FCE Help [general]

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by jjonak, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. jjonak macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hi all!

    It seems like there are some super knowledgeable people on here in FCE/FCP. I'm new to working with FCE and video in general and need some very basic help. Sorry if these are silly questions but I greatly appreciate your patience! :)

    I'm working with a new project off of video that I imported into my computer a year ago (through iMovie...). It was off of a DV camera using Mini DV tapes but apart from that I don't know much more. And I think that's the issue. I want to make sure the movies I'm creating in FCE are of the highest possible quality from my videos but seeing as I don't know any of the specs about them...it's hard to set the proper project settings.

    How can I find out about the specs of my videos and then using that information, create relevant project properties in my FCE project?

    I'm looking to export HD quality youtube videos in the end, nothing to DVD, and need to be able to throw in text/graphics without them looking blurry.

    Thank you for any information! :)
  2. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    Open the clips in QT. Pressing CMD+I will tell you resolution, as well as frame rate.
    If you don't import from the camera, you don't have to set the Easy Setup. Just drag a clip to the timeline and FCE will ask you if you want to set the timeline to the clip properties.
  3. jjonak thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2011
    Thank you - the trick in quicktime worked flawlessly. :)

    So now my question is this: Can I affect the quality of my video in FCE when I drag it into the project?

    The clips always appear to be in decent but slightly fuzzy, not sharp, format. On top of that, often the text that I create in FCE looks fuzzy upon export. Are these two separate issues? Is there anything I can do to raise the quality of my video or is that something that was done while recording/importing?

    Similarly, photos appear in lower quality when I drag them into this project as well. Is it because the DV quality will lower my photo quality? I have altered the size and resolution to what I thought would match, yet I'm still getting a fuzzier image, not only upon export but also when viewing it in the sequence.

    Thanks for any help!
  4. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    I dunno about fuzzy text in HD, but I had that problem when exporting HD to SD. Solution: I did it in two steps - render the movie out to SD, then add the text, and render the whole schmontz again. Time consuming, but worth it.

    I'm not much of a typographer, but: Use strong fonts, no serif, with thick lines. Additionally, check how it looks with an anti-aliasing filter applied.

    Photos: I have built up a RAW-TIFF workflow with Aperture/GIMP/Pixelmator, with a lossless compression. Problem with jpg is that they are heavily compressed, with gazillions of compression artifacts built in. When you resize pictures, you throw away a lot of pixels and re-compress the leftovers again. Your pixels start to look worse (garbage in, garbage out). Even though there are a lot of voices saying you should only import original sized pictures in FCE/P, I'm getting a better image quality if I resize my pictures in a photo editor to about the size needed in FCE/P, staying with the RAW until the final export.
    This is up to discussion though.
  5. evil_santa macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    London, England
    if the original footage is off a DV camera & imported as DV you should work on a SD DV timeline, making it HD is only going to make it soft as you are scaling it up. With the photos i would take them in a tiff and make the as close to the size you want in so yo don't have to resize them in FCP.

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