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Final Cut Pro Playback in Low Res?

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Jessalyn Sbaratta
Final Cut Pro Playback in Low Res?
on Nov 27, 2011 at 9:12:38 pm

I imported image sequences from Maya into FInal Cut Pro, but the program cannot play them smoothly, even though it hans't given me a warning of dropped frames. When I rendered the frames from Maya, it was in high quality. Is there a way to reduce the quality within final cut pro for just the playback? I am trying to add sound effects, but it is difficult since the animation won't play properly.

Also, I did a test, and when I export the file from final cut as .mov file, it plays perfectly even with the high res images. So it is just a problem within the program itself.


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Joseph Hung
Re: Final Cut Pro Playback in Low Res?
on Nov 27, 2011 at 10:05:31 pm

We need more information to help. Output codec? Sequence settings? System specs? The file format coming out of Maya might not be optimal, and your system/FCP may not be able to handle it.

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.8
FCS2
CS5
8GB RAM
ProAvio 8TB RAID 5 Dual Mini-SAS
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
RocketRAID 4322 via dual MiniSAS
Panasonic Lumix GH2, Canon 5DMKII, 7D, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A


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Jessalyn Sbaratta
Re: Final Cut Pro Playback in Low Res?
on Nov 27, 2011 at 10:19:22 pm

After rendering the HB 1080 files from Maya (8 MB tiff), I opened them in Quicktime and exported them as .png files so they would import as an image sequence in FCP. Without converting them, FCP reordered the files.

System Specs:
OSX 10.6.8
3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB 1067 MHz DDR3
NVIDIA GeForce GT 130 - 512MB
FCP 7

Codec is on the default setting. And the sequence settings are all on default as well. I tried changing the playback settings to RT: unlimited and Video Quality: Low but it didn't affect the playback.

Thanks for your help!


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Joseph Hung
Re: Final Cut Pro Playback in Low Res?
on Nov 27, 2011 at 11:00:53 pm

Sounds like this could be several different issues at play here. First, I've had problems with PNG files in FCP, so I avoid them. I use TIFFs or hires JPGs. In a full 1080 sequence JPGs are usually fine as long as they are hi res. Also the frame dims of the image sequence should be optimal. This means your stills (PNGs) should be close or exactly your sequence dims. FCP will handle them better.
I'm also not so sure about your workflow. Why are you transcoding to an Image Sequence with Quicktime? A single video file will be more efficient. I don't know Maya, but can you output video clips that are optimal for FCP, such as ProRes?
This could also be a limitation in hardware. Are you loading the Maya material to a scratch disk that is external that has enough throughput to handle it, then importing into FCP? Where FCP is reading the files from could be giving you problems too, even though you don't see a dropped frames warning. Also, keep your number of video tracks at a minimum, this eats up throughput.

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.8
FCS2
CS5
8GB RAM
ProAvio 8TB RAID 5 Dual Mini-SAS
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
RocketRAID 4322 via dual MiniSAS
Panasonic Lumix GH2, Canon 5DMKII, 7D, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A


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