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mp4 in Final Cut

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Shepherd Laughlin
mp4 in Final Cut
on Jul 7, 2010 at 8:14:58 am

I just got a great new Samsung camera that takes video in .mp4 format. I'm trying to use it to its full potential.

If I want to edit this .mp4 video with Final Cut and upload the result to Vimeo, what's the best way to do this without massive loss in quality?

And what's the best way to import/export still photos with Final Cut (also for Vimeo) also without massive loss in quality?

Thank you!


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Roli Rivelino
Re: mp4 in Final Cut
on Jul 7, 2010 at 11:34:08 am

Mp4 is a compressed format, so when you edit and compress it's not going to be the greatest quality but should still be OK for the web, when you've finished editing go to File menu > export > using compressor.

Once you're in compressor you'll have to experiment with what gives you a good outcome.

As for stills using photoshop with the image saved as an RGB .psd image will give you the best quality

aka Newbie Wan Kenewbie. "The young Newbie, is now a Padawon."

System
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1x 320Gb 7200 hardrive
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Equipment
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Shepherd Laughlin
Re: mp4 in Final Cut
on Jul 7, 2010 at 12:40:02 pm

Thank you.

Final Cut doesn't seem to want to work with the mp4 files, it gives me a generic error message when I try to look at them in the viewer. I've read that mp4 isn't meant to be used as in editing programs. So I used MPEG Streamclip to convert them to .mov. There's some loss of quality, but not much. Is this the best way to go about this?

I've now tried using .psd for my stills, but am still getting really bad quality deterioration, despite starting with hi-res files.

Maybe there's an issue with how I'm exporting the files? I tried Export>Quick Time Movie, which produces a file with pixilated stills. I tried Export>Using QuickTime Conversion, but that takes seemingly forever for a 1.5-minute clip. The Export>Using Compressor option is grayed out. Any idea why this would be?

Thanks again for any help you can offer...


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Roli Rivelino
Re: mp4 in Final Cut
on Jul 7, 2010 at 2:32:09 pm

yes converting to .movs are definitely the way to go

As far as your stills are concerned are you saving them in RGB?

and have you saved at the right resolution for your timeline?

It sounds like maybe you are saving your clips at a standard res then putting them onto an HD timeline

aka Newbie Wan Kenewbie. "The young Newbie, is now a Padawon."

System
Mac Pro 2.8Gb quad core
8Gb RAM
1x 320Gb 7200 hardrive
1x 1Tb 7200 hardrive
Nvidia Geforce 8800 512mb Graphics card
1x 1Tb external WD 'My Book' eSata

Equipment
Panasonic AG-HVX 200
Firestore FS-100


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Shepherd Laughlin
Re: mp4 in Final Cut
on Jul 7, 2010 at 3:40:17 pm

I've now saved my stills in RGB. I've tried messing with the sequence settings for the timeline (each time re-rendering a test clip) and still it looks bad.

My original .mov file is 1280x720. Shouldn't this mean that the sequence frame size should be HDTV 720p (16:9)? What about pixel aspect ratio?

I'm attaching some screenshots that might be helpful:

.mov file to import into timeline:


Sequence settings


I just can't find this kind of specific info in the forum so I hope this isn't a redundant thread.


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Roli Rivelino
Re: mp4 in Final Cut
on Jul 7, 2010 at 4:10:01 pm

This all looks fine, I'm assuming you're in the U.S hence you're using NTSC?

Here's a little image sizing table for you

Video Format Single layer stationary Multi layer stationary
DVNTSC 16:9 853 x 480 x 72 720 x 480 x 72
SDNTSC 16:9 853 x 547 x 72 720 x 486 x 72

For image moves multiply the first two numbers by 2.5

Save the images as Tiffs or PNGS

aka Newbie Wan Kenewbie. "The young Newbie, is now a Padawon."

System
Mac Pro 2.8Gb quad core
8Gb RAM
1x 320Gb 7200 hardrive
1x 1Tb 7200 hardrive
Nvidia Geforce 8800 512mb Graphics card
1x 1Tb external WD 'My Book' eSata

Equipment
Panasonic AG-HVX 200
Firestore FS-100


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Zane Barker
Re: mp4 in Final Cut
on Jul 7, 2010 at 6:19:57 pm

"Mp4 is a compressed format"
This part is correct.

"when you edit and compress it's not going to be the greatest quality but should still be OK"
This part is NOT

NEVER edit files like mp4 in FCP. Convert them to a proper editing codec like ProRes.




Hindsight is always 1080p



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