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Export After Effects to FCP - problem in quality - Which settings to use?

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Flo de Haan
Export After Effects to FCP - problem in quality - Which settings to use?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 5:20:22 pm

I have a problem exporting a clip from After Effects CS5 to FCP 7


I've done an edit in FCP 7 in Full HD square pixels.
My client will use it in Keynote using a FullHD beamer. So everything should look really sharp and quality as high as possible!

Now, I've been sent some title-animations made in CS5 by someone and they just don't seem to look right. I've asked for the original AE-project , and he's sent that to me, and this is what I've found so far, when I tried to change things.


Using the following Settings:

I've created a clip in AE CS5 in Full HD

Preset HDTV 1080 25 (1920x1080)
Square Pixels
Frame rate 25
Resolution Full

The clip is a solid color bakground with letters animating in.


When outputing the clip, I use 'lossless' Quicktime, Animation codec
(even tried No compression with the same result)
Quality 100%

When I play the clip in Finder / Quicktime player it all looks great.
So no problems here I guess.

But when I import this clip in FCP I see all letters to have no Anti-alias. They all look pixelated.

My video-footage was shot on XDCAM, so the compressor settings of my timeline is at XDCAM HD422 1080p25 50MB/s at 100% Quality

The seq is set at 1920x1080, square pixels, no field dominance.


My AE clip needs to be rendered. Render settings are at 8bit YUV
Render control settings are at max and same as sequence settings.



Now my question:

- Do I need to adjust the settings in AE either in that sequence or at the output settings
- Do I need to adjust something in FCP to get a better result.

I'd rather NOT change FCP settings, as there are OK to play my XDCAM footage.

- How do I output a Quicktime file that doesn't need to be rendered in FCP and plays at really 100% quality as shown in Quicktime player.


Thank you in advance.


p.s. Oh yeah the studio in which I do the edit uses a blackmagic card, but I'm at home right now, so don't know which one. Could i even have to do with this card? Even because the card might be broke or something. They've told me hey've had problems with the card before on other issues. Nevertheless everything else works great, and all video plays back at full quality in FCP and QT.


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Gary Milligan
Re: Export After Effects to FCP - problem in quality - Which settings to use?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 6:09:05 pm

[Flo de Haan] "- Do I need to adjust the settings in AE either in that sequence or at the output settings
- Do I need to adjust something in FCP to get a better result."


You will have to render somewhere in the workflow, either in AE or FCP. I cannot advise as to which one, if either, would be a faster render. You could try changing your output setting in AE to match your sequence setting in FCP and then you won't have to render there, or, if you still have the animation file you rendered out of AE earlier, go ahead and render that in FCP to see what the final results are.

HTH

Gary

This is me - this is what I do - http://web.mac.com/garymmw


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Flo de Haan
Re: Export After Effects to FCP - problem in quality - Which settings to use?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 6:22:35 pm

Hi Gary,

Thanks for your quick reply.

But I mentioned all settings. These are as far equal as possible. Or maybe I've overlooked something.
I do understand I need to render the file out of AE, but this file seems OK so far.

So, my problem is not THAT I have to render once, neither the time that takes, but the result in quality when I play it in FCP. Even after outputting the file from FCP to a standalone Quicktime / mp4 or whatever.

I thought, maybe there is a settings that offers an output file (after rendering in AE) that doesn't require a second render in FCP.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Export After Effects to FCP - problem in quality - Which settings to use?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 6:36:54 pm

Your problem is that you're taking a perfectly nice uncompressed animation and rendering it to the really crummy and very highly compressed Sony XDCam codec.

XDCam video looks good when you're looking at moving video, but then so does ordinary DV. The problem is, neither codec really holds-up when you're looking at a second generation animation with text and graphics.

So, the simple solution is, go to Sequence>>Settings and change the compressor to ProRes 422. Then, re-render the entire sequence. That will change every clip to ProRes 422, and when you use Export>>Quicktime Movie to create a master file, that will be a ProRes file, not a XDCam file, and everything, video and animation should look dandy.

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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Dave LaRonde
Re: Export After Effects to FCP - problem in quality - Which settings to use?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 8:06:54 pm

An additional thing to check: oftentimes FCP assigns a field order to imported clips even when the footage is supposed to be progressive.

Highlight the clip(s) in question in the FCP browser, look at the field order (FCP incorrectly calls this field dominance), and set it to None if necessary.

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


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Flo de Haan
Re: Export After Effects to FCP - problem in quality - Which settings to use?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 10:03:23 am

Thank you David.

That did the trick. The monitor out is now showing sharp letters just as the quicktime movie did.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Export After Effects to FCP - problem in quality - Which settings to use?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 5:10:57 pm

[Flo de Haan] "Thank you David.

That did the trick. The monitor out is now showing sharp letters just as the quicktime movie did."


Which of us Davids actually solved the problem Flo?

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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Flo de Haan
Re: Export After Effects to FCP - problem in quality - Which settings to use?
on Jan 4, 2012 at 1:28:41 pm

Ha I'm sorry,

Unless you have a multiple personality I was replying to David Roth Weiss.

;0)

Mr. LaRonde is called Dave, not David, right...

Thanks anyway Dave LaRonde, but David Roth Weiss already solved my problem before I could check your solution.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Export After Effects to FCP - problem in quality - Which settings to use?
on Jan 4, 2012 at 5:04:10 pm

[Flo de Haan] "Unless you have a multiple personality I was replying to David Roth Weiss. ;0)
"


One personality is just fine for me Flo... And, I'm happy I was able to help.

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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