4 Replies Latest reply: Sep 14, 2009 10:55 PM by mugwump88
mugwump88 Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
Okay, been following the issues between Final Cut Studio 2 and 3...

But is anyone finding the renders from FCP and Compressor of better quality in Leopard rather than Snow Leopard?

Comparing some Apple TV outputs from Final Cut Studio 3 in Leopard and Snow Leopard, it does appear to me that the previous system had sharper and clearer outputs, but I can't be certain since the clips are different material.

SL uses the new Quicktime X framework and Leopard uses Quicktime 7. There are some odd issues popping up with the X player that did not exist in 7, such as 4:3 movies suddenly turning 16:9 with the new player, the stair stepping renders when downsizing with Compressor, unable to adjust video tracks in the new player, etc.

So I'm wondering if there is a consensus as to the render quality in FCP and Compressor in Snow Leopard and Quicktime X. I just added a partition and installed Leopard there in case I choose to only edit in leopard.

MacPro Nehalem, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • accarda Level 3 Level 3 (555 points)
    Hi,
    I wouldn't be so sure that SL uses the new Quicktime X to do its job as it seems that for now QTX is just the player more than the platform kit.

    You can read this interesting article about SL, it's a little bit long but full of informations:
    http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2009/08/mac-os-x-10-6.ars

    If you go directly at page #6 you will see that there will be long time before we will be using the new QTX platform (at least based on the writer's opinion).

    Regards,
    Armando.
  • mugwump88 Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Well, after some methodical testing, the results are in.

    Tested:
    Final Cut Studio 3 in Snow Leopard
    Final Cut Studio 2 in Leopard
    Final Cut Studio 3 in Leopard

    I began with a problematic DV clip from 10 years ago from Meissen, Germany using a small Sony DV camera in outdoor / dusk conditions with some bright lights blowing out the image.

    In each test, used Final Cut Pro 3-way color correction, broadcast safe filter, and a Magic Bullet Editors "Epic" film preset. Set the timeline to render Pro Res 422 HQ, with all the best timeline render settings.

    Exported with current settings, video only, self contained movie.

    Into Compressor with the Apple TV settings, which in the Final Cut Studio 2 had to be set manually: 960x720 4:3 HD, H.264, 5000kbs (maximum), single pass, no audio, Frame controls set to progressive fields and all the best render settings. Added two compressor filters, noise reduction and edge sharpening. Aspect ratio was square.

    Rendered on a Mac Pro 2009 4 core (8 cores virtual) 2.6, Qmaster cluster will all 8 instances. Viewed on a 42" plasma, Apple TV HDMI connection.

    First test was in Snow Leopard with Final Cut Studio 3. Results -- dull output, fastest render at 17 minutes. Processors were hardly used, perhaps 300% in Activity Monitor.

    Created a partition and installed Leopard, and Final Cut Studio 2. Same method above. Results -- crisp, tight output, slowest render at 30 minutes. All processors working 100% (800%)

    Then erased and installed Leopard again, installed Final Cut Studio 3. Same method above. Results -- Dull output, medium render speed at 20 minutes. Processor activity was perhaps 400%, though jumping around the entire time.

    Conclusion:
    -similar render quality between Snow Leopard and Leopard
    -best render quality in Final Cut Studio 2
    -faster but dull render quality in Final Cut Studio 3.

    Still unclear whether the Final Cut Pro timeline renders look different between Final Cut Pro 6 and 7, but I will now only output in Final Cut Studio 2 for best results.
  • David M Brewer Level 6 Level 6 (9,290 points)
    Actually, Snow Leopard uses Quicktime Pro frame work when it comes to compression in Final Cut Pro/Compressor, not Quicktime X. That one reason Quicktime Pro is still in Snow Leopard. Quicktime Pro is in the Utilities folder now in Snow Leopard.

    Message was edited by: David M Brewer
  • mugwump88 Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    I think the surprising result here is how much better the renders with Compressor 3 in Final Cut Studio 2 than Compressor 3.5 in Final Cut Studio 3.