Compressor - The worst way ended up being the best way

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by treehorn, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. treehorn macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #1
    After 11 hours to do a relatively simple project...I'm utterly baffled as the workflow that ended up working is completely wrong.

    I edited a concert that was shot at a theater I've shot at dozens of times, same cameras, same tapes, same load-in... Only thing different was that I used the newest version of FCP and Compressor.

    I exported the final edited sequence via Quicktime and used Compressor to compress it, exported to another hard drive.

    The show is 2:05, so I used the 120 minute, best quality preset and lowered the average bitrate to 4.5 It was processed using a Qmaster node.

    And it ended up looking like crap. The backgrounds (scrims) were blocky with lots of white noise, which has never happened before.

    Thought it might be a plug-in issue (used CGM plug in to fix contrast) and tweaked it using FCP color corrector. And this time it wouldn't compress. Kept getting errors. Ran all sorts of trouble shooting, including the Compressor Rebuild program (fixed preferences, rebuilt desktop, ran disc utility and drive genius...nothing worked)

    Finally gave up and restarted the computer using a backup I made before installing the new FCS. Compressed it using the old version of Compressor via computer (not Qmaster). Did it using 120 minute, 1-pass. Didn't change bit rate. Ended up with a project that wouldn't fit on a single layer DVD by 400MB (which was expected) and used Toast to Fit To Disc.

    Which should have looked like crap.

    But looks beautiful and miles better than the previous version.

    So...now trying to figure out why???

    (also did a 150 minute, 1 pass version and that looked better than the original version as well!)
     
  2. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #2
    Can you describe the settings you were using? Compressing has everything to do with the settings you give it; how you compress it (in terms of nodes, versions of software, etc.) doesn't really matter.
     
  3. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #3
    I did. As I mentioned "The show is 2:05, so I used the 120 minute, best quality preset and lowered the average bitrate to 4.5 It was processed using a Qmaster node."

    I used the 120 minute DVD preset, best quality (2 pass). I lowered the average bitrate from 5.0 to 4.5. Kept everything else as-is
     
  4. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #4
    Well, you didn't mention "DVD preset", so I couldn't be sure. But you're not telling us something else. You exported the final sequence via quicktime. Was that as a quicktime movie, or using quicktime compression? You didn't say, so I have to check.
     
  5. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #5
    Yes, it was exported as a Quicktime movie, no compression (28GB file, full sized, same settings as the movie of origin).

    And I think it's premature to say "how you compress it (in terms of nodes, versions of software, etc.) doesn't really matter" as the problem appears to stem from using t he new version of Compressor versus the old...

    I wouldn't dismiss it off the bat...
     
  6. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #6
    If everything's working properly, the method by which you compress should be irrelevant. Of course, everything may not be working properly. Maybe default settings are tweaked. Maybe something's being corrupted. It's hard to say. Can you give me some details on your source footage (format, bitrate, etc.)?
     
  7. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #7
    "If everything's working properly, the method by which you compress should be irrelevant."

    Hence my post asking for help...

    The footage is DV/DVCPro - NTSC
    720X480 anamorphic
    29.97 fps
    3.6MB/sec data rate

    it's the same type of footage from the same camera source entered into my computer the same way for the past 3-4 years. I make a dozen DVDs a week. I've edited footage shot from the same theater at least six times this year alone.

    The only thing that has changed is my home computer (where I did this project) upgraded to snow leopard and the new Final Cut suite.

    Since doing the latter, I've had problems compressing on three projects. First I chalked up too "I'm using footage from someone else's camera, it's HD in a different format than I'm used to"

    Second...I posted here for help, as a standard SD project wanted twelve hours to compress when exported/shared from FCP to Compressor (using doing that with the older version would take 45 minutes). Was advised/reprimanded to export everything to Quicktime files first, also was advised to utilize Qmaster. Speeded things up (but still question why there's such a radical reduction in speed going on here)

    Third was this project. This time around, the footage ended up with artifacts I've never seen when compressed, and trying to compress it using a Qmaster cluster worked once, than gave errors left and right other times. F

    Finally booted from a back-up drive containing older version of FCP and it worked beautifully.

    So it's not the footage, it's the upgrade. The question is do I need to do a clean install? Which is always soooo much fun and I'm hoping somebody comes up with other options.
     

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