Thursday, October 2, 2014

Playblasting into FCP

I was facing an issue with playblasting an avi. file and importing the shots into FCP for edits for previz. Essentially, I can't render out AVI from Maya if we are going to use FCP.

I have a situation that could use some major addressing. I work in a mixed platform environment that uses PCs for creating 3d content (Maya) and FCP for editing.

When I playblast an animation from Maya with the render globals set at 24 fps and output type as AVI, I get a standard windows AVI file that can be directly read by FCP.
(AVI is the only format available that doesn't use frames)

Here's the problem. Final Cut Pro reads that 24fps avi as 23.98 fps. (Drop frame). As a result, most of my renderings are trunkated by one frame. The only solution to this problem is to either:

1. Output individual frames from Maya rather than an AVI and import those frames as an image sequence in QTpro and then export out a true 24fps .mov file.

2. Load the playblasted AVI file into QTpro on the PC and then resave the file as a self contained movie rather than exporting it.

For some particular reason, any .mov file exported from the PC can not be read directly into FCP. A self contained movie works, but nothing else. What gets strange is the same file, though not readable in FCP, is readable in QT and at non drop frame.

Sounds confusing? Yes. But I've replicated the problem on every computer I've used. 

I'd like to retain the avi compatibility because:

1. Animators can output AVIs directly from Maya on their PC.
2. I don't want to deal with uncompressed frames and large numbers of files.


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