Blurry Motion Clips in FCP

Posted by Alexander 
Blurry Motion Clips in FCP
August 25, 2005 10:59PM
Dear Experts,
I am using Motion 1.0.1 to create intros that will be placed in FCP timelines and complement 1 minute clips. The motion mov. files that I bring into FCP are very blurry in comparison with the rest of my video.
I am using video clips brought into Motion that are exported from FCP at a high resolution, 29.9 frames, no sound. But when placed in FCP the clips turn burry and lo-res looking. When in Motion, the clips look sharp and nice.
Any thoughts?
Help highly appreciated!

Re: Blurry Motion Clips in FCP
August 26, 2005 11:56AM
You said that you are bringing .mov files into FCP? Your problem may lie with exporting the clips from Motion. You should be able to just open the Motion file itself (.motn) into FCP.

Simula eustis et peccator
Re: Blurry Motion Clips in FCP
August 27, 2005 11:39PM

Save your "sharp & nice" motion project, open FCP HD and import the .motn file just as you would a clip. Lay it in the timeline. Now you can add FX to hat project in Motion, save, and the FCP timeline clip will update with the same rez as the Motion project.

As far as the "blurry clips" goes, if you list your export settings, we can diagnose the issue a little better.

- Joey

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: Blurry Motion Clips in FCP
August 28, 2005 03:47PM
Hi Guys, Thank you for your responses. I have tried to save the project as a .motn file, the clips are still incredibly blurry, in comparison with the rest of my clips in the timeline.
I tried again to bring the motion project exported file as an .mov file with the following settings:
Quicktime file, 29.9 frames, DV/DVCPRO compression at best resolution.
It is much better this way and it looks much sharper in my FCP HD project.
I have checked the settings in Motion to try and explore why I am getting the blurry clips, to no avail.
I have type in it, and the type is really broken and lo-res looking on the .motn file, in the .mov file in the other hand, the type is sharp and clear.
Any thoughts?
Thank you very much if anyone can help me to do some detective work to get a sharper .motn clip in my FCP.
Now, if there are settings I should follow, would any one tell me?

Thanks again!
Re: Blurry Motion Clips in FCP
August 28, 2005 07:25PM

You still haven't posted the correct settings:

Does the Project Properties (right click in the Comp Window) match the clip properties (File Browser - next to the clip preview)?

Also, make sure yout .motn files are the same size as your FCP project timeline (in your case, DV/DVCPRO is 720 x 480)

Post the project up somewhere where I can download it and I will take a look-see.

- Joey

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: Blurry Motion Clips in FCP
August 28, 2005 08:51PM
Hi Joey,

These are the specs I have been applying to both the Motion and FCP projects, they match as you see, I get decent results while I export as .mov instead .motn, I wish I could post the clips somewhere but I can't at this time, given that it is an ongoing project with a client breathing down my neck, I will eventually post the clips, but for now all I need is to know why I can't get sharp clips as .motn on FCP HD.

Width: 720 Pixels
Height: 480 Pixels
Pixel Aspect Ratio: NTSC D1/DV (0.90)
Field Dominance: Lower (Even)
Frame Rate: 29.97 fps

Thank you!
Re: Blurry Motion Clips in FCP
September 15, 2005 07:11PM
Okay so I'll admit, I am a motion skeptic, but I too am getting "fuzzy" text when I import my motion project into FCP. I am working in the uncompressed environment (kona 2) and my settings match in motion and FCP.

Even when I monitor motion through the Kona 2 I cannot get the text as clear as in FCP.. same font, point size, position, ect.

On another note, trying to send it with the alpha channel causes grey borders around everything, shapes text, ect. I've gone as far as bringing in the video from my project (right click and send to motion project). Even the video alone comes back into FCP fuzzy! And yes... I am rendering it out in FCP.

Is motion as robust as they say? I haven't used it in a project yet, but I WANT to add it to my toolset... if it can keep up with FCP. So far, I'm not impressed.

Anyone out there getting acceptable SD results from motion?
Re: Blurry Motion Clips in FCP
September 15, 2005 07:16PM
Sometimes Final Cut and Motion incorrectly interpret the alpha channel when importing footage - go to the Alpha column in the browser and try the alternatives, that should fix your grey border problem.

As to the fuzzy problem, I have not experienced it. Are you looking at an NTSC monitor?
Re: Blurry Motion Clips in FCP
September 15, 2005 09:07PM
Thank you for your input Guys.
I am in fact using a SONY NTSC monitor. The clips look blurry on the screen.
And I have not gotten any satisfactory results from motion.
Re: Blurry Motion Clips in FCP
September 15, 2005 09:30PM
"...the alpha channel causes grey borders around everything"

Footage files with alpha channels fall into two categories: straight and premultiplied. Although the alpha channels are the same, the color channels differ.

With a straight alpha channel, a footage item keeps the transparency information in a separate channel (the alpha channel only), not in any of the visible color channels. This kind of alpha channel is also known as unmatted alpha. With a straight alpha channel, the effects of transparency are not visible until the image is displayed in an application that supports straight alpha.

With a premultiplied alpha channel, a footage item keeps the transparency information in the alpha channel and also keeps the same information in the visible RGB channels, which are modified, or multiplied, with a background color. A premultiplied alpha channel is known as matted alpha with a background color. The colors of semitransparent areas, such as feathered edges, are shifted toward the background color in proportion to their degree of transparency.

Some software lets you specify the background color with which the alpha channel is premultiplied; otherwise, the background color is usually black or white.

Straight alpha channels can produce better results when used in movies that require the highest level of color precision

Your issue is caused by the type of Alpha you are exporting. On export, in your settings, uncheck "Premultiply". Premultiply renders a glow or shadow along with the background colors in the semi-transparent areas (your "gray borders" are coming from your gray or white background). By unchecking this, it creates a "Straight" (Unmatted) alpha (see above).

- Joey

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: Blurry Motion Clips in FCP
September 15, 2005 09:44PM

Here's an obvious the "Quality Setting" in the upper right corner of the Composite Window set to "FULL"?

If your FCP Timeline settings match your Motion Project Properties, the clip should look identical. Try this...export a Quicktime Reference from FCP and import that into Motion. This is not a movie, but a "pointer file" that points to your media used in the FCP timeline. It can be treated just like a movie.

If none of this helps, I would need to see the clip in question (even a second or 2 of it) so I can run a few quick tests.

Let me know if you want me to help you.

- Joey

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

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