Green frames in Final Cut Express

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Green frames in Final Cut Express

Postby Kaji01 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:55 pm

Can't quite figure out what's going on here. Sometimes when I cut up a clip it'll get one or two in there, most of the time it won't. That said, when it does happen it's anyone's guess what'll fix it. Sometimes I just drag-resize the clip and that'll shake out any green frames, other times I need to render it again. Sometimes I'll cut and paste a clip that rendered fine and then I'll paste it elsewhere (e.g. when lipsynching) and the pasted one corrupts, but the original is fine. In the recent bout, I tried everything so many times that when I finally got it to paste right there, the original corrupted.

Seriously, any advice to get it to stop doing that?

(For the record, I ripped the footage from DVD with MTR, opened it up in Streamclip, and then simply saved as MPEG after fixing the time breaks)
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Postby DeinReich » Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:31 am

Have you tried using simply the .VOBs? Final Cut can edit right from those without having to convert. That being said, it has to do with the way it is rendering the clip, so most likely it does not like how you have your clip (read: how it was converted). Maybe try using a different kind of codec/container, like a high-res .mov.
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Re: Green frames in Final Cut Express

Postby kmv » Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:22 am

Kaji01 wrote:opened it up in Streamclip, and then simply saved as MPEG

I think that is your basic problem right there. You haven't said which MPEG codec you are using, but all of them are pretty poor choices for editing because they have so many reference frames (P - predicted, and B - bidirectionally predicted) in them. You really want to be using something where every frame is an I (intra) frame, i.e. every frame has the whole image in it.

If you place a cut on a B or P frame then the editor has to dive into the GOP (group of pictures) and produce an I frame for the start of the new clip. Sometimes this happens after the fact - like during a render or an export, but in general you aren't supposed to notice that this even going on.

Clearly you are noticing the process (and I am not sure why), but I suspect that it would probably look fine in an export.

Obviously being forced to export every five minutes to check on your edits is a non-starter, so I go back to my original statement: Don't edit in one of the MPEG's* use something like DV, or lossless if you can do that.


* That said, editing MPEG2 source in MPEG2 when it is destined for MPEG2 is often just fine, unless you have lots of effects.
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Postby Kaji01 » Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:38 am

Can't figure out which MPEG it is, honestly. I'm assuming it's MPEG2, since it's essentially VOBs opened up and resaved without conversion (and saving the clips is almost instantaneous, as compared to when I tell it to export for, say, iPod), but I can't say for certain. I'd been trying to keep it to the original format to prevent quality loss, but I guess what you're hinting at is that loss will be minimal with the conversion to a DV stream out of Streamclip?
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Postby kmv » Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:20 am

Kaji01 wrote:resaved without conversion (and saving the clips is almost instantaneous

Almost certainly MPEG2 then.

Kaji01 wrote:you're hinting at is that loss will be minimal with the conversion to a DV stream out of Streamclip?

Well, I can't really speak to FCE, but personally I tend to use Avidemux because: I prefer the deinterlacers there, I can get a result in Huffyuv, and I am not forced to go through an RGB conversion. In FCP with Perian this is fine, and can I work lossless in YUV from there.

I am not sure about FCE, but I seem to recall that you are locked into a small set of codec's (is that correct?), if so then yes one of the DVs (ideally DVCPro but DV25 - aka 'DV') is fine.

DV is not a lossless codec, so there will be a little loss during the conversion, but it is still pretty good.
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Postby DeinReich » Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:33 pm

As blasphemous as it sounds, FC handles DivX very well. If you are short on space, just compress it to a "high-def" DivX avi and you should be okay. Like I said before, though, you might be best off editing straight from the vobs to prevent any quality loss.
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Postby mahler » Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:54 pm

I don't know how it is with the latest versions of Final Cut, but the last time I tried to edit VOBs or MPEG2 files (exported out of MPEG Streamclip) there was a quality loss. The picture wasn't quite as sharp when editing MPEG2. (I did comparison tests to confirm this for myself.) Also, there was no audio. (And sometimes I want audio!) I get the sharpest picture with either PRORES 422 (codec introduced with FCP 6) or DV MOV. I've also made DV AVI files in Avidemux and the quality looks fine. Even good old Apple Intermediate Codec (uses a lot less disk space than DV) is okay, but I have enough disk space so, I go with DV.

Yes, it's true that FCE4 accepts limited codecs. Basically it's DV and Apple Intermediate Codec.

I have tried to edit XviD, DivX, H.264, and don't like how Final Cut reacts. Trying to skim through footage is sluggish. Final Cut is more apt to want to freeze or crash. I have long since forsaken the idea of trying to edit with these codecs, even though I know that Final Cut renders them over to DV (or whatever you've got your project set up for) in the timeline. It's just not a fun experience.

A few months ago I thought I'd try editing in high res H.264 (because I was trying to do a video to a miniseries and didn't want to use the disk space). It was TORTURE. I keep on thinking that because I have an Intel Mac, that maybe it'll get faster. It doesn't. I ended up just buying a cheap external hard drive instead, to store more DV MOV files.
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Postby DeinReich » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:19 pm

Yea, editing in h.264 is a pain. I run Final Cut Studio 2 and it seems to handle vobs very well, but im not sure about FCE4's capabilities.
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Postby Kaji01 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:35 am

All right, since I didn't want to have to change over 50+ clips for the big project I've got going on right now I took a side project and converted the clips to DV25 and forced FinalCut to reconnect to the new ones. It's been editing like a dream since, and it's probably saving a heck of a lot of processor power to boot; lot spent creating the clips and exporting, but virtually none when doing quick playback while editing.

Thanks for the help!
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