Need help understanding FCP online/offline workflow

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by nickane, May 19, 2009.

  1. nickane macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2005
    Hi there,

    I'm a digital compositor (Shake artist) and I'm editing my showreel, but I'm struggling with how best to move from offline to online (or vice-versa). What I used to do is render clips in Photo JPEG or pixlet, at about 25% quality (my iMac G5 1.8Ghz struggles with newer codecs) and also uncompressed (ie QT .mov codec: none). Once I finished my edit, I would then reconnect the clips to the uncompressed versions and export using compressor. This time round tho, I noticed that I'm having to render the timeline before I can export the MPEG (for DVD). That doesn't seem right to me. Surely, if I've changed the sequence settings to uncompressed, I can just reconnect the clips to uncompressed files that match the sequence settings and I should get the blue line at the top of the timeline like before? Having finally noticed this, I'm starting to wonder if my method really just renders the pixlet files to uncompressed and I'm burning dvds of my heavily compressed files after all, which would explain why they don't look so great (which I thought was down to MPEG compression - not photo JPEG/pixlet).

    Also, I noticed that if I put the uncompressed files straight into a sequence with the right settings to play them, there is a grey line at the top, rather than a blue one (can't find the key for the render colours in the manual). And, altho they play fine in the canvas, they're black when the playhead is paused and when i export the sequence to mpeg, the compressor previews and renders nothing but black frames.

    I've tried asking for help from various friends of mine but they don't understand what it is I'm doing, presumably because my workflow is so alien to how I'm supposed to be using the software but when I did the FCP tutorials back in FCP4 (the apple pro training series), it never addressed online/offline editing as far as i remember. Most of my colleagues either have raids at home, or use the best codec their system can handle (typically h.264) and just burn their online edit out to DVD, but I'd like to know how to do it properly.

    thx for your help.
  2. jaysmith macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2005
    your workflow sounds intense, I'm not sure if I gather all of it. I'm not familiar with pixlet formats, but I would render your clips in shake to tiff sequences for the proxies, and use a quicktime animation codec for the online. sometimes I find that fcp acts funny with uncompressed files.

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