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tips to minimize strobing and pixelating from FCP output

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Eric Holzapfel
tips to minimize strobing and pixelating from FCP output
on May 27, 2010 at 10:29:03 pm

Hello all,

I have just finished a project. I used a series of still images (tiffs) in the FCP timeline
with zooms and pans on some images (1800x1350) and some slight pans (vert and horiz)
on most of the images. The still images started life as jpegs, which I converted to tiffs.
I used the DV-NTSC 4:3 setup with most images sized at 720x540, and a few at 720x1080 (for a vertical pan).

All has gone pretty well. I have more moire effects on some images. Yes, these have details like tree leaves, checkered shirts, etc I have added 0.5 gaussian blur to one or two images using the video
filter feature of FCP. I have also tried placing a gaussian blur on an image using photoshop, and then importing that image into my FCP timeline.

All is well on the computer screen. I do not have an NTSC monitor to double check the image characteristics, so I make a dvd using DVD Studio Pro 4, and play it. I some moire/strobing is ok, but I still have a couple of areas where I would like to have less strobing, etc.

Any tips on minimizing these issues? I do have a fair amount of motion on some of the stills.

Any suggestions are appreciated.


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Michael Gissing
Re: tips to minimize strobing and pixelating from FCP output
on May 28, 2010 at 12:19:18 am

DV codec is a poor choice for anything with detail. Try copy pasting the entire sequence into a sequence set for either NTSC SD 10 bit uncompressed (if you have fast enough drives) or NTSC SD ProRes 422. For a DVD everything has to be crunched down to mpeg2 so having an uncompressed final timeline will minimise transcoding errors.

Gaussian blur is a good way to get rid of some moire. You really need to judge the final image on an external monitor as the FCP canvas is not reliable for critical monitoring. With is set to 100% it can show your image with greater accuracy but judging quality and color grading needs an external via a card like Kona, Decklink, Matrox etc.

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Eric Holzapfel
Re: tips to minimize strobing and pixelating from FCP output
on May 28, 2010 at 11:13:15 pm

Hello Mike,

I will try this out. I will check my sequences, and copy the stuff over.

I would love to have one of those cards you mention(matrox, etc), not to mention a proper monitor.

Thanks again,


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