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Pixelation and vertical stripes in picture

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Doug Anderson
Pixelation and vertical stripes in picture
on Jul 18, 2009 at 6:37:03 am

My footage captured to FCP from my DVX100B looks really pixelated, especially along boundaries with high contrast--of which I have many. Here are a few screenshots to give an idea what it looks like. In the last shot with the red shroud, the effect of vertical stripes is particularly evident: I estimate there are about 160-180 vertical bands spanning the width of the screen.

I was shooting on the DVX100B in 24p mode--not 24pA--and I was in letterbox mode. (I now realize I probably should have shot "squeeze" in 24pA, and imported as anamorphic, right??)

I imported and created a timeline after having selected the Easy Setup "DV-NTSE 24p (23.98)". There don't seem to be any problems with interlacing, etc. When I exported as a quicktime movie, I first set the sequence setting to 10-bit uncompressed, and kept "current settings" in the Export QT Movie dialog box. I don't think that the exporting to quicktime has anything to do with the poor quality, since the pixelation/vertical striping looks equally bad editing in the canvas and watching the exported QT file.

Any ideas or advice? No doubt this problem reflects a rookie mistake on my part. Thanks in advance for any help!


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Trevor Ward
Re: Pixelation and vertical stripes in picture
on Jul 18, 2009 at 10:16:48 pm

First question:

Does it look like this when you watch the clip on a TV monitor, played back from your camera from the source tape? if it's good there, then we can rule out a bad recording. miniDV is bad but it's not THAT bad.

-trevor ward
Red Eye Film Co.
http://www.redeyefilmco.com
orlando, fl


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Noah Kadner
Re: Pixelation and vertical stripes in picture
on Jul 18, 2009 at 11:57:17 pm

Those are screenshots from where exactly? If it's QuickTime Player make sure the High Quality setting is checked in Window>Show Movie Properties>Video Track>Visual Settings. If it's FCP- that's just a proxy.

The only way to be 100% clear on how DV actually looks is playback to a TV.

Noah

Writing RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
Now featuring the Lens Adapter Guidebook, Sony EX1 Guidebook,
DVD Studio Pro and How to Light Interviews.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Trevor Ward
Re: Pixelation and vertical stripes in picture
on Jul 19, 2009 at 12:29:48 am

Ummm, not to be picky, but it's not just a proxy if it's a screen shot of FCP. That's the file the way it is from the capture scratch. So assuming the video has been captured at full resolution, then the image in FCP is a full resolution image. Otherwise, what would be the point of editing in FCP if it wasn't WYSIWYG? It's not like he's editing with Proxy files from P2 cards or SXS cards or RED files.

-trevor ward
Red Eye Film Co.
http://www.redeyefilmco.com
orlando, fl


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Noah Kadner
Re: Pixelation and vertical stripes in picture
on Jul 21, 2009 at 4:00:44 pm

If it's a Shift-Apple-3 screenshot of a window in FCP- you bet your bottom dollar it's a viewing proxy. WYS in the Canvas is hardly ever WYG.

Now if it's a File>Export>QuickTime conversion... TIF that's another story. So yeah that's why I'm asking... where does that shot come from? And how does it look going out to a broadcast monitor?

Noah

Writing RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
Now featuring the Lens Adapter Guidebook, Sony EX1 Guidebook,
DVD Studio Pro and How to Light Interviews.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Doug Anderson
Re: Pixelation and vertical stripes in picture
on Jul 27, 2009 at 4:16:08 pm

Thank you so much for responding, guys.

Those original screenshots were taken from a QT file exported from Final Cut.

I just added a couple of screenshots to my picasa album, taken from the original .mov file in my Capture Scratch folder, as shown when opened in QuickTime. I did make sure that the "high quality" box was checked in Show Movie Properties > Visual Settings.

By the way, why is is that Quicktime displays that file as 853x480 instead of 720x480? Is that part of my problem?

The video actually looks great on my broadcast monitor, played directly from the tape. (I actually don't believe I am set up to play from my computer files to the monitor--but maybe I should do that.) There is no trace of halo at high-contrast boundaries, and those multi-pixel-wide vertical stripes are nonexistent. I tried fiddling with the knobs on my broadcast monitor to get some blurry edges, but to no avail.

For comparison, I've added a couple "bootleg-style" screenshots, taken with a digital camera off my broadcast monitor. Obviously the color is horrible, but at least you see there's no trace of those vertical lines that are so apparent along the folds in the red shroud. There's also none of the pixelly blur around the edge of his face/fingers in the "arm extended" shot.

I had originally tried posting this troubleshooting question in another thread, where Dave LaRonde's take was just that my images were too high-contrast, high-saturation, and with too high-frequency colors to look good on DV video. I can believe that. I can also believe Noah's suggestion that you don't know how it "really" looks until it's on a CRT monitor, but if I'm going to export a DVD to be played on someone's LCD computer display, it would be great to have that look good as well.

Doug

Pizzicato Pictures
http://www.pizzicatopictures.com/


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