Exporting in FCE 4 - which format??? Please?!

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by FSMBP, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. FSMBP macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #1
    Ok, basically my main goal is to preserve image quality at all cost (harddrive space is not an issue).

    I uploaded footage shot on Sony's Digital8 Format (records onto a 8mm). I edited and now I want to export.

    Here's my problem:

    I went to export, using "As Quicktime Movie". It did it's thing and the file size was comparable to the size of the raw footage (captured via FCE 4). BUT, I decided to Export using Quicktime Conversion, and I picked H.264 with the max settings. The H.264 version had noticeable better quality.

    What's the deal? I'm lost, isn't "As Quicktime Movie" supposed to be the same quality as footage captured? So if someone can explain without throwing too much jargon, I'd appreciate it.
     
  2. holidaypf macrumors member

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    May 11, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #2
    I'm just learning this myself, but as I understand it, a quicktime movie is just a "container." There are many different types of files that can be used in the .mov format. H.264 is a high definition file type. For example, I have a little minicam, Kodak Zi6, that shoots 720p in 30 fps. They come out as .mov files in H.264 format. I think that the DV/DVCPRO - NTSC, 640 x 480, 29.97 fps is a pretty standard format for 4:3 viewing.

    And also, you can only downgrade from the quality of the original footage. Taking a highly compressed file and exporting it to higher quality settings will only increase your file size, but not the actual quality.
     
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #3
    FSMBP:

    It seems inconceivable that you would see better image quality as H.264 than you would outputting a QT movie with settings that matched the capture codec. If you captured over FW from Digital8, it should have ingested as DV/DVCPRO25.

    Are you sure that when you go to "Export --> Quicktime" movie that it's exporting with "Current Settings?"

    H.264 can be any resolution you want. Like most video compression codecs, it's resolution independent. It has gained widespread use because of its comparable image quality at smaller file sizes compared to MPEG-2.
     
  4. holidaypf macrumors member

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    May 11, 2009
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    #4
  5. PhixionFilms macrumors 6502

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    Deployed atm
    #5
    Always remember these -
    H.264
    1080 / 720 trim (Video Size - HD)
    30 fps OR Automatic
    Best quality
     
  6. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #6
    There's no point in outputting as HD when the material isn't HD to begin with. You would just be upscaling the NTSC video, making it look worse.

    If you read the OP's post, you'll see that he wants to output master-quality footage and that's something H.264 isn't going to give him.
     
  7. FSMBP thread starter macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

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    Jan 22, 2009
    #7

    I'm going to try to export again, and I'll take a screen capture of each format (one at "As Quicktime Movie" and the other using Quicktime Conversion with H.264).
     
  8. FSMBP thread starter macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #8
    Ok, so here is what I did. I went to went to FCE, and I exported a "As Quicktime Movie" (which I thought would give the highest quality). Then I exported as "Using Quicktime Conversion" using the highest H.264 settings.

    Below, are two screenshots of both versions. Both screenshots were relatively taken at the same time. The "As Quicktime Movie" version has a red circle on the top right hand corner for identification.

    1. By eye-balling it in the first shot, the H.264 version has more clarity specifically around the subjects face and also in the top left hand corner (the menu's text, on top of the fridge.

    2. In the second shot, the H.264 has better text hands down.

    What gives?!
     

    Attached Files:

  9. xStep macrumors 68000

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    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Less lost in L.A.
    #9
    I can't see the difference in the text. The face detail is clear though.

    I think you should post the codec details of each file. Open in QuickTime and do a Command-I on each to see what they are.
     
  10. FSMBP thread starter macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #10
    Ok, here's the info. Again, the one with the red circle represents the video that used "As Quicktime Movie" for exporting.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. FSMBP thread starter macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #11
    Can anyone offer me a solution based on what I've posted?

    (The question is why exporting "As Quicktime Movie" doesn't produce the highest quality image)
     
  12. OrganMusic macrumors 6502

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  13. OrganMusic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #13
    Staying tuned; I'm just learning FCE4 and having a tough time figuring how to get the best quality DVD output from DV tape sources without excessive rendering/transcoding time.

    I assume I should be able to output as quicktime DV without reencoding except for transitions etc. I would think that should be fairly fast. Then I'll let Toast to the conversion to MPEG2 for burning to DVD. It just seems to take longer on my 2.8ghz C2D mac than on my old Pentium 4 running Pinnacle studio.
     

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