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Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro

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Megan Brown
Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 17, 2011 at 5:50:23 pm

So, I work for the Girl Scouts and our organization just bought the Kodak Play Touch to shoot some videos! I uploaded my video into Final Cut Pro (where I will edit the vid)... but the quality does NOT look good!
I'm wondering if I need to convert my video first.. and if so, what a good converter solution might be...What settings I should use?

I'm in desperate need of help!
THANKS!


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Steve Eisen
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 17, 2011 at 5:59:17 pm

Do a search on this forum and you will find out that you will need to convert your footage to an FCP friendly codec such as ProRes.

As far as quality, that has many definitions. Being a consumer camera, the quality of the picture from that camera can be sub par compared to professional HD cameras.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Megan Brown
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 17, 2011 at 6:03:13 pm

Is ProRes a converter?
I don't know what settings are compatible with Kodak Play Touch even when I try converting... That's my main issue.

I'm wondering what converting software I should use and what settings are needed for the Kodak Play Touch before converting... It's HD video.

Does that make sense?
Thanks!


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Steve Eisen
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 17, 2011 at 7:27:45 pm

It makes sense to me. ProRes is a video codec. Download MPEG StreamClip from the web and use that to convert the files from your camera to ProRes.

The other alternative is to use Compressor to convert the files.

If this is over your head, find someone with editing experience to do this for you.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Mark Suszko
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 17, 2011 at 7:39:19 pm

Megan, the easiest thing for someone withotu a lot of expereince is to use the free utility program called mpeg Streamclip, by Squared Five, to change your Kidak's footage into something that's easy to edit in Final Cut. If I was going to have another child, I would name him or her after MPEG Streamclip, and not care if they got beat up on the playground:-)

Download a copy of that program and open it. You get a large icon pictuer on your desktopn that looks like one half of a pair of dice. Open your video drive or wherever the Kodak's footage is on your desktop, drag and drop the footage icon onto the dice logo, and it starts to work. Go to the top menu and use the export meun dialog to select a suitable high def format to edit with, as indicated, plain Pro Res would be a good choice, pro res HQ would be 4more than you need. givve the exported file an easy to recognize name, let Streamclip work, and use the new file for your edit without fear.


Later on, you can learn to use Compressor, it is not as hard to use as the somewhat intimidating interface may suggest. Like Streamclip, it has an image "well", a little box you can drag and drop files into, and a huge dropdown menu of choices for what to convert it to. You drag and drop that choice as well, name the files, hit the go button and you are on your way.


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Megan Brown
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 17, 2011 at 8:11:03 pm

Thank you so much for your help!
So, within the last couple of hours, I found this tutorial where someone explained how to do it through Streamclip.

I downloaded Streamclip and followed the instructions... and my vid is now good to go editing wise in Final Cut Pro.. but my initial problem still remains, the quality factor!

The quality of my video is SO poor... It doesn't look like it's HD whatsoever. I was thinking converting it would improve the quality. I know it's not just the fact the camera was $130... I've been looking on YouTube and there are several videos posted that were shot by this same camera that look AWESOME!

So really, I'm now wondering why my quality is still so poor, even after using Stream Clip. Do I need to convert it to something different again?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 17, 2011 at 10:34:10 pm

Megan, this camera is capable of 10280 P and 720P, both of which are High Def settings, but it also can be set to shoot in 480 P.... which would be very thrifty on card storage space, but it is not HD, it is standard definition. WIthout seeing a sample of the footage or clicking on a clip and using a properties dialog to show what it is, my first guess is the picture is "bad" because it was shot in the low resolution setting.

When you say the picture is poor, can you be more descriptive? Is it fuzzy, pixelated, grainy, what?

Do you know how to select/highlight a clip, then use the menu choices in Final Cut to click on "properties"? If you can, do that, write down what the stats are on the original footage, and on one of your converted clips. Tell us here what it is we're dealing with.


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Megan Brown
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 17, 2011 at 10:59:43 pm

I know for a fact it was shot in 1080p.

After clicking properties, here's the info. I've gathered:
Vid rate: 30 fps
Frame size 1920 x 1080
Compressor : Apple ProRes 422

Basically, I'm just wondering if there's some step I'm missing when loading Kodak Play Touch video into Final Cut that would sharpen things up. I work for the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa and we discussed holding some interviews we want to film and play during a meeting on a projector screen...I don't know if the video will ultimately be clear enough to do so. Typically, would the Play Touch HD video look good on a larger screen...? or is it going to look pixilate no matter what because of the size of the actual camera?

Thanks so much for your help!!!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 18, 2011 at 4:18:02 am

Would you post a still image here so we can see what you're talking about? Use the mac's "grab" tool to snap a picture of your canvas, then, in this thread's message box, see the little icon, third from the right, supposed to look like a still camera, but looks more like a washing machine?:-) click that, upload your grab, then copy the text to the right of that window that has the embedding code, paste it into your reply, bam, the picture will show up here so we can diagnose it.

like this:



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Mark Suszko
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 18, 2011 at 2:49:52 pm

I still think you may be in SD mode in the original footage, before you converted any of it. What setting does the camera say it is on?


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Megan Brown
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 18, 2011 at 2:52:36 pm

I wasn't. It was HD 1080p.

Maybe that's just the way it's supposed to look.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 18, 2011 at 3:02:29 pm

I guess I have to believe you, I just liked that answer because it explained a lot. Are you using a digial zoom in the camera, or moving the camera in close to get close-ups? Because digital zooming will degrade the picture, and is to be avoided.

How about posting a still frame here, as I outlined?


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Megan Brown
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 18, 2011 at 3:06:21 pm

Final Cut is on my own personal Mac and I had to leave it at home today, so that won't be possible today.

Lastly, do you have any idea if the Play Touch video typically would be quality enough to play on a large screen ... even a T.V.?


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Steve Eisen
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 18, 2011 at 3:28:53 pm

I think I answered that the first time. We are talking about a consumer point and shoot video camera. Usually outdoor footage on a bright day look decent. Indoor or dark footage won't look good. Only an expert colorist can make bad footage look decent.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Megan Brown
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 18, 2011 at 3:34:58 pm

Alright-- thank you very much for your help.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Kodak Play Touch video and Final Cut Pro
on Nov 18, 2011 at 5:10:50 pm

It's actually harder to shoot a "pro" looking project with the consumer cams a lot of the time, because their automatic ersponses to conditinos can make mistakes in judgement that manual controls could override. The Zi8 kodak was a darmed good camera for shooting people at arms' length in good lighting, and shooting wide scenery if the camera was held still... Plus, it had the external mic input so you could hang a "real" microphone on the subject and get credible sound. The main innovation on Megan's camera over the Zi-8 seems to be the touch screen interface and not so much an improvement in the shooting electronics.

I'm not going to give up on my thieory that this is "pilot error" in some setting gone awry, though. We just have not yet pinned down where in the chain the error happened.


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