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Grainy images with movement in Motion 4

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Ralph Parker
Grainy images with movement in Motion 4
on Mar 20, 2011 at 4:36:55 pm

Hello,
Long time lurker, first time poster.
I'm making a video for my kid's hockey team. There is a segment where I show a photo of each kid individually in a 3-D "stage" along with some text (their name and number), a "floor", a few lights and reflections, and camera framing and sweep behaviors. The photos are all 3-4 MB jpegs (3264x4896) scaled down to about 33%. I know it's preferred to use TIFFs or PNG, but these are what I was given to work with.

Overall, the text looks crisp, reflections are nice, but the photos have a very fine, grainy noise artifact that is slightly noticeable when there is no movement, but quite noticeable with movement. When imported to FCP, it looks the same.

My FCP sequence is set to ProRes422, 1440x1080, 29.97.
My Motion project has a Custom Preset (on the advice of an Apple FCP support rep). I initially set it for DVCPRO HD 1080i60, but then set the Pixel Aspect Ratio to HD (960x720, 1440x1080), Upper First (Odd), 29.97 fps, (which automatically changes the Preset to "Custom").

I can't tell any difference between Normal and Best Render setting in Motion.

I also tried to export a Quicktime movie and drop THAT into my FCP timeline, but no difference.

I've been struggling with this for days reading the posts, but can't find a similar issue/solution. I don't know if this is simply an issue with using a jpeg, or if it's a problem with my project and timeline settings. (I suspect the former since it looks the same in both Motion and FCP.)

If anyone has any advice or can point me to a similar thread, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Ralph Parker
2x2.4 Quad Core Xeon, 8GB
Final Cut Pro 7, Motion 4, Etc.


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Gareth Randall
Re: Grainy images with movement in Motion 4
on Mar 20, 2011 at 8:09:06 pm

[Ralph Parker] "I know it's preferred to use TIFFs or PNG"
It is? Genuine question there. I've never got hung up over image formats, all I've ever cared about is the image size and quality. I've used hundreds of JPGs over the years with no problems.

As to your specific problem, it might help if you could upload a clip to illustrate exactly what you mean. All I can think of is that perhaps it's an issue with the DPI setting of the stills being too high? Did you rescale the images before importing them into Motion or is Motion itself doing the rescaling?



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Mark Spencer
Re: Grainy images with movement in Motion 4
on Mar 20, 2011 at 9:08:48 pm

Agreed, I don't think the format really matters - but my understanding is that TIFFs actually carry more overhead - more important, though, I would resample your images down so they are not so large since you are scaling them to 33% - that will improve performance greatly - and, since Motion's scaling algorithm is not as good as you'll get in Photoshop (or even Preview IMHO), they will probably look better.

--
Mark Spencer
Freelance Producer/Editor/Motion Graphics Artist
Apple-certified Master Trainer
Author, Motion 4 from Peachpit Press
http://www.applemotion.net


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Ralph Parker
Re: Grainy images with movement in Motion 4
on Mar 20, 2011 at 9:58:50 pm

It is my understanding that as a general rule, it's preferable to use uncompressed images. In this particular case, I doubt it matters much since it's a large, hi-res jpg.
I'm happy to upload a clip, but I've never done it on this site. What is an appropriate format?
Thanks.

Ralph Parker
2x2.4 Quad Core Xeon, 8GB
Final Cut Pro 7, Motion 4, Etc.


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Ralph Parker
Re: Grainy images with movement in Motion 4
on Mar 20, 2011 at 10:29:24 pm

Oops. Forgot to answer your question.
I imported the jpegs directly into Motion and scaled them down in it.

Ralph Parker
2x2.4 Quad Core Xeon, 8GB
Final Cut Pro 7, Motion 4, Etc.


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Ralph Parker
Re: Grainy images with movement in Motion 4
on Mar 20, 2011 at 11:42:13 pm

I think Mark nailed it. I used Preview to resize from an image 3264 pixels wide to 1000 pixels wide. I did a little fine tuning with the scaling and cropping in Motion to get the exact size I needed, but it looks much, much better. It also plays more smoothly.

By the way Mark, I just started using Motion for the first time about a month ago and used your Apple Pro Training Series book on Motion 4 and read it cover to cover in a couple of days. What a great guide for beginners and intermediate users of Motion! Thanks so much for the help!

Ralph Parker
2x2.4 Quad Core Xeon, 8GB
Final Cut Pro 7, Motion 4, Etc.


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Mark Spencer
Re: Grainy images with movement in Motion 4
on Mar 20, 2011 at 11:58:44 pm

Glad that worked! Thanks for the nice words on the book.

--
Mark Spencer
Freelance Producer/Editor/Motion Graphics Artist
Apple-certified Master Trainer
Author, Motion 4 from Peachpit Press
http://www.applemotion.net


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