Final Cut Express poor resolution upon Quicktime output

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by larogers, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. larogers macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #1
    I am a new Final Cut Express user.

    I have imported several test .mov clips which were created in Arc Scene (ESRI GIS software). The original clips were clear and crisp when played in Quicktime. The pixel size of the original clips are 1024x768. The clip length is about 4 seconds. File size is 32 megs so I'd assume there is plenty of resolution to play with.

    I rendered the clip, then tried the "Export QuickTime Movie" option under <export>. I also tried a variety of size and format choices using the "Export Using QuickTime Conversion" option.

    All .mov products exported from Final Cut Express using these test files contained unusable resolution. It did not matter if the output file was 1 meg or 100 megs. The output .mov files were blurry and poor quality.

    Are there settings I need to know about that affect rendering? I can't think of other variables that might be affecting the poor output resolution.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Carl Spackler macrumors 6502

    Carl Spackler

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Outer Space
    #2
    I had a similar issue, but it was with the captured clips, not the exports. I read something that suggested going to the "Window" menu, then "Show Movie Properties" and click the "High Quality" box. I was never really satisfied with with this, but I think it may be something to look at. I wonder if there's not something "off" in your export. Could you be setting it to some ridiculous data rate?

    How did the non-.mov files look?
     
  3. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #3
    How are you viewing the footage after export? just in QT?

    You will be losing a lot (about 60%) of the resolution going from 1024x768 down to (essentially) 640x480 if you're working in a standard-def timeline.

    Are there any export presets in ArcScene for DV (720x480 with .9pa)? If there are, you'd be better off going with that then using such large files for the source. The key is to do as little scaling as possible.
     
  4. larogers thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2008
    #4
    Thank you Carl, I'll give it a try. Also, BB, this timeline quality issue is something I did know about. Someone else mentioned this issue this morning. Sounds promising. I am viewing the files only in QT. Is there another way to view that is better? The scientists here will use these movies for presentation on an overhead screen, and ultimately to serve on the web. Should I be using something other than QT?

    Thanks for your help. Really.
     
  5. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    #5
    Did you make sure your sequence/project is set for HD?
    FCE defaults to standard NTSC ( 720x480 4:3, which is 640x480 displayed on a computer ) so it's going to drop alot of quality. Add into that the title safe area, and your vidoes are goig to look terrible.

    Would it take much effort to re-export these from the Arc Sene software? You would be better off using 720p resolution ( 1280x720, 16:9 ) clips as your source, and then resizing it down to something smaller when you export the video later for viewing on the web.

    What is the original codec of the clips?
     
  6. larogers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #6
    Is this where the sequence project options are set? Also, when I view file information>More Info:>Codecs:Video is the setting. We tried exporting the test clip at 1920x1080HD, the output was still blurry. I obviously need to take a class or read more about this - any suggestions?

    O.K. this is an addendum to the previous paragraph. Thanks for all your help. We changed both the output files from ArcScene and the input "sequence settings" for the project. Viola! Beautiful. The video is crisp and clean and resolution is lower. Happiness and light. Thank you for taking the time to respond.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #7
    Well, what resolution does you're projector support? Is it connected to a computer or will you be playing it off of a DVD?

    You need to figure out what resolution the final product needs to be and start from there.

    If you projector only supports standard def or you are playing off of a DVD, then you should export out of Arc Scene at 640x480 and work in a standard-def timeline in FC.
     
  8. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    #8
    Great to hear! Just a future note for the sequence settings, you often have to set the projects settings as well, especially if you are dealing with multiple sources of different resolution. The easiest way to do this is to start a new project, and then go to The "Final Cut Express" menu and select "Easy setup". Then you set it to what you want. This will make all new sequences be set to this format.

    What did you mean in the above paragraph when you said the "resolution is lower" did you typo and mean higher?

    Great news that everything worked out ok.
     
  9. larogers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #9
    resolution "lower"

    I meant to say that the "file size" was lower and the image was more clear. Up late working on stuff and am not writing all that clearly!

    I'll try the project settings and other ideas.

    Any suggestions for books about final cut express or pro tutorials? Someone recommended Lynda.com. I used to use her publications - in the way-back machine - for graphics, don't know about the helpfulness now.
     

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