FCP & After Effects Problem

Posted by gervaismz 
FCP & After Effects Problem
February 17, 2008 01:44AM
Hi Guys,

I need some help with a problem cause i can't take the producer chewing my behind off anymore. so here it is:

What i'm using
G5 Dual 2.5 Ghz PowerPC
2gb ram
OS X 10.4.11
FCP 5.1.4
Quicktime 7.4
Blackmagic Decklink extreme capture card
PAL settings Lowever Even SD 8bit

The after effects guy is using
After Effect CS3
Quitime 7.4
output setting are quicktime uncompressed 4:2:2 8 bit, lower even

here the problem:

the motion graphics are basically newpaper headlines (sometime with photo's and sometimes not) that come up on screen.

the headlines im having problems with are the ones that move across the screen from left to right or right to left. they flicker like crazy.

i've added a flicker filter (using the minimum to max setting) and it helps barely. i've added gauss blur filter (settings .05, .1, .2) and it has about the same effect as the flicker filter. the de-interlace filter doesn't help. the shift fields filter doesn't help. and i've been trying a bunch of different combinations of these filters with no success at all.

so basically no matter what i do this text flickers like crazy and im getting the brunt of the producer's rants and raves.


is it an FCP problem? an output problem from the after effects guy? or is just something that the producer is just going to have to live with?

Re: FCP & After Effects Problem
February 17, 2008 04:35AM
1) You're in PAL. I believe your uncompressed setting should be upper.

2) The flicker sounds like a field tearing issue. Where the fields are misplaced and looks horrible on movement. Check whether your AE guy rendered fields as upper, lower or in progressive. If he rendered it as lower field (my animation guy does that for some reason or other), final cut will tend to misinterpret that as upper and insert a shift fields filter. Remove that filter and you should be fine.

It's one or the other.
Re: FCP & After Effects Problem
February 17, 2008 10:54AM
I am not familiar with PAL...but all my experience with my own projects tells me this needs to be corrected on the AE side. Tell your "AE guy" to add the "Effects/Blur & Sharpen/Reduce Interlace Flicker" plug-in to the composition with a Softness setting of 1.0 and preview that. If the flicker is still there, increase the number by .05 until it's gone. If it's too blurry, decrease the number.

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: FCP & After Effects Problem
February 17, 2008 11:47AM
PAL is like NTSC, but easier to understand- full integer framerates, DV is the same size as D1. As Graeme Natress mentioned a while ago, dv is lower dominant, SD is card dependent but mostly upper dominant, HD is upper or progressive. I believe the Blackmagic 8bit codec is also upper dominant.

Then again, my apologies. You mentioned flicker, not motion stuttering. What kind of flicker? Are they caused by fine lines? That would be best dealt with in the programme it came from (AE) before importing.
Re: FCP & After Effects Problem
February 17, 2008 07:20PM
Your easiest remedy might be applying the Shift Fields filter to the footage coming from AE. That will shift the field order from lower to upper. Probably the better option is to give the AE guy your sequence settings and have him use those as his export settings.
Re: FCP & After Effects Problem
February 17, 2008 08:25PM
thanks for all the help guys. i actually did something yesterday that worked. i was exporting another project for a client to view on DVD and when i was in compressor i noticed a a tab for exporting files to a "motion" codec. so i thought what the hell and exported a couple of the worst flickering AE clips with an animation PAL codec and then brought them back into FCP and the flicker of the text was gone. so i've got the AE guy batch exporting all the clips he's done (around 50 of them) in the animation codec. so for now it seems ok and at least the producer isnt going into fits of rage over the flicker. of course i had to bite my tongue when he said "why didn't u know about this codec before"...hundreds of codecs out there and he expects me to know all of them ARGH.

again thanks for all the suggestions and help. i'll use them if the flicker comes up again. you guys/gals are great

Re: FCP & After Effects Problem
February 18, 2008 01:37PM
Motion? Do you mean "motion jpeg"?

Haha. Rereading your description... I know most likely what the problem is. You see, your animation dude exported uncompressed lower dominant footage in PAL. Final cut instinctively interprets it as "upper" dominant and adds a shift fields filter on to the clip when you drag it into the timeline. What you can do is to remove the shift fields filter and it should work. And also, it's best if he exports graphics as Animation.
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