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Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic

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Dave Wilson
Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on Aug 13, 2011 at 5:10:02 pm

I shoot in DV PAL widescreen 16:9 so when I have been capturing my footage into Final Cut and editing I have been using the DV PAL Anamorphic 48khz sequence settings. I don't know why but know that the DV codec is not fantastic at producing titles and graphics. Now most of my work involves about 30% titles/graphics, so I am obviously not going to be happy with the poor results from the DV codec.

I have read other people's advise on the web and a common suggestion is to go into the sequence settings and "just change the codec to Apple ProRes". Well this didn't solve my problem at all, it made it worse because as well as still having poor titles/graphics, now the footage is squished to 4:3 because obviously the pixel aspect ratio isn't right. Just to make anyone reading this aware, I am exporting as a Quicktime Movie with current settings.

The best results I have managed to achieve were by changing the entire sequence settings to...

Frame Size: 1024 x 576 Custom 16:9
Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square
Field Dominance: None
Editing Timebase; 25
Compressor: Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)
Quality: 100%

The titles and graphics appeared fine and there didn't seem to be too much noticeable change in the quality of the original footage.

So I appear to have found a work around for the poor titles/graphics with the DV codec, but what I would like to know is am I doing the best thing to achieve decent titles/graphics whilst working with DV footage! Most of my work is for web (which I use the H.264 codec upon export) but I would obviously like to save master copies at the best quality possible. Also does interlacing/deinterlacing need to be consider with what I am doing?

Thanks


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on Aug 13, 2011 at 6:12:20 pm

[Dave Wilson] "I have read other people's advise on the web and a common suggestion is to go into the sequence settings and "just change the codec to Apple ProRes". Well this didn't solve my problem at all, it made it worse because as well as still having poor titles/graphics, now the footage is squished to 4:3 because obviously the pixel aspect ratio isn't right. Just to make anyone reading this aware, I am exporting as a Quicktime Movie with current settings."

Sorry Dave, but you're obviously doing something wrong, because if you're editing in a proper PAL DV anamorphic timeline and you simply change the Compressor in Sequence>>Settings to to ProRes 422, it has no impact on pixel dimensions or pixel aspect.

And, ProRes HQ is way overkill for anything originated on DV.


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

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Nick Meyers
Re: Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on Aug 14, 2011 at 6:11:08 am

as David says,
simply changing the codec should have worked,
you must have changed to a different sequence preset, and NOT chosen anamorphic one.
or maybe you copy/pasted your timeline contents into a new sequence that was not anamorphic.

nick


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Dave Wilson
Re: Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on Aug 14, 2011 at 9:50:36 pm

Setting my sequence to DV PAL Anamorphic 48Khz gives me this in sequence settings...

Frame Size: 720 x 576 CCIR 601 / DV PAL (5:4)
Pixel Aspect Ratio: PAL - CCIR 601 (720 x 576) Anamorphic 16:9
Field Dominance: Lower (Even)
Editing Timebase; 25
Compressor: DV - PAL
Quality: 100%

I have not changed anything within Final Cut Pro's settings other than the locations for files to be saved (Capture scratch, Render folder etc).
When I said I had tried changing the sequence codec to Apple ProRes and the video and gone to 4:3, I meant to say upon export (Export>QuickTime Movie>Current Settings). The video does remain as 16:9 in Final Cut.

So if all was working as normal, should changing the sequence's codec to for example Apple ProRes solve my titles/graphics problems? Any other ideas to what may be causing my problems?

Thanks for the help so far.


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Nick Meyers
Re: Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on Aug 14, 2011 at 11:58:37 pm

ah, all is clear.
even your original DVPAL would look squished on export.

as your final version is for the web, you might be best to work in that larger sequence size.

yes, ProRes should handle graphics better that DV.

when working at Standard Def, i found adding the flicker filter set to max to text helped a lot.
actuary, the filter i used was the free "Blend Fields" filer from Too Much Too Soon,
but the flicker filter set to max does the same thing, i believe.

as you are making product for the web, de-interlacing may also be the way to go.

i don't think you would get good results setting your sequences to Fields = None (but you should try that)
the best tool for de-interlaceing i found was the Nattress Smart De-interlace plugin
better than the FCP filters.


nick


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Michael Gissing
Re: Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on Aug 15, 2011 at 12:00:10 am

Just changing the sequence codec to ProRes would leave the fields as lower which is wrong for PAL SD. I recommend you change your easy setup to ProRes 422 720 x 576 anamorphic and then copy paste the final sequence into that new timeline. This will also make FCP automatically add the shift fields filter.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on Aug 15, 2011 at 5:45:51 pm

[Michael Gissing] "Just changing the sequence codec to ProRes would leave the fields as lower which is wrong for PAL SD."

Michael,

You're actually discussing two things as one here... Dave does have an issue, in that his field order is set incorrectly, but that is a totally separate matter from changing the codec. He should have been upper field dominant from the get go and how he managed to set it "lower" is something that we should be asking him.

Apart from that, changing the compressor to ProRes in Sequence>>Settings is still his best bet, and he can change the the filed dominance setting at that time to upper as well, before re-rendering the sequence. From that point on, any time he exports, using Export>QT Movie, he will export a proper ProRes 422 file.


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

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on Aug 16, 2011 at 4:28:22 am

[David Roth Weiss] " He should have been upper field dominant from the get go and how he managed to set it "lower" is something that we should be asking him."

Not so. PAL DV codec is lower field. It is the only PAL codec that is so it matters how you change the sequence codec. My suggestion to copy paste allows the sequence fields to be set correctly plus FCP will auto apply the shift fields filter on all lower field codec footage.

The issue here is to take a timeline and change the sequence codec to better render the graphics elements. Just changing the codec without addressing fields with the shift fields filter will create further issues. As the footage is for the web he should also consider deinterlacing in compressor.


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Jason Porthouse
Re: Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on Aug 16, 2011 at 3:22:24 pm

I do this regularly when I come across edits for material acquired on DV. My workflow is similar to Michaels...

Cut your programme in DV PAL Anamorphic timeline as you have done. Then, create a new timeline. Load an easy setup (accessed in Sequence Settings) for ProRes PAL anamorphic - should be 720x576, Upper Field First, and make sure the Anamorphic checkbox is ticked. You can then cut and paste your edit from the DV timeline into the Pro Res one. This should ensure that the Shift Fields filter is applied, and the geometry of each shot should be the same.

Don't go down the route of altering sequence size - your making it 1024x576 is a fudge that will lead to problems later - it's a non-standard size that will probably lead to playback issues.

HTH

Jason

_________________________________

Before you criticise a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
Then when you do criticise him, you'll be a mile away. And have his shoes.

*the artist formally known as Jaymags*


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Dave Wilson
Re: Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on Aug 17, 2011 at 1:46:33 pm

Thanks for everyone's help so far.

Ok so I copied my entire project from the DV PAL sequence to a new Apple ProRes sequence with these settings...

Frame Size: 720 x 576 CCIR 601 / DV PAL (5:4)
Pixel Aspect Ratio: PAL - CCIR 601 (720 x 576) Anamorphic 16:9
Field Dominance: Upper (odd)
Editing Timebase; 25
Compressor: Apple ProRes
Quality: 100%

I rendered the sequence. Played back at 16:9 in the viewer. Exported as a QuickTime Movie with current settings and it gave me a 4:3 file. The graphics are looking the same as DV codec too :(


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Nick Meyers
Re: Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on Aug 18, 2011 at 12:29:49 am

yes, that's what anamorphic is
it is 4/3 that gets stretched on display to 16/9 (or wider in the case of film)

you can make quicktime stretch the image out,
or you can convert it to some other frame size, which you may well be doing as part of your web deliverables.

but then you'll be stretching your graphics.
maybe that will be noticeable, maybe not.

Jason's advice not to alter the frame size may be wrong for you, as you are delivering for the web.
if you are creating something for SDTV, then 4/3 anamorphic the way


"The graphics are looking the same as DV codec too"

did you use the filters i suggested?
where are these graphics being created?


nick


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Dave Wilson
Re: Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on Aug 18, 2011 at 10:53:04 am

Just to remind people of my current situation.

I was originally working with these sequence settings to edit my DV Footage (16:9) captured using my Canon XM2...

Frame Size: 720 x 576 CCIR 601 / DV PAL (5:4)
Pixel Aspect Ratio: PAL - CCIR 601 (720 x 576) Anamorphic 16:9
Field Dominance: Lower (even)
Editing Timebase; 25
Compressor: DV - PAL
Quality: 100%

Upon exporting QuickTime Movie + Current settings, the video played back at 16:9 but the text/graphics were blurry.

The only way I have been able to achieve 16:9 with sharp text/graphics is by copying and pasting my project into the following sequence (and exporting QuickTime Movie + Current Settings)...

Frame Size: 1024 x 576 Custom 16:9
Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square
Field Dominance: None
Editing Timebase; 25
Compressor: Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)
Quality: 100%

Here is an example of the difference it made...
http://i1234.photobucket.com/albums/ff414/nofxdude/Screenshot2011-08-11at14...

But as I've been told, it is not a good idea to work with frame sizes which are not standard.

I have now copied and pasted my DV project into a sequence set to...

Frame Size: 720 x 576 CCIR 601 / DV PAL (5:4)
Pixel Aspect Ratio: PAL - CCIR 601 (720 x 576) Anamorphic 16:9
Field Dominance: Upper (odd)
Editing Timebase; 25
Compressor: Apple ProRes
Quality: 100%

I was told I should have been using the Upper Field Dominance. Upon export QuickTime Movie + Current Settings, my video plays back at 4:3 and the text/graphics do not look very sharp. I have tried applying the flicker filter, and I can not see any difference at all.

So is it normal for my video to be playing back 4:3? Why does anamorphic DV footage play back at 16:9 in Quicktime?

My export is mainly for web use, but my client would like a HQ master copy to keep too. Both at 16:9.

Sorry for the shed load of info. It just seems I change one thing for better and then something else changes for worse!

Thanks for everyone's help so far, I really appreciate it!


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Daniel Horitz
Re: Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on May 23, 2012 at 11:08:22 am

ahh! this thread is like a holy grail in the works. I also shoot on a Canon XM2 in DV PAL Anamorphic and have a nightmare of a time trying to get decent looking titles.

I am aiming for Youtube / Vimeo usage and whilst there are countless guides to compressing for web they always suggest Export>Full Quality then use compressor. When you shot in DV to start with this is a terrible idea and until now I have had crisper titles Exporting an h264 straight out of Final Cut.

I have also been tempted, like Dave, to upscale my frame size. Afterall why should high definition graphics and titles be the sole preserve of the HD cam owners club. But I've also been warned off this for problems further down the line.

Dave, did you ever get this sorted? After I copied my video from its original PAL sequence to a new ProRes one as suggested I did notice a slight increase in quality and my titles do look pretty crisp.

What did you create yours in? I always find Final Cut's built-in titles are pretty crap. Try using the free Manifesto plugin which comes with FXFactory for sharper text.

Another note: All the guides suggest using square pixels for web video, BUT then we loose our aspect unless we use an non-standard frame size? I would recommend sticking with your 'PAL - CCIR 601 (720 x 576) Anamorphic 16:9' aspect ratio as from my testing Youtube seems to have no problem with it, and importantly; recognises and displays it as 16:9.

Thanks for all your advice, the cow's milk is sweet.
Dan


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Daniel Horitz
Re: Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on May 23, 2012 at 1:10:14 pm

actually tell a lie.

Looking back at this new export from the ProRes sequence and there are some problems. I have a few shots which play in slow motion, at half and quarter speed. In the new sequence they judder.

The frame rate is 25 in both sequences. I have noticed that FCP has only applied the Shift Fields filter to some of my video so I am now going through manually adding it. Is there some way of automating this?

With or without the Nattress Smart De-Interlace filter the SloMo bits are juddery. Perhaps it would help if I could work out what settings to use in the Smart De-interlace filter!?

Any ideas on getting around this?

Thanks
Dan

- - - - - - - - -
IPSOFACTORY
- - - - - - - - -
Canon XM2
Final Cut Studio 7


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Catherine Tosko
Re: Best route to take editing DV PAL Anamorphic
on Dec 30, 2012 at 11:13:11 am

Make sure you have recompress frames box ticked - if you keep exporting from the same timeline you get judder. Ticking this recompresses those frames. You can try adding compression markers as well before you export over the shaky bits (it's in the FCP manual)


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