problem with quality of export from FCP

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problem with quality of export from FCP

Postby eternityprod » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:16 pm

ok i think i have a fairly simple problem but the way i got myself there may be kind of complicated so i will try to explain it the best i can. My main issue is that my export from final cut which is in h.264 looks like crap since i had to get it to below 100mb to upload the the org.

First i started with a 720p 1280x720 avi version of the bleach movie fade to black
Then opened the .avi version of the movie in quicktime and used the trim tool to cut out most of the long dialogue scenes that i knew i would not use in the AMV and to cut down the time of the encode to .mov.
Then i brought it into compressor and used the h.264 preset to convert it to .mov (before doing some research on this site i had originally thought that FCP did not accept avi i found out that it did i would just have to render after altering any clip)
Then i saved the trimmed down version as a self contained file and imported it into final cut.
I used that master clip for my edit of the video and then after trying many encodes to get the file small enough for this site i got it down to 80 mb with an h.264 export with the quality between medium and high. which i would never use in most cases but i did not know how to get the file any smaller at that point.

After seeing how it looked on the site i tried one solution of making all the media in the time line offline and then relinking it to the original avi file not the mov file that i used. but the edits did not match up since i had trimmed out some of the footage for the .mov version.


so my question is does anyone know where i went wrong with this process. the video is clearly a much lower quality then what i started off with, what would you suggest for getting better quality that i can upload to the site
any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: problem with quality of export from FCP

Postby gotenks794 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:44 pm

What codec was the original file, and what codec did you use after you cut out the dialogue scenes and encoded it into .mov?
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Re: problem with quality of export from FCP

Postby eternityprod » Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:34 pm

well when i trimmed the clip i had to save it but when i did that it apparently turned it into h.264 mov i didnt realize that when i originally did it. i just looked at get info on the avi file it doesnt say what codec it was
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Re: problem with quality of export from FCP

Postby gotenks794 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:03 pm

Download and install media info (google it) and drop the AVI file into there and it will tell you what you need and so much more.
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Re: problem with quality of export from FCP

Postby eternityprod » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:38 pm

i downloaded that program it said the codec was avc
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Re: problem with quality of export from FCP

Postby Athena » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:35 am

Did you read my guides at all?

Don't export from FCP in a lossy format if you can help it. Otherwise, do so with the best quality you can manage. THEN use a third party program (hint, avidemux) to encode into a clear, clean, lightweight x264/MP4 file.

tl;dr, you're doin' it wrong.

And from what I read you're doing it ALL wrong, from start to finish.
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Re: problem with quality of export from FCP

Postby eternityprod » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:31 pm

im sorry i have not looked up your guide but i will now. my only question is should i export as uncompressed from final cut and then bring it into this avidemux program? i cut it in final cut so i have to export it some way. im sure you have been asked these questions many times but everytime i tried to look anything up it always seemed to be a guide for pc
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Re: problem with quality of export from FCP

Postby Athena » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:39 pm

My methodology:

Do not use fansubs.

Do not use fansubs.

Okay, now that that's out of the way, the clips going into FCP should be lossless or very high quality. I prefer to use HUFFYUV, but Castor like DV because he does not have to render with every change. Regardless, your container should now be .MOV. Otherwise FCP and Premiere both have a tendency to bitch about unrecognised filetypes. They lie, but, a container for editing is just a container, no worries. It's the codec, lossy or lossless, that matters.

Then, yes, export uncompressed, or at the least, Apple Intermediate Codec, and your audio as AIFF. Now, if you cannot export out as an avi, use MPEGStreamClip to change containers into something Avidemux can read (it can't read .mov), but don't touch the codec at all. Then encode into x264. If that doesn't work, you can encode from MPEGStreamClip into x264, but the control is not as fine as it is in Avidemux.
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Re: problem with quality of export from FCP

Postby eternityprod » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:45 pm

ok thank you i will try that now
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Re: problem with quality of export from FCP

Postby Athena » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:47 pm

Read every sticky at the top of this page.

There is a process by which you should be arriving at your editing source prior to even starting to edit. By the time you're ready to export, if you haven't followed those steps, it is too late to fix many of the issues without severe quality loss.
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Re: problem with quality of export from FCP

Postby eternityprod » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:52 pm

do you mean i cannot fix my current video that i uploaded without starting it over completely? is there a way i can fix the source footage and just relink the media on the time line in FCP and then export it and go though the process in your guide?
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Re: problem with quality of export from FCP

Postby Athena » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:58 pm

eternityprod wrote:do you mean i cannot fix my current video that i uploaded without starting it over completely? is there a way i can fix the source footage and just relink the media on the time line in FCP and then export it and go though the process in your guide?


This depends largely on what type of footage you were using to edit with. I presume as it was 720p that it was probably preprocessed. What you needed to do was take the clips from that original source file and convert them to a high quality or lossless (preferably) format prior to editing. If you think you can manage to do that and be frame accurate, then yes, it is possible to relink the footage. Now if you just tossed in the AVI whole, and proceeded to cut into it, in the timeline, then you're fine. Just convert the whole file to a high quality/lossless format and relink.

As for what you can do after editing... depending on how many effects or transitions you had? Easy to damn near impossible. Without seeing the video, I don't know. It's best to just not put yourself in that situation.

For your future reference, we don(t mind helping, but you should read all stickies/guides prior to posting a question. We get very agitated after putting in a lot of work on them just to see people ignore them.
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Re: problem with quality of export from FCP

Postby eternityprod » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:07 pm

i can understand that but thank you for helping me out anyway and your saying its hard to say without seeing it the video is posted on the site http://www.animemusicvideos.org/members ... p?v=172188
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Re: problem with quality of export from FCP

Postby Athena » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:22 pm

I'm at work now. It will be eight hours before I can download and view the video.
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