You are here

Codec and compression confusion

Mark DiNatale's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 12/04/2011 - 9:45am

I am having some trouble with codecs and compression when I am outputting in Final Cut Pro Studio 7.

I transfer all my .mts files to Apple ProRes 422, and proceed to edit. When I am done with the edit and ready to output, I generally select h.264 but sometimes I use Mpeg 4. When I output my video looks a little pixelated and not near as sharp as others that use h.264. I might be overlooking a setting when I export, hence the question here in the forum.

Thanks

Mark



Mark DiNatale's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 12/04/2011 - 9:45am

I take my ,mts files and throw them into Toast converting them to Apple ProRes 422, to edit into Final Cut Pro 7. I will edit my piece, then using Quicktime conversion in FCP, I set the output to usually h.264, and the size sometimes to 720x480, 16:9 since I seldom need pure HD, and export it to my external hard drive. If I compress I use MPEG Streamclip, but I don't usually compress all that much since I editing short pieces mostly.

Thanks

Mark

Just keep shooting!


artsmith's picture
Last seen: 1 month 4 days ago
Joined: 03/02/2011 - 9:06pm

Mark,

I take my m2ts clips, archive them 'as-shot', then make a conversion to the PAL equivalent of your format (720 x 576) in mpg2 of good quality. I am not familiar with the procedure to be followed in Apple's 'Final Cut', because I do not use it. A great deal depends upon the quality of 'codecs', (I use 'Main Concept') and what settings you employ. For example I have reduced my GOP's to twelve, from the default fifteen. Taken overall, that sometimes gives your clips an 'edge', because of the increased density of the all-important 'I-frames'. Within mpg2, itself, I tweak everything up close to the upper-limits permitted by the DVD-Standard. That makes for somewhat larger files and longer processing-times, but pays dividends in the quality of the finished product. My philosophy is that having my footage, for editing, available as good-quality mpg2 saves a lot of hassles and permits a very direct route to disc. But, some purists might not agree with that, with (say) my bit-rate of 9200, for example, as standard. There is another school of thought which regards hoisting the rate above 7000, as a waste-of-time, just the same as there are those who say that you cannot 'improve' on 'ffmpeg' as a codec. What I do know, is that I am quite happy with the comparatively minor amount of the original m2ts image-quality which has to be sacrificed on the way to DVD. None of this addresses your problem, directly, but some of it may be helpful.

Ian Smith

Dunedin, New Zealand.


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

Mark,

First, what do you mean when you say, "I set the output to H.264?" Are you changing the Compressor setting of the timeline in FCP, or are you going to Quicktime conversion and choosing H.264 compression? If you're changing your timeline Compressor, that's wrong. Keep that at ProRes422.

Second, don't even use Quicktime Conversion. Export a Master by going to File > Export > Quicktime Movie. Make sure you're exporting at Current Settings and the Make Movie Self-Contained option is check marked. Then bring your Master into Compressor to create your H.264 and MPEG files. Compressor will do a better job.

Also, you didn't explain your H.264 settings...