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Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem

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Rick Clingman
Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 11, 2019 at 3:11:43 am

Need to capture a single frame jpg to use as the thumbnail for YouTube. I've tried every setting but can't get a usable jpg. Tried different color spaces, color only (no alpha). PNG worked but the file sizes are too large and nothing I had could convert it to jpg.

Looks like there's a relationship to what layers you have on the frame. I needed to do thumbnails for two videos. One I was able to export in Photoshop Elements and open it. It looked horribly washed out but I was able to fix it using Levels (the black level was way to the right of where it should be). But the other video I could not get an exported frame no matter what I tried.

I finally gave up and captured a freeze frame with Screenshot.

Are others having this same problem? Are there some settings that work that I'm missing?

thanks


OS 10.14.6, Motion 5.4.4, 2018 Mac mini, 3.2GHz i7, 32 GB RAM, 512 SSD


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 11, 2019 at 9:19:27 am

Make sure you have a Black Solid at the bottom of your project. If you have transparent layers they will be horribly mangled whren you try to export JPEG, hence the need for a fully opaque background.

Simon Ubsdell

hawaiki


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Rick Clingman
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 11, 2019 at 8:06:49 pm
Last Edited By Rick Clingman on Nov 11, 2019 at 8:07:49 pm

Simon Ubsdell THANK YOU!

That's exactly what was required.

Odd too because while one of the two videos I'm finishing does have a transparent background with text overlay, the other had an imported jpg image at the bottom of the layers that has no transparency itself. Why that wouldn't serve as an opaque background confuses me?

Nonetheless, putting the black rectangle at the bottom solved the problem.

Thank you for your help, Simon.


OS 10.14.6, Motion 5.4.4, 2018 Mac mini, 3.2GHz i7, 32 GB RAM, 512 SSD


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 11, 2019 at 9:08:49 pm

Glad that was a solution for you.

I don't entirely know why it works this way and I've asked Apple many times to get it sorted (hah!), but a JPEG export treats anything transparent as white. With horrible consequences, as you discovered. So the only solution is to add a fully opaque background.

Simon Ubsdell

hawaiki


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 12, 2019 at 8:04:39 am

Ironically I *just* had this exact same problem but in FCP two days ago! Had never seen it before. I tried exporting a frame from a clip that had the "Letterbox" filter applied (which, to my surprise, CROPS the clip and doesn't, as I assumed, put black bars over it) and the bars came out WHITE, too. Have also reported it directly to Apple.

So this isn't something new?? ... how annoying. 🤨

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!
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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 12, 2019 at 10:13:51 am

[Robin S. Kurz] "So this isn't something new?? ... how annoying."

No, not new. It's been there for quite a few years now. I can't remember when I first noticed it and flagged it to Apple.

Simon Ubsdell

hawaiki


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 12, 2019 at 10:31:51 am
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Nov 12, 2019 at 10:42:35 am

And while we're on the subject of Save Current Frame two other things are a big annoyance.

a) I've asked them endlessly but Apple refuse to give us a keyboard shortcut. When you're making lots of stills (e.g. of a design for client or collaborator approval) having to mouse around to get to it is surprisingly tiresome. Surely this is an easy fix?

b) On every Mac I've ever tried it with Save Current Frame takes many seconds to complete. On the up-to-date, fully loaded iMacPro I use for work, exporting a simple HD Color Solid takes several seconds!

The only upside to b) is that the save process is a true Background Process so that you can keep working while it's happening and even set off a new Save while it's running.

One thing to note here is that in 5.4.4 this applies to the video Share as well - for the first time you can be rendering a project while you carry on working on it. That's a very welcome development that saves a lot of time. You can even work on and Save out from another open project.

Simon Ubsdell

hawaiki


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 12, 2019 at 11:01:42 am

[Simon Ubsdell] "a) I've asked them endlessly but Apple refuse to give us a keyboard shortcut. […] Surely this is an easy fix?"

Yupp. You simply go into the Destination prefs and make that the STANDARD destination? Then it's on ⌘E. Just as in FCP. 😏

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!
Youtube | Facebook


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 12, 2019 at 12:17:15 pm

Not a great deal of help because then you don't have a shortcut for the video Share. But it's a sort of a solution, I suppose.

Simon Ubsdell

hawaiki


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 12, 2019 at 1:14:05 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "you don't have a shortcut for the video Share"

???
Erm… I just wrote it? ⌘E? How is that not what you're looking for? 🤨



- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!
Youtube | Facebook


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 12, 2019 at 5:05:59 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Nov 12, 2019 at 6:08:08 pm

Yes, I get that. You didn't read what I replied. The shortcut will only work for one or the other - not both. Therefore your suggestion doesn't solve the problem. It only shifts it.

Simon Ubsdell

hawaiki


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 12, 2019 at 7:40:27 pm

Yeah. Two clicks more. Horrible. I forgot.

🤷🏼‍♂️

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!
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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 12, 2019 at 7:48:31 pm
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Nov 12, 2019 at 8:16:57 pm

That btw is not even to mention that you've been able to assign any random shortcut to any menu item in pretty much any app for literally years now… via the Keyboard System Preferences.



I simply mentioned the other option first, since that's the most obvious i.e. easiest one to implement.

And just may explain why Apple has "refused" to implement your endless request. Maybe they just trusted you'd figure it out on your own eventually. 😛

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!
Youtube | Facebook


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Rick Clingman
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 21, 2019 at 7:21:47 pm

Hey Simon,

In my Motion learning curve, I just came across the Project/General settings in the Inspector. There is a Background setting where you can specify a solid color background instead of transparent. I tested it and by setting that to solid black, I see that I can get good jpeg current frame output.

Any disadvantage in doing it this way as opposed to putting a solid black rectangle at the bottom of the layers as you suggested?

thanks


OS 10.14.6, Motion 5.4.4, 2018 Mac mini, 3.2GHz i7, 32 GB RAM, 512 SSD


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 22, 2019 at 3:46:44 pm

It does the same thing.

But I would suggest that it's not good practice, because you will inevitably forget to change it back after you've finished and then the next time you want to export a project with transparency you'll wonder why the heck there is none.

Simon Ubsdell

hawaiki


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Rick Clingman
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 22, 2019 at 6:58:41 pm

Good to know. You make a good point. All I really need it for is to get a good Current Frame, so I could even just turn it on, crank out the jpeg, then turn if off.

Appreciate your help.

r


OS 10.14.6, Motion 5.4.4, 2018 Mac mini, 3.2GHz i7, 32 GB RAM, 512 SSD


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Motion 5.4.4 Save Current Frame problem
on Nov 22, 2019 at 8:10:52 pm

I am going to get tough about this here because this forum will get referenced again in the future by people other than you.

Your suggested method is very bad practice. You might like it, but I cannot recommend that anyone else adopt it.

It's extremely important to be addressing the issue of transparency *within the context of the individual project*. This is just good housekeeping. You should always know what the alpha channel of your project looks like and be in direct control of it.

The notion of killing off transparency via the Preferences is a recipe for disaster. And completely unnecessary and inappropriate.

Simon Ubsdell

hawaiki


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