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mp4 conversion for FCP

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  • mp4 conversion for FCP

    I have source media that's .mp4 at 720 x 384, 24 fps.
    If I want to edit this in FCP, what should I convert it to?

    I've tried several variations using all kinds of compression, but even when I match the sequence settings & clip settings, there are major aspect ratio distortions, cropping, and the render bar appears (like I said, sequence settings do match clip settings, but the render bar still appears and images are heavily cropped).

    To be specific, I'm looking for advice on what codec, pixel dimensions & pixel aspect ratio I should use to get my footage into FCP without distortions or render bars and with decent image quality. I'm using Mpeg Streamclip for the conversion.

    thanks,
    Shane

  • #2
    Don't change dimensions or frame rate, only the codec, leave everything else the same. Convert it to NTSC-DV (or PAL, depending on where you live). Where did this file come from? Web or DVD?
    Digital Media Instructor for
    Louisiana State University & Delgado College

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    • #3
      The files came from DVD. I've done as you suggested -- changed nothing, just the codec to NTSC. I still get the render bar, aspect ratio distortion, and lots of cropping in FCP. Very weird. Here are some details:

      * Original mp4 Clip
      Mpeg Streamclip Stream Info: AVC Coding, 720 x 384, ~23.976 fps
      Quicktime Info: H.264 Decoder, 720 x 384, 23.98 fps

      * Same Clip Compressed to NTSC
      Mpeg Streamclip Stream Info: DV/DVCPRO, 720 x 480, 4:3, ~24 fps
      QT Info: DV, 720 x 480 (640 x 480), 24 fps

      Even though I set the pixel dimensions to 720 x 384 when converting it, Mpeg Streamclip changed them to 720 x 480. I don't know why, but the image looks fine when I open it up in QT. Then in FCP, I set the following sequence settings:

      720 x 480, pixel aspect: square, 24 FPS, DV/DVCPRO - NTSC Compressor.

      With these settings there's a green render bar, the image is massively cropped, and the aspect is distorted when the Canvas is in "Image" mode. "Image + Wireframe" mode shows no cropping or distortion. I'm baffled.

      Shane

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      • #4
        You are not getting an MPEG-4 from a DVD, you would be getting an MPEG-2. I'm not understanding your workflow here and where the MPEG-4 is coming from but then, I'm not really trying to.

        Here's what I would do: If the source material is off a DVD (and please let's not rip copyrighted material) and you are using MPEG Streamclip (MS), use MS to open the VOB files off the DVD, set in and out points in MS and then go to File-> Export to QuickTime and pick an FCP friendly CODEC from the Compression pull-down like Apple DV/DVCPRO - NTSC. Note that you are using a CODEC that is 29.97. Leave everything else as default and do a short 1 minute export just to test things out. Bring that into an FCP DV/DVCPRO workflow. You shouldn't have to render anything.
        Last edited by Zwick; 11-20-2007, 08:05 AM.
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        Eric Peterson (AKA, "Zwick")
        Person in charge
        Content creation/Education
        http://www.ericnp.net

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        • #5
          Where did this file come from? Did someone deliver it to you on a DVD-ROM, or did you rip it from a video DVD? If it was given to you on DVD-ROM, have them give it to you in whatever codec you need to deliver, probably on a hard drive.
          http://www.arniepix.com/
          Post production is not an afterthought!

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          • #6
            That's a non-standard frame size. In Compressor, you simply want to make it ProRes (LT) and that's it. Enlarging it will loose image quality no matter what. But at least you'll have it in a codec that will be easy to use in editing apps.
            Digital Media Instructor for
            Louisiana State University & Delgado College

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            • #7
              There are no "non-destructive" "video formats", they're all just digital files. It's only the NLE that is "non-destructive". What I think you mean is an "editing format", which simply means something not so heavily compressed we can't manipulate it enough in real time. But a digital file is neither destructive or non-destructive.
              Digital Media Instructor for
              Louisiana State University & Delgado College

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