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Compressing Pro Res 422 (HQ) to H.264 (Jerky results)

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Jonathan Bierman
Compressing Pro Res 422 (HQ) to H.264 (Jerky results)
on Mar 25, 2011 at 3:12:17 am

Hi Guys,

First things first (as requested)

Mac OSX 10.5.8
FCP 7.0.3 / Compressor 3.5.3
Source: Apple ProRes (HQ) 1080x1920 23.98fps
Destination: H.264

Package is 3 mins, basically trying to compress for maximum quality HD web streaming... I believe I have a 2gb limit for YouTube these days (correct me if I'm wrong, although this isn't the issue right now)

The issue is that my results have intermittent jerkiness when I play them back in Quick Time. I haven't attempted to upload them to see how they play in YouTube, assuming that this problem will transfer.

Are my settings causing dropped frames somewhere (?)

I've tried choosing Key Frames at Automatic, as well as 24 (ie 1/sec) or even as short as 5. All have the same result - occasional jerkiness in playback (obviously this does not occur in the ProRes source file)

With Frame Controls turned on, I've got:
Resize Filter: Better
Output Fields: Progressive
Deinterlace: Better
(I appreciate these controls probably have nothing to do with this issue, just being thorough)

Rate Conversion: Better
Set duration: so source frames play at 23.98fps (seems to make sense)

Is there anything obvious I am not considering? Should I try using a different output frame rate? Surely that would make the issue worse.

Hope someone can help!

Jon


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Jeff Greenberg
Re: Compressing Pro Res 422 (HQ) to H.264 (Jerky results)
on Mar 25, 2011 at 10:58:13 am

Couple of thoughts...

First, you can use the youtube uploader for larger files. Yup, you could probably upload the actual ProRes file if you wanted.

If you step through the playback (where QuickTime is dropping frames) and all the frames are there...nothing is missing. It's going to be re-encoded again on youtube's end. You're fine (but you could just test this by uploading)

QuickTime X and QuickTime 7 actually use different methods of playing back h.264 content.

Last, Compressor has a youtube preset - you should either use that, or the Share command inside of FCP, where it utilizes that preset. It's pretty liberal.

Best,

Jeff G

Apple Master Trainer | Avid Cert. Instructor DS/MC | Adobe Cert. Instructor
------------
You should follow me (filmgeek) on twitter. I promise to be nice.
Come See me speak at NAB!
Compressor Essentials from Lynda.com
(older but still good) Marquee, Media Composer (3.5) and Basic/Advanced Color DVDs (1.0) from Vasst.com
Contact me through my Website


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Jonathan Bierman
Re: Compressing Pro Res 422 (HQ) to H.264 (Jerky results)
on Mar 25, 2011 at 11:48:48 pm

Thanks for the response... so what you're saying is that I may not actually have a problem at all... but the proof will be in the YouTube uploading pudding I guess.

Jon


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Compressing Pro Res 422 (HQ) to H.264 (Jerky results)
on Mar 26, 2011 at 12:17:29 am

What is your frame size of the H264? You Tube does not display anything larger than 1280 x 720 and there is not much reason to anyway. Actually the iPad uses an HD frame size of 960 x 540 and it holds up even on blowups to larger screens.

I will not watch a video that studders because the compressionist was more concerned about precious resolution than smooth playback. Smooth playback trumps detail in every pixel every time.

Try 1280 x 720 at about 5000kbps with Apple lossless audio at 192kbps....running at 23.976 this should be butter and look great.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Jeff Greenberg
Re: Compressing Pro Res 422 (HQ) to H.264 (Jerky results)
on Mar 26, 2011 at 2:35:25 pm

Rich, your information may be a bit outdated:
Youtube supports full 1080 (actually, depending - they now also accept 2k & 4k files)

Here's an example:



(just the first one I found during a search). - Notice it does a 1080 + an 'original"

Here's Youtube's latest suggestions for apple users (around Oct/nov of last year.)

Even Compressors settings are at 8Mbs a sec.

Hope that helps!

Best,

Jeff G

Apple Master Trainer | Avid Cert. Instructor DS/MC | Adobe Cert. Instructor
------------
You should follow me (filmgeek) on twitter. I promise to be nice.
Come See me speak at NAB!
Compressor Essentials from Lynda.com
(older but still good) Marquee, Media Composer (3.5) and Basic/Advanced Color DVDs (1.0) from Vasst.com
Contact me through my Website


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Jeff Greenberg
Re: Compressing Pro Res 422 (HQ) to H.264 (Jerky results)
on Mar 26, 2011 at 2:33:41 pm

Rich, your information may be a bit outdated:
Youtube supports full 1080 (actually, depending - they now also accept 2k & 4k files)

Here's an example:



(just the first one I found during a search). - Notice it does a 1080 + an 'original"

Here's Youtube's latest suggestions for apple users (around Oct/nov of last year.)

Even Compressors settings are at 8Mbs a sec.

Hope that helps!

Best,

Jeff G

Apple Master Trainer | Avid Cert. Instructor DS/MC | Adobe Cert. Instructor
------------
You should follow me (filmgeek) on twitter. I promise to be nice.
Come See me speak at NAB!
Compressor Essentials from Lynda.com
(older but still good) Marquee, Media Composer (3.5) and Basic/Advanced Color DVDs (1.0) from Vasst.com
Contact me through my Website


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Jeff Greenberg
Re: Compressing Pro Res 422 (HQ) to H.264 (Jerky results)
on Mar 26, 2011 at 2:25:27 pm

Pretty much exactly - if it's a large file, I'd just compress the 30 or so seconds that are 'dicey' and upload that. Of course, I am saying that you should check it yourself after Youtube gets a hold of it...

Best,

Jeff G

Apple Master Trainer | Avid Cert. Instructor DS/MC | Adobe Cert. Instructor
------------
You should follow me (filmgeek) on twitter. I promise to be nice.
Come See me speak at NAB!
Compressor Essentials from Lynda.com
(older but still good) Marquee, Media Composer (3.5) and Basic/Advanced Color DVDs (1.0) from Vasst.com
Contact me through my Website


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Jonathan Bierman
Re: Compressing Pro Res 422 (HQ) to H.264 (Jerky results)
on Mar 26, 2011 at 7:08:27 pm

hmmm well the client is requesting a "full HD" h.264 for YouTubes... project is 1080 so I'd like to give it to them in 1080. And yeah, I've been seeing 1080 YouTube vids for about two years (first one I saw was for District 9) so I know that it's possible.

I'm uploading a test now to see what results I get.


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Compressing Pro Res 422 (HQ) to H.264 (Jerky results)
on Mar 26, 2011 at 10:03:07 pm

Even so....I don't care if YouTube supports 4k...if it doesn't play back it isn't impressing anyone. Depending on length anything above 8mbts/sec is pretty ambitious for a general audience like YouTube. And I guarantee you that if you encode to 1280 x 720 and it plays back perfectly and looks stunning you will be the hero.

If your clip won't play back you won't be the one encoding the next one for that client!

Check your own monitor settings...most basic laptops or desktop LCD panels don't even support full 1920 x 1080 so they are either scaled DOWN or the edges get cropped..whats the point of that?

I'm on a PC laptop right now and my monitors max resolution is 1388 x 768 so 1920 x 1080 is way overkill. My 15 inch MacBook is 1440 x 900 at it's max resolution. Since many of us are starting to watch more and more video on a smart phone or an iPad 960 x 540 is a pretty good portable easily streamed by the general public frame size.

I'm merely suggesting that you don't necessarily equate the largest frame size that is POSSIBLE with the frame size that is APPROPRIATE for the application. Again try it at 1280 x 720 at about 5000kbps and let us know what you think about the quality and playback.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Jonathan Bierman
Re: Compressing Pro Res 422 (HQ) to H.264 (Jerky results)
on Mar 26, 2011 at 11:10:34 pm

I certainly appreciate where you're coming from Rich, which is precisely why I'm going through this testing process to ensure there won't be any embarrassment further down the line.

The varying resolutions that people view content on is of course a totally valid issue, although you have to concede that there are PLENTY of people out there with monitors capable of displaying more than 1080 vertical pixels. Meeting that standard (from a YouTube perspective) also ensures meeting the standards below it (720, 480, 360 and 240)

as it happens, the results are in and its good news.

playback is completely smooth at full 1080, as well as the lesser resolutions. fast start buffering ensures no pauses - whole vid plays back perfectly. only gripe is if I jump straight into the middle of the video. the buffering can't keep up.

I should mention that the jerkiness on the original h264 wasn't disgustingly severe, it was just "there". But blink a couple of times in the right places and you'd miss it. That's not to say that that would have been acceptable, but clearly the lesson learned here is that when encoding hi res h264 for YouTube, playing your compression back in QuickTime does NOT accurately reflect what it's going to look like in YouTube. Only uploading and playing it through YouTube will. Obviously.

Again, thanks Rich and Jeff for your help.


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