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having issue with Compressor to MPEG2 video

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Jason Brown
having issue with Compressor to MPEG2 video
on Feb 9, 2010 at 9:02:38 pm

Hey Guys,

I have FCS3 and Compressor v3.5.1

I love being able to send to compressor right from my FCP timeline...but I'm having an issue making clean looking MPEG2 files. My source footage is usually HDV...sometimes ProResHD 1080...but regardless...I keep having the same issues with the MPEG2 files that compressor makes. h264, wmv...all look great, it's only MPEG2.

I tested my source footage and setup comparable output settings in Episode and Sorenson with a Same as Source export from FCP and it looks significantly better. The issue is just clarity...it's just fuzzy. I'm doing a bit-rate as variable 7mbps...with a limit of 7.8...I've played with several settings and tweaked them. Again, I've used sorenson and been able to change the settings to provide a clip that looks significantly cleaner than what compressor is doing.

Anyone else experienced these issues? i'd love to use compressor because of being able to send directly from my timeline.

Any way someone could send me a .setting for an MPEG2 output from compressor that I could test? I've tried all the presets and tweaked my own...and can't get it right.

BTW, I've trashed my prefs for compressor...and FCP...no changes.

-Jason


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Daniel Low
Re: having issue with Compressor to MPEG2 video
on Feb 10, 2010 at 4:03:41 pm

[Jason Brown] "I'm doing a bit-rate as variable 7mbps...with a limit of 7.8...I've played with several settings and tweaked them"

There are a lot more setting we'd need to know about before being able to track down the problem you are having. There is no reason why Squeeze or episode should look significantly better than compressor.

Have you tried using one of the Apple supplied presets and not messing with it?

You might want to try switching to CBR @ 7Mb/s as well. VBR works best where there's much more of a variable between average and max, in your case you might see a much better transcode is you went for an average of 3.5Mb/s and a limit 7.8Mb/s



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Jason Brown
Re: having issue with Compressor to MPEG2 video
on Feb 10, 2010 at 4:09:07 pm

I started with the apple compressor settings. When that wasn't working...I started tweaking. I've done CBR, VBR...I've probably done 15 different tests...and they all aren't as clear as what I'm pushing out of Sorenson or Episode.

I have a fair knowledge...I've been authoring/encoding for about 5-6 years, so I'm not a noob to this. I've only been using Compressor for the last couple months and can't figure out what's going on.

-Jason


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Daniel Low
Re: having issue with Compressor to MPEG2 video
on Feb 10, 2010 at 5:12:31 pm

[Jason Brown] "I have a fair knowledge...I've been authoring/encoding for about 5-6 years, so I'm not a noob to this"

Then you should know that when targeting VBR, your peak rate should be set to be roughly double your average rate.

Can you post comparison screen grabs of the output from each application?



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Jason Brown
Re: having issue with Compressor to MPEG2 video
on Feb 10, 2010 at 6:28:43 pm

[Daniel Low] "Then you should know that when targeting VBR, your peak rate should be set to be roughly double your average rate. "

I guess you can always learn something new...I didn't say I was an expert, just "not a newbie" lol :)

I'll do some screengrabs tonight and show you an example.

-jason


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Jason Brown
it's not compressor...it's my settings...
on Feb 12, 2010 at 3:03:21 pm

OK...as I did some further testing and was reading posts online. I think I figured this out. I have a better question to ask. And I realized that I know MUCH less about this than I thought I did. I've only been working in HD since I came from an SD AVID media composer to Final Cut...about 6 months ago.

My source footage is HDV - upper field first.

As I was looking through episode...there is a setting - HD to SD DVD...in that setting, there is a filter to reverse the field order (UFF to BFF) that is applied.

So I setup compressor to use the episode plug-in. And compressed...the results: (screengrab from VLC)


http://www.jbtwist.com/CC/Compressor.png
http://www.jbtwist.com/CC/Episode.png
http://www.jbtwist.com/CC/Compressor_BFF.png

(I included the last file as a compressor job where I changed field dominance to Upper comparable to the Episode)

Now, I know I'm looking at interlaced footage on computer...and there are SEVERAL other factors. But I think this has to do with interlacing. The episode version looks much better. Edges are cleaner and it IS interlaced (and darker for some reason...)

So my new question...I thought SD-DVD could contain either field order, UFF or BFF as long as the MPEG2 file had the correct header for the DVD player to read...

Thanks for your help...I really appreciate it!

-jason


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Daniel Low
Re: it's not compressor...it's my settings...
on Feb 12, 2010 at 3:08:19 pm

I'm not sure about that Episode preset but when going from interlaced HD to SD you deinterlace in 99.99999% of cases and deliver a progressive SD output.

Interlaced PAL is nearly always UFF.

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