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  • replacing jpgs with tiffs in a FCP project

  • Len Wasson

    December 31, 2016 at 6:30 am

    I have a couple of short documentary films that have a number of still photos in them. At the time I didn’t know I shouldn’t be using jpgs and now need to re-edit these films with tiff files instead. I’m also scanning in the negs (before the prints were scanned) on one of the older projects where film prints were used and again, want to use tiff files rather than jpgs.

    Is there a way to replace these without having to go back and re-edit these photos on the timeline? There was considerable movement, camera angle, etc., and I really don’t want to have to re-edit the entire film on either of these if I can avoid it.

    this is FCP, btw.

    btw, these are serious films – one will be donated to a major institution that has requested the film be donated. I would rather provide a better quality film than the one that I currently have.

  • Roger Poole

    December 31, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Len, the only reason it’s not advisable to use jpegs in FCP is that it’s a compressed format, which FCP has to un-compress to play back. This requires a lot of computer horsepower and often results in a crash or an out of memory error message. If you have somehow managed to avoid both I would be inclined to leave things as they are, as a tiff won’t look any better than a JPEG. However, if you insist, then pic A.tif will not replace pic A.jpg because the suffix is part of the file name and will be seen by FCP as a new pic. What you could do is place the TIFF on top of the JPEG then copy the JPEG and paste attributes to the TIFF, then delete the JPEG. The TIFF would then look and behave just like the JPEG version if you had made adjustments there. I can’t think of a simple way of doing what you want to do but this would be a lot easier and quicker than trying to manually duplicate any behavior adjustments you made to the original jpeg.

  • Len Wasson

    December 31, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    while I appreciate you taking the time to reply you are incorrect about using jpgs vs tiffs. jpgs do deteriorate over time, every time they are opened; one should never ever use a jpg in a film project. I did not know this at the time I made these shorts or I would not have done it this way but in any event, as noted, I am going to replace them w/higher quality photos anyway.

    please do some further research on why it is better to use tiffs and never jpgs in any film project.

    that being said, your suggestion for replacement sounds quite workable and is along the lines of what I was thinking but for whatever reason could not hash it out. I appreciate this very much.

  • Nick Meyers

    January 1, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    jpegs dopnt deteriorate just by opening them.
    they can lose quality if you open them, edit and save them.
    if you edit them every time you open them, then yes you’d start to notice some loss after a while,
    but working with them in FCP is not doing that.


  • Len Wasson

    January 2, 2017 at 2:04 am

    I stand by my earlier statement – tiffs are better to work with and should always be used in film editing, not jpgs.

    of course, if you aren’t concerned for the quality of your work, no, I suppose it doesn’t matter. Many people do whatever they like, regardless of the discernible difference in quality – they just aren’t of a mind to do the best they can.

    in the meanwhile, even Larry Jordan prefers tiffs – while that’s not how I learned about it – it does suffice for this particular debate. here’s a link since either you were unable to find one on your own or simply disregarded what you did find –

    thanks again for the previous tip on editing the photos.

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