Final Cut - a Lossless Export *Need an Expert*

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by FSMBP, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. FSMBP macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #1
    I'm looking for a way to export a movie with the original quality it was captured. When I exported using the "Export as Quicktime Movie" my text looked fuzzy (See picture with RED CIRCLE TOP LEFT).

    Now, I tried exporting it using "Quicktime Conversion" with "None" for Compression (which gave out a HUGE file). And here's it's pic. The text is more vibrant and NOT fuzzy.

    What gives? I just want my movie in the highest quality along with with the texts (which are PNGs)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Warminster, PA
    #2
    What's the source footage?

    Text always takes a hit if you export it as NTSC DV because you are knocking it down to a 4:1:1 chroma subsample/interlace.

    Uncompressed will always yield the best, but ProRes is great. If your are exporting it interlaced, it's going to look wonky on a freeze frame...
     
  3. FSMBP thread starter macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #3
    Thanks, I appreciate the quick response. I posted the source in the attachment pic below. (I believe it's just NTSC DV)

    So if I export using NTSC DV, text will always not be the best?
    Basically, there's no 100% way to have the original footage quality, AND perfect text quality?

    I did an export with ProRes and found it okay but I guess I'm wanting something that doesn't exist. :(
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #4
    DV is interlaced so you probably will have a hard time getting the sharpness and clarity you're looking for - especially if the text is moving at all.

    Its also just a low resolution format compared to most video you're used to seeing today. I don't think you're going to get what you're looking with text unless you create the sequence in an HD format and then upscale your video... but then your video is going to look bad.

    Your best Quality is going to come from Export->Quicktime Movie, it will keep it in the format of the sequence without re-encoding.
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    What are you exporting the footage for? The web? DVD? Archive copy? Exporting as Uncompressed or ProRes won't degrade the quality of your DV footage in any meaningful fashion and it will give you better looking text. The downside is it takes up more space and requires faster hard drives to playback than DV.

    Anything that needs to be rendered, like text, will get compressed though.


    Lethal
     
  6. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #6
    Yeah I just meant the rendering will already be done in the sequence so the exporting step doesn't cause any further loss in quality.
     
  7. FSMBP thread starter macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #7
    I'm exporting it for Archive purposes (to fit on one DVD as Data, so 4.7GB) and I want to make a version to send to iDVD. (With both being the highest quality)

    My plan was just to Export as Quicktime Movie and then use that same file for iDVD and have iDVD reencode it to MPEG 2.

    Here's another thing I realized, if I use H.264 (with max on all settings), I appear to get a high quality transfers.

    Is it safe to have just keep a H.264 master or should I stick with no reencoding and use "Export as Quicktime Movie"?
     
  8. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    Feb 3, 2004
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    Virginia Beach, VA
    #8
    No do not make an H.264 master. Don't encode it to anything. Just go to Export->Quicktime Movie and make sure you check make movie self-contained. This will work best for iDVD and for archive purposes. It will leave it in its original format with no loss in quality.
     
  9. FSMBP thread starter macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #9
    Ok. Thanks everyone - I really appreciate all the help.
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    But anything that needs to get rendered (text, gfx, fx/filters, etc.,) will get rendered into DV (since that is what the OP is working in). If the OP exports as uncompressed or ProRes or even DV50 the text, gfx, etc., will look better because they won't go through DV compression. Going from DV to uncompressed or ProRes will have no perceivable impact on the quality of the DV video but will make for nice looking text and gfx.

    FSMBP,
    Don't use iMovie. You'll get much better results using Compressor to make the MPEG2 and DVD SP to author the DVD.


    Lethal
     
  11. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    Virginia Beach, VA
    #11
    If his sequence settings are DV NTSC, its all going to get rendered to that setting initially. If he wants to benefit from ProRes or any other format, he needs to change the sequence settings before ever getting to the export step, right? My point is you can't work in DV then at the final step of exporting choose ProRes and have everything look fine...

    Also, it seems to me that moving to ProRes from DV is going to cause the interlacing lines in the video to become apparent, unless he deinterlaces the footage, which also makes it look bad.

    There may be a way to do what you're explaining that I haven't figured out yet, but from my experience he's going to be best off leaving the footage in its original format and just accepting that the text may not be quite as sharp as he might like. (BTW, FSMBP, the text may look great on a TV, but just bad on a computer monitor.)

    And I think iDVD on Professional Quality settings renders approximately the same quality as Compressor. If he's using DV, I mean. If he's upscaling to an HD format then iDVD won't give the best results, you're right on that.
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    When you export from FCP it disregards the render files and goes back to the source media. So even though the OP is working in a DV timeline if he exports as ProRes the order of operations will be DV Source->ProRes not DV Source->DV Render->ProRes. Also, unless a setting is misapplied somewhere going to ProRes should not mess up the field order of the DV footage.

    As far as Compressor & DVD SP vs iDVD is concerned, granted I haven't used iDVD in years, I think Compressor produces a nicer looking MPEG2 (especially if you get your hands dirty tweaking the settings). You can also export straight to MPEG2 via Compressor from FCP so that saves the footage from an unnecessary round of encoding.

    Also FSMBP, red is a very, very, very difficult color for video to handle so a very simple way to improve your text is to choose a different color. Colors are heavily compressed in consumer digital video so it's always good to stay away from bright, saturated colors in general.


    Lethal
     
  13. FSMBP thread starter macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #13
    I think I'll just use ProRes for my archiving of the footage - and I might try use Compressor for the DVD - the interface looks intimidating but maybe someone in my class can show me.

    Lethal and Heb - you guys are amazing! :)
     

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