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Bad Quality transcoding?!!!

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Brian Dugan
Bad Quality transcoding?!!!
on Feb 5, 2009 at 9:35:54 pm

Hi guys, hope you can help me.
I am trying to create my animation demo DVD but the quality keeps coming out really lousy!
My assets are:
• 1920x1080 QT movie (animation compression-high quality) 12 gigs. About 3 minutes long. Looks perfect via QT player.
• A 1920x1080 Photoshop simple menu with one "play" button.

I've set my Encore project up to be a DVD on Automatic.
The result (of both the Menu and the Movie) is very, very muddy and pixelated (on Computer and TV). The file size of the burned DVD turns out to be only 145mgs. Encore seems to be compressing both the menu and the movie very highly. I thought Encore was suppose compress all the assets according to the disk space available?

Am I suppose to compress the movie (from After Effects) to a MPEG2-DVD before bringing it in? If so what about the menu being fuzzy too?

Thanks for your advice.

Brian




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Jeff Bellune
Re: Bad Quality transcoding?!!!
on Feb 5, 2009 at 9:53:42 pm

1. Scale your menu in Photoshop; don't bring a HiDef menu into a Standard Def project.

2. With PCM audio and 8 Mbps for a video bit rate, the video file size will only be about 176 MB, so what you are seeing is normal and expected. With .ac3 audio and 145 MB seems reasonable.

-Jeff

The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0


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Brian Dugan
Re: Bad Quality transcoding?!!!
on Feb 5, 2009 at 10:24:11 pm

Thanks Jeff,
If my movie IS hi def (1920x1080) can't I make a hi-def DVD?
I see settings for Blue Ray in Encore but most clients I'll send this to don't have Blue Ray players.

Most stuff I view on my regular DVD player at home is way, way sharper and crisper...? What am I missing? Seems I should be able to create a 3 min DVD that is very high quality and resolution.

Brian



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Jeff Bellune
Re: Bad Quality transcoding?!!!
on Feb 5, 2009 at 11:10:35 pm

DVD is Standard Definition.

The only High Definition disc formats are Blu-ray and HD-DVD (which is slowly vanishing from the planet).

For downscaling HD footage, Encore's "Automatic" transcoding isn't generally a good idea because the Adobe Media Encoder sucks at downscaling.

How to proceed depends on which version of Encore you are using.

-Jeff

The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0


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Brian Dugan
Re: Bad Quality transcoding?!!!
on Feb 5, 2009 at 11:34:20 pm

Yikes, I didn't realize that! However my DVD is really crummy. If you have the time, would you mind giving me a few more tips? I'm using Encore CS3.

(Ill be back at this in the morning...)

Thanks a lot!

Brian



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Jon Geddes
Re: Bad Quality transcoding?!!!
on Feb 6, 2009 at 4:51:33 am

Do NOT use encore or premiere to downscale HD footage. It will come out looking terrible. You can downscale it in After Effects with good results. You can start a new composition with 720x480 settings, import your HD 1920x1080 file into it, and scale it down to fit. Then render the composition with the quicktime output. That SD file can then be brought into encore and transcoded at automatic with much better results. As for the menu, scale it down in photoshop before importing into encore.

Jon Geddes
Motion Graphics Designer
http://www.precomposed.com


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Brian Dugan
Re: Bad Quality transcoding?!!!
on Feb 8, 2009 at 8:21:52 pm

Thanks very much Jon,
That has worked out well.

Still wondering how the Hollywood DVDs are so much crisper...?

Brian



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Jeff Bellune
Re: Bad Quality transcoding?!!!
on Feb 8, 2009 at 8:53:25 pm

The film-to-DVD process in Hollywood is done by teams of highly trained and experienced artists using thousands of dollars (and maybe hundreds of thousands) in high-end equipment.

They start with a progressive source and keep it that way throughout the whole process.

Is your source video 1080i or 1080p? What frame rate? All of these details affect the final outcome.

How does your original footage look on Blu-ray Disc?

For us mere mortals, there are better tools than AE for pulling off high-quality downscaling of the HD footage, and most of them are free. But you need a tutor or an engineering degree to make them do what you need.

-Jeff

The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0


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Brian Dugan
Re: Bad Quality transcoding?!!!
on Feb 8, 2009 at 9:09:15 pm

Wow, more trouble than I imagined!
It's frustrating for me since I created my entire reel of motion graphics/animation work as 1920x1080 29.97fps which is naturally super nice and crisp - only to have it shown via DVD to prospective clients as SD 720x480.

Delving into "techie friendly only" software would be a bad move for me I'm sure. I guess I could look into Bluray, but after the whole expense of that I can't imagine many of my corporate clients even having the ability to view a Bluray disk.

Thanks for all you advice, I sure do appreciate it!

Brian



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