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In need of smooth/clear video..What am I doing Wrong?

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Troy Queen
In need of smooth/clear video..What am I doing Wrong?
on Jul 19, 2012 at 4:01:32 pm

Hello, I'm a novice video sports photographer that's starting to develop interest from potential clients...My problem is I have no clue what is the camera or my FCP or Compressor settings or all of the above...Can you please point me to the right direction...The video looks OK after rendering but once I attempt to upload to youtube/vimeo...its all down hill

Examples of my videos

What I'm attempting to accomplish is this video

I shoot with a Canon Xha1s-settings-HD/1080i/480i...Frame Rate 60i...

FCP...Sequence ProRess 422...Capture HDV-ProRes 422...Device Control HDV-Firewire

Playback HD

Name: Basketball Factory Promo
Description: H.264 video at 8 Mbps with AAC 44.1kHz audio
File Extension: mov
Estimated size: 3.23 GB/hour of source
Audio Encoder
AAC, Stereo (L R), 44.100 kHz
Video Encoder
Format: QT
Width and Height: Up to 1280 x 720
Pixel aspect ratio: Default
Crop: None
Padding: Preserve source aspect ratio
(L: 0, T: 0, R: 0, B: 0)
Frame rate: 29.97
Frame Controls: Automatically selected: Off
Codec Type: H.264
Multi-pass: On, frame reorder: On
Pixel depth: 24
Spatial quality: 75
Min. Spatial quality: 25
Temporal quality: 50
Min. temporal quality: 25
Average data rate: 7.168 (Mbps)

Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated...I'm down to my last hair follicle


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Ryan Holmes
Re: In need of smooth/clear video..What am I doing Wrong?
on Jul 20, 2012 at 3:29:25 pm

Remember that YouTube and Vimeo are re-compressing your already compressed file. So some degradation in quality is almost inevitable. The higher quality file you can upload to these sites the better your results will be once their servers re-encode the video.

Settings wise, is your primary deliver method YouTube/Vimeo? If so, stop shooting 60i. i = interlaced. If your camera shoots progressive that is a good place to start (I'm not sure if the XHA1s does "p" though). If you can't shoot progressive at least de-interlace either in FCP or in Compressor. You should be uploading a 1080p or 720p video to YouTube/Vimeo if possible.

It looks like much of your footage is overexposed. Not sure if you shot it this way or if you color corrected it this way. The sky is blown out, white shorts don't have any luminance variation, etc. If you want to correct this while shooting you'll need to adjust your f/stop. The bigger the number the less light entering the lens (so f/10 lets less light into the camera than f/2). If you did it while color correcting maybe it was a conscious choice? If so, I would dial it back a bit. Just my $.02.

Also, keep in mind that YouTube will usually default to the lowest quality setting when the user hits play (typically 360p or 480p). If you full screen a 360p video on your nice 1920x1200 (or bigger) monitor,'s gonna look soft.

Ryan Holmes

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Troy Queen
Re: In need of smooth/clear video..What am I doing Wrong?
on Jul 20, 2012 at 7:58:09 pm

Thanks Ryan for your valuable information...Yes I Youtube/Vimeo as my primary deliverer...My camera shoots 24F, 30F, & 60i...So am I correct to say I should shoot sports in 30F progressive? Doesn't this format display severe motion blur? Can you advise capture, sequence, and compressor settings? Sorry for all the question but I'm really struggling to figure this out...

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Ryan Holmes
Re: In need of smooth/clear video..What am I doing Wrong?
on Jul 23, 2012 at 1:33:27 pm

Sorry for the late reply. You're in a bit of a quandary...I'll admit! Your camera does not shoot a true progressive image. Canon used a system for awhile whereby it flagged an interlaced image as progressive so the NLE could interpret it as such. In the strictest sense 24F/30F is really an interlaced image being laid to tape. The camera is not shooting a true progressive image. It's a limitation of the gear. However, the way Canon did it is virtually indistinguishable from a true 24p camera. Check these out for more info (not your exact camera but the principle is still there):

As for what looks better...that's a raging debate. Broadcast wise the main companies shoot both - progressive and interlaced - depending on the channel. So both can work. My preference is progressive since the majority of display devices are now progressive scans (projectors, LED, LCD, plasma, iPhone, iPad, etc.). There are fewer and fewer interlaced displays. For my $$$ I always shoot progressive. But if you're going to broadcast and the channel demands interlace...give the people what they want!

As best as I can tell, if you've shot at 30F then you should be setting up your sequence as a progressive sequence. There should be an Easy Setup for in FCP. As for your 60i material, you'll probably want to deinterlace it. Vimeo has a great compression guideline that you should give a read to. It applies just about equally to YouTube:

Ryan Holmes

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