FORUMS: list search recent posts

Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Max Fancher
Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 7:35:08 pm

Thanks in advance for taking time to help me out!

I have a 1280x720 sequence that is XDCAM EX 720p24.
I'm importing a logo with a transparent background and I'm getting jagged edges on the curves.
I've brought in a .ai file, a .psd, and a .png and all in different sizes, flattened, not flattened, and tried everything I could try to make it look great but i'm coming up short. I've scoured this forum for advice and followed the advice that I learned but still it's not working.

Sequence Settings:

Frame Size: 1280x720 Aspect Ratio: HDTV 720p (16:9)
Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square "anamorphic" is not checked.
Editing Timebase: 23.98
Compressor: XDCAM EX 720p24 (35 Mb/s VBR)

The logo is a vector based image that I'm able to scale up in PS or Illustrator without pixelation so I'm bringing a clean image into FCP but when I drop it into my timeline it instantly gets jagged edges. I've tried blowing it up to 400% bigger at 5120x2880 and scale down in FCP but still looks crappy. Now, I know that using the canvas to judge is a mistake but when I export the file it's still there.

I'm wondering if there are other things I can to to this graphic file to make it look better on this XDCAM EX timeline? For example, should the "compressor" setting for the actual graphic be set to something specific that will make it look better? I've tried so many different combinations that I'm wondering if something is wrong with my FCP or if this is just impossible to get looking good. Thought maybe it was a corrupted timeline but that wasn't it either.

The logo can be seen in this video over the shoulders of the people talking. http://www.maximizevideo.com/samples/dasient_montage02.html

Any info/ideas you have would be much appreciated.

thanks,

max


Return to posts index

Olin Padilla
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 7:46:36 pm

First question - is your logo in RBG or CMYK? It's probably in CMYK, so try changing to RGB and see if it helps.

If not, let me know.

Seattle, WA
Videologist


Return to posts index

Max Fancher
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 7:52:42 pm

Thanks Olin... definitely RGB.


Return to posts index


Michael Kammes
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 7:47:06 pm

Close your project.

Use an Easy Setup or create a custom sequence that uses Pro Res as the timeline codec. I'd try ProRes HQ, then ProRes 422 HQ, the maybe 4:4:4:4 if you are in FCP 7.x

Start a new Project.

Import the graphic. See if the image looks sharper.

Essentially, attempt to load the graphic into a sequence that uses a more robust codec as the render codec.

If that does not work, try using After Effects to generate the video file FOR FCP.

Try to also stay away form serif fonts and small font sizes. The fine lines and flourish don't always translate well to video.

~Michael



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com


Return to posts index

Max Fancher
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 8:01:41 pm

Thanks for the help Michael. I'm running 6.0.6. I created a new project, created a Pro Res 422 (HQ) timeline, imported the .psd file and dropped it into the timeline. It still is jagged.

When i first imported the psd, in the FCP browser, it listed the XDCAM EX 720p24 for the "compressor". I changed that to the Pro Res setting and after exporting and viewing it the lower section of the icon is still jagged.


Return to posts index

Bret Williams
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 8:09:19 pm

As for the graphic, I've had some weird anomalies like this. Add a tiny soft drop shadow and it usually pops in clear. It's probably interpreting the alpha wrong or something, but the tiny almost transparent drop shadow seems to fix it.


Return to posts index


Olin Padilla
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 8:18:03 pm

Another quick fix can be the 'Broadcast Safe Color' filter.

It's always better when you can get to the root of the problem though.


Return to posts index

Max Fancher
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 8:21:53 pm

Thanks Bret! I tried that already but tried it again just now to be sure and still not fixing my problem. I tried a big dark drop shadow as well but didn't fix my issue.


Return to posts index

Chris Tompkins
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 8:30:25 pm

You are rendering full render right? Best settings? View on Broadcast monitor? Didn't see this mentioned...

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


Return to posts index


Max Fancher
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 8:35:43 pm

Thanks chris... yes, full render... best settings... I'm not viewing on broadcast monitor but I am looking at the exported quicktime file.


Return to posts index

Olin Padilla
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 8:32:59 pm

I tried reproducing the problem, but couldn't. I would be willing to bet that the problem is originating from your Photoshop settings.


Return to posts index

matthew bradshaw
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 9:41:15 pm

Post your graphic and someone will let you know if that is the problem?
Matt.



Return to posts index


Max Fancher
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 9:52:39 pm

Thanks Matthew!

This is the original file:

http://maximizevideo.com/logo_original_eps.eps

I took that in Illustrator and exported it to a .psd to use in FCP. This is the file I've been using in my timeline:

http://maximizevideo.com/logo_psd_72dpi.psd

Thanks so much!

m


Return to posts index

David Roth Weiss
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 10:11:31 pm

This type of thin, sharp-edged, winding graphic element is without a doubt the most challenging type of graphic to display in the video domain. And, the Sony codec you're using doesn't make it any easier for you.

To make it somewhat better:

First make sure your canvas scale is set to exactly 100% -- just so the canvas isn't adding additional jaggie aliasing via scaling.

Next, go to Sequence>>Settings and change the compressor to ProRes 422, then re-render the sequence. That should be better right off.

Then, add a directional blur filter to the graphic -- double click to load it in the viewer -- set the filter to blur vertically (i.e. 0 or 180 degrees) -- and set the amount to 2. Then re-render and see if that helps.

Next, report back here...

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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


Return to posts index

Olin Padilla
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 10:26:27 pm

This didn't work on my end. It definitely has something to do with the highly saturated red and NOT the alpha channel. I would look for a photoshop filter or trick to simplify the color data without changing it visually.

Good luck on that.


Return to posts index


Max Fancher
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 10:30:01 pm

Thanks David!

With a "2" for the amount of the filter, it's too much for the logo but "1" was a little better. It takes away from some of the aliasing/jaggedness but it obviously leaves the logo less clear overall. If it's just an impossible logo to make look good on video, that would be interesting. The client is launching this new look and want it perfect so I'm trying desperately to make it so.

hoping there might be some other way to get it right. I'm hoping that somehow I didn't do something right when I moved from the .eps to the .psd.

thanks, m


Return to posts index

Olin Padilla
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 10:32:38 pm

Also, keep in mind it probably won't appear that way on a broadcast monitor. If your final delivery is for web, it will though.


Return to posts index

Max Fancher
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 10:48:19 pm

Thanks Olin! It is a web-only video... I'll try and figure out the PS filter idea you had. thanks.


Return to posts index


David Roth Weiss
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 10:38:24 pm

[Max Fancher] "h a "2" for the amount of the filter, it's too much for the logo but "1" was a little better."

Agreed... 1 looks better here too, and that's pretty much as good as you will get it.
The tricks I gave you are about the best going for something like this.

BTW, on my end doing both things, i.e. switching the compressor and the directional blur, made a significant difference.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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


Return to posts index

Max Fancher
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 10:47:25 pm

Thanks again David. I have an even bigger challenge in that the actual video (web distribution) will sit in a 352pixel wide player. You can imagine after running my 720p master through squeeze how bad that logo starts to look then.

I tried another technique where in Photoshop I added cyan to the background of the image, flattened it, and then color keyed out the cyan in FCP and that helped a little too. I'm getting desperate. ;-)

m


Return to posts index

Max Fancher
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 11:22:47 pm

I just brought the logo and my animated background into AE CS5 and rendered out a ProRes 422 (HQ) .mov that I then brought into FCP and added to my ProRes422(HQ) timeline and that has by far given me the best results.

After I compress it down to the size I need it for the website it looks like crap but at least i'm getting somewhere.


Return to posts index

Larry Asbell
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 21, 2011 at 11:29:58 pm

The PS file is the exact size of you sequence. It should be larger unless you are using it in the video exactly that size. If you are scaling it or moving it on the screen at all you should be working with a larger version of the logo.

View the Photoshop file at 200%, see the jaggies?

For better results, open the Illustrator file in PS and double or triple the size it's rasterized to. Save it and bring it into FCP. It will automatically scale back to the correct size but look a whole lot better.



Return to posts index

Bret Williams
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 22, 2011 at 5:15:08 am

FWIW - FCP is usually horrible at downscaling an image. But I took your eps and imported to PS with a 1920 width. Then brought that back into FCP and shrunk it down and placed it along side of the 100% scaled psd you provided. The result? The downscaled version of the larger graphic does looks a tiny bit better. I think in the end it's just a bit of a codec issue.

Lower right is the new shrunk back version. Upper left is the original psd you provided...



Return to posts index

Bret Williams
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 22, 2011 at 5:28:51 am

Definitely a codec issue. Change your sequence codec to animation and look how beautiful it looks. Pristine. How old is that animation codec anyway? I thought prores was supposed to be better. I tried changing the sequence codec to HDV and that looked pristine as well. And then the obvious, change the sequence back to XDCam EX VBR. The logo looked pristine. All standard codecs EXCEPT any flavor of ProRes looked perfect. Go figure.

So there you go. You should work completely native XDCam imo for this project. Here's what it'll look like...



Return to posts index

Max Fancher
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 22, 2011 at 6:39:15 am

Thanks a lot Bret for spending the time on this!! Yah, i'm getting trippy results. Changing the sequence codec to animation makes it pristine. Changing back to XDCAM EX 720p24 looks horrible in the canvas but the exported .mov looks great.

I tried a different way of creating the .psd this time too and that may be helping. Before, I was creating a new .ai from the .eps and then exporting to .psd. This time I opened up a new .psd and made it 2560x1440 (200% - thanks larry!) and then "placed" the .eps into the .psd. Using this new .psd and sticking with the XDCam codec is the best it's looked yet.

thanks for all your help everyone!!


Return to posts index

Larry Asbell
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 22, 2011 at 6:37:56 pm

I'm real pleased my advice helped you get a good result. I think this shows the importance of looking at how graphics have been prepped as part of troubleshooting how they appear in FCP.

For everyone's benefit let me clarify my specific point.

Look at the original .eps file. The pixel dimensions are 274 pixels x 127 pixels! That's the story right there. That's tiny! The saving grace is that as an eps file it's still vector-based. That means it's capable of having beautifully smooth edges at any scale. But you've got to change the scale before it's rasterized, i.e. turned into a pixel-based image.

As we can see from your Photoshop file, 274 pixels x 127 pixels size is about half the size that you scaled it to. Because it looks jaggy we know that you scaled it up in Photoshop where it is pixels. You should always scale it while it's still vector-based. If you don't yet know the exact final size then do double or triple what you think you will need, so when you scale it, you're scaling it down.

When you open an eps file into Photoshop you get a dialog box where you control the rasterizing dimensions. Change the units to read as pixels then enter 2000 into the width. That's roughly half the width of your 1280x720 frame, multiplied by 3. (Constrain Proportions should be checked, and while your there change the Mode to RGB.)

When I first posted, I didn't see how small the original size was so I suggested 200%. Actually it could have been 600% but evidently 200% helped enough to make the results acceptable.



Return to posts index

Max Fancher
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 22, 2011 at 7:04:55 pm

Thanks again Larry! My original process was slightly different than you describe here so let me clarify... What I originally did was take the tiny vector-based graphic from the .eps and pasted into a .ai file that was 1280x720 and scaled it up to the exact size I wanted in my FCP sequence. This was still vector-based (i assume) so it should have scaled correctly. Then, I exported it out of illustrator as a .psd so it was still at the 1280x720 size... in FCP it was scaled at 100% and I didn't adjust that at all.

My new process is to take the .eps and scale the graphic up there and then "place" it into the 2560x1440 .psd which is obviously 200% so when I drop it into FCP it scales it to 50%. Now, perhaps another issue is that the only reason I'm not just dropping a .ai into fcp is that i couldn't get the transparent background even though it looks transparent in illustrator. I wonder if a .ai would look better than a .psd if I could figure that out?

thanks again!

m


Return to posts index

Larry Asbell
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 22, 2011 at 8:14:40 pm

Max -

Cool. Obviously you didn't need the rasterizing explanation. Actually your way is purer. I generally grab for PS before Illustrator out of habit.

So, is the lesson that making a graphic double size to scaling it down 50% in FC can look better that at 1:1?

Before we're sure, let me ask, were you comparing both the before and after as final exports or just in the canvas?

If you compared exports, then I guess making it oversize helped.



Return to posts index

Bret Williams
Re: Struggling to make a logo loo sharp...
on Jan 22, 2011 at 9:48:13 pm

Larry- if you look at both my posts you'll see that scaling the graphic down was pretty much the exact same result as rasterizing it to the size you'll use. And only in prores where the results were, well, crappy. When I used the native xdcam sequence you'll see scaling down was not as clear as using the smaller psd at 100 percent. As is almost always the case with FCP. It has a horrible scaling algorithm.

If you took the psd he provided, and opened it in the viewer at 100 percent it wa perfect. But once prores got ahold of it, yuck. Pretty strange.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]