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FCP export with true blacks

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sam coarse
FCP export with true blacks
on Dec 17, 2014 at 8:45:50 pm
Last Edited By sam coarse on Dec 17, 2014 at 9:15:33 pm

Hi All,

I'm trying to export my video out of FCP 7. When I try an export with h.264 settings, this is the kind of blacks I'm getting



This does not occur when I attempt a proress export, although the last few times I've tried a proress export I get the vague warning 'file is too large' and the export ceases.

So I'm stuck in no mans land between awful blacks and no way to export proress. Anyone have any ideas about a work around?

Film was shot on a canon mk3, have a proress export from earlier to work off & the raw h.264 files as well in separate sequences if one is preferential.

Thanks


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP export with true blacks
on Dec 17, 2014 at 10:01:55 pm

Whenever you compress for delivery...in a highly compressed format like H.264 (which is still one of the better formats, mind you), you lose color information. That's how you reduce file size...by losing picture quality. The more you compress, the less color information there is.

There are many degrees of H.264 compression too. I know many deliveries for network that ask for H.264, and with a very high data rate, so less compression...richer colors and blacks. Obviously the lower the data rate, the greater the compression, the more color data is thrown out. So depending on how compressed you need it to be, there are certain things that are just out of your hands.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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sam coarse
Re: FCP export with true blacks
on Dec 17, 2014 at 10:31:42 pm

Hi Shane,

Thanks for getting back to me on this.

To be honest, I'm looking for an export of decent quality to upload to youtube/vimeo. It doesn't have to necessarily be in h.264 just a decent quality for general viewing.

Recommendations?

Cheers.


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP export with true blacks
on Dec 17, 2014 at 11:56:48 pm

[sam coarse] "It doesn't have to necessarily be in h.264 just a decent quality for general viewing. "

Well, that's what Vimeo and YouTube use for HD...H.264 is the standard. All you can do is make it look the best you can in the editing app...export a full res and make sure that's good. Once you compress...it's out of your hands. Compression is a dark art...takes a lot of fiddling to figure it out. But even then, once you submit to YouTube...they compress it again, and that is truly out of your hands.

I color correct TV shows, and make them look great on my home system. But what I do, and what eventually airs, doesn't always look the same. It goes through many layers of compressing....master compressed for their broadcast servers, and then compressed for over the air or cable distribution...out of my hands.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Dave LaRonde
Re: FCP export with true blacks
on Dec 17, 2014 at 11:04:19 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Dec 18, 2014 at 2:57:32 am

Use the earlier ProRes export to do the compression.

It sounds like you might have cut this project using H.264 footage, and FCP and H.264 DO NOT mix. If you did cut in H.264, consider yourself lucky that that you got an export AT ALL, and your luck may have run out.
That'll happen with H.264... in fact, it happens all the time to those unfortunate people who skip transcoding their footage to ProRes 422 in the first place.

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


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Nina Lucia
Re: FCP export with true blacks
on Dec 19, 2014 at 9:59:14 pm

Interesting. I thought the big advantage of FCP that you didn't have to transcode footage like you do for Avid. I was going to ask someone about that because I'm working on a doc with many different formats and I have to re-render a lot while editing, which is annoying.

Filing away that h264 info for future projects!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: FCP export with true blacks
on Dec 22, 2014 at 10:13:37 pm

Here's the difference: Avid forces you to transcode. FCP does not force you to transcode, which means you can get into all kinds of wonderful codec problems.

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


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