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Sequence settings, pixel size, aspect ratio, mp4 export

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Justin Crowell
Sequence settings, pixel size, aspect ratio, mp4 export
on Jan 10, 2012 at 4:10:29 pm

Hi everybody,
I apologize if I'm asking questions that are everywhere else. I've been searching for a few days and haven't been able to find a coherent response to these questions. Basically, I'd just like to know if I'm right about a few things. I've been editing for a few years, and I run a college media center, but it's time I became a bit more sure of those fundamentals I've ignored.

If anyone can point me towards tutorials or books where this stuff is discussed, I'd appreciate it!

I work in HD, shooting on a Canon 60D and 5D MkII. I always edit in ProRes 422, so my sequence compressor is always 422.

When I bring footage into a sequence and allow fcp to conform the sequence to the footage, I get 1920x1080 for the frame size with square pixels.

Question #1: Why does FCP call this frame size "HDTV 1080i (16:19)"? I assume this is a reference to television screens that don't show progressive footage, but why is there no setting for 1080p? Would I be correct in thinking, however, that this is just shorthand for a standard and doesn't set the sequence to interlaced (which is done below in the field dominance dropdown)?

Question #2: Do I need to worry about Easy Setup? The closest option to what I want (I mean closest to the footage I've imported) seems to be the HDV-Apple ProRess 422 1080p24 option. But when I make a new sequence, that yields frame size of 1440x1080 with HD(1440x1080) pixels. I assume that is because of the nature of HDV...but shouldn't there be a setting for 1920x1080 with square pixels and progressive? Is this just a result of FCP7 being old enough that DSLR shooting wasn't really a thing yet?

Question #3: Square pixels vs HD pixels. On export, is there a better one to use? My work is primarily destined for the web (and so is that of most of the students I assist). I push people towards square pixels, because that is what I know. I believe I have also read that sometimes QuickTime doesn't properly read HD pixels. I had an issue once where someone was exporting an MP4 with HD pixels and the shape was distorted...but...is that because MP4 doesn't supper HD pixels? Why would it be that sometimes QT and QT7 and VLC and MPEG Streamclip render pixel shape differently?

Am I missing things, or am I on the right track? Thank you!
-Justin


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Sequence settings, pixel size, aspect ratio, mp4 export
on Jan 10, 2012 at 5:50:44 pm

[Justin Crowell] "Question #1: Why does FCP call this frame size "HDTV 1080i (16:19)"?"

B/C 1080i is always seen as interlaced. Historically there has not been any 1080p when shooting, this will change.

So, you shoot 1080i/24p you are progressive but wrapped in a 1080i stream.


[Justin Crowell] "Question #2: Do I need to worry about Easy Setup?"

Not really, you're doing it correctly, drop a clip in a blank sequence and let FCP match it best for you.



[Justin Crowell] "Question #3: Square pixels vs HD pixels."

You're shooting square. So edit square, export/master to square. You can compress to any deliverable from there. It's hip to be square, remember?

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Justin Crowell
Re: Sequence settings, pixel size, aspect ratio, mp4 export
on Jan 10, 2012 at 9:13:25 pm

Thanks Chris! I'm not sure what you mean when you say that my progressive is wrapped in an interlaced stream. Aren't editing monitors usually capable of displaying full 1080p? Since field dominance is grayed out in sequence settings, doesn't that mean I'm operating in progressive?

Finally, should I NOT use the HDTV setting? Should I do custom for the frame size and just type in 1920x1080?
Thanks,
Justin

Video editor, animator, composer, producer
SarasotaTheBand.com


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Sequence settings, pixel size, aspect ratio, mp4 export
on Jan 10, 2012 at 9:50:56 pm

You're doing it correctly, drop a clip in a blank sequence and let FCP match it best for you.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Justin Crowell
Re: Sequence settings, pixel size, aspect ratio, mp4 export
on Jan 11, 2012 at 3:26:31 pm

Thanks again, Chris...but is there any way I could get an explanation of what the 1080i wrapping actually means? I need to be able to teach and explain this stuff to students and faculty. Is there perhaps a forum/article/tutorial that you know of??
Thanks,
J

Video editor, animator, composer, producer
SarasotaTheBand.com


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Sequence settings, pixel size, aspect ratio, mp4 export
on Jan 18, 2012 at 3:44:58 am

Some HD formats always record 1080 as interlaced, such as DVCPRO HD when going to tape. By adapting how frames and fields are mixed it's possible to use a 60i stream to deliver 60i, 30p or 24p. As the world moves more towards digital delivery and tape is phased out there will probably be less 1080i/24p.

Here's some reading on the topic.

http://www.moviola.com/book/export/html/269


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Justin Crowell
Re: Sequence settings, pixel size, aspect ratio, mp4 export
on Jan 23, 2012 at 8:40:14 pm

Thanks again, Jeff!

Video editor, animator, composer, producer
SarasotaTheBand.com


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