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Preventing resizing when creating a freeze frame

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Paula Zimmerman
Preventing resizing when creating a freeze frame
on Jun 25, 2014 at 7:35:15 pm

Hi,

I'm working with a provided transparent animation in MOV that I'm compositing over white in FCP 7. I need to stretch part of the animation that only lasts a single frame. When I create a freeze frame with the animation over a white solid, the frozen image shrinks and shifts out of proportion with the original. The client is very picky about pristine video and keeping the full resolution of the material. I tried creating an extended piece in After Effects and he complained. What can I do to prevent the freeze frame from shrinking and shifting, so I can keep it in FCP for the whole process? Thank you for your help.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Preventing resizing when creating a freeze frame
on Jun 25, 2014 at 11:02:07 pm

A speedramp from full speed to the freeze helps the visual perception of a smooth stop, versus just jarring to a stop. But something else is wrong because there should be no size or position change, if all you do is park on the frame and hit Modify>make freeze frame and seta duration in the viewer .


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Paula Zimmerman
Re: Preventing resizing when creating a freeze frame
on Jun 25, 2014 at 11:48:03 pm

It isn't moving a lot just before the point that I want to set the freeze. I have a single frame that I need to hold on until the end, so I have material to create a fade out. I can duplicate the frame and line up the duplicates and it looks fine, but I need a way to create an end fade with a single frame of video. I tried speed change, but that only works if you have more than one frame. And I tried a still image export, but that resizes, too. Could the resizing be because I'm compositing the animation on a white solid that was created in FCP, too? It's the first time I've seen this when creating a still frame and really the compositing is the only difference I can think of. I'm really stumped on this one.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Preventing resizing when creating a freeze frame
on Jun 26, 2014 at 12:45:57 am

Did you do it the way i mentioned? Park the play head on the frame you want to freeze on, go tot he top menu drop-down for Modify, then "make freeze frame". On the left side viewer, top left, is a duration box, type your desired still length there. Now, drag that image from that viewer, down to the timeline where your play head is. Play back. Does THAT freeze frame move or scale? It shouldn't. And you can add a fade to the end of it or put a black slug in the timeline above it and apply the fade t the slug as a "master fade-to-black".


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Paula Zimmerman
Re: Preventing resizing when creating a freeze frame
on Jun 26, 2014 at 2:15:16 am

I just tried it, still same result, the animation image shrinks vertically and spreads horizontally. Would it have anything to do with the animation having an alpha channel?


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Daniel Waldron
Re: Preventing resizing when creating a freeze frame
on Jun 26, 2014 at 3:24:04 pm

Mark is right. The freeze frame function in Final Cut should create an exact duplicate of the frame that was copied. I'm not sure why this isn't the case in your situation.

If it is stretching as you describe, maybe something weird is going on with the pixel aspect ratio and how it is being interpreted on your timeline?

As a general troubleshooting note, whenever something weird is happening on my timeline, I always check to see if there is any h264 footage involved. I've found that this codec can screw up a Final Cut Pro timeline in ways you would never imagine.


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Paula Zimmerman
Re: Preventing resizing when creating a freeze frame
on Jun 26, 2014 at 4:07:28 pm

Hi, Daniel,

You hit it. The animation was created in animation codec and my timeline is h.264. So, after I re-rendered the timeline as animation, the freeze worked. My final is going to be h.264 wrapped as mp4 because I've had the best luck with that combo for spots that are viewed online and it's recommended for YT. This whole series is for a website, so it will all be viewed online. All that's left is to see how it holds together after it's exported. Thank you, you just saved me a ton of headache on this. Wish there was a virtual "buy a coffee" function on here, I would definitely use it for this. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Preventing resizing when creating a freeze frame
on Jun 26, 2014 at 5:08:49 pm

Glad you got it to work. To avoid complications in the future, it's always best to cut in a ProRes 422 edit timeline. That way, you'll always have a nice-looking archive copy when you export. You can transcode to the deliver codec after the fact.

If you cut in an H.264 timeline, it'll remain H.264 when you export. Not a very good archive copy.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Paula Zimmerman
Re: Preventing resizing when creating a freeze frame
on Jun 26, 2014 at 5:37:19 pm

Hi, Dave,

Is it worth it to work in Pro Res 422 for web-quality projects? This particular one is going to be composed of stock photos, stock video clips, text, VO/music, and intro and outro animations-no true "live action" at all. I can definitely see the value for things that I shoot or that are going to be viewed outside of the web.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Preventing resizing when creating a freeze frame
on Jun 26, 2014 at 5:58:42 pm

I suppose archiving falls into the "hey, you never know" category.

I know I'd feel safer using a good codec for archiving. If someone wants to revisit a project and repurpose an old video, I'm ready and I don't have to put up with static that they don't look good.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Daniel Waldron
Re: Preventing resizing when creating a freeze frame
on Jun 27, 2014 at 12:27:02 am

Glad that solved the issue. :)

I agree with Dave's recommendation to export an uncompressed copy as a master (File - Export - Quicktime Movie), and then create whatever file type you need using that.

H264 is a pretty standard delivery codec now, especially for web video, and it's a great form of compression. But should you ever need to recompress it again, the drop in quality could become quite noticeable, as opposed to compressing an essentially lossless ProRes master.


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Paula Zimmerman
Re: Preventing resizing when creating a freeze frame
on Jun 27, 2014 at 12:58:40 am

I'm always up to trying different workflows for my projects. I'll definitely give this a shot. Thanks so much for the input.


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Bill Dewald
Re: Preventing resizing when creating a freeze frame
on Jun 26, 2014 at 1:13:32 am

A potential workaround - cut in the single frames for the duration that you need, and then nest them, and apply the fade (or keyframe transparency) to the nest.

Of course, nesting can cause many headaches, but it might work here.


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