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Freeze frame different than frame currently showing in Canvas

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Pippo Calogero
Freeze frame different than frame currently showing in Canvas
on Jan 5, 2012 at 10:39:35 am

Hi,

I have run into a strange problem while working in Final Cut Pro (i am far from being an expert in FCP): it looks like the frames I am currently seeing in the canvas are time-shifted forward compared to the "real" frames...

This is difficult to explain: let's say I add a video transition (e.g. Fade Out) at time t1, when I play the clip and it reaches the transition instead of just fading out on the current frame it jumps backward to a previous time t0 < t1 and starts fading out from there!

This is even more apparent if I try to make a a freeze frame: I have a frame fixed in the canvas, I make a Freeze Frame, the frame that pops up in the Viewer is NOT the frame I was on in the Canvas, but some other frame which was back in time compared to the one in the Canvas. I haven't made an exact measurement but I have the feeling it will be shifted bak by the same amount as in the previous case: not sure how to do this measurement, if anybody has an idea I will be more than willing to try it out if it helps finding the solution.

I have worked with transition, freeze frames etc. many many times before and this is the first time this weird thing is happening to me.

I am sure there must be a logical explanation but I don't have the foggiest idea of the answer and it's driving me crazy.
Any help would be highly appreciated.
Thanks in advance
/Pippo


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Freeze frame different than frame currently showing in Canvas
on Jan 5, 2012 at 5:00:03 pm

What kind of footage are you using? What is its codec?

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


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Freeze frame different than frame currently showing in Canvas
on Jan 5, 2012 at 5:46:12 pm

Sounds like you're trying to edit MP4 or h.264 footage. If so, that's a no-no. You'll have to transcode that footage to an editing codec that FCP recognizes as a realtime codec, i.e. ProRes 422.

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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Pippo Calogero
Re: Freeze frame different than frame currently showing in Canvas
on Jan 5, 2012 at 8:02:48 pm

Thanks David and Dave LaRonde for your answers,

I am really not sure how to check the codec: the file I am editing is a short clip (about 35 seconds) which I took with my smart phone Samsung Galaxy S-II.
It's supposed to be HD, it has a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and according to QuickTime Movie Inspector it is MPEG-4 Video, 1920x1080, Millions, AAC, 2 channels, 44100Hz, 29.97 FPS and 7,373.07 kbit/s.

I'd really like to understand more about how codecs are used in FCP. I mean, I know the theory (electrical engineering background) but don't really understand how they are used in FCP: how do I transcode it to your suggested codec ProRes 422 and above all, why do I experience this behaviour? Why are mp4 and h.264 a no-no?

I sort of managed to workaround the problem by doing the following:
1) I deleted the project and re-opened FCP from scratch
2) I dragged and dropped the original clip into FCP and then onto the timeline. I got a message that the Sequence settings did not match and was asked if I wanted to change the sequence settings to match the clip (I guess this is because by default my Sequence was 768x576 px while my clip was 1920x1080, but there might be other reasons, I just am not sure), to which I answered yes
3) this time, I just removed the original audio and exported the clip as is, without any editing at all. My reasoning (or rather, hope) was that FCP might somehow recode it and that it would work fine once I reopened it
4) this apparently worked, I got rid of the weird unmatched frame thing and also of the more annoying problem (which i I didn't mention in the previous post because I had not noticed yet) that when I tried to export the clip, it only exported the last 15 seconds. I never noticed before posting because I was trying to have the clip play correctly in FCP and so never actually tried to export it.

Still, I don't feel like I solved the problem, because I need to understand why it happened and why the workaround worked. So any additional explanation would be tremendously appreciated.
thanks
Kind Regards
/Pippo


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Freeze frame different than frame currently showing in Canvas
on Jan 5, 2012 at 8:56:16 pm

[Pippo Calogero] "according to QuickTime Movie Inspector it is MPEG-4 Video, 1920x1080, Millions, AAC, 2 channels, 44100Hz, 29.97 FPS and 7,373.07 kbit/s."

Bingo!!! As I suspected, you're editing, or should I say trying to edit, MP4 files. Legacy FCP (non FCPX) does accept these files, but it will eventually (too quickly as you've already noticed) become very unwieldy, and will soon become unusable. And, it will also wind up pointing to the wrong parts of both video and audio files.

In addition to the MP4 issue, your camera also records ACC audio at 44.1kHz, which is also not truly native to FCP, which really prefers that audio be recorded as aiff files at 48kHz.

So, you're going to have to learn to transcode with Compressor (part of Final Cut Studio), or with MPEG Streamclip (freeware), and you'll need to transcode video to Prores 422 and audio to aiff at 48kHz. There are a zillion posts about that right here on the Creative Cow, so do a few searchs and you'll soon be an expert.

[Pippo Calogero] "why do I experience this behaviour? Why are mp4 and h.264 a no-no?"

FCP legacy is an old piece of code that's been written and rewritten innumerable times in order to keep up with advancements in video technology. Cameras shooting MP4 and h.264 didn't quite make the "final cut" before Apple to chose to abandon the product for it's newer baby brother FCPX, which will handle these codecs without transcoding.

So, if you're just getting started editing, and if your material is all most likely going to be shot on your Nikon or a similar camera, perhaps FCPX is the NLE you should be learning. FCP legacy has been "end of lifed" by Apple, so learning it now may be a waste of your time.

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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Pippo Calogero
Re: Freeze frame different than frame currently showing in Canvas
on Jan 5, 2012 at 10:07:30 pm

Hi David,
thanks for your answer, that was very clear.
I will have a look at FCPX: as you guessed I am just starting and I agree it would probably be much more worth to invest the time (not to mention and the money) in the newer application.

Best Regards
/Pippo


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