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Pixilation / Blockyness on After Capture

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Andrew OLeary
Pixilation / Blockyness on After Capture
on Sep 1, 2011 at 1:44:45 pm


I've searched all over the web for an answer to my problem but to no avail. I think it's possible I'm searching the wrong things, so I decided to annoy everyone and just ask everywhere! Here's my problem as concise as I can put it -

I'm working with FCP 7. I'm capturing footage that was shot on a Canon XHA1s (but in SD not HD, yeah, yeah, archaic I know) on minidv. I'm using the same camera to log and capture it into FCP via firewire. The footage was shot in SD on the 25p setting on the camera. PAL.
When I view the footage on a television it looks ok. Not great, but I have a prob with digital anyways, never think it looks good. Back to the point, it looks ok, not too blocky. When I look at it through the Log and Capture window in FCP it looks the same. So far so good. But then I capture it...
When I view the resulting clip in the viewer window (not even on the timeline, so no sequence setting prob) it looks really crap. Block and pixilated. As I said to my brother, it looks like I'm viewing it through one of those old 'moving pictures' you used to get as kids, the ones where you slightly change the angle and it looks like it moves.
Anyway, I'll try attach a screen grab of both the Log and Capture window and the Viewer window so you can see the difference. You notice it on the edges of stuff like the book on the table or the circular seats in the background. I'll also attach a screen grab of the clip properties.

I hope this is a really stupid mistake I've made and someone will be able to give me a simple solution, fingers crossed! I'm prepared to look stupid.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Pixilation / Blockyness on After Capture
on Sep 1, 2011 at 2:42:24 pm

Your settings look fine. How does it look in your video monitor?

Because you're aware that the ONLY way to truly judge footage is by looking at a video monitor and not those little pea-shooter FCP viewers, correct?

And because you're also aware that all DV video is interlaced, even though it's shot progressive scan, which means that you need to see it on a monitor that properly displays interlaced footage, correct?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Andrew OLeary
Re: Pixilation / Blockyness on After Capture
on Sep 2, 2011 at 3:48:24 pm

Thanks for your answer Dave,

I have looked at the original tape through my television and it looked ok. Obviously, from looking at the pics I posted, you can tell its a wedding I videoed, and I've already put together a dvd of the wedding. I played that through the same television and it is all blocky (like the viewer window pic above)

Now I understand that SD tape video is never going to look great, I can accept that, and previous weddings I've done have all had this same blockyish look and no-one has asked for their money back as of yet, but I just annoys me that the quality that is on the original tapes (poor as it is) is not coming into Final Cut. There's a compression codec somewhere there changing my footage as Final Cut is capturing it and making it look crappier. I just wish I knew what it was so I could stop it. Why can't it just take in the footage as given?

Sorry about the brief rant :)

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