APPLE FINAL CUT PRO: Apple Final Cut Pro X FCPX Debates FCP Legacy FCP Tutorials

Re: Att: Graeme, Walter, et al - HDV/DVCPRO Workflow, etc

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Graeme Nattress
Re: Att: Graeme, Walter, et al - HDV/DVCPRO Workflow, etc
on Nov 26, 2006 at 2:52:54 pm

It might be a consensus, but it doesn't make it right from a picture quality POV. If you've got mixed sources, and want to edit them "all as one" in HD, go uncompressed - no quality loss at all, and you can just not worry about it.

People use DVCproHD as an "intermediate" codec, usualy because it's fast to decode and is very well supported by FCP, but really, it's a camera codec, and never was designed for editing, and especially not for intermediate codec work:

1) it's too compressed. You'll see artifacts in camera original footage, never mind after a render
2) it's not full HD resolution, but either 960x720 or 1280x1080, thus complicating things further with pixel aspect ratios, and it reduces the resolution of all footage coming into it , HDV being natively 1440x1080.
3) it's not the usual delivery format for broadcast, that being HDCAM (hopefully the nicer SR version) or D5. That would mean, in my mind, for best quality that you do your final render of everything in a uncompressed timeline.

Apple, in their infinite wisdom, have had a superb intermediate codec for years, called "PhotoJPEG" - but they fail to RT enable it or give it the ful support it deserves. Although it's compressed, it's full raster 4:2:2 and mild with it's artifacts, and fast too. But it's not a choice as Apple don't RT enable it. That leaves you with sub-par DVCproHD (best used in situations where that's what you shot) and Uncompressed, with it's massive file sizes, and nothing in-between.

I'm not saying you can't get good looking results with DVCProHD, but I am saying it's not without it's obvious flaws. If ease of editing is your primary goal, then DVCproHD on the current FCP platform is about it for HD (due to Apple's infinite wisdom - even Avid people now have DNxHD), but if picture quality is our ultimate goal, there's only one answer - uncompressed.


- - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP

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