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FCP7 and Compressor question

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Richard Lucchesi
FCP7 and Compressor question
on Dec 4, 2011 at 10:32:32 am

Hello :)

I've been working regularly with FCP and Compressor for over a year now. I have 2 cameras I use for all projects: a Sony AX 2000 that I usually shoot in 1080 60p format, and a Canon 60D that is set to film in 1080 24p format. I use the 2 together to make short documentary films.

The frame size in the sequence setting is 1920x1080, which is the frame size of the Sony footage. I always drop a Sony clip into the timeline first and click 'yes' to match sequence to clip. After rendering, when I export, the frame size of the piece is still 1920x1080.

My problem is at the compressor. I always use the h.264 1280x720 Large custom setting in compressor. However, sometimes Compressor changes this setting automatically to 960x720. It drives me nuts, because I obviously don't want distorted footage as a final product. I've spent hours on my own trying to figure out why in both FCP and Compressor.

If you have any idea why this happens, it would be great to hear from you. I work on film almost every day and this has become one of my only major hangups other than making viral videos viral. :)

Thanks so much!


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Jason Brown
Re: FCP7 and Compressor question
on Dec 4, 2011 at 2:42:24 pm

First


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Jason Brown
Re: FCP7 and Compressor question
on Dec 4, 2011 at 2:45:58 pm

Sorry, prematurely sent...

First off, u r working at 60i or 30p...not 60p

Sounds like ur issue might be non-square pixels.

After u match your sequence settings to your camera, Check the sequence settings of your timeline and make sure you're working at 1920x1080 square pixels. I'd bet u aren't. The translation from fcp to compressor using the send to command (I'm assuming this is what u r doing?) has always been flakey for me in non-square pixel sequences.


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Richard Lucchesi
Re: FCP7 and Compressor question
on Dec 4, 2011 at 3:44:38 pm

Thanks for the quick response Jason.

First off, you're right. 60i. :)

I double-checked (I actually checked this several times before my original post), and yes the sequence is set to square pixels. I have also exported the rendered sequence using all 3 field dominance options (none, upper odd, and lower even) with no difference.

I also do not use the 'send to' function, never have. I always add files directly through Compressor after it's been launched.

Any other ideas what might be happening? I don't find a to of information on Compressor when I Google search so I'm thinking this is a FCP7 issue I need to resolve. Any other ideas???


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Richard Lucchesi
Re: FCP7 and Compressor question
on Dec 4, 2011 at 4:04:41 pm

Thanks for the quick response Jason.

First off, you're right. 60i. :)

I double-checked (I actually checked this several times before my original post), and yes the sequence is set to square pixels. I have also exported the rendered sequence using all 3 field dominance options (none, upper odd, and lower even) with no difference.

This is the information that pops up in the Inspector section of Compressor right before I submit the file to be compressed:

Name: Large
Description: H.264 1280x720 video @ 5Mbps, progressive. Audio is 44.1kHz, stereo
File Extension: m4v
Estimated size: 32.33 MB
Segmentation on cluster disabled
Device: Apple TV HD
Frame sync rate: 5 seconds
Video Encoder
Format: QT
Width: 960
Height: 720
Pixel aspect ratio: HD (960x720)
Crop to: Center crop for 1.778:1
Padding: None
Frame rate: (100% of source)
Selected: 29.97

960x720 is incorrect. It should be 1280x720. What's going on here?

I also do not use the 'send to' function, never have. I always add files directly through Compressor after it's been launched.

Any other ideas what might be happening? I don't find a to of information on Compressor when I Google search so I'm thinking this is a FCP7 issue I need to resolve. Any other ideas???


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David Roth Weiss
Re: FCP7 and Compressor question
on Dec 4, 2011 at 6:29:21 pm

One of your cameras shoots full raster 1280x720 with square pixels and the other shoots 960x720 non-square pixels. Both display at 1280x720.

The preset you're using is sometimes detecting one, sometimes the other, because you're sending a reference file to Compressor, which references both types of video. If you export a self contained file that you force to 1280x720 you won't have this issue.

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

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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Jason Brown
Re: FCP7 and Compressor question
on Dec 5, 2011 at 1:56:38 am

[David Roth Weiss] "One of your cameras shoots full raster 1280x720 with square pixels and the other shoots 960x720 non-square pixels."

David, I don't think this is the case...the AX2000 spec sheet doesn't list 1280 as an option. 1920 can be shot at 1440 or full raster 1920 on that camera. The 7D only shoots square pixels...both at 1080 and 720.

I really think the issue is on output having to do with your compressor setting. In one of the listings of your specs I saw the "apple TV" preset...that preset uses non-square pixels regardless of your source. You'll have to give much more information about what exactly what you are doing in compressor. Also, you say that it does it sometimes, but not others. Are you using the same setting every time? What changes?

-Jason


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Richard Lucchesi
Re: FCP7 and Compressor question
on Dec 5, 2011 at 3:54:22 pm

Gentlemen,

Thank you both for your feedback.

David: you wrote 'If you export a self contained file that you force to 1280x720 you won't have this issue.' How exactly do I do this? And, are you referring to a project where I only use 1 camera, or is what you are referring to above possible with multiple cameras of different makes? This might very well solve my problem.

Jason: I own a Canon 60D, not 7D. Do you happen to know if this version also only shoots in square pixels? BTW in Compressor I have used the same setting every time. Is there a way to change the Apple TV setting to square pixels? I've searched around quite a bit on that program, and Apple TV HD setting is the most appropriate one for the type of projects I do.

Again, thanks.


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Jason Brown
Re: FCP7 and Compressor question
on Dec 5, 2011 at 6:11:43 pm

[Richard Lucchesi] "this version also only shoots in square pixels? "

All DSLR's that I've ever experienced shoot in square pixels. It appears this camera does square pix at 1080 - 720 - and at a "VGA" resolution of 640x480.



[Richard Lucchesi] " Is there a way to change the Apple TV setting to square pixels?"

Not sure what version of compressor you are using...but in the lastest version of 3.5, they added "iPad" which always uses square pixels.

I don't know exactly how this works, but AppleTV can use either square pixels...or non-square. I'm not sure how it decides what it will use, but I've had nothing but problems when people deliver using this type of template. You need to define as much as you can, without letting compressor decide things for you. Compressor will assume much more than you want it to if you don't define it.

-Jason


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Richard Lucchesi
Re: FCP7 and Compressor question
on Dec 7, 2011 at 3:10:18 pm

Jason,

Wanted to say thank you. I found the setting in Compressor for Ipad/Iphone 4 and as far as I can see, that has done the trick. I appreciate you sticking with the thread to help me solve this.

Richard


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Jason Brown
Re: FCP7 and Compressor question
on Dec 7, 2011 at 5:06:05 pm

No problem! I love working through some of these issues, I play in this stuff all day!

I've gained so much from creative cow...glad I could contribute back!


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Richard Lucchesi
Re: FCP7 and Compressor question
on Apr 5, 2012 at 4:37:21 am

I know that this thread was some time ago, but I've since re-installed Final Cut Studio and Compressor version 3.5. Now, I don't have the 'IPad' option for some reason. How am I able to get this installed as one of the options in Compressor 3.5?

Thanks.


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Michael Gissing
Re: FCP7 and Compressor question
on Apr 5, 2012 at 5:41:51 am

Have you run software update to make sure you have the latest version?


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