Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy Forum
FCP scaling or Motion
FCP scaling or Motion
by Nick Price on Jan 15, 2009 at 6:53:14 pm

Hi everyone,
I have some DV 4:3 footage that eventually needs to be 16:9.

Is it better to distort to 33.33 and resize to 133 in Final Cut.

Or is it better to go to motion and resize it in there. I have never been happy doing it in FCP, basically is Motion's scaling better than FCP's.

All the best

Mac Pro
FCP 6.0.5
London, UK

Re: FCP scaling or Motion
by Rafael Amador on Jan 16, 2009 at 1:02:48 pm

To make a 16 x 9 from a 4x 3 in FC you don't need any resizing, just crop up and down.
Motion will make a better job if set in 16 or 32b.
You can also use "Lanczos" in Motion. the most professional resizing tool in FCS 2.

Re: FCP scaling or Motion
by Nick Price on Jan 16, 2009 at 2:27:37 pm

Thanks for your thoughts Andy.

Rafael, thanks for your tips, although i would have to disagree with your cropping suggestion. That would make a 16:9 letterbox rather than 16:9 anamorphic version, sorry i probably should have stated that i wanted it all anamorphic. I will have a look at Lanczos (great name!), and try the 32bit motion version.
thanks guys

Re: FCP scaling or Motion
by Rafael Amador on Jan 16, 2009 at 2:32:05 pm

Hi Nick,
if you drop a 4x3 clip in a 16 x9 sequence you will get an Anamorphic movie. The picture is croped by FC in the canvas.
In Motion you need to crop the 4 x3 movie too.
No otherway to do it.

Re: FCP scaling or Motion
by Nick Price on Jan 16, 2009 at 2:43:31 pm

Hi Rafael,
To get the right aspect ratio, the shot needs to have the distort/aspect set at 33.33, and needs to be scaled to 133, of course that will crop off the top and bottom. Whether FCP does this or not, that is what needs to happen. If you know another magic way to stretch the picture without the people in it looking short and fat please let me know

Re: FCP scaling or Motion
by James Sullivan on Jan 16, 2009 at 6:17:43 pm

Hello Rafael, What do you mean by "lanzos" in motion? The motion tab scaling in FCP is crap. Compared to what an Avid DS can do in terms of scaling a shot up. I can't push an HD shot past 120% where the math the AVID is using can go closer to 200 percent before getting crappy and soft.



Re: FCP scaling or Motion
by Rafael Amador on Jan 17, 2009 at 2:49:47 am

Hi James,
Lanczos is a filter for up-scaling, inherited from SHAKE. You will find it in the "Image Units" in Motion.
If you want to get any good from FC on scaling:
- Set your sequence to a codec better than the original.
- Set "Render all YUV in High Precision
- Render Motion Effects: BEST.

Re: FCP scaling or Motion
by Lon Keller on Jan 17, 2009 at 1:05:11 am

I've always found Adobe's After Effects to be superior at scaling. Might be worth a try.

Lon Keller
Chief Editor / Producer
Sundog Studios

Compressor does a great job with this
by John Pale on Jan 17, 2009 at 7:52:31 pm

I just did a bunch of these using Compressor. It did a fantastic job...much better than FCP or Motion.

In the Geometry pane, you can use the presets or select custom to change the degree and location of cropping.

You must turn on the Frame Controls and set the resize to Better or Best to get improved results.

Be ready for a long render time though.

Re: Compressor does a great job with this
by James Sullivan on Jan 17, 2009 at 9:47:58 pm

Dude you are a genius!!! I tried it out last night and it looks pretty good on some crappy DV uprezed to HD. I was looking at Topaz Labs scaling plugin as well as Red Giants Instant HD as alternatives.

My one gripe would be that Motion is weird in that you put the filter on a clip in a layer and it does not expand beyond the bounding box for the clip. You have to go and make the scale property bigger which sucks. I have been using AE of late as it runs better on my laptop and in my head. Am I using the filter properly? Is there a way to port the image unit directly into FCP? I know the Fxplug filters work across party lines but I have not seen "Image Units" flip over the isle per say. I do tons of blowups because of matte boxes on tiny HDV cameras and other reality television cutting issues. (Lack of coverage = blowing up shots to make cutaways....Grrrrr)

I have been on a big push to get the best results for my company in terms of the quality of our final product. I am using AE now to do all speed effects as well as advanced tracking. (We are still on FCP 5.14 so we don't have motion 3) Thank you for the great tip as not everybody has AE on their FCP boxes.

On a different note, your previous exchange with Walter and Gary on math vs. hardware was very illuminating. I have been thinking along the same lines of late as I am working on a series that actually needs to look good. I hope that the next FCP addresses some of the under the hood math/quality issues. Maybe Shake will enter the picture again as I am assuming Apple will port the math into its other products which could give birth to FCP extreme in all of it's projected glory. Or the whole company will fold and we will all bend over again for AVID. (No offense and thanks for finally waking up by the way! Bring the DS to Mac for three grand and we'll talk...)

I am on your side in that it is all going to be software at some point even though I agree with Walter and Gary on the quality of dedicated hardware doing what it does best. (Consume more electricity and not fit in my bedroom) On the other hand, I like overnight renders because I can go home!!! At this point I should have been a math major except that I hit a major wall with calculus. Oh well...

Happy new year,

James Sullivan

Re: Compressor does a great job with this
by Carlo Ferraro on May 25, 2009 at 3:04:19 pm

I´ve been after this for months till I almost quit. Saw your post and I am very interested. I got little experience with Compressor since I render full .mov to make DVDs so it would be great if you could give me the basics of the procedure.
Thanks in advance