When Digital Cinema Desktop Preview Doesn’t

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the March, 2011, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]


Matt Cohn asks:

The Digital Cinema Desktop preview is working fine except with footage that was brought into the Final Cut project file as H.264 (I know, we shouldn’t be working in H.264, but I’m an assistant on a project that was already set up by the time I began). When the editor tries to play the H.264 footage on the Digital Cinema Desktop preview, it is stutters or it is just a still frame with audio. On Creative Cow I read that Digital Cinema Desktop won’t work with non-native formats. Now I’m wondering if that’s actually the case or not. Do you know?

Larry replies: Correct.

Stuttering, frozen display is one of the hallmarks of non-native video. FCP can edit it, but can’t play it smoothly.

Here’s a quick way to tell.

Open your sequence into the Timeline. Go to the RT menu. If it says “Safe RT” with lots of other choices, you are working in a native video format.

If the RT menu just says “Play base layer only,” you are working with a non-native video format and you’ll have problems previewing it in the DCDP.

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