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Problem poor display quality on FCPX from PAL PD10 MINI-DV CAMERA

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Hans Lucas
Problem poor display quality on FCPX from PAL PD10 MINI-DV CAMERA
on Jan 9, 2019 at 8:32:21 pm

Hi,
I'm facing a problem with the image display in FCP X 10.4.4 running on Mojave 10.14.1.
My rushes come from Mini-DV tapes (recorded with PD10 camera --> DVC PAL), and they look quite fine when i open them in Quicktime 10.5 and very ugly when I view them in FCP X, no matter how I import them (wether I copy them to my library or not, or create optimized media or not... They always look quite ugly (see screenshots attached, one is done in QT, the other in FCP X)).
This is just a viewing problem, because video is fine again after exporting an apple Pro Res, but still quite annoying when editing...
I have of course chosen Better Quality and Optimized/Original media in the View menu.
I have also tried to change the Field Dominance Override in the inspector settings of the video, but it's not convincing either.
I have tried to deinterlace, not working either.

See QT inspector screenshot attached, and various FCP X screenshots as well.
Thank you for your help if you come up with any idea








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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Problem poor display quality on FCPX from PAL PD10 MINI-DV CAMERA
on Jan 11, 2019 at 5:01:43 pm

Funny how we're not that far from the days of interlaced and already no one knows the pratfalls anymore. 😄

That's because you're only seeing half the vertical resolution that way. Try turning on SHOW BOTH FIELDS. 😏

- RK

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Hans Lucas
Re: Problem poor display quality on FCPX from PAL PD10 MINI-DV CAMERA
on Jan 14, 2019 at 3:54:38 pm

Hey !
Thank you so much Robin ! it's working ! Resolution is much better. ☺
The only new little problem is that I can now see the two fields shifting from each other as soon as there is movement in the image... (I don't get that either in QT).


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Joe Marler
Re: Problem poor display quality on FCPX from PAL PD10 MINI-DV CAMERA
on Jan 14, 2019 at 6:35:01 pm

The shifting fields and comb effect on horizontal movement are expected characteristics on non-deinterlaced playback of interlaced material. QT Player is automatically deinterlacing. In theory the FCPX viewer should do that. I’ve seen some cases where it doesn’t. However as an editor sometimes it’s best to have visual feedback the clip is interlaced, esp in a mixed project.

FCPX has a deinterlace filter in Inspector, but it won’t work for an interlaced project (on export). By definition output from an interlaced project is interlaced and it’s left to the playback chain to deinterlace. Premier lets you deinterlaced an interlaced clip and output that file with interlaced metadata, which doesn’t seem right.

Nowadays it’s more common to have small amounts of interlaced legacy material mixed in a progressive project. In that case each interlaced clip can (and should) be deinterlaced with the filter, and the output will be flagged progressive in the video header.

I vaguely recollect in a past version around 10.3 or so the behavior of the deinterlace filter changed. Maybe before it was reflected in the viewer, and afterward it wasn’t. I can’t remember.


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Problem poor display quality on FCPX from PAL PD10 MINI-DV CAMERA
on Jan 15, 2019 at 9:25:22 am
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Jan 15, 2019 at 10:25:19 am

[Hans Lucas] "The only new little problem is that I can now see the two fields shifting from each other as soon as there is movement in the image... (I don't get that either in QT)."

Pretty much an "Eat your cake and have it, too" situation, no? And I suspect that you just don't notice it in the QT Player due to the display size. Because the QT Player (X) most certainly doesn't deinterlace on the fly. QT 7 had an option for that.


[Joe Marler] "In theory the FCPX viewer should do that"

How is it NOT doing that if you don't tell it to show both fields? 🤨


[Joe Marler] "each interlaced clip can (and should) be deinterlaced with the filter, and the output will be flagged progressive in the video header"

No they shouldn't. Unless of course you want the exact quality that he's trying to avoid. And whether an exported clip is "flagged" as progressive or not is solely defined by HOW you output it. In which case the original state of any one clip in the timeline, whether p or i, is irrelevant. Meaning if you output an interlaced clip as progressive (e.g. with one of the "Apple Devices" Destinations) it is automatically reduced to its first field upon export. If output as "Original" from an "i" project then p material is rendered with fields. Only if that material isn't e.g. 50p within a 25i project, both fields will of course be identical, effectively being "pfs". But if you output a 50p clip from a 25i project then FCP in fact generates true interlaced frames using frames 1+2, 3+4, 5+6 etc. etc.

Of course if you apply some interlace filter, then you kill any and all chances of outputting the material in its original format and quality if you decide to.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!
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Hans Lucas
Re: Problem poor display quality on FCPX from PAL PD10 MINI-DV CAMERA
on Jan 18, 2019 at 10:14:29 am

[Robin S. Kurz] "Pretty much an "Eat your cake and have it, too" situation, no? And I suspect that you just don't notice it in the QT Player due to the display size. Because the QT Player (X) most certainly doesn't deinterlace on the fly. QT 7 had an option for that."

I'm running QT 10.5 full screen and it looks just fine, which is not the case when I run FCP X full screen (same screen size)


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Joe Marler
Re: Problem poor display quality on FCPX from PAL PD10 MINI-DV CAMERA
on Jan 18, 2019 at 1:41:56 pm

[Hans Lucas] "I'm running QT 10.5 full screen and it looks just fine, which is not the case when I run FCP X full screen (same screen size)"

This is because QT10 will deinterlace in some circumstances -- it reads the file metadata and chooses whether to apply playback deinterlacing. Sometimes it works, and other times the format or header confuses it and deinterlacing is not applied.

QT7 was manual -- you had to invoke that. VLC was formerly manual -- defaulted to off, current versions are like QT10 and will automatically try to detect interlaced content and apply playback deinterlacing. VLC also has various manual overrides for specific algorithms.

The FCPX viewer apparently does not deinterlace so this can be confusing. You just have to remember there is no single appearance "truth" -- with interlaced material, something must deinterlace that and there are various methods and metadata which impact that. This means if you export interlaced, you must consider the playback environment. Will it be uploaded and deinterlaced by Youtube? Will the file be directly distributed to the recipient? Will it be burned to a DVD? How will they play it back -- on a computer or hardware DVD player?

Re-testing on the current FCPX 10.4.5 shows the deinterlace filter in FCPX will visually deinterlace DV material in an interlaced DV project, inc'l when "show both fields" is enabled. Unlike how I previously thought, this carries through to output, which you don't really want. You never want media flagged as interlaced which has been hard-deinterlaced.

So in theory (if you edit DV in an interlaced project) you could apply the deinterlace filter, then remember to turn it off before exporting.

However in my testing, NTSD DV content from a Panasonic DVX100 looks best when used in a progressive 720p project, deinterlaced and output as progressive. The output preset I used was Master File>Computer>H264>720p.

I did many screen captures using various playback methods and this seemed to look the best. Your case may be different.

Non-broadcast editing and distribution of interlaced content is hassle. Back when my doc team shot interlaced and distributed DVDs, we'd have to check various hardware and software players to verify we had encoded it for broadest compatibility with then-current playback systems.

ATSC broadcast uses 1080i (for distribution, not necessarily for acquisition and editing) -- except for ABC, Fox, and ESPN who acquire and broadcast in 720p/60. Also Comcast has converted most of their channels from 1080i to 720p. Outside of live production, I'm not sure how much broadcast content is acquired and edited in interlaced format. The below photos show various networks shooting with cameras that are likely progressive:

ABC News: https://joema.smugmug.com/Photography/ABC-News-Using-DSLRs/n-BsScJC/
ABC Nightline: https://joema.smugmug.com/Photography/ABC-Nightline-Using-DSLR/n-HwH8hG/
CNN: https://joema.smugmug.com/Photography/CNN-DSLR-Video/n-scsdxs/
CNN Moneyline: https://joema.smugmug.com/Photography/CNN-Moneyline-DSLR-Shoot/n-ffF2JW/
CBS News: https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-CRnjPwk/0/2d7985a6/X3/i-CRnjPwk-X3.jpg

However this 60 Minutes field crew is probably shooting interlaced: https://joema.smugmug.com/Photography/60-Minutes-using-Panasonic-HMC/n-MFg8...


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Problem poor display quality on FCPX from PAL PD10 MINI-DV CAMERA
on Jan 18, 2019 at 2:20:23 pm
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Jan 19, 2019 at 10:15:10 am

[Joe Marler] "[Hans Lucas] "I'm running QT 10.5 full screen and it looks just fine, which is not the case when I run FCP X full screen (same screen size)"

This is because QT10 will deinterlace in some circumstances --"


Which doesn't explain why it "looks fine" in QT10 in comparison, since if it in fact deinterlaces, then both should look exactly alike, seeing that that is what FCP does by default as well. But then one needs to define "fine" to begin with. Since most will consider the display of BOTH fields to look worse, since it has "combing" in fast motion, but is factually TWICE the resolution vertically, so most definitely looks better when there is no motion. Just no one is used to seeing fields anymore since the advent of HD, which more often than not is shot progressive, but also because it's displayed WITHOUT fields by default no matter how it was shot, which is far less detrimental to the perceived quality due to the much higher overall resolution. On the other hand showing 25p/29.97p on a regular TV as opposed to their i-counterparts is a horrible, jittery idea as well.

In other words, if you're comparing QT10's and FCP's displaying of interlaced material, then you need to also be sure that BOTH are set to the same. Because in that case there is absolutely no technical or even logical reason why they should look ANY different. If they do, then they clearly must be using different settings.


[Joe Marler] "The FCPX viewer apparently does not deinterlace so this can be confusing."

Huh? By default? Sure it does. You have to explicitly turn (both) fields on to see them, not the other way around.


[Joe Marler] "Will it be uploaded and deinterlaced by Youtube?"

Youtube doesn't not deinterlace interlaced material per se. That would be nuts. If anything, it will deinterlace the lower res versions of an interlaced clip, but not the original. Easily seen by various hi-res versions of any given talk show clip for example.


[Joe Marler] "So in theory (if you edit DV in an interlaced project) you could apply the deinterlace filter, then remember to turn it off before exporting."

Question being: what exactly could be the point or advantage in that? 🤨 If you don't want to see both fields, then simply DON'T TURN THEM ON. In which case you're seeing the exact same image.


[Joe Marler] "show various networks shooting with cameras that are likely progressive"

That may well be, only they could simply be shooting 50p or 59.94p respectively, from which at least FCP can generate true interlace from if edited in a 25i or 29.97i project. Which is why I in fact shoot 50p if nothing says I can't. Since from that I can produce both pristine 25p and 25i output if and as needed.

And I can't speak for U.S. broadcasters, but here in Europe 99% of broadcasters demand interlaced or at least pfs masters, i.e. "fake" interlaced clips.

- RK

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


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Joe Marler
Re: Problem poor display quality on FCPX from PAL PD10 MINI-DV CAMERA
on Jan 15, 2019 at 9:25:49 pm

[Joe Marler] "In theory the FCPX viewer should do that [deinterlace]"

[Robin S. Kurz] "How is it NOT doing that if you don't tell it to show both fields? 🤨


If you don't select "show both fields", it's not deinterlacing, it's just discarding one field (as you mentioned). I only meant that FCPX obviously knows if the clip is interlaced and could theoretically apply playback-only deinterlacing based on the metadata, as QT10 does.

[Joe Marler] "...interlaced legacy material mixed in a progressive project. In that case each interlaced clip can (and should) be deinterlaced with the filter, and the output will be flagged progressive in the video header..."

[Robin S. Kurz]"No they shouldn't. Unless of course you want the exact quality that he's trying to avoid...

I just tested this with some DV material from a DVX-100, and if you add legacy DV content to a progressive project, don't deinterlace that and output as progressive, the DV clips look bad. If you deinterlace the interlaced DV clips, then output the progressive project, it looks good.

[Robin S. Kurz]"...And whether an exported clip is "flagged" as progressive or not is solely defined by HOW you output it..."

The project type can definitely affect this. I just put a DV clip in an NTSC interlaced project, output it using the ProRes 422 preset and it was flagged as interlaced. Then I changed the project characteristics from 29.97i to 29.97p, output it the same way, and it was flagged progressive. The only thing that changed was the project characteristics.

OTOH what you said is generally correct. A DV clip in an interlaced project and output as "Apple Devices" will be flagged as progressive. If that same clip from the same project is output as DV, it will be flagged interlaced (as seen in inspection tools like Invisor or MediaInfo).

As you said, you might normally output in the original format. E.g, for interlaced DV material, output in DV and leave deinterlacing up to the playback chain as originally intended.

The problem is that's such an old format, the playback deinterlacing (esp. on computers) doesn't always look best. I tested this using QT10's auto-deinterlacing, also I manually stepped through all of VLC's manual deinterlacing options for many different clips. Even on DV clips with the correct metadata, it looked better if that was hard deinterlaced then output as progressive.

Also it's less common nowadays to have all-interlaced material. More often it's interlaced legacy content in a progressive project, and if you don't deinterlaced the old stuff it looks bad, plus the output file metadata says progressive. Most playback systems can't deinterlace the old clips locked inside a progressive project, effectively locking in "hard interlacing".

I just did a lot more testing with DV material in FCPX 10.4.4, it appears to look best when the DV clips are put in a progressive project and deinterlaced. Another complication is web sites like Youtube have their own deinterlacing. In my tests Youtube did a good job of deinterlacing DV but it still looked a little better if hard deinterlaced inside a 720p project and uploaded.


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Problem poor display quality on FCPX from PAL PD10 MINI-DV CAMERA
on Jan 16, 2019 at 9:36:28 am
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Jan 19, 2019 at 10:21:53 am

[Joe Marler] "it's not deinterlacing, it's just discarding one field"

Yes. the exact same thing that any and every "Deinterlace" filter does, except maybe "Fieldskit". Which was my point.


[Joe Marler] "if you add legacy DV content to a progressive project, don't deinterlace that and output as progressive, the DV clips look bad"

Then I would suspect that your field dominance settings are not correct, since I'm not seeing that. Which is the whole point of that setting: so FCP not only knows that it's interlaced, but also, with that, knows that it needs to toss one field upon output as progressive i.e. which on to toss. But then it doesn't really matter either way in a case where you know you'll never need to output interlaced, since either way you're always just tossing one field. Just with the filter you can choose which one.


[Joe Marler] "[Robin S. Kurz]"...And whether an exported clip is "flagged" as progressive or not is solely defined by HOW you output it..."

The project type can definitely affect this. I just put a DV clip in an NTSC interlaced project, output it using the ProRes 422 preset and it was flagged as interlaced. Then I changed the project characteristics from 29.97i to 29.97p, output it the same way, and it was flagged progressive. The only thing that changed was the project characteristics."


Which is exactly my point, yes. Outputting as "Original" (i.e. ProRes) will obviously always respect the project settings! But you can just as well output that same project via Compressor or a Compressor preset to the opposite of the project and ProRes you want. Ergo: "is solely defined by how you output it".


[Joe Marler] "If that same clip from the same project is output as DV, it will be flagged interlaced"

Because there is no such thing as progressive DV. As with ANY SD format of yesteryear, DV is ALWAYS interlaced. Even if your source footage was progressive, yes. Or even if you slap a deinterlace filter on any interlaced footage, which will only make it look crap… but it'll still be output interlaced no matter what if output as DV.


[Joe Marler] "Also it's less common nowadays to have all-interlaced material."

Erm… wha? Any and everything I produce for broadcast not only IS interlaced (either coming in, going out or both), but in fact HAS to be interlaced, if "only" pfs. And outputting in any given progressive format when needed has never been a quality issue. But obviously… YMMV. 🤷🏼‍♂️

- RK

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Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!
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