Is Export to Quicktime in FCP a full quality version?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by coolmemin, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. coolmemin macrumors member

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    Dec 20, 2007
    #1
    Hello everyone, I have a question for you. I use FCP to make some math teaching videos. I record them, put them into FCP, edit out my mistakes and then compress to several different versions and post them on my website. Since I record using a CanonHF100 that uses sdhc cards I am trying to figure out the best way to keep a copy of my original footage since I no longer have tapes available. It isn't 100% crucial I keep them forever but I was thinking that I could save some space here and there by doing this: If I edit out the parts I don't need, then export to Quicktime at full quality this would produce a video of the same quality as the original correct? I could then delete the original footage since what I delete is essentially the mistakes I make while recording and it makes no sense to keep them. I then have a full quality original that I can keep in case i need to go back and change something in the future or recompress. I have had to do this anyways because I haven't been able to get Qmaster to work properly on my 8-core mac pro unless I export a quicktime movie and drag it into compressor separately from FCP. What do you guys think? Can you think of a better solution or a reason why I might not want to do this?
     
  2. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

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    Buffalo
    #2
    Yes. Export as Quicktime Movie and you will have the rendered timeline at full quality. You may want to make it a self contained movie with audio and video in one file. At least in FCE, and I imagine it would be the same.
     
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #3
    Quicktime is just a file container, it's not a codec so the quality of the QT movie will depend on what codec you choose to use. If you choose Export->QT Movie (as opposed to QT Conversion), select Use Current Settings and check Make Movie Self Contained you'll create a QT movie w/the same codec and settings as your timeline w/o any additional compression.

    When you are exporting a QT movie for Compressor are you making a QT reference movie?


    Lethal
     
  4. coolmemin thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 20, 2007
    #4
    no i am not making a reference movie but would that speed up the process? I am quite annoyed at not being able to send from FCP to compressor and use all 8 cores :(
    Any ideas? Hints? I feel like I've tried everything! read everything, and still no go. I can only use the cluster if I first export to qt and then drag the individual file into compressor.
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #5
    A QT reference file would speed up the process because instead of exporting a completely new piece of media out of FCP a QT reference movie is basically just a text file that points back to, or 'references', the appropriate media for playback. The only downside is that a QT reference movie can't be moved between computers because that would break the link between the reference movie and the source media.

    To create a QT reference movie just follow the same steps I mentioned perviously but *un-check* the Make Movie Self Contained option.


    Lethal
     
  6. coolmemin thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 20, 2007
    #6
    ok yes i think i will do that. I tried it just now and it does seem a bit faster to uncheck that box. Thank you
     
  7. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

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    #7
    Yes, but if your goal is to save space, then this won't help because when you delete your project and scratch files, the movie will no longer work. Export to QT Movie and wait. Then you will have a lossless version and you can trash everything else. This doesn't take that long.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #8
    That is a good point that a QT reference can't act as a saved copy of a project. Personally when I'm done w/a project I prefer to use the Media Manager to make a new copy of the project that only has the pieces of media used for the final edit. This doesn't take up any more room than a QT file (assuming the QT file is the same codec as your source footage) and it makes it easier to re-vist the project down the road if you need to.

    Lethal
     
  9. coolmemin thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 20, 2007
    #9
    oh this sounds great. Are there any tutorials that explain how to do this or is it pretty straightforward and I can figure it out on my own. That is basically what I am trying to do. Get rid of the unnecessary footage that i didnt use.

    Thanks again
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #10
    The FCP manual goes over this, but basically you want it to look like the attached image if your goal is to create a new project only containing the media you used in your finished piece. Just select the sequence you want, then right-click, then select media manage.

    If you check the "Use Handles" box you can include a some "head & tail" on each shot. For example, selecting a handle length of 1 second will add 2 seconds (1 second at the beginning and 1 second at the end) to the duration of each clip you are media managing.

    I personally don't recommend using "move" instead of "copy" because if something goes wonky while your data is being moved you could suffer data loss. Also, make sure every element in the project has a unique Reel number/name associated with it. FCP uses the Reel name/number and timecode to media manage the clips so if the Reel name/number is inaccurate or missing it can lead to problems.

    After the project is media managed it will automatically open so just double check that everything copied over okay then you can delete the source files from your original project.


    Lethal
     

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  11. coolmemin thread starter macrumors member

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  12. coolmemin thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 20, 2007
    #12
    ok, i would like to take this one step further, save some more space. I realized that I don't need this much quality on my videos and I am quickly running out of space on my hard drive even when I do this, so my question is, can I recompress to another format that will retain a good quality video that can still be edited for later but at a lower bit rate? I have done a couple of tests with AIC and DVCPRO but am hesitant to go all out and convert all of my footage. I want to make sure this is a smart move. What would be a good choice of codec?
    Also, there are several options withing a codec, for example DVCPRO HD 720p30, 1080i60, etc. How do i know which one to choose?

    Thank you
     
  13. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #13
    What frame size and frame rate is your footage currently? And I'm assuming it's all in Apple ProRes codec?


    Lethal
     
  14. coolmemin thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 20, 2007
    #14
    well I am not 100% sure. On the camera I put it on the highest quality and chose 30p as my frame rate. If I open up the source file in quicktime it says the fps is 29.97 and yes it is ProRes. Most of it is in the 1920x1080 frame size
     
  15. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #15
    Try converting a few things to DVCProHD 1080i60 and see if the quality is still acceptable for you.


    Lethal
     
  16. coolmemin thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 20, 2007
    #16
    ok i tried that and yes it is acceptable quality but the savings in size aren't that big. I also tried doing 720p30 through media manager and the quality is acceptable as well and the savings are huge...more than half! So would it be ok to do that?
    If so, what is the difference between 720p30 and 720p50 and 720p60
    In the camera there is a setting to use 30p frame rate and that is what i chose because supposedly its best for web content...according to the manual.

    Also, when doing the log and transfer there is an option to use AIC instead of ProRes which would save about half of the space. Are there any disadvantages to using AIC instead of ProRes besides a small quality loss? Or is it a large quality loss?

    Thank you so much. I have learned so much from you in this thread!!!
     
  17. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #17
    The difference is frame rate. Those formats are 30 frames per second, 50fps, and 60fps respectively. The higher the frame rate the smoother motion you get. Unless you are doing a Sweatin' to the Arithmetic class the difference between 30p and 60p probably isn't a big deal. ;)
    If the DVCVPro HD 720p30 looks good then go w/that. Or you could transcode into AIC so everything is the same codec (see below).

    ProRes is a higher quality codec, but given your needs AIC would work fine (and save you the both of transcoding your footage again).

    No sweat.:)


    Lethal
     
  18. coolmemin thread starter macrumors member

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