New user, long time reader here. I prefer to find my answers on the web, but I can't seem to find a decent answer to this question. I've always found good information here and I thought I'd give it a shot.
Here's the issue:
A client has hired me to take web cast videos that he's captured with Camtasia, 640x480 NTSC Square Pixels and put them onto DVD's.
I've done a bunch of different codec test and mixed and matched programs to the eventual end of putting it into Encore and playing a Preview of the video. Each time I am loosing readability on the text and picture are becoming slightly pixelated.
Now, I know I'm going to be losing quality through all this. Garbage in garbage out. However, I'm trying to find a way to minimize it. May I ask if anyone has any experience doing this and what they found to be the best option?
If your curious, here is a list of things I've tried. Everything I do is in Adobe CS4.
1. Imported into Premiere, placed on Standard DV NTSC Sequence, exported as MPEG 2 and Quicktime movie. Both look ok, but still not very good.
2. Imported into AE and was actually able to work within a 720x480 NTSC DV Square Pixels timeline, exported out as MPEG 4 and it looked good until it went into Encore.
Am I going to always be working with the wrong pixel aspect ratio when I go into Encore? Or am I missing something completely obvious because you can work with graphics in AE and put those into Premiere for export onto a DVD...
Any thoughts, suggestions or advice would be most appreciated.
Three silly questions:
1) What codec is he exporting out of camtasia?
2) Why aren't your using Adobe Media Encoder to build your MPEG-2
3) Any reason you're making an MPEG-4 out of AE rather than an MPEG-2?
Apple Master Trainer
Avid Cert. Instructor DS/MC
Avid & Color Videos Vasst.com
Compressor Essentials Lynda.com
The real problem is the NTSC format - it will never work well for computer graphics. Whatever text you can read in the original video file from Camtasia will turn to mush as soon as converted to NTSC video.
If possible, talk your friend out of doing DVD, and into making a computer-friendly presentation. Camtasia comes with a MenuMaker program that allows you to create a presentation with a custom menu that plays only on the PC (not DVD player). This way, the quality you captured from Camtasia will be the same quality and clarity that the viewer sees on their PC.
This resulting program can be played from CD, or as a digital file on the hard drive. Safe Harbor creates tutorials at 1024x768 and offers them as a digital download to customers, quality is great that way. Had tried DVD in the past, horrible results with screen captures.