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Compression and codec confusion:( pixelated DVD

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medal27
Compression and codec confusion:( pixelated DVD
on Sep 14, 2007 at 12:42:15 am

Hi DV world:) I've been having a few difficulties on what I assumed to be a few easy tasks. I'm still troubleshooting and thought I'd get other opinions from the Jedi Masters out here. If you're out here Yoda, ..help! jk. Anyhow , any info would be greatly appreciated.

My situation is this(specific): I have a G4 dual 1.3 Mac(still milking it). I am trying to create a 20 minute video for an art gallery show. Its all stop-motion animation, captured on a mini-DV 3ccd chip camera(NTSC). I have been working primarily with After Effects, with ALOT of post production. Motion blurs, colors, etc. It looks crisp/ clean and the quality is great(on my computer monitor). I want to project this fairly large: 5-6 feet wide at the most. My first attempts at test burning(exported Quicktime(animation codec) file from After Effects) to DVD from Roxio Toast have been really disappointing. The quality looks really pixelated, not as sharp and crisp as I'd like it to.

Is it that I'm not using the right codec / format or if its simply that I can't possibly pack that "crisp" hi res look onto an ordinary DVD? Is HD a possible solution? Like should I work in HD after effects, export from there, then burn to HD DVD? I think I would have to pay like 699 for a blue ray burner or something?..And I'm pretty broke right now.. Another side tells me that I have to view it on a regular tv monitor to test it properly anyways. I only have my Comp Monitor for viewing right now.

I got away with showing some test clips to the gallery directly through my DV cam. The burned DVD quality made me cringe so I just exported the sequences out of Adobe Premiere(which I never really use, but it saved me that day) directly to DV tape. I suppose I can try re-importing the DV res version to see if it compresses better to dvd?


Sorry such a long post, but all info is there. Any suggestions will be received with much gratitute. Thanks!


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Compression and codec confusion:( pixelated DVD
on Sep 14, 2007 at 4:29:25 am

[medal27] "My first attempts at test burning(exported Quicktime(animation codec) file from After Effects) to DVD from Roxio Toast have been really disappointing. The quality looks really pixelated, not as sharp and crisp as I'd like it to."

I hate to be the tider of bad news, but it makes litle difference what codec you use to create your video because you're just going to destroy it by encoding to DVD with Toast. Toast is CD/DVD burning software that, basically as an after thought, happens to include a DVD encoding app, and a very poor consumer grade DVD encoding app at that. Sorry!!!

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY


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Ed Dooley
Re: Compression and codec confusion:( pixelated DVD
on Sep 14, 2007 at 2:34:00 pm

It's not clear to me that he's trying to encode to MPEG-2 in Toast. His post says he's burning a QT file to a DVD. If that's the case, Toast is a fine tool for that, and the problem is probably elsewhere. If he is trying to encode in Toast, then David's right.
Not sure, but the thing that caught my attention is that he's trying to turn a sows ear into a silk purse, by shooting in mini-DV then trying to get HD out of it. Of course it looks good on the computer monitor, and it will look like crap when enlarged.
Ed



[David Roth Weiss] "[medal27] "My first attempts at test burning(exported Quicktime(animation codec) file from After Effects) to DVD from Roxio Toast have been really disappointing. The quality looks really pixelated, not as sharp and crisp as I'd like it to."

I hate to be the tider of bad news, but it makes litle difference what codec you use to create your video because you're just going to destroy it by encoding to DVD with Toast. Toast is CD/DVD burning software that, basically as an after thought, happens to include a DVD encoding app, and a very poor consumer grade DVD encoding app at that. Sorry!!!
"




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David Roth Weiss
Re: Compression and codec confusion:( pixelated DVD
on Sep 14, 2007 at 3:28:56 pm

[Ed Dooley] "It's not clear to me that he's trying to encode to MPEG-2 in Toast."

I thought that was pretty clear Ed, but ya never know... What I do know is that if someone wants others to actually be able watch a DVD, Toast simply cannot be trusted.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY


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medal27
Re: Compression and codec confusion:( pixelated DVD
on Sep 14, 2007 at 4:33:53 pm

Ed and David,

Thanks alot for the replies. It sounds pretty grim though. David mentioned that a consumer program like Toast isn't good for creating watchable DVD's. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case. I would then assume that the projection would have pixels the size of feta cheese crumbles on an enlarged screen. Do you know of better DVD software(i use mac) or encoding app that will sew these problems up? I'm using Toast because that's what I have now. But I'll toss it out if you can recommend something with more reliabilty..a name? a company? a filter? Anything would be helpful.

Ed, I'm not ashamed to say that I anm indeed am attempting to make silk(or the best I can) out of..lesser grade material(dv!. I suppose it's been my philosophy for some time. I guess its the alchemist in me. I'd just like to know how far I can push this. Maybe I'll get satin, or polyester, who knows. However, I know I cannot upconvert the dv quality to HD. I thought that working/editing and doing post in HD After Effects might enable to project it larger without noticing the pixels so much. I know video is a different story, but I guess I'm thinking more in terms of "print' logic..in terms of resizing images in Photoshop which I use more than anything.

The logic is this: In Photshop, changing the resolution will assist in being able to blow an image up larger..even with an image with pixels. Of course you will still see a difference, but at least you are able to enlarge it, even just a little more, with the res change. I suppose its just a technique for trweaking, but i know it has a threshold- the margins of no return. I'd like to find that line somewhere. I really only need to project it 4' X 5'. It doesn't make sense to me that I wouldn't be able to project DV ( yes, even DV) to that size without things falling apart.

My limit here , I suppose is the DVD. There's only so much space on it.. Is there anyway to make up for this?
Like is there a technique..maybe a dual layer burning technique or something, to get better quality on a DVD? Thanks again.




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David Roth Weiss
Re: Compression and codec confusion:( pixelated DVD
on Sep 14, 2007 at 4:54:06 pm

Don't go overboard trying to reinvent the wheel, a properly made SD DVD displays quite well on a good Projection system. If you edit your AE stuff rendered using the animation codec and graphics created in photoshop at 720x554 with square pixels on an 8-bit or 10-bit uncompressed timeline, you can make pretty terrific DVDs. What you are experiencing now is just that you're being toasted by Toast.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY


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David Roth Weiss
...more to last comment
on Sep 14, 2007 at 5:16:25 pm

Oops, I almost forgot... There is no great solution for you outside of Final Cut Studio. Sure, you could get better encoding software, but then you'd still be stuck without a proper authoring/burning app. There really isn't anything other than Compressor and DVDSP that will really do the jobs as well.

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY


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medal27
Re: ...more to last comment
on Sep 14, 2007 at 8:13:52 pm

Muchas gracias David

Compressor/ DVDSP ...It seems to be the shared sentiment by many many posts around here. I will give those a go. Now I have to find out about a proper projector for it..I guess thats a question for another forum though.

Thanks again!

Kevin


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Ed Dooley
Re: ...more to last comment
on Sep 14, 2007 at 11:54:39 pm

Kevin,
Not to steer you away from Compressor and DVDSP, but Adobe Encore is also an authoring
solution for Mac. As for the DV footage, David is right, that you should be able to create decent DVDs from mini-DV footage. The HD idea you had made me think you were trying to upscale DV to HD. But, you're doing an art show, do you need to author this to a DVD, and in the process, compressing an already compressed format even more? If you're able to play the piece from a laptop (or even a desktop) to the projector, I would strongly suggest that you eliminate the MPEG-2 DVD completely and instead compress a high data-rate H.264 QT, which you can export right out of FCP or QT Pro. It will look far, far better than an authored DVD.
Ed


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medal27
Re: ...more to last comment
on Sep 15, 2007 at 4:51:12 am

Thanks Ed.

I will try and figure this out some more. It seems like the best quality I can get is by exporting the sequence(QT clips) to my DV cam and recording it to tape. Then I will be able to play it on a dv deck, or like you suggested, on a laptop. However, I don't have either of these ..not even a projector yet! Nor a DVD player..hahah.. And I'm flying to Miami for this to I can't really lug my desktop. I'll figure something out..

In the end, I have to burn it to some kind of media anyhow for archiving and for potential people who might want to own it, etc.. so I will be checking out Adobe Encore. Thanks!!


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David Roth Weiss
Re: ...more to last comment
on Sep 16, 2007 at 7:42:09 pm

[medal27] "so I will be checking out Adobe Encore."

FYI, Encore is not available as a standalone app, only as part of the Adobe CS3 suite...

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY


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