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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

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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 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

[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. There is no such thing as progressive DV. 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.


[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 or 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

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