The Canon C100 produces a very nice, very detailed image just like its bigger brother, the C300. However, the C100 uses AVCHD as its internal codec and Canon have chosen (yet again) a slightly odd version of this standard that creates problems in Non Linear Edit software such as Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X (excellent article by Allan Tépper, ProVideo Coalition).
Unless you perform a couple of extra steps, you may notice that the images have aliasing artifacts – stair steps on edges and around areas of detail.
PP6 – Edges before:
Here’s an example of the problem from within Adobe Premiere Pro, set to view the C100’s AVCHD footage at 200%. Note the aliasing around the leaves in the centre of the picture (click it to see a 1:1 view). Premiere has interpreted the progressive video as interlaced, and is ‘deinterlacing it’ by removing alternate lines of pixels and then ‘papering over the cracks’. It’s not very pretty.
PP6 – Interpret footage:
To cure this, we must tell Premiere that each 25psf clip from the C100 really is progressive scan, and it should lay off trying to fix something that isn’t broken. Control click your freshly imported C100 clips and select ‘Modify’ from the pop-up menu, then select ‘Interpret Footage…’
Alternatively, with your clips selected, choose ‘Interpret Footage…’ from the ‘Clip –> Modify’ menu.
In the ‘Modify Clip’ dialog, the ‘Interpret Footage’ pane is automatically brought to the front. Click on the ‘Conform to:’ button and select ‘No Fields (Progressive Scan)’ from the pop-up:
Final Cut Pro X – before:
The initial situation looks much worse in FCPX, which seems to have a bit of an issue with C100 footage, even after the recent update to version 10.1.
Select imported clips
The key to the FCPX fix is to let FCPX completely finish importing AVCHD before you try to correct the interlace problem. If you continue with these steps whilst the footage is still importing, changes will not ‘stick’ – clicking off the clips to select something else will show that nothing has really changed. Check that all background tasks have completed before progressing.
First, select all your freshly imported C100 clips. Eagle-eyed readers may wonder why the preview icon is so bright and vivid whilst the example clips are tonaly calmer. The five clips use different Custom Picture profiles.
Switch to Settings in Info tab
Bring up the Inspector if hidden (Command-4), and select the Info tab. In the bottom left of the Inspector, there’s a pop-up to show different Metadata views. Select Settings.
Change Field Dominiance Override to Progressive
In the Settings view of the Info pane, you’ll find the snappily titled ‘Field Dominance Override’, where you can force FCPX to interpret footage as Progressive – which is what we want. Setting it as Upper First will cater for almost all interlaced footage except DV, which is Lower First. Setting it back to ‘None’ lets FCPX decide. We want ‘Progressive’.
Final Cut Pro X – after: