I should have taken a screen shot of those settings!
I don't remember setting it to h.264 but that's the setting that seems to resolve the issue - coloured text no longer badly pixellated - see associated setting screenshot:
applying same to 1080p produces an export that looks fine.
Also, you might have to reload this page to see the attachment in my last post - I forgot to attach when I first posted, then went back and added it.
This seriously gets weirder and weirder -
because I have checked the last 1080p exports I did on my old machine - I must not have used the h264 setting because
my 1080p's all have the .mp4 extension. Setting to h264 outputs a .mov file.
> Is this a file that originates from a DVD?
No. The folder was named that a long time ago and I never bothered changing it. As mentioned above, these are title cards I made myself in Photoshop.
PS may need to reload this page *again* as I just had to edit a screenshot above.
and yet under *this* setting, the output of the exact same part of the video is pixellated!!
(I appreciate that you'll see a different thumbnail image here, because I selected a little more of the video to output this time)
Why on earth do things go wrong on this setting vs the one above, I wonder...
All this extra information is very useful. The H.264 export settings in FCP constantly change. As an example: Apple Devices 720 or 1080 exported as an H.264 .mov file in 10.4 is now a Master File setting in 10.5, not an Apple Devices setting.
The only major change between 10.4.6 and 10.4.10 was the introduction of the new Metal rendering engine in 10.4.7. That can explain why projects made in 10.4.6 render differently in 10.4.10. The video frameworks in the OS also have an influence on how files get rendered out. That can also explain why you get different results than I do because I don't have Mojave.
According to all the tests, the solution for you in 10.4.10 on Mojave would be to use Apple Devices 720p with the H.264 codec in a .mov container. If that works for you, your problem is solved.
Thanks so much for helping go through this process of elimination.
Yes, essentially I can now complete the task without having to "outsource" to a different application - but there's still very much a problem here that shouldn't exist. When an upgrade actually limits or degrades functionality, that's not good.
The key outstanding issue is - why is there any setting at all which produces output which specifically only pixellates coloured - particularly orange to red - components of an image, whilst BW remains crisp? This is very odd. I don't expect a solution but maybe someone else on the planet will encounter the same problem and discover this thread...
Two things which should not have been an issue to begin with:
1. Apple's infernal migration process. Migration and transfer of all of your data should be just that, not whatever bits and pieces Apple's system cherrypicks as important. The entire point of Time Machine backups is to ensure the user is able to seamlessly reintegrate with the last fully functional iteration of their OS. That's impossible if you happen to upgrade your machine and need to transfer that data to a new machine. The only solution I can think of to this problem is to clone the system - and even that requires a bit of work to do properly, as most cloning applications *still* don't include absolutely ALL of your data. Still, it's going to be more thorough than Time Machine. A hard and frustrating lesson to learn.
2. FCPX needlessly changing their export settings and iterations. This is diabolical. "Apple Devices" settings in themselves appear to illogically assume that a video author would want only people with Apple Devices to view their work, hence Apple applies their .m4v container - but not even consistently! There are some of these settings which produce an .mp4 container, some .mov... I mean, cripes, is this all necessary? Why does the user not have a choice? Why not just use ONE universal container? Also - what on earth is this "computer" vs "Video and Audio" setting? These ridiculous "options" make little sense. What does "computer" even mean? Applications such as FFworks give users complete control over their export and don't narrow it down to an arbitrarily decided set of options - that FCPX does impose these limitations - which arbitrarily change across versions - is patently illogical. The range of export "options" is confusing and illogical.
I usually don't reply to rants but in this case, I agree to a certain extent.
1. Pixelation issues
I don't think many people will experience what you have seen, as most FCP users don't have to stay on an old OS and FCP version because they need to keep an old ProTools station running. The issues you have are very specific to your configuration and workflows. As you have seen from the many tests and screenshots, these issues do not occur on other configurations of hardware, OS and FCP versions, no matter what export presets you use.
Time Machine and the Migration Assistant are there to make things easy for the average user. And they work well for common tasks. But I never use any of these.
When I get a new Mac (as I often do), I completely re-install everything from scratch and I make sure that anything I install on this machine has been confirmed to be fully compatible with the OS and software versions I run on it. All my production Macs, except some old ones that I use for my testing jobs, run exactly the same OS version, Applications and plugins.
I always keep my Macs lean and clean, only storing OS and Applications/plugins on it. All the rest, I keep on very fast external drives. One of these is a Thunderbolt 3 Flex 8 from OWC that has a fast 72TB HDD RAID for media files and 2 blazing fast 4TB M.2 NVMe cards for project files and cache files, all in one box. If I need to work on another Mac, I just connect the drive to the new computer and start working.
3. FCP export presets
Again, these are common presets meant to make things easy for the average user. Technology constantly changes and Apple constantly changes these settings as well to keep up with the latest formats. As an example: recent versions of FCP now also have HEVC (H.265) export presets that you won't find on your version of FCP. That's normal.
If you want to have full control of your export settings, get Compressor. This app allows you to tweak any compression formats and save them as new presets that you can use directly in FCP.
Its' not really 'diabolical' at all, it's how modern technology works: things constantly evolve. You can stay with an older configuration that has always worked for you and you don't change anything in it. Or you can update your hardware, OS and all your applications to a brand-new configuration to benefit from he newest technologies.
Maybe a suggestion: keep the old ProTools on the 2014 iMac with Mojave. It seems to have worked until today, it should work in the future as well as you won't be updating ProTools anyway. Use your 2019 iMac Pro for all your other work, running the latest OS and software versions. It will be very fast and you won't have any of these issues.
Unfortunately I don't have a lot of money, therefore when I upgrade my computer, I can't afford to keep both of them. Imacs also take up a fair bit of space. I also need to run PT alongside FCPX sometimes because I do a lot of scoring - running two machines would be a nightmare of cables and connections, not to mention having to deal with two machines at once. In any case, it's not practical for me financially or in terms of studio space.
Those considerations aside, there are quite a lot of Pro Tools users out there who are stuck on an old OS because that application has become incredibly expensive to upgrade for latest-OS-compatibility. We're talking about AU$900. Given that until the moment I upgraded to a new imac, Mojave 10.14.6 with PT 12.8 and FCPX 10.4.6 was working just fine, I'm struggling to see a logical reason to spend nearly a thousand dollars just to run the latest OS. To have to do so in order to fix an inexplicable glitch that has emerged as a result of upgrading to an imac pro - well I'm sure you can imagine the kind of unhappy resentment I feel for having to even consider such a huge outlay through no fault of my own. It was all working just fine, until I had the audacity to upgrade.
Like you, I run a lean system with as few third party applications as possible. I run all of my FCPX projects via SSD's and ensure I have at least 50% of my working project drive free at all times.
Thanks for the suggestion re: compressor, I will look into this - although I disagree about FCPX - IMO, there's no reason that it can't allow users complete and transparent control over how they export their files. To have to use another application to do so seems needlessly clunky to me. Anyway, we can agree to disagree on that, I guess!
I understand, Ben. And I feel your pain having to go through all this. The glitch you are experiencing is unfortunate but not inexplicable. The 10.4.10 version of FCP you have installed recently deals with format conversions in a different way than the 10.4.6 version you have always used. Technology evolves and all parts of a configuration need to match if you want to avoid issues like these. But I'm happy that you found a way to work around all this, based on elimination.
And yes, take a look at Compressor. It's a great companion to FCP and it allows you to tweak any FCP presets and save them as new ones inside FCP so you don't need to export a master file and go to an external application anymore. Some people don't need more than the fixed presets in FCP, other people want more control. Apple offers solutions for both types of users.
....The key outstanding issue is - why is there any setting at all which produces output which specifically only pixellates coloured - particularly orange to red - components of an image, whilst BW remains crisp? This is very odd...
Whether a bug or expected behavior, this general scenario is common. You started with an uncompressed PNG image and are encoding 8-bit 4:2:0 video. While all the luma data is in the output file, the 4:2:0 chroma sub-sampling eliminates 75% of the chroma data. You normally don't see that for a white or blended color image but for a mostly red, green or blue image (like reddish text), suddenly the lower-res characteristic appears. Besides the 4:2:0 compression there is also "Long GOP" compression, plus if uploaded that is re-compressed yet again to another Long GOP streaming format. There is "generational loss" at each stage.
I believe you were also scaling from 720p to 1080p output, and any scaling operation also entails risk of quality loss.
Why it formerly didn't happen and then began on 10.4.10, I don't know. The Metal upgrades are one possibility, another is your old/new machines had different hardware acceleration for H264. Regular iMacs use Intel's Quick Sync whereas the iMac Pro uses Apple's T2 chip. They should produce identical output but there may be a few edge cases where that doesn't happen.
But I know one thing for absolute certainty -- it will never be fixed on the 10.4.10 code line. If you want that fix you will have to upgrade to the current version.
To fix it on 10.4.10 would constitute a "hot fix", or special isolated fix back-ported to an old code tree. Some very large corporate server products do that but it's virtually never done on mainstream desktop products.
If you don't upgrade MacOS and FCP you will never be able to use Apple Silicon machines. Also you will soon age out of the support window for MacOS security fixes. Apple typically supports two older MacOS versions, thus Mojave will be supported until Monterrey is released this fall. If you get hit with a malware issue due to lack of security fixes, you'll have a much bigger problem than pixelated text.
.... Migration and transfer of all of your data should be just that, not whatever bits and pieces Apple's system cherrypicks as important. The entire point of Time Machine backups is to ensure the user is able to seamlessly reintegrate with the last fully functional iteration of their OS...
This is a FCP support forum; not sure I see what this has to do with FCP. You are correct that prior to an upgrade it's important to have good backups. I personally do a Time Machine backup plus a bootable Carbon Copy backup, plus make a contingency copy of important files to a 3rd backup drive.
... FCPX needlessly changing their export settings and iterations. This is diabolical...Why does the user not have a choice? Why not just use ONE universal container? Also - what on earth is this "computer" vs "Video and Audio" setting? These ridiculous "options" make little sense...The range of export "options" is confusing and illogical.
If you want to see confusing, check out the bewildering variety of export options in Premiere and Resolve. The FCP export UI is designed to handle a few common cases, for others you use Compressor. It has always been that way. As with any software, it may be changed in newer versions.
Whether a bug or expected behavior, this general scenario is common. You started with an uncompressed PNG image...
To clarify, no, I started with jpegs and psd files - and the specific non-text card (ie photo still) example of BW output being fine but coloured component being pixellated was actually from a 1080p video file I had created earlier, ironically being a 1080p export from FCPX 10.4.6 via my 2014 imac - when imported into my timeline via 2019 imac pro and FCPX 10.4.10, this video suddenly showed pixellation in the red / coloured component of the image under the specific export settings described above. This seemed the oddest of them all because FCPX had happily created this just-fine output and then post-upgrade decided it didn't like it anymore - but only under specific export settings.
If you don't upgrade MacOS and FCP you will never be able to use Apple Silicon machines. Also you will soon age out of the support window for MacOS security fixes....
There will always be a reason that Apple wants us to upgrade. Always. It's a dog chasing its tail, and these "upgrades" don't always act as such. I've had iphones bricked thanks to Apple forcing me to "upgrade" my ios.
I don't care if I can't use a Silicon machine - I just bought a 2019 imac, having been very happy with my 2014 machine for 6+ years, and happily running Mojave ever since that OS was released. The only reason I upgraded was to be able to better handle 4k for some upcoming projects. I do not need to update anything if Pro Tools and FCPX are working just fine, in fact updating will cost me upwards of a thousand dollars because of how insanely expensive Pro Tools has become to keep compatible with the latest OS. If I did update, I can guarantee that there would be yet another application that doesn't work anymore that needs replacing or updating etc etc etc. I keep my system clean, lean, free of third part apps as possible, and absolutely static as possible to keep my essential applications stable. It's an ecosystem - you upgrade one thing and chances are you raise a compatibility issue. My present OS works just fine with my present versions of PT and FCPX + everything else I need - and to upgrade any of these components further is to upset the entire ecosystem, requiring costly application replacement - it ain't free to update PT past 12.8 - and causing massive headaches. A static system comprised of parts that work compatibly together = a stable system - and is financially sustainable. I do not buy into Apple's aggressive demand that users update, update, update, now, now, now.
This is a FCP support forum; not sure I see what this has to do with FCP. (ie with reference to my comments about the limitations of Apple's data migration / Time Machine backup options which fail to incorporate ALL relevant data such as application user settings etc)
I'll clarify: FCP users are Apple OS users, and we all need to rely on backups from time to time. The process of relying upon backups is fraught with limitations which directly impact the FCP user experience in that if one loses FCP settings data during a migration or restoration process - which is inevitable given that Apple's migration process fails to include ALL relevant data - their FCP experience is prone to compromise, causing the sorts of glitches I have posted about in this thread. If limitations or issues exist in the host OS which directly impact the FCP user experience, my view is that these issues are of direct relevance to the discussion at hand.
That's all just to be clearer about a few things - as far as my OP goes, with Ronny's help I managed to find a setting that does the job that FCPX is supposed to be doing and I can side-step the glitch. This has therefore been a useful discussion to have and am grateful for the help and learning experience. Also, thankyou Joema for the useful links you have posted, I have joined that FB group and see what else I can learn from the thread you mentioned.
This is a wonderful resource and hopefully I can pay back the help by assisting someone else at some stage...
Hi - Can I get some help please??! Having real problems, near the end of my project - when I export to QT I get zoomed in images/cropping. I have read on here this MAY be because I used image stabilisation on different versions of FCP. Thanks!!! ThanksM Sefton