FCP7: HD output: video is smaller and black bars on all sides?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by randy0242, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. randy0242 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    I'm a newbie to FCP, so this may be a pretty easy fix and I have done some research. Any advice/help will be greatly appreciated. :D

    So I have 2 MP4 files that are 1080p and 1080i. The original files are both letterboxed. When I play the original files seperatly there are only black bars at the top and bottom. So, I drag them into my new project and add them to the timeline, edit, add transitions, etc...When I go to export the sequence using QT conversion, I click on the Size heading and change it to HD 1280X720 and 16:9. The output of the movie when played on a 1080p screen has black bars on all sides, the actual video area has shrunk. I have tried this using the HD 1920X1080 16:9 option as well - the video area is even smaller and there are black bars on all sides also.

    Any ideas what to check/change to make the output of the sequence 1080p? It's fine to keep the letterbox bars on the top and bottom.

    Please help!!
    Thanks!!

    Randy
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    Can you post your clip, sequence and export settings in detail?

    Have you converted the .mp4 files to a .mov using the Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC) or ProRes codec before importing them into FCP?
     
  3. randy0242 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #3
    I did not convert them to .mov files, I just dragged and dropped them into the Project window from Finder.

    .mp4 file #1: 1920X1080, 24fps, H.264, Square pixel aspect
    .mp4 file #2: 1920X1080, 30fps, H.264, Square pixel aspect
    Sequence: 1920X1080, 29.97fps, HDV 1080p 30, HDV 1440X1080 pixel aspect, anamorphic

    When I export using QT conversion, I set the following:
    Settings: H.264, FR=current, Key frame=30 frames, frame reordering is checked and restrict data rate to 1800 kbs
    Size: Dimensions=1280X720 16:9 and deinterlace source video is checked
    (I have changed the dimension size to several different settings and always end up wth the black bars on all sides)

    Looking at these settings, I see several different things that I THINK I should change, but not too sure...like I said, I'm a newbie!! ;)

    Thanks for your help...
    Randy
     
  4. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #4
    Try dragging your source files into a completely new sequence. You should be prompted on whether or not you want the sequence settings to match your footage. Click "yes." That's how you should bring clips into your sequence in the future.

    Now since you've already edited them and if you don't want to start over, then it looks like you'll have to do some adjusting. Try double clicking on a clip that's in the timeline so that it pops up in the viewer window. Then check the motion tab to see if there's any weirdness there (something other than 100% in scale property, something other than 0 in aspect ratio, etc.).

    If everything's good there, then the problem is your export settings. Try just exporting as a Quicktime Movie (not quicktime conversion). This will use your sequence settings by default, so what you see in your canvas when playing back the timeline is what you'll get. Then bring that file into compressor and convert to the format of your choosing from there.


    For future reference, you should probably convert your files to an more FCP friendly format for editing.
     
  5. randy0242 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #5
    Can I create a new Sequence in the same Project or should I create a new Project and then transfer the MP4 files into it? Is there a Project settings somewhere that should be checked/changed? Or is a Project just a "holder"?

    I opened the clips in the viewer window and checked the settings in the motion tab...nothing outta the ordinary at all. Makes me think the problem may have something to do with the pixel aspect in the Sequence settings or the Dimensions in the Size settings of the QT Conversion export?? Just a guess...

    Thanks for your help, HandsomePete...Any other helpful advice? Anyone?
    :eek:

    Randy
     
  6. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #6
    You can simply make a new sequence in the same project. After you create a sequence, you should be prompted to match audio/video settings when you drag the first clip over to the timeline. And just FYI, don't do a copy/paste because it won't trigger the prompt and will instead just adjust all your video to fit the default sequence setting (most likely DV NTSC). You'll want to import the clips into the Browser and then drag from there to the new sequence's timeline.

    Now, the reason why you're experiencing abnormalities in your video is because you're using the wrong sequence settings. HDV isn't a square pixel codec and the video you're dealing with probably is (e.g. a 1920x1080 frame size).

    The proper sequence codec would be H.264, 1920x1080 frame size with square pixels, at either a 23.98 or 29.97 timebase. When you're ready for export and you want to scale down to 720p (1280x720), you can do that using either the "Export Using QT Conversion" command or by sending the sequence to Compressor.

    Finally, in the future, keep in mind that H.264 isn't an edit-friendly codec. In fact, while you can technically edit H.264 on the timeline, you'd be forced to re-render the clips every time you make a change. It's advisable to transcode files like that to ProRes instead, prior to bringing it into FCP.
     
  7. randy0242 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #7
    Thanks for you rhelp...Everyone!!

    I created a new sequence, dragged the clips into the new sequence, was prompted and all works well now!! Thanks again!

    I appreciate it!
    Randy
     

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