11 Replies Latest reply: Sep 19, 2011 10:19 PM by daviesgeek
daviesgeek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

How do I export from FCE 4 to iDVD so that the video quality is good? I've tried exporting in multiple formats and all of them are horribly pixelated.


Final Cut Express 4
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (113,365 points)

    You export using QuickTime Movie.

  • daviesgeek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    When I do File>Export>Quicktime Movie, I get the same horrible pixelation. I know that exporting to a QT movie saves the chapter markers, but I care more about quality than chapter markers. I can add those later.

  • MartinR Level 6 Level 6 (14,860 points)

    Without specific details, no one here is going to be able to help you.

     

    Exporting to  QT Movie is yields the maximum quality available.  If you are getting 'horrible pixelation' even when exporting to QT Movie then we need to know details about your setup and your video.  Things like:

     

    What model Mac?  Version of OS X?  FCE 4 or FCE 4.0.1?

    What was the source of your video - camcorder model, settings you used when you shot the video.

    What are your sequence properties?   Clip properties?  Do they match?

    What if any effects or filters have you applied?  Have you rendered your video prior to exporting?

    Did you scale up (enlarge) your video image in FCE?

    Where does the pixellation show up - in the FCE Canvas? -iIn the exported QT Movie? -in iDVD?  -on a burned DVD?

    What are you watching the video on when you see the pixellation?   What can you tell us about the pixellation itself.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (113,365 points)

    QuickTime Movie is identical to the sequence settings you're using. Please provdie exact and complete information on your clip properties and on your project properties. Where are you looking at the video to assess the quality? What software? What hardware?

  • daviesgeek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Here are my specs:

     

    2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 13" Macbook Pro

    OS 10.6.8

    Final Cut Express 4.0.1

     

    Camcorder model...

    I borrowed my cameras, so I don't remember what the camcorder models were. If it's absolutely necessary, I can get the model numbers. I had three Canon cameras. One was a standard def camera, the two others were full HD.

     

    Here are the sequence properties (if the field was blank, I didn't include it):

     

    Type: Sequence

    Tracks: 5V, 4A

    Vid Rate: 29.97 fps

    Frame Size: 720x480

    Compressor: DV/DVCPRO - NTSC

    Pixel Aspect: NTSC - CCIR 601

    Field Dominancs: Lower (Even)

    Audio: 2 Outputs

    Aud Rate: 48.0 KHz

    Aud Format: 32-bit Floating Point

     

    Here are the properties of the three camera angles (again, if the field was blank, I didn't include it):

     

    Name: Hec.mov

    Type: Clip

    Creator: Quicktime Player Laucher

    Source: (file path)

    Size: 2.2 GB

    Last Modified: Wed, Jul 27, 2011, 4:24 PM

    Tracks: 1V, 2A

    Vid Rate: 29.97 fps

    Frame Size: 1920x1080

    Compressor: H.264

    Data Rate: 1.3 MB/sec

    Pixel Aspect: Square

    Field Dominance: Upper (Odd)

    Alpha: None/Ignore

    Composite: Normal

    Audio: 1 Stereo

    Aud Rate: 48.0 KHz

    Aud Format: 24-bit Integer

     

    Name: Linds.mov

    Type: Clip

    Creator: Quicktime Player Launcher

    Source: (file path)

    Size: 2.1 GB

    Last Modified: Thu, Jul 28, 2011, 10:06 AM

    Tracks: 1V, 2A

    Vid Rate: 29.97 fps

    Frame Size: 1920x1080

    Compressor: H.264

    Data Rate: 2.1 MB/sec

    Pixel Aspect: Square

    Field Dominance: Upper (Odd)

    Alpha: None/Ignore

    Composite: Normal

    Audio: 1 Stereo

    Aud Rate: 48.0 KHz

    Aud Format: 24-bit Integer

     

    Name: Schr.dv

    Type: Clip

    Creator: Quicktime Player

    Source: (file path)

    Size: 4.6 GB

    Last Modified: Wed, Jul 27, 2011, 5:21 PM

    Tracks: 1V, 2A

    Vid Rate: 29.97 fps

    Frame Rate: 720x480

    Compressor: DV/DVCPRO - NTSC

    Data Rate: 6.9 MB/sec

    Pixel Aspect: NTSC - CCIR 601

    Anamorphic: Checked

    Field Dominance: Lower (Even)

    Alpha: None/Ignore

    Composite: Normal

    Audio: 1 Stereo

    Aud Rate: 48.0 KHz

    Aud Format: 32-bit Floating Point

     

    I have applied the Color Corrector Filter to all three angles. Some of the video is rendered prior to exporting. Does that matter? I enlarged the video slightly in FCE, but not enough to cause the pixelation that I have when exporting.

  • daviesgeek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    See above for the answers.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (113,365 points)

    This is horrible.

     

    Frame Size: 1920x1080

    Compressor: H.264

    Data Rate: 1.3 MB/sec

     

    This is particular. It's a very heavily compressed codec, even more compressed than DV, yet it's full HD size. The sequence is 4:3 standard definition and the media is widescreen, heavily compressed HD.

     

    H.264 is not used in FCE and should not be edited into a sequence. To do this right the media needs to be convert to the Apple Intermediate Codec before being edited, and to be edited in an HD seqeunce that matches the media.

  • MartinR Level 6 Level 6 (14,860 points)

    Thanks for the details.  Now we can respond on what the problems are.

     

    Basically, you have put incompatible media in a sequence not designed to handle even one of the media types you are using.

     

    Your sequence is NTSC DV 720x480 4:3 aspect ratio.  That would be fine if you were using QuickTime NTSC DV clips.  But you aren't.  You are using a QuickTime .dv clip (sorry, but that really is a difference) plus two H.264 1920x1080 16:9 clips.

     

    H.264 is an extremely compressed format, is not a format appropriate for editing, and FCE is not designed to edit H.264 material.   I 'get it' that you were able to import & manipulate the H.264 clips in FCE, but H.264 is not an editing format and FCE really can't work with it.  That is a big part of the reason you are getting undesirable results.

     

    It is always a challenge to combine very different types of video in a single sequence.  You basically have two choices with FCE: all QuickTime/DV-NTSC (or QT/DV-PAL) ... or all QuickTime/Apple Intermediate Codec.   The former gives you 4:3 standard def video; the latter gives you 16:9 highdef video.  Given that you are combining 4:3 material with 16:9 material you have to make a choice of which aspect ratio you are going to 'live with' in the final video and make decisions in advance about converting the source media to either all QT/DV-NTSC or all QT/AIC before you import the material into FCE.

     

    You appear to have chosen 4:3 as your final aspect ratio (because your sequence setting is DV/DVCPRO-NTSC) and I assume you have cropped your 16:9 clips to fit.  If that is the case, then I'd suggest that all your source media clips should be converted to QuickTime/DV-NTSC (.mov files, not QuickTime .dv files) before importing them into FCE.  MPEG Streamclip is an excellent utility to do that conversion.

     

    On the other hand, if you want a 16:9 final aspect ratio because 2 of your 3 clips are 1920x1080 then you should convert everything to QuickTime/AIC before importing into FCE;  but you will then have to live with one of your clips being 4:3 and therefore appearing windowboxed in the 16:9 video frame.  I would not suggest enlarging (scaling) 4:3 video to cover a 16:9 video frame because it will really soften and perhaps pixellate that portion of the video.

     

    I appreciate this may not be the news you wanted to hear, but it is the way things are.

  • daviesgeek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks so much for all that helpful information! I really don't have much of an idea of editing formats, etc. I haven't tried what you've suggested, but I've asked around and it seems like this is what I need to do. You are the first person that's actually told me what to do. Thanks!

  • daviesgeek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks! See above for my answer.

  • daviesgeek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You really should check out the Audio-Video Production Stackoverflow site. It's a much better (no offense Apple) Q&A site than here. And, we really need video production users.