the QT master. This was solved with a roundtrip from FCP to After Effects."

All this doesn't surprise me. I bet no application supports it, except Quicktime! :)

Jeremy


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Rafael Amador
Re: Does FCP support QuickTime movs with multiple video tracks?
on Dec 16, 2010 at 8:11:14 pm

Jeremy,
You are proposing QT as a media-storage-managing-format.I prefer something that focus on video editing.
The idea is interesting for media sharing and storing, but doesn't add much for the video editor.
You are thinking of a super-QT-file that behaves almost like a project, but to pair together and manage different elements (graphics, sound, many video tracks) we already have the "FC Project".

I may be old-fashioned, but I will never feel safe with a 1 hour Prores-QT file with 7 video tracks and 14 audio tracks. That sounds a nightmare to me.
What about file corruption?
You want to lose your 7 tracks at once?
I prefer one at a time:-)
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Alex Elkins
Re: Does FCP support QuickTime movs with multiple video tracks?
on Dec 16, 2010 at 8:25:03 pm

Hi Rafael

It's not a question of whether we'd like to use QT in this way as we already can (and I will). I just wondered if FCP could read all of the video layers and therefore automate the process a bit more. It seems not, but personally I'd love the option for the reasons I've stated.

Thanks,
Alex

Twitter: @postbluetv
http://www.PostBlue.tv
Shot on RED, Post on FCP/Color: Short Capoeira Film


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Rafael Amador
Re: Does FCP support QuickTime movs with multiple video tracks?
on Dec 16, 2010 at 8:48:20 pm

Alex,
Sorry if did sounds as I dismissed your Idea.
First because I love this kind of tests and experiments.
You can put whatever you want inside a QT file. you can have video layers and masks, audio, stills, text,..
The issue is that no QT based application have the tools to manage all that contents.
I suspect that the very QT structure neither allow to easily sync and manage it.

I think that that all-in-one-file, is the file of the future, but that have to come with a new generation of NLEs.
With the actual FC, that feature would simply complicate things. If FC doesn't shine on MM, imagine with those files.
Keep digging on the QT files. Is full of interesting things, and I think that most of us, including my self, we don't know enough about.
Cheers,
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Does FCP support QuickTime movs with multiple video tracks?
on Dec 16, 2010 at 8:48:39 pm

[Rafael Amador] "You are proposing QT as a media-storage-managing-format."

Isn't it already? Let's just make it a more capable wrapper. I'd really like to throw metadata in there as well.

[Rafael Amador] "The idea is interesting for media sharing and storing, but doesn't add much for the video editor."

I don't see it that way at all. It would allow me to DELIVER (one of the many jobs of an editor) one single file to a client instead of four or five different ones.

[Rafael Amador] "You are thinking of a super-QT-file that behaves almost like a project"

Mmmm, maybe but not really. I am talking about making an archive master with multiple versions in it in one file.

[Rafael Amador] "but to pair together and manage different elements (graphics, sound, many video tracks) we already have the "FC Project".
"


When I need to deliver a surround+stereo master, let's say, I make a QT file with (5.1 + 2) 8 audio tracks. The audio user on the end sorts out which mix they need.

Why can't I do the same with video? I'll have the clean feed, the dirty feed, the nasty feed and the normal feed in one file, then another track for graphics with alpha in Spanish, English, Portuguese and perhaps Fritalian.

Or how about this? One ProRes 422 track, one h264 track and one DNxHD mov track (all same frame size/rate of course)?

[Rafael Amador] "I may be old-fashioned, but I will never feel safe with a 1 hour Prores-QT file with 7 video tracks and 14 audio tracks."

Then you must not work in episodic television. :)

[Rafael Amador] "What about file corruption?"

If a current single track master goes corrupt today, it sucks. This is no different. If something is corrupt, it sucks.

[Rafael Amador] "That sounds a nightmare to me. "

One man's nightmare is another man's happy dream.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Does FCP support QuickTime movs with multiple video tracks?
on Dec 16, 2010 at 10:26:56 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "When I need to deliver a surround+stereo master, let's say, I make a QT file with (5.1 + 2) 8 audio tracks. The audio user on the end sorts out which mix they need.

Why can't I do the same with video? I'll have the clean feed, the dirty feed, the nasty feed and the normal feed in one file, then another track for graphics with alpha in Spanish, English, Portuguese and perhaps Fritalian.

Or how about this? One ProRes 422 track, one h264 track and one DNxHD mov track (all same frame size/rate of course)?"

All this can be achieved with a FC project and a media folder. That gives you more flexibility than any file to play, trim, adjust or sync the content.

[Jeremy Garchow] "One man's nightmare is another man's happy dream."
Yes, and what I see next are cows and fruit trees :-)
But you will be here to work with those super-files.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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