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What the F....rame skip - stick?

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Johannes Schwarz
What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 12:26:32 pm

Hi,

this problem is killing my hours fast:

I have a rather complicated menu system with transitions, sub-menus and 35 timelines set up and ready. That is why I'm still trying to work this out, rather than drop Encore CS6 and try other software.

PROBLEM:
Everything seems to work when building the project (having conquered one "end of file" error yesterday using "Procmon"), BUT the final output (whether DVD image or DVD-disc - tested on Computers and a DVD-Player) skips a frame every now and then - NOT in the menu or transitions - BUT in the actual video content (noticeable in all timelines that have motion at the point it skips) - which is driving me crazy:

It's a PAL pal Project.
I'm using 25p PAL videos on the timeline (tried m2v with mpa separately / and mpg - no difference). I'm exporting them from Premiere Pro CS6 via the Adobe media encoder - CBR @ 6Mbps with Audio being AC3 192kbps. I notice there is some discrepancy on the time line between audio and video length. I adjust it as close as it will let me, but they rarely match 1:1.
The file previews fine on its own in VLC or WMP
They even preview smooth and fine in the Encore DVD-Preview

BUT once I build the project....argh... even though I tell Encore NOT TO TRANSCODE the assets.
The audio does not skip. Only the video drops a few frames at irregular intervals (or maybe it sticks to one frame for 3 frames and then jumps to where it should be). It generates a stutter in the output, that is not acceptable.

What the F...rame skip!?

Anybody experienced something similar and know a work around?


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Daniel Ludwig
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 2:19:57 pm

Johannes,
there are several issues!

first of all: your projec-settings have to be set correct. should be PAL MPEG2 and AC3 dolby digital audio for DVD.

if your assets wont match the project/transcoding-settings they will be transcoded to whatever is set in the settings.

assets should be encoded prior authoring within encore using adobe media encoder.

NOTE: allowed assets are only MPEG2 elementary steams (.m2v) or dolby AC-3-files (.ac3)

2nd NOTE: if your project-settings have been set differntly you wont be able to switch them back, you need to create a new project and start from scratch.

3rd NOTE: if your source-material is HD, you should downscale to PAL SD first prior encoding.

you also might be awared of media-quality! only use high-quality DVD-media like verbatim (AZO) or taiyo yuden.

cheers

danny


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Johannes Schwarz
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 3:01:43 pm

Thanks for the input Daniel, but I have eliminated these potential problems before posting. Just had an Adobe Rep work on my screen. He could not solve it either.

Maybe it is a freak thing, that nobody has experienced?

In case someone did and solved it, please enlighten me :-)
Thanks


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Jeff Pulera
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 3:02:26 pm

Hi Johannes,

I noticed you mentioned .mpa and .mpg files. Those could cause issues - if multiplexing the audio and video into an .mpg file, the audio and video lengths may not match in Encore, this is a known issue. The best course of action will be to create the default .m2v and .wav files from AME, and import those assets into Encore, and Encore will transcode the audio to .ac3 and should leave the video alone then.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Daniel Ludwig
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 3:41:10 pm

there could always be a short gap beween MPEG2 and AC-3-files as AC-3 has an equal structure like a GOP within your video.

cheers

danny


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Johannes Schwarz
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 5:55:35 pm

The misery continues...

Some trouble shooting done:
1) I said up top: I tried m2v with mpa. Then I tried simple mpg. NO LUCK

2) I tried dynamic link in encore but get bad quality even if I manually control the settings on the encoder of encore. Plus: the stutter is not gone in all files

3) i tried shortening the video sequence to the problem area. Problem arises in the precise same place in the video. So it is no timeline issue in encore

4) I tried putting one of the videos having stutter in a new encore project just by itself. Problem persists - so it is not the encore project per se

5) i tried video only (removing audio) seeing if the audio could be the culprit. No. Stutter still there.

6) I tried re-encoding an mpg2 with a third party software - just for fun. Stutter gone (but quality is bad naturally).

So, I'm beginning to think that the problem is in how the file comes from Premiere or the Media encoder. It does not show in VLC or WMP when played stand alone, or even in Encore Preview Mode. But somehow it will not come out right once it went through the BUILD process despite being set to "Don't transcode"

Anybody an Idea how I get my video files out of premiere using something other than the Adobe Media Encoder (MPEG2-DVD) to make it usable for encore?


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Jeff Pulera
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 6:11:22 pm

Hi Johannes,

Your problem seems to be unique and may be a result of some step of your workflow, such as having dozens of timelines. Also, I saw your other post where you wanted to make an NTSC DVD from PAL footage. Is the current issue all PAL or are there some conversions going on? If so, that might explain a lot

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Johannes Schwarz
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 6:20:49 pm

Hi Jeff,

the other post is about what I wanted to do once this this is finished. I'm producing a PAL-DVD for Europe and an NTSC one for North America.

Currently it is all PAL.

My suspicion seems to get more weight: there is something wrong about how premiere (or AME) delivers the mpeg. I just exported as AVI, let Encore transcode and the result does not show the stutter. I'm still not real happy about the quality, but I see light at the end of the tunnel.

Looks like I have to export 72 avi's to replace the mpegs in Encore. Odd, but it seems to be the only way. Or is there a chance to replace the AME Mpeg2 encoder with a different version?


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Jeff Pulera
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 6:32:58 pm

Since you're the only one having this particular issue, it could be workflow-related. What is your Premiere sequence setting, and what AME settings are you using? Is it possible to post a screen grab of the AME encode settings?

There should not be any issue using the AME-generated file, but as discussed, should be .m2v. Basically, choose "MPEG-2 for DVD" and then a Preset that best matches your footage like "PAL High Quality", and then besides adjusting the data rate, DON'T TOUCH other settings. Perhaps something is out of whack in the settings that is messing up the encode.

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Johannes Schwarz
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 7:01:40 pm

here are my settings

ex.jpg


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Jeff Pulera
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 7:06:30 pm

I believe the ability to export Dolby direct from AME is new to CS6. The "tried and true" method is to use the default "PCM" which creates a .wav file and Encore then transcodes to Dolby. Only takes seconds. Have you tried that workflow?

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Johannes Schwarz
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 7:18:00 pm

Tried PCM and failed this afternoon.
But I'm trying the suggested variable bitrate now. The first file (for a reason beyond me) seems to have overcome the error. I'm trying to confirm with a 2nd one. After all I got 72 sequences.... :-P
Will report back


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Johannes Schwarz
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 7:40:34 pm

Ok. It does defy everything I know about things, but the problem on my machine seems to be that the Mainconcept Encoder in AME seems to deliver something pretty indigestible when in CBR - even though it is only 5.5 Mbps - at least in some files (making it even more mysterious)

When I use the standard 1 Pass VBR, the problems almost disappear. They are gone in the part they were troubling before and to a lesser degree have appeared at another place.

So it has something to do with the codec and the bitrate. Already this afternoon I noticed that when I re-encoded a certain file at 6 Mbps the problems were gone. I almost thought I had the solution, but it was premature. Other files did not improve at 6 Mbps.

I'm still at a loss and I'm not satifsfied. How much better things will be with VBR I will find out tomorrow morning, when the encoder is done


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Daniel Ludwig
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 8:57:24 pm

johannes,
you didn´t answer my question yet! what is your source-material HD 1080? shot on what kind of cam? AVCHD? P2? what resolution? 1920x1080 or 1440x1080?

if you shot in HD, you should scale-down before encoding to SD PAL MPEG2, and heaven - forget about PCM or MPG audio importing into encore! you need to transcode to AC3, never use the automatic transcoding!


by the way - encore will allways transcode to lower field first, even if you´ll have HD with upper first - there is no automatic field-shift !!

if you´ve recorded 1080psf25 (progressive segmented frame) - you are 1080i50, so you need to care about interlaced lines prior downscaling, and you need to downscale interlaced, not progressive, otherwise you´ll get interlaced trouble!!

cheers

danny (from germany - PAL-country ;) )


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Johannes Schwarz
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 11:10:42 pm

Hallo Daniel,

well the source is non camera, animation 1080p @ 23,976 (so Bluray will be an option later)
Of course I scaled it down and interpreted it 25p to fit a 25p DV PAL timeline to work with it in Premiere. Since the animation had no audio there was no difficulty in just having a slightly shorter animation.

So the process was as follows:
- The FullHD footage is not from a camera but an animation.
- the raw animation was combined with 4k green screen (actually white screen double layer for hand and real shadows) photo-sequences to give the impression that the cartoon is drawn on paper.
- this was imported into premiere, interpreted to 25p DV PAL Widescreen etc as stated above. Voice and SFX were added and the animation cut and adjusted to fit the voice.
- This was exported to mpg2s (all working fine on its own - as do the mp4s online)
- Then I put it into Encore which now manages to get an occasional stutter into the video files if I use CBR. And from 3 test files it appeast that VBR solves the issue. Will know more in a few hours.

But:
There should be no issue with interlace, because the "footage" was produced progressive, never saw a cam and all settings in all programs it went through made sure that does not change. Even Encore meekly states as soon as I drop a clip into a timeline, that (since it promises not to encode) it will stay "no fields (progressive scan)"

As I said, I think there is something wrong (corrupted) with my MainConcept Encoder that seems to produce an occasional stutter when I use CBR. To verify that theory I need to test it with different footage, but right now the AME in full with files I need for the project.

Since you speak German you can actually take a peek at what the project looks like here: http://www.3mc.me/de/index_de.html
:-)

Cheers,
Johannes


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eric pautsch
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 5:07:09 am

Maybe this link will shed some light:

http://forum.grassvalley.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-17953.html

Personally Id just make an NTSC 23.98 title and be done with it. NTSC discs are all over Europe.



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Johannes Schwarz
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 7:16:36 am

Hi Eric,

thanks for the link. I'll give it a read.

Originally (after asking on this forum) I planned to go all NTSC as you suggest and distribute it as such in PAL land. But in the early tests I felt that the loss of image resolution was bad enough to stick with PAL for most of the countries I'm distributing in. The series is a 2D line animation - not film. And so the extra lines of resolution mean a cleaner picture when the drawings are small (at least for PAL people). At an estimate of 100.000 PAL copies within the first year (note: I've already received 20.000 pre-orders over the last 2 weeks for the German edition alone) I think it is worth the trouble to go the extra mile (or resolution)

Cheers,
Johannes


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eric pautsch
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 7:41:43 am

I hear you....We've done it in the past to save on replication costs.

No one will care about the extra lines of resolution....but then again, thats what is takes to be a professional so I agree and understand your point.

Can you post a sample of the issue youre seeing?

Here's another thread to read:

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/155/870715#870746

Also remember that there is no true progressive in DVD....DVD is over 20 years old so it predates any progressive video technology Only interleaved fields.

i wish I had a definite answer but Ive done several PAL title years ago and they were all interlaced

From the Spec


A disc has one track (stream) of MPEG-2 constant bit rate (CBR) or variable bit rate (VBR) compressed digital video. A restricted version of MPEG-2 Main Profile at Main Level (MP@ML) is used. SP@ML is also supported. MPEG-1 CBR and VBR video is also allowed. 525/60 (NTSC, 29.97 interlaced frames/sec) and 625/50 (PAL/SECAM, 25 interlaced frames/sec) video display systems are expressly supported. Coded frame rates of 24 fps progressive from film, 25 fps interlaced from PAL video, and 29.97 fps interlaced from NTSC video are typical. MPEG-2 progressive_sequence is not allowed, but interlaced sequences can contain progressive pictures and progressive macroblocks. In the case of 24 fps source, the encoder embeds MPEG-2 repeat_first_field flags into the video stream to make the decoder either perform 2-3 pulldown for 60Hz NTSC displays (actually 59.94Hz) or 2-2 pulldown (with resulting 4% speedup) for 50Hz PAL/SECAM displays. In other words, the player doesn't "know" what the encoded rate is, it simply follows the MPEG-2 encoder's instructions to produce the predetermined display rate of 25 fps or 29.97 fps. This is one of the main reasons there are two kinds of discs, one for NTSC and one for PAL. (Very few players convert from PAL to NTSC or NTSC to PAL. See 1.19.)

Because film transfers for NTSC and PAL usually use the same coded picture rate (24 fps) but PAL resolution is higher, the PAL version takes more space on the disc. The raw increase before encoding is 20% (480 to 576), but the final result is closer to 15%, depending on encoder efficiency. This translates to an increase of 600 to 700 megabytes on PAL discs compared to NTSC discs.

It's interesting to note that even interlaced source video can be rendered as progressive-structured MPEG pictures by a good encoder, with interlaced field-encoded macroblocks used only when needed for motion. Most film sources are encoded at 24 frames per second (the inverse telecine process during encoding removes duplicate 2-3 pulldown fields from the videotape source, and the remaining field pairs, although technically in interlaced form, can be re-interleaved by a progressive player). Most video sources are encoded at 25 or 30 interlaced frames per second. These may be mixed on the same disc, such as an interlaced-source logo followed by a progressive-source movie.



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Daniel Ludwig
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 11:36:52 am

johannes,
there is an workflow-issue, no more, no less!

you´ve wrote:
this was imported into premiere, interpreted to 25p DV PAL Widescreen etc as stated above

there it is: DV-PAL never is progressive!! DV PAL is lower field first - allways (because of the specs of the codec itself)

so if you encoded your material progressive this is definitivly wrong!

by the way - to use DV-PAL-codec is the worst thing you can do, as it significantly reduce picture-quality, you´ll see this especially on typos. DV-PAL only is 4:2:0 instead of 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 for uncompressed video.

your workflow should be like this:

1.) 1080p23.98-> interprete footage as 25fps while importing into premiere
2.) create a new user-sequenz-setting that has no interlace and no DV within the settings, not even in the preview-function, 720x576px PAL Widescreen

3.) edit your film

4.) export to selfcontained movie (MOV or AVI) with no default-setting, you need to create a progressive user-setting

if you are on MAC choose apple PRO RES HQ (or use sequenz-settings), if you are on PC use AVI uncompressed YUV8bit

5.) use AME to transcode your progressive video to M2V and AC3.

6.) import it into encore and author.

cheers

danny

PS: you might get in touch with me on skype, here´s my nick: dannyoman


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Johannes Schwarz
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 10:40:51 pm

Hi Daniel,

Hmm. Maybe I did not use the DV-PAL terminology correctly. I used these settings: screen-prog.jpg which would indicate the progressive is do-able from within the DV-PAL settings. My timelines and resulting files show up as progressive. No apparent problem

Also: the problems I had seemed to affect only certain sequences. Playing with bit rates solved it in some and switching to VBR solved it for all.
Since all my 72 time lines were just copies of each other, if the problem was progr vs interlaced mixed in the process at some point the problem would have to have been across all of my files (and having worked with mixed footage, I've know the pain of the resulting "jitters"). So I really think this is not a frame rate or field order mismatch issue.

In your workflow: I'm curious. Why would you do step 4 and not export with the right settings from Premiere (via AME)? Eg. Uncompressed AVI my 72 files would fill 2 TB. Even today this still is quite some "real estate". What is the benefit of that intermediary step?

At any rate. I shipped the Masters out today. They played fine on my PC and on a DVD-Player. No jumps, no jitter. No on to the other 6 languages :-)


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Daniel Ludwig
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Feb 7, 2013 at 7:21:58 am

Johannes,
sorry for the misunderstanding - I´m mainly a MAC-user, and the best way to work on mac is to use apple PRO RES, as it´s a high quality codec at a very low bitrate (similar to avid dnx). when I wrote the post - I´ve forgotten you could use other codecs instead of uncompressed AVI, for example avid DNX or quicktime-export to photo-jpeg.

the problem that you had could have more than one reason, so I started with the most common one.

other possibilities: bad media, wrong GOP-structure and also to preview a 25fps-disc on a computer is no good, as the player mostly deinterlacing the picture and finally - computermontiors could not playback 25fps correctly, as they are pepared to show 60Hz or 70hz.

and could be possible that I have been misinterpreting premiere-sequenz-settings - as I´m mainly a FCP-user. could be possible that DV-PAL just a declaration for the aspec-ratio - and similar to AfterEffects you are setting the output-codec and the field-dominance within the output-module to export the film. within FCP you have a dedicated sequenz with field-dominance and the dedicated codec that you use.

cross my fingers that everything will be fine on the replicated disc.

cheers

danny


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Mark Stuart
Re: What the F....rame skip - stick?
on Mar 15, 2013 at 11:24:02 pm

Hi Johannes

I am also having a frame drop problem with Encore.

.vob file created by Encore CS6 has a frame jump 1 min 10 seconds in. (Looks like 1 frame missing, creating a jump)
.m2v file from Edius or Procoder is perfect, without frame drop

Encore is not transcoding. I cannot figure out why muxing m2v + ac3 is causing this.

Footage is PAL 50i

Jump is just with picture. Sound doesnt jump.

All tests negative, have not found a cause or solution so far.

Have used encore for a couple of years and not noticed before. Maybe havent had fast movement at jump point or maybe a new issue?

Regards
Mark


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