Batch Export problems

Posted by Dave Morrison 
Batch Export problems
June 06, 2009 04:19PM
I'm having an odd problem exporting a folder of .mov files and I can't figure what I'm doing wrong. Here are the steps I'm going through followed by the problem:

1. Import a folder of .mov files into FCP (files=1920x1080/30p shot from Sony EX1)
2. Select all of the .mov files in this folder
3. Select Batch Export with settings requested by client (they want widescreen so I chose Anamorphic, they want Standard Def so I chose NTSC Anamorphic 48k)
4. Set Destination folder
5. Start Batch Export

After the Export completes, I check a few random files in QTime Player and they all are playing as 720x480 squeezed into a 4:3 frame. Shouldn't QTPlayer show these in 16:9 mode? Did I miss something really simple? Or, should I use "Quicktime Conversion" instead? I couldn't find a way to do a Batch Export with "Quicktime Conversion" option.
Re: Batch Export problems
June 06, 2009 10:38PM
As you know, Anamorphic SD really is SD in its stored state, its just displayed stretched to 16:9.
I think we'd all hope that Apple will eventually fix the issue with anamorphic QT movies exported from FCP not having an anamorphic flag that QT player will respect ... but you are right in that an Export > Using QT Conversion can produce a movie with an anamorphic flag that IS recognised.
In the Batch Export dialog, choose Format : Quicktime (Custom) then click the Options button to set up the QT Conversion options. Bear in mind that your video will be recompressed.
Re: Batch Export problems
June 06, 2009 11:07PM
Thanks Andy. So this is a QTPlayer bug and NOT something I'm doing wrong! Good. I wasted a LOT of time trying to pin this down. Let me add another wrinkle to this workflow. The client I'm delivering all these 16:9 clips to is on a PC. His editing software WILL open .mov files but I'm not sure yet if it will "see" the flag, either. Would I have a better chance of this working for him if I save to <gulp> .avi instead?
Re: Batch Export problems
June 06, 2009 11:17PM
Just open the current movie file in QuickTime Player. Press APPLE-J and choose "Video Track", Visual Settings. Uncheck "Preserve Aspect Ratio" and change "Scaled Size" to "640x405". A width of 640 pixels will compensate for the square pixels, while a height of 405 will crunch down the frame.
Re: Batch Export problems
June 06, 2009 11:33PM
I do what Derek does, except I make it 853x480. I prefer to see the frame stretched out, rather than scrunched.

But please be aware that absolutely none of this has anything to do with anything other than how Quicktime Player is drawing the movie on your computer screen when you play it. If you use that Quicktime movie in any other way, you may or may not get the result you're hoping for.

That said, if your client wants anamorphic DV, then what FCP spits out is exactly right, and you needn't worry about how it looks on your computer screen. That format isn't meant to be viewed uncorrected, and it's actually up to the television to do the correcting. The same is true of non-anamorphic SD. Final Cut Pro either squishes (in the case of standard NTSC) or stretched (in the case of anamorphic SD) the footage in the viewer and canvas as a convenience; it doesn't actually do anything to the footage itself. If you're monitoring out through a video I/O board, like a Kona, then the broadcast monitor or television actually does the correcting for you; what your I/O board puts out is standard NTSC non-square pixels, just like what you're seeing on your computer monitor.

Re: Batch Export problems
June 06, 2009 11:42PM
Would I have a better chance of this working for him if I save to <gulp> .avi instead?

Sure ... in the Batch Export dialog you could instead choose Format : AVI
then click the Options button to set the Video Settings >> Compression type to DV/DVCPRO - NTSC and Aspect Ratio to 16:9, plus set the Audio Settings to 48 kHz 16 bit Stereo

I would run a couple of clip tests with different methods, pass those to your client and see which they prefer
Re: Batch Export problems
June 09, 2009 07:10PM
You're right Andy, that was the best way to handle it. As soon as I did a couple test saves in .avi, the files displayed correctly in 16:9. I only wish QTPlayer could get it right with .mov files, but at least my PC-lovin' client can see the files natively.
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