Skip navigation

Best Export for Posthouse

646 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: May 5, 2013 1:21 PM by matty1980 RSS
matty1980 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
May 3, 2013 10:25 AM

Hi there,


I wanted to get your thoughts on exporting from FCP. I have a short film that is due to be graded soon by a colourist and then will be mastered by a posthouse in London via Clipster.


In the past when I've edited music video and documentaries for broadcast, I've either made an image sequence for them or given them the entire project on a drive and they work their magic from that.


I'm in discussions with them at the moment, because originally they wanted DPX files and now they are just asking for just a Pro Res HQ file. My concerns with this is whenever I have exported any project via FCP to Pro Res HQ, I seem to find differences in quality between the three methods -


1) Exporting Quicktime self contained (from a Pro Res HQ timeline)

2) Exporting from Quicktime Conversion

3) Exporting via Compressor 


The self contained version should theoretically be the best version, but as I say in the past I have often thought the compressor export was better, and sometimes it looks like the colours are slightly different too.


I just wanted to see if anyone has had same experiences and also what sort of files they usually export to posthouses for something that aims to be broadcast? - Image sequences/Pro Res HQ/Uncompressed 10bit/DPX etc etc??


I'm facing similar turnoil at moment in the edit, I have a free trial of a programme for two weeks to erradicate some flicker on some 16mm footage which was transferred to Pro Res HQ. So I'm applying the filters, exporting from FCP and then reimporting the clips back into FCP so that when the trial runs out I still have clips that have sorted out the flicker problem.


I'm working in a Pro Res HQ timeline, and just wondering if ultimately the best way to do this is export as Uncompressed 10bit file and then convert to Pro Res HQ through Streamclip and then use these files as the corrected masters. Thoughts??


Thanks in advance,




PS - If you do export a ProResHQ sequence via Compressor and you are working with Pro Res 422 HQ files - I take it you turn off the option to enable 4:4:4 chroma filtering?

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.6), 3.33 Ghz 6-Core Intel Xeon
  • Shane Ross Level 8 Level 8 (41,685 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2013 11:15 AM (in response to matty1980)

    If your sequence settings are ProRes HQ, then when you export a ProRes HQ as a Quicktime, self contained...ZERO quality change is happening. It's a straight digital recompression.  The other two options you mention recompress.


    Unless you have a broadcast monitor to view all of these outputs on, you cannot properly judge the quality. A computer dispay and Quicktime are NOT accurate. Not by any stretch of the imagination.  Only exporting Quicktimes by all methods, and then using AJA or Blackmagic or Matrox IO cards, and their playout software playing to an HD broadcast monitor...and comparing that to what FCP is exporting to the same...can you have any clue as to what it really looks like.

  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,810 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2013 11:30 AM (in response to Shane Ross)

    well...  I usually can't resist an opportunity to challenge Shane.   The one question that's not definitely answered is "what format are your original source files?"  If they're not ProResHQ, you might have some loss.


    Also, when I've output a film as a single file from fcp for grading, the post house has usually requested an xml file so that they don't have to manually enter all the edit points.  You might want to check with your post house on this, particularly if you're paying by the hour.

  • Shane Ross Level 8 Level 8 (41,685 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2013 11:33 AM (in response to Michael Grenadier)

    I like when you challenge me.


    His sequence settings are ProRes HQ...I assumed the source was too.


    But assuming makes an a-s-s out of U and ME.

  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,810 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2013 11:38 AM (in response to Shane Ross)

    well you made the correct assumption on this one...

  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,810 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2013 11:47 AM (in response to matty1980)

    I'd be a little concerned about the "flicker flixer" filter.  You might talk to the post house and see what they've got available.  

  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,810 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2013 12:12 PM (in response to matty1980)

    what do you mean by pulsing?  a change in exposure whose rhythm or cadence is constant?  Might be a simple fix for the post house.

  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,810 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2013 12:29 PM (in response to matty1980)

    as a safety measure, I'd output without the filter as a backup.  You hopefully be looking at it on a better monitor and you may suddenly see something you're not happy with. 

  • Jim Cookman Level 7 Level 7 (23,435 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 5, 2013 1:11 PM (in response to matty1980)

    Here's another wrench in the works for you.  If you've got dissolves between radically different looking scenes, you might want to make A&B rolls.  Trying to color correct across a dissolve can sometimes be very tricky.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.