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TOPIC: Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING?

Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 13 Apr 2017 04:12 #87151

  • tj7
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Hi,

Hopefully this is quite simple to address! Historically, I have had no issues with this, but due to it being so long since the last time, I can't for the life of me work out what I am doing incorrectly.

Context: I have directly digitized an NTSC VHS program from NTSC VHS tape into FCPX. Upon inspection of the (massive) raw .mov file, it looks exactly as expected. I want to keep it this way. I my experience, simply exporting (or "SHARING" as FCPX likes to call it) as DVD with same attributes as the source, produces a DVD which has lost none of its resolution from the raw file - with the benefit of going from 19 GB to a mere 5GB or whatever.

Problem: No matter what I can think of to do, FCPX keeps deinterlacing the bloody thing. The exported file always has that soft look to it. You will note this on close inspection of attachments 03 (the source) and 04 (the export).

I have attached also the exact source file attributes as per VLC media information window, and a screen shot of what FCPX tells me the source file attributes are. I have tried setting up new events (or projects, I get the names mixed up) with EXACTLY the same attributes as the source file, so NO resolution changes are to be made, but still the exported file is deinterlaced.

I have NOT told FCPX to deinterlace the file.

As I KNOW this does not need to happen because I have successfully created DVD files which effectively appear exactly the same as the source raw file, I believe I am missing something fairly simple, but can't find it.

Hence - help!

Thanks!

PS yes, the video file looks pretty genned and not great anyway, but that's even more reason for me to NOT want to degrade it further.

Image 03 (Raw source file) was deemed too large, so here is a link:
oi68.tinypic.com/2i6fbiu.jpg
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Last Edit: 13 Apr 2017 04:17 by tj7.
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 13 Apr 2017 05:09 #87152

  • Tom Wolsky
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Can WeChat see an image that shows both fields in the viewer in FCP with the interlacing. Can you see the interlacing in the QT7 player? I susiect the problem is because the frame rate is not accurate 29.97 and FCP is doing something to it to force it to 29.97.
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 13 Apr 2017 06:04 #87153

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Hi Tom,

Ah.... WeChat?

and - can you clarify your request, ie "both fields in the viewer in FCP with the interlacing?"

I don't use QT7 as it is rubbish for mac. It interlaces everything. I use VLC which views things exactly as they are.

The frame rate does not seem to be an issue with the exported file, it's the smoothing of the lines which I want stop it doing...

I don't do this kind of thing regularly hence I sound like a total noob, so thanks for your patience....!
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 13 Apr 2017 06:17 #87154

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You can set the viewer to display both field in the upper right.

Don't know where you got that information about QT7 but it's quite wrong.

If you like the VLC player then show the interlacing before and after in the VLC player.

The frame rate is being changed by FCP or do you see the sane frame rate in the VLC player for both the original and the export file. If you see 29.97003 as the frame rate on the export file then VLC has a problem, which doesn't surprise me.

Theres also a problem with the original frame size which I notice reads as 736x480. Scaling will also destroy the interlacing.

WeChat was an autocorrect typo.
Last Edit: 13 Apr 2017 06:24 by Tom Wolsky.
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 13 Apr 2017 16:06 #87163

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tj7 wrote:
....digitized an NTSC VHS program from NTSC VHS tape into FCPX. Upon inspection of the (massive) raw .mov file, it looks exactly as expected. I want to keep it this way. I my experience, simply exporting (or "SHARING" as FCPX likes to call it) as DVD with same attributes as the source, produces a DVD which has lost none of its resolution from the raw file...Problem: No matter what I can think of to do, FCPX keeps deinterlacing the bloody thing. The exported file always has that soft look to it...I have NOT told FCPX to deinterlace the file....I have successfully created DVD files which effectively appear exactly the same as the source raw file, I believe I am missing something fairly simple, but can't find it....

I don't think FCPX is deinterlacing your exported file. What you are likely observing is varying deinterlacing behavior from different *playback* methods, not from what FCPX is doing during export. Specifically, the exported file you are calling "deinterlaced" is actually interlaced but simply played without deinterlacing. Obviously there will be comb-type artifacts and softness.

Here is likely what's happening: NTSC by definition is interlaced. Deinterlacing should normally be handled by the playback method -- whether a hardware DVD player or a software player for DVD, or a software player on the output file before burning the DVD. If content is "hard deinterlaced" then this (a) Produces a file that is technically not NTSC compliant, (b) Removes the ability of the playback chain to deinterlace that. Hence FCPX will not deinterlace when exporting from an NTSC project -- no matter what deinterlace or field dominance options are set. You can verify this by examining the output file with tools like Invisor: itunes.apple.com/us/app/invisor-media-fi...or/id442947586?mt=12

However when playing an interlaced NTSC file *within* FCPX, it itself is the player. It is appropriate for the player to deinterlace, so FCPX displays on the viewer deinterlaced content. It looks smooth and good.

But when viewing an exported NTSC file outside the editor, it's up to THAT player. By default VLC does not deinterlace so it will show artifacts. If you enable VLC deinterlacing and choose a good algorithm like Yadif 2x, it will look good. Quicktime Player will sometimes automatically deinterlace and other times not. This can be confusing. You can't trust how the exported file looks without understanding the exact deinterlace behavior of the playback method.

If you upload interlaced NTSC content to Youtube, it will normally be deinterlaced during their import process.

If you want to hard deinterlace the NTSC file during export from FCPX, you must put that in a progressive project like 720p and set the deinterlace checkbox in Inspector. I'm not saying it's the best method, but if you have NTSC content that people will be playing directly from an exported file, this can make sense.

If you put NTSC content in a progressive project, then don't set the deinterlace checkbox, the exported file will be degraded, apparently from discarding alternate scan lines. So when editing and exporting interlaced content, there is always a risk of incorrectly hard deinterlacing or otherwise locking in a degraded format. This is often seen on Youtube where comb-type interlaced artifacts are locked in and cannot be deinterlaced.
Last Edit: 13 Apr 2017 16:10 by joema.
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 13 Apr 2017 22:25 #87169

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joema wrote:
I don't think FCPX is deinterlacing your exported file. What you are likely observing is varying deinterlacing behavior from different *playback* methods, not from what FCPX is doing during export. Specifically, the exported file you are calling "deinterlaced" is actually interlaced but simply played without deinterlacing. Obviously there will be comb-type artifacts and softness.

Thanks for your help and I will explore every idea, of course. Howevever - referring to the quote above:

If this was the case, why is VLC player playing absolutely 100% of everything - I mean *EVERYTHING* else that I have ever given it to play, correctly? Including NTSC VHS footage I previously converted to DVD in FCPX? Logically, given this, the problem is something FCPX is doing.

To be clear, when I play my projects, VHS transfers, whatever, all NOT deinterlaced, through ANY of my home players (ie video > USB > DVD player > wall projector or TV), I see exactly what I should: Interlaced video. Whether the source was NTSC or PAL. Because I *never* tell my applications to deinterlace it. So something weird is going on here. I suspect it is to do from moving from 10.1 to 10.2 or whatever my version history is (have to check).

The only player that gives me that softening effect is QT. To answer Tom W: "

If you like the VLC player then show the interlacing before and after in the VLC player."

I did, sir. Please see my attachments.

I can also see within FCPX that it is doing something to the footage, so no, it does not look as it should even from within the application. It is only when I view the raw file using VLC that I see the clear interlaced video.

So I guess I am more confused than ever, now...!
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 13 Apr 2017 22:41 #87170

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Tom Wolsky wrote:
You can set the viewer to display both field in the upper right.

Don't know where you got that information about QT7 but it's quite wrong.

I got that information from QT 7 by playing the video alongside VLC.
I'll show you screenshots to prove this. I have attached a closeup of QT7 on left and VLC on right playing the *original raw file* (.mov).
Tom Wolsky wrote:
If you like the VLC player then show the interlacing before and after in the VLC player.

Please see same attachment. I did upload VLC before and after screen shots in my OP :)
Tom Wolsky wrote:
Theres also a problem with the original frame size which I notice reads as 736x480. Scaling will also destroy the interlacing. "

I have tried exporting from FCPX using the exact same frame size, but your observation makes me wonder if I have messed this up, so I am going to check and double check to be sure!

Thanks everyone for trying to help, I appreciate this and hopefully we'll get to the bottom of the issue!
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 13 Apr 2017 22:47 #87171

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As further proof that VLC has absolutely nothing to do with how the exported video is looking, and proof that FCPX is in fact doing something to the video, please observe my previous attachment (QT7 vs VLC Comp.jpg) and also this attachment which shows both players playing the exported DVD file from FCPX. Note that this time VLC also sees a blurred mess. It's the file, not VLC.

I will today check some things which folks above have made suggestions about and report back, such as making sure I am telling FCPX to use the same frame size etc.

AH, on this, isn't there an option within FCPX to simply create a new project *based on the attributes of the first imported file* to eliminate room for error?

However, perhaps the evidence I have provided this morn might help make things clearer....?
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 13 Apr 2017 23:44 #87172

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All I see is interlaced footage on a computer screen shown with traditional interlaced lines as normal, and the other with the lines blurred but the interlacing still there. You can NOT show interlaced footage on a computer screen, because it is mechanically a progressive playback device. Hard lines vs blurred lines, so what? Play it on an interlaced TV screen the THEN tell us what is happening. Fact is, FCPX doesn't de-interlace anything upon export automatically.
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 13 Apr 2017 23:46 #87173

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FCPX.guru wrote:
All I see is interlaced footage on a computer screen shown with traditional interlaced lines as normal, and the other with the lines blurred but the interlacing still there. You can NOT show interlaced footage on a computer screen, because it is mechanically a progressive playback device. Hard lines vs blurred lines, so what? Play it on an interlaced TV screen the THEN tell us what is happening. Fact is, FCPX doesn't de-interlace anything upon export automatically.

Ok, but remember, as explained, in the past I have easily created DVD files from FCPX and the footage has *not* been blurred when viewed on my computer. Therefore there is already something NEW happening to the file.
So without viewing anywhere else, I already know something is wrong.

However, I can tell you that when I view these blurred clips vs the non-blurred clips via my DVD player / TV / wall projector, I am seeing *exactly the same thing.*
Last Edit: 13 Apr 2017 23:49 by tj7.
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 13 Apr 2017 23:52 #87175

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Yeah, I hear ya. If my client asked for that, and it looked like that, I'd charge extra. (just kidding)
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 13 Apr 2017 23:55 #87176

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Nobody said the problem is in VLC. The problem is in the original media. Your images indicate that the file is 736x480 at 29.97003. These are non-standard resolution and frame rates. That's your problem. When you compress it to standard DVD specs the image becomes blurred. If the original was digitized at the correct 720x480 29.97 the problem would not arise.
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 13 Apr 2017 23:57 #87177

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:P well, I'm going to look into it further this arvo, and will post my findings here.
All I want is for things to work the way they did when I last did this! As much as I appreciate the responses,
I think I must be failing to describe the situation very well because some of the responses so far have been referring to things which have been disproven or have nothing to do with the issue. Still, I have to check some things...
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 13 Apr 2017 23:59 #87178

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Tom Wolsky wrote:
Nobody said the problem is in VLC. The problem is in the original media. Your images indicate that the file is 736x480 at 29.97003. These are non-standard resolution and frame rates. That's your problem. When you compress it to standard DVD specs the image becomes blurred. If the original was digitized at the correct 720x480 29.97 the problem would not arise.

Now that is super-specific and I am going to look at this. Thanks, Tom.
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 14 Apr 2017 00:39 #87179

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Tom Wolsky wrote:
Nobody said the problem is in VLC. The problem is in the original media. Your images indicate that the file is 736x480 at 29.97003. These are non-standard resolution and frame rates. That's your problem. When you compress it to standard DVD specs the image becomes blurred. If the original was digitized at the correct 720x480 29.97 the problem would not arise.

Ok, the bad news is that it looks like you may be incorrect and most of us have been incorrect about the diagnosis. Either that or wires are crossed because I'm not as well versed in this stuff as you guys.

The good news is that I have solved the problem! However, I don't know how, and the how would be helpful to know.

See attachment "FCPX Screen 01". This is my last NTSC project which I finally remembered to dig up. This is the proof for me that, yes, I sure as heck CAN produce a conveniently sized DVD via FCPX from raw NTSC files AND not lose any definition of the image.

See attachment "FCPX Screen 02". This a shot from within the same timeline / project / event in which I dragged and dropped the raw NTSC mov file which I have been bleating about.

And guess what. FCPX behaved exactly as it should have when I exported to DVD. The result, as viewed via VLC, appears exactly the same as the raw .mov file.

Whilst the problem is now solved, It would be great to know why / how...!
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 14 Apr 2017 03:37 #87182

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tj7 wrote:
....See attachment "FCPX Screen 02". This a shot from within the same timeline / project / event in which I dragged and dropped the raw NTSC mov file which I have been bleating about...And guess what. FCPX behaved exactly as it should have when I exported to DVD. The result, as viewed via VLC, appears exactly the same as the raw .mov file...Whilst the problem is now solved, It would be great to know why / how...!

What Tom said is one possibility. If the VHS capture app created a video file with malformed characteristics, then the behavior of a player app or FCPX may be unpredictable. Normally FCPX will not deinterlace on export an NTSC file in an NTSC project because by definition it should be interlaced. However if the file parameters were off, FCPX may have somehow tried to fix this by retiming, resizing or even deinterlacing.

Another variation is if malformed file parameters caused FCPX to auto-generate a progressive (not interlaced) project, but the file itself was interlaced. Then if you don't select deinterlace before export, it will use line doubling or some other algorithm which effectively discards half the scan lines. That produces a poor-looking image.

Likewise how QT7 or QT10 behaves when playing an interlaced file depends on the parameters in the header. If those are non-standard or inconsistent between files, QT itself could vary in whether it applies deinterlacing. This in turn can skew your perception of the file or make you think the image quality is fluctuating.

VLC does not deinterlace unless you specifically enable this and select a deinterlace mode. So regardless of the file parameters if it's truly interlaced, then VLC will show it interlaced and you'll see comb artifacts on the edges of moving subjects. If you select deinterlace then pick a mode like Yadif 2x, the artifacts will go away. In this sense VLC is more predictable than QT because it never deinterlaces unless requested. But if the file is malformed or damaged from prior encoding, then it will look poor whether VLC interlacing is on or off.

Your attachment is showing the file characteristics, not the project characteristics. If you created the project using "automatic settings" it should match the file but we don't know without examining that. If the file parameters were messed up, I'm not sure what FCPX would do if adding that file to an "automatic settings" project. Normally it will raise an error dialog if they are way off, but maybe there are cases where it doesn't. If you click on the project itself in FCPX then in inspector click "i" it will show those.

The bottom line is the file parameters should always be valid for the encoding type. These parameters include some things you can see in VLC and FCPX like resolution. However they also include things those programs won't show like scan type, scan order, store method, etc. These can only be examined with a tool like Invisor. If the file parameters were not properly constructed by the VHS capture app, there is no telling what QT or FCPX might do.
Last Edit: 14 Apr 2017 03:40 by joema.
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 14 Apr 2017 12:08 #87196

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Hi Matthew,

You seem to mix up a lot of things.

1:
A Canopus AV Converter captures your already bad VHS to DV (which is highly compressed).
So it's not a RAW file.
2:
A Canopus AV Converter captures kind of "full aperture" means a video line include blanking. So the format is wrong.

3:
QT7 displays everything okay if you set it to high quality.

4:
Capturing such a bad video without TBC doesn't make a lot of sense.

5:
Compressing a bad video to MPEG 2 doesn't make any sense - makes it even worse. Except you put a lot of work into "restoration".

- Andreas
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Export Raw VHS transfer WITHOUT DEINTERLACING? 23 Apr 2017 01:02 #87449

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Andreas Kiel wrote:
Hi Matthew,

You seem to mix up a lot of things.

1:
A Canopus AV Converter captures your already bad VHS to DV (which is highly compressed).
So it's not a RAW file.

My bad, I use the term "raw" for its dictionary meaning, ie the footage as it appears in its most pure form as it is being imported.
Andreas Kiel wrote:
2:
A Canopus AV Converter captures kind of "full aperture" means a video line include blanking. So the format is wrong.

I'm not sure what this means. This sentence doesn't make sense. Sorry, I'm confused here.
Andreas Kiel wrote:
3:
QT7 displays everything okay if you set it to high quality.

Heh heh, well it is set by default to blur everything, which is just one of its many failures over VLC which is so much more reliable than QT. QT shits itself over many different file formats, VLC just plays them, baby.
Andreas Kiel wrote:
4:
Capturing such a bad video without TBC doesn't make a lot of sense.

Who said I don't use TBC?
Andreas Kiel wrote:
5:
Compressing a bad video to MPEG 2 doesn't make any sense - makes it even worse. Except you put a lot of work into "restoration".

The quality of the source generally determines how large a file I care to work with later. Not all of the videos I have to work with are this sub-par. The problem is, anything other than a straight DVD conversion (generally 60 minutes per single layer DVD) matching the file attributes of the source (ie PAL vs NTSC etc) creates very unwieldly files to work with. A 12GB .mp4 file shows more loss than a 4GB DVD of the same 60 mins of footage IMO.
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