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Richard Steele
FCP compression problems
on Jul 7, 2011 at 11:47:52 am


I use Final Cut Pro 6 on a decent Mac Pro tower.

I've been having a few compression problems recently: I have a 4-minute film which I compress as a .mov using "export to quicktime sequence", however for some mysterious reason the result gives me several out of synch shots (sound or the shot reference is wrong).

I just don't get it. This has never happened in 3 years...

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David Roth Weiss
Re: FCP compression problems
on Jul 7, 2011 at 1:52:07 pm

What is the codec of the video you're editing? Not h.264 by any chance?

David Roth Weiss
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Richard Steele
Re: FCP compression problems
on Jul 8, 2011 at 10:40:25 am

Yep, h264...

I was always told that was The Codec to use.

What's wrong with it?

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Jeff Greenberg
Re: FCP compression problems
on Jul 9, 2011 at 2:12:38 pm

I'm curious who told you use to it?

h.264 (as well as some other codecs such as mpeg2) were never meant for editorial - rather they were meant for distribution.

A codec that has all the information on every frame (even if it's compressed) requires very little work by the computer.
Codecs that are usually used for distribution, have a frame, and then the next 14 or so frames only have the changes (making the file significantly smaller, 1/10 the size or more.) These codecs have a Long distance between the next full frame (15 frames), so they're called a Long 'Group' of pictures, or long gop.

FCP7 (and before) really doesn't handle Long GOP well - for a cut, FCP might have to cache upwards of 30 frames!

The general consensus is that h.264 is GREAT for distribution and not great for editing; your slippage is related to the Long gop. The best (but likely most painful) method would be to transcode everything to prores, relinnk the clips to the prores files and then output agian.


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Richard Steele
Re: FCP compression problems
on Jul 12, 2011 at 10:32:32 am

Thanks for the long reply.

I am actually using H264 for distribution, in this case compressing to 1440x1080 HD. My timeline remains uncompressed, don't worry.

I've also been using compressor for DVDs which worked fine. The problem seems to be coming from my FCP "compress using quicktime" system.

After a bunch of tests, I managed to solve my out of synch problem by... deinterlacing my video!


Does this sound familiar?

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