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brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP

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Shane Trowbridge
brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 21, 2011 at 5:06:32 pm

I am looking for an easy to understand description of exporting QT and QT Conversion in FCP. What is the difference between the 2 and what should I avoid. I am in the habit of using Compressor but I want to understand the dynamics of these within FCP.

Thanks so much!

Shane Trowbridge


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David Roth Weiss
Re: brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 21, 2011 at 5:27:54 pm

Export>>Quicktime Movie: The best way to export a file absolutely identical to what's on your timeline, and without losing a generation. Very useful for mastering
to a QT file, which can then be brought into Compressor to create any other type of video file needed, and also much quicker than going directly from the FCP timeline to Compressor.

Quicktime Conversion: An inferior video file conversion utility, best thought of as a convenience, but to be avoided 99% of the time. Compressor and even Streamclip are far superior.

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.


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Shane Trowbridge
Re: brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 21, 2011 at 5:56:41 pm

Fantastic!! That clears things up.

Am I correct that QT Conversions changes the compression of your source media in the capture scratch?

I thought I read that somewhere.

Thanks for your time!


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David Roth Weiss
Re: brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 21, 2011 at 6:05:41 pm

[Shane Trowbridge] "Am I correct that QT Conversions changes the compression of your source media in the capture scratch?"

If you're asking if it actually changes an original file destructively and converts the original to another codec or media type, that would be no.

Unless you direct an app to overwrite a file, none of these file conversion or encoding apps makes a change to the original file, they all create a new version of the original.

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.


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Shane Trowbridge
Re: brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 21, 2011 at 6:20:33 pm

okay fantastic! Thanks for the help!

Shane


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Matthew Press
Re: brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 21, 2011 at 7:17:16 pm

Hi David. Do you check Make Movie Self Contained or not? Thanks

Thanks
Matt


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David Roth Weiss
Re: brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 21, 2011 at 7:57:47 pm

[Matthew Press] "Do you check Make Movie Self Contained or not?"

I always export self contained files Matt and advise all of my trainees to do so as well. Reference movies become absolutely useless if even one underlying change is made to the sequence from which it was exported, or even if a single render file goes offline.

Because there is nothing in the file name that alerts users to a file's status as a reference file, they are often archived as masters for future use, and they wind up being completely useless, leaving unsuspecting users high and dry.

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.


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Matthew Press
Re: brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 21, 2011 at 8:37:14 pm

Thanks for the info David.

Thanks
Matt


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Matt Lyon
Re: brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 23, 2011 at 4:33:11 am

[David Roth Weiss] "Quicktime Conversion: An inferior video file conversion utility, best thought of as a convenience, but to be avoided 99% of the time. Compressor and even Streamclip are far superior."

Hi David, can you elaborate more on this? I respect your opinion and I see that "quicktime conversion" gets knocked a lot on this board, by many different posters, as "inferior," but I don't generally share that belief.

From what I can tell, its scaling quality is equivalent to "better" in Compressor (provided you set your frame dimensions manually). It also has the advantage of being able to automatically insert keyframes at your edit points in h264 exports.

Granted, it can't do things like good de-interlacing, or presets, or virtual clusters. But I use it all the time with very good results. It is also reliable and won't mis-interpret your video's field order. I can't really recall a time where I ever thought Compressor blew away my "quicktime conversion" export. That being said, I mainly do high bit rate, progressive h264 exports for client reviews. It is entirely possible that there are situations that I don't happen to come across, where Compressor would really smoke "quicktime conversion."

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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David Roth Weiss
Re: brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 23, 2011 at 5:40:07 am

Matt,

QT Conversion can be effective for some things, especially simple exports or conversions where speed is more important than quality, but it's certainly not got the control found in Compressor, nor it's ability to preview output before starting to encode.

I think the ability to see that you're exporting the proper aspect ratio is a huge advantage with Compressor, and it's cropping features are also equally nice. I can't tell you the number of times that I've wasted time by accidentally kicking out squeezed anamorphic video when using QT Conversion, and that ticks me off to no end.

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.


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Shane Trowbridge
Re: brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 23, 2011 at 1:54:54 pm

I'd like to add one extra thing into the conversation if it is okay. I have always been a Quicktime H264 guy. I am now needing to deliver MPEG4 videos with H264 compression and I'm finding that there is a slight quality issue. Almost a "zebra" effect with the video.

question one: am I doing something wrong with my MPEG4 export
question two: Quicktime conversion seems to be the only way I can export an MPEG4 with H264 compression. I tried to create a custom compression in Compressor with that option (MPEG4 with H264) and I can't seem to create that.

Am I doing something wrong? Some help would be greatly appreciated!

Shane Trowbridge


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Matt Lyon
Re: brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 23, 2011 at 10:21:59 pm

Might be good to start a new thread for your question, Shane.

If you post some screenshots of the zebra issue, you might get more useful advice.

I don't generally do "mpeg4 with h264" outputs, so I don't have much experience with this, but I think what you want is to make an h264 with an "m4v" container?

In Compressor, you can set the "File Format" to "H.264 for Apple Devices." Maybe that is what you are looking for?
Hope this helps,

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Rafael Amador
Re: brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 24, 2011 at 5:13:16 am

[Shane Trowbridge] " Quicktime conversion seems to be the only way I can export an MPEG4 with H264 compression. "
You are missing your best option: MPGStreamclip.

[Shane Trowbridge] "I am now needing to deliver MPEG4 videos with H264 compression and I'm finding that there is a slight quality issue. Almost a "zebra" effect with the video. "
What I'm seeing is that QT7 and QTX are displaying H264 on Snow Leopard with a banding that didn't happens on Leopard.

About the differences QT/QT Conversion, what refrains me of using QT Conversion, is the lack of control on any process (Bit-depth, scaling, de-interlacing,..). You really never know what's going on inside.
Another difference to remark : With QT Conversion there is ALWAYS RECOMPRESSION.
No way of exporting without reprocessing all the audio and video.
This obviously is not an issue working with H264, but it is when using production codecs (?).
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Matt Lyon
Re: brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 25, 2011 at 4:20:38 pm

[Rafael Amador] "About the differences QT/QT Conversion, what refrains me of using QT Conversion, is the lack of control on any process (Bit-depth, scaling, de-interlacing,..). You really never know what's going on inside."

True enough Rafael ... but a flip side of that argument is that you always know what's going on inside : not very much! :)

It's true that it is always recompressing your video, but my understanding is that everything is rendered on demand, in a 4:4:4 image buffer, so the processing precision is theoretically very high. (If I'm mistaken here, someone please correct me). At the very minimum, the processing precision is equivalent to your timeline settings.

I think it is a matter of knowing when it is appropriate to use this tool. I use it all the time for certain kinds of h264 encodes, AIFF files for sound mixers, still images, plates for VFX artists (when a format conversion is needed), etc...

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Shane Trowbridge
Re: brief description of Quicktime/QuickTime Conversion in FCP
on Feb 25, 2011 at 4:26:52 pm

Thanks Matt, I will start a new thread.

I will also try your compressor suggestion and see what it yields. I am just not that familar with MPEG4 so I don't know if what I am doing is even right.

I am working with a video platform designed by web guys with no video experience so I am not even sure they have it set up optimally.

Thanks for the time!

Shane


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