13 Replies Latest reply: Nov 29, 2012 11:28 AM by Sumesh Lekhi
Sumesh Lekhi Level 1 (0 points)

I am trying to import HD footage (mts) from the Sony HDR xr500 into fcp 7 using log and capture and under preferences choosing apple prores. After the footage is imported and appears in the bin on playing it on full screen I can see the video has interlace issues. Even after I put it on the timeline and view it on full screen it is showing the video is interlaced and flickering occurs on the moving image due to a ghosting effect caused by the interlacing problem. On exporting the video using QT export the interlacing goes away, but in the output the video quality has reduced. As I am looking at editing broadcast quality what is the best way to import Sony HDR xr500 HD footage into FCP with zero loss of quality in the video upto exported level.

Mac Pro
  • Meg The Dog Level 6 (10,890 points)

    According to the owner's manual the HDR XR500 records HD video as 1080 60i which is interlaced video:



    You should be editing this video on a matching interlaced (60i) timeline.


    Interlaced video does not display correctly on a computer monitor. Computer screens are not designed to display interlaced material - TV monitors are.


    If you were to display your video (hook your camera directly) on a TV monitor, it would display correctly.


    The best workflow for this camera is to ingest the video via Log and Transfer. Then create a new (empty) sequence and edit a clip into this new sequence. FCP will prompt you to match settings, say yes. Now you are editing with no degredation.


    When you output your video from your finished sequence, export a QuickTime of your sequence without conversion. Then take this file into Compressor and use Compressor to transcode the video into the delivery formats you want (YouTube, DVD, etc.)




    Message was edited by: Meg The Dog to fix typo

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    and for delivery for the web, you should probably deinterlace in Compressor.  Make sure you turn on frame controls and set the deinterlace setting to best.

  • Sumesh Lekhi Level 1 (0 points)

    On playing the clip after log and transfer(using apple prores as the avchd plugin preference) the clip already shows the interlacing in the video even before i can transfer it to the timeline. Further while transferring it to the timeline as you mentioned when FCP prompts me to match the setting, I say yes, but even after that, because the interlacing issue already takes place at the log and capture stage it continues in the video off the timeline. It indicates that the video quality is degrading at the log and transfer stage itself though avchd pro res pugin is being used.

    After i export this video from the timeline using QT, interlacing disappears but there is a loss of quality in the video with some ghosting as compared to the quality of the same clip when viewed directly from the camera onto the very same computer monitor using an HDMI cable, which is very good and has no interlacing issues even though computer monitors are progressive.

    The same clip when viewed directly on the tv is absolutely pristine.

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    You haven't read Meg's post properly


    "Interlaced video does not display correctly on a computer monitor. Computer screens are not designed to display interlaced material - TV monitors are."


    This is the way your material was shot on the camera.  Try making the viewer or canvas 100% and it may look better, but INTERLACED VIDEO DOES NOT DISPLAY PROPERLY ON A COMPUTER MONITOR."


    You can, as I described, deinterlace in compressor.

  • Sumesh Lekhi Level 1 (0 points)

    Michael read Meg's post properly and hence I replied that "the quality of the same clip when viewed directly from the camera onto the very same computer monitor using an HDMI cable, which is very good and has no interlacing issues even though computer monitors are progressive"


    As mentioned I understand that computer monitors are progressive and do not play interlace videos properly, but the video plays very well directly from the camera onto the very same computer monitor. Only after the video is imported into fcp using log and transfer does the interlacing occur when viewed at 100 percent of the canvas/viewer. How do I avoid loss of the video quality at the log and transfer stage. Is apple pro res able to import an mts file from an avchd recorder like the Sony HDR xr500 into fcp and what special settings are required or is any other software required to first convert these mts file to a mov or other format more readily imported without loss of quality in video.

  • Meg The Dog Level 6 (10,890 points)

    When you plug the camera into the monitor via the HDMI cable, the monitor becomes a TV monitor.

    When you connect a computer to the monitor, it becomes a computer monitor.


    As I said, If you are ingesting via Log and Transfer, and editing on a timeline where the Sequence Settings match the source clip properties, you are editing with zero degradation, regardless of the display on the computer screen. If you were connecting from your computer via an Aja or Blackmagic video convertor to a TV monitor, it would look correct on that output while looking jagged and interlaced on your FCP screen.


    This is the nature of working with interlaced material.


    If it bothers you to see the interlaced display while you edit, then switch the scaling on the Viewer and Canvas windows to something other than 100% and FCP will mask the interlacing on the computer display.


    Interlaced video in Canvas, Canvas set to 100%:

    Final Cut ProScreenSnapz002.png

    Same frame, Canvas set to 50%:

    Final Cut ProScreenSnapz001.png






  • Sumesh Lekhi Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Meg and Micheal. The interlacing disappears when the footage is exported and viewed on a television, but there is drop in video quality.


    This film is purely intended for broadcast purpose in a natural history channel like natgeo or Animal Planet.


    Initially, new to FCP, when I started editing, under “easy set up” I was told to use "format" as HD and set "use" as DVCPRO HD - 1080-50. The videos were logged and transferred under this easy set up and the clip showed item properties of Video rate of 25fps and compressor Apple pro res 422. Even then while taking the clip to timeline "change sequence settings to match clip settings" was applied and after that the timeline showed properties of 25fps and pro res 422.



    initially used this easy set up.png


    In the last 2 days in lieu of the discussions and after seeing the camera format as being 1920x1080 60i, I have now set the video settings as under:-


    apple pro res 422 601.png


    As can be seen under this preset the sequence automatically shows vid rate of 29.97fps and compressor as 422HQ:-




    And under log and transfer, the preferences are now set as under:-





    But when a clip, transferred using the above new settings is taken to the timeline and "change sequence settings to match clip settings" is applied the video rate now changes back from 29.97 to the same 25 fps. IS THAT OK? The compressor now shows 422 HQ as it has now been imported under HQ whereas originally when I started out it was compressed under only 422. The only difference I can see is that originally I had imported the clips using only 422 and now using 422HQ, but eventually both appear in the timeline as vid rate 25 fps, but only difference is that the 1st is under 422 and the 2nd is now under 422HQ. I have already edited almost 14hours of footage using the original setting of DVCPRO HD - 1080-50 apple pro res 422, but matched the clip settings as mentioned above. What is the difference between 422 and 422(HQ) and would it be worth editing the whole 14hours under pro res 422 HQ once again or can I stick to using the original edited portions(fingers crossed that you reply “use the original edits) infact the exported material using clips imported using HD DVC PRO in set up look the same as the exported material using clips imported using Apple Pro res 422 60i setting, if not better.



    Further as can be seen the Field dominance is by default shown as upper(odd)- should I let that remain or change it to none. As when changed to “none” the interlacing disappears for the time being in FCP.






    After the clip is exported using QT current settings it is saved as a mov file. This cannot be played either by my WD player or directly by my sony HX750 USB. So using compressor I have converted it to 1) COMPRESSOR-HD-DVD-MPEG2,18MBPS and 2) HD DVD H.264,103MBPS file.



    It is seen that compared to the original footage(please excuse the quality as it is a grab from TV using a camera)




    1) using COMPRESSOR-HD-DVD-MPEG2,18MBPS the details(the fibres in the sweater, the smoothness of the barrel) are lost to a marginal extent and there are very nominal distortion/aberrations in the image(this a snapshot taken from the television screen)





    2) using HD DVD H.264,103MBPS file the details are again lost as the video is completely smoothened out, looks smooth but details like sweater fibre are lost, but distortion/aberrations are not there.



    HD1 DVD H.264,103MBPS.jpg


    So both are not as good as the original.






    In the light of the above discussion, please do advice the best course of action for import and export of my footage, so that there is absolutely zero loss of quality.



    Also I read that third party software’s like clipware etc may be required to import files from the sony HDR XR500 into FCP. DO YOU THINK THEY ARE REQUIRED.




  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    What settings were used on the camera?  Seems more than likely shot 50i.  Most people on this forum are based in the United States where the video standard is 29.97 fps (which is often shot in HD as "60i"). 


    This camera shoots a form of mpeg video which can not be edited in fcp without converting it.  That said, the quality loss when using log and transfer to prores422 or prores422HQ should be negligible.  HQ should give you slightly better quality, but doubt you'd be able to notice the difference.


    Your camera is in no way a professional level camera, and I don't know if you'd pass quality control at many cable outlets.  Discovery's technical requirements are notoriously demanding.


    So you will have slight quality hit in the log and transfer process but this is unavoidable.   Once the material is whatever flavor of prorres you choose, if you edit in to a sequence with matching settings, you will not lose any qualitty unless you apply effects.  Normally any quality loss from an effect  will not be noticeable, but extreme color correction for example often creates problems. 


    When you export with current settings, you are making a digital copy without any loss.  But you need to find out what the delivery format is going to be and this will often involve a conversion that might cause some (if not noticeable) quality loss.   Each broadcast or cable network or individual station will have different format requirements.  You need to find out what they are for your particular buyer. 


    Don't think clipwrap will do any better a job for you than log and transfer, but it's worth a shot.  You can download it and use it in demo mode, which will only convert one minute of a clip (I think).  Should be good enough for a test.


    Don't use the HD DVD presets.  HD DVD is a format that is not used any more.  Standard Def dvd's will involve scaling down and a big loss in quality.  in compressor try using apple:  formats:  quicktime:  h264.  This will create a relatively large file at full quality.  If the file is too big, customize the preset by going into the encoder panel and open the video settings and adjust the quality slider.  You can set an in and out in the preview window to do a test on a small portion of the file.


    Hope this helps.  If I missed anything, or something's not clear, post back. 

  • Sumesh Lekhi Level 1 (0 points)

    Bang on. looks like your suggestion of apple:  formats:  quicktime:  h264 has done it for me. there is no noticeable difference between the original footage and the compressed export of quicktime, h264. Thank you.


    Just for information the following settings were used in the camera, which is the same as the one in the owners manual for the camera :-

    *1 Movies are recorded with AVCHD 1920  1080/60i format.


    The movies are recorded in .mts files as can be seen below:-



    Screen shot 2012-11-26 at 10.34.05 PM.png


    So when the above pro res preset is used it shows 29.97 fps, but when the clip settings are matched it automatically changes it to 25 fps, so therefore we could presume that the camera is recording at 25fps. Further even after using an HD DVD preset, the compressor used by fcp as evidenced by clip item properties was eventually apple pro res 422 at data rate 14.9mbps:-



    Screen shot 2012-11-26 at 10.20.06 PM.png

    and later using the 1920X1080 60i is was apple pro res 422(HQ) at data rate 21.8 mbps.


    The below are the .mov properties of the same clip once imported using log and transfer, one using pro res 422(from preset of HD DVC) and the other using pro res 422(HQ)(preset of 1920x1080 60i. the second time around the clip is much larger. Could it be due to pro res (HQ) being used?


    Screen shot 2012-11-26 at 10.32.51 PM.png


    but i noticed that there is no noticeable difference in final output(through QT h264 of this clip imported using prores 422(output size 95MB) compared to prores 422(HQ)(output size 103MB). both are like the original, except the 422(HQ) one slightly larger by about 8MB at 103MB


    looking at the quality required by cable companies do you'll think i should anyway once again import all clips using pro res 422(HQ) and edit the 14hours once again?

  • Sumesh Lekhi Level 1 (0 points)

    wanted to click "this solved my question" against your names, but may have clicked tab in my reply post inadvertently.  cant seem to undo.

  • Sumesh Lekhi Level 1 (0 points)

    wanted to click "this solved my question" against your names, but may have clicked tab in my reply post inadvertently.  cant seem to undo. but thanks anyway

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    as I said before, using prores 422 hq instead proress 422 will not improve the quality that the camera shoots.  It may preserve a tiny bit of quality, but I doubt it will be noticable.  As I said, this is not a professional camera.  If the content is really compelling, you night be able to sell it, but there may be a problem with matching the required technical specs and passing quality control. 


    If you sell the program and they say you need to re"capture" at hq, it will not be difficult to do it.  And if you want to do it now, more than likely, it'll just be a question of recapturing.  You can probably just relink to the new capture.  When and if you need to do this, post back and I can walk you thru the process.


    But there seems to be a serious problem if the camera is recording at 25 fps.  Are you quoting the manual that came with the camera, or did you download a manual?  Did you buy the camera overseas or did you get a "gray market" camera from a discount house?  If that's the case you may have a camera that is recording at 25fps.  Otherwise, something is seriously wrong with your camera and I'd take it back to whoever sold it to you.


    this may also be a problem when deliverying a finished program and most outlets in North America require 29.97 fps.  If you do sell it, you can "conform" your finished piece using cinema tools to 24p and then add pulldown to make the show 29.97 fps.  This would involve slowing down your finished program slightly.

  • Sumesh Lekhi Level 1 (0 points)

    so i am sticking to editing using prores itself. actually the manual is downloaded or even the the hardcopy that i have don't say anything about fps. Its just that irrespective of the sequence or transfer preset, after transfer into fcp using match clip settings, the clips and eventually the timeline settings always show 25 fps as the vid rate(using command+0), eventhough before the clip was brought into the timeline it showed 29.97fps(due to choosing the 1920x1080 60i preset earlier).

    I have bought the camera from a reputed corporate electronics retail chain, an official Sony partner.


    will go through as you have suggested and if later recapturing of certain portions is required using HQ, that can be considered too.

    thanks for the help, have already resumed editing last few days.


    talking about fps, can i get clips that have been recorded in other cameras having 29.97 or say 24 fps and get it onto the same timeline i am working on(i.e 25 fps)