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FCP 7 - HDV 1080i60 to YouTube - Balance Quality and Speed

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Aaron Wiesen
FCP 7 - HDV 1080i60 to YouTube - Balance Quality and Speed
on Oct 4, 2013 at 8:03:47 pm

I've tried very hard - with very limited success - to come up with an effective answer to this puzzle, and now hope to tap into the Cow gurus for a possible solution. Here's a "short" rundown followed by some more detailed information:

Current Workflow: Initial files are from a Blackmagic AJA hard drive encoded as Apple ProRes422(Proxy) - Files are added via drag-and-drop to Final Cut Pro 7 - Edit - Export

Original Footage: 1080i60 (HDV standard of 1440x1080 non-square PAR, 59.94 fields as 29.97fps)

Desired Output: .mov or .mp4 (does one recognize/upload faster than the other when interpreted by YouTube?) wrapped H.264 file at either 1080p or 720p for YouTube (speed preferred)

Machine(s): iMacs running OS 10.6.8, 3.06GHz Core2Duo (dual core), 4GB RAM

- Speed matters: ~2 hours of footage must be ready for YouTube upload in 10 hours or less
- A ~1hr video, and the same footage as 7-10 separate clips
- It wouldn't be ideal, but quality CAN take a slight hit in order for this to happen
- It is very likely that I will need 2 different sets of workflows/settings
- The first must use Final Cut Pro ONLY (i.e. no Compressor, MPEGStreamclip, etc)
- The second can be done a "more correct" way - using any additional tools necessary -
if such a thing exists
- Upgrading hardware/software is currently not an option (if I don't have it or it isn't free, it's out)
- Biggest (current) issues: time to completed upload, and (de)interlacing issues
- Upload speed (bandwidth) should not be an issue (as far as I know)

So, here's the extra info: this is for an hour-long broadcast that needs to be up on YouTube and linked to a website the day after (hence the emphasis on getting things done quickly, despite aging hardware).

Currently, we suffer all manner of issues in regards to how quickly the content can be exported and uploaded. Deinterlacing also seems to be more difficult than necessary - often resulting in "combed" footage or less-than-desirable results from poor deinterlacing. The only solution I've found to this (so far) is to export from Final Cut as a 720p file - allowing the resolution change to blend the lines together.

Even after getting files out and uploading to YouTube, we've had issues with file types not being recognized, YouTube claiming that audio/video sync was off (it isn't, or if it is, it is not perceivable), and uploads even fail completely on occasion.

Now, I can (mostly) cobble together enough working bits via Final Cut, Compressor, Streamclip, and the odd use of Handbrake to keep everything moving in the right direction. But I'm certain that there should be a more definitive way to keep our quality modestly high and our time low. The fact is: if you told me to get the same results from an Avid or Premiere system, I'd be fine. But I don't have the same level of comfort with FCP yet.

And as for why I need to have a workflow that uses ONLY Final Cut Pro? This is a requirement from other people handling the footage. Personally, if I thought working upside-down from the ceiling would maintain quality and knock an hour off the render - I'd do it. So I'm willing to jump through software and settings hoops to make sure things work out as smoothly as possible.

However, I'm not the only person exporting, and everyone else is fairly adamant that whatever work is done comes straight out of Final Cut. If the "best" solution exists here? Great. If not? I'll just need "good enough". This one is a no-compromise point. (I'm only asking for "better" options in the hopes that I can change that policy later...but I won't count on it.)

I think that sums everything up. If you need any other information, I'll be more than happy to supply whatever you need.

I'd done a fair amount of internet searching around these problems and hadn't found anything very definitive - probably for very good reason(s). But, if I do get hold of some effective settings or tips, I'll be sure to add them back in here (and hopefully help someone else out).

Thanks in advance.

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David Eaks
Re: FCP 7 - HDV 1080i60 to YouTube - Balance Quality and Speed
on Oct 4, 2013 at 9:44:08 pm

Matrox MAX, hardware is $500, needs a PCI slot or thunderbolt, needs Compressor, exports h.264 in just over real time, maintains high quality.

Maybe not what you want to hear, but I don't know how I'd ever get by without it. When I was still using FCP7, I had no trouble using reference movies to bring into compressor, adding to the time savings.

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Aaron Wiesen
Re: FCP 7 - HDV 1080i60 to YouTube - Balance Quality and Speed
on Oct 4, 2013 at 11:05:36 pm

It's a great suggestion, and I have looked at the Matrox hardware before. But until we manage to get cleared to purchase new hardware, I need a solution that works with what we have. Thanks though.

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