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downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible

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Jason Brown
downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 18, 2010 at 3:14:47 pm

Hello,

I'm downscaling 1920 to 1280 to WMV from FCP through compressor.

If I leave the native size at 1920x1080, the quality looks great.

But when I resize inside episode, the edges of text look VERY blocky. I've experimented with nearest neighbor, bilinear, etc...can't seem to get it to what I would consider "acceptable"

I think I've tracked it down to the scaling setting, because if I run it native, it looks fantastic...it's when I introduce the downscale that the quality degrades.

Any ideas?

-Jason


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Kevin Louden
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 18, 2010 at 4:55:45 pm

Is your 1080 source file interlaced? Could you provide some more details on your source file and the output settings?

Kevin Louden
Product Manager | Episode
http://www.telestream.net


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Jason Brown
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 18, 2010 at 6:49:30 pm

Source -

The source SEQUENCE (from FCP) is - XDCAM HD - 1920x1080 29.97p (I believe it's segmented frames) although the actual footage that I've been testing is ProRes LT progressive render from AFX in placed in that timeline.

Output -

Running out of FCP - Send to compressor - using the Telestream plugin - Custom WMV setting based on the 1280x720 WMV template. Adjusted bit rate - VBR based on peak - 12Mbps peak - 8Mbps average.

Is that enough? Need any other specifics?

-Jason


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Kevin Louden
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 18, 2010 at 7:19:07 pm

That seems pretty straightforward. Have you tried skipping compressor and going straight to Episode with an exported self contained or reference movie? Also is it just the text that has aliased edges or edges in the entire frame?

This is just a guess but it may be that the titles are rendered interlaced. You could try enabling the de-interlace filter and selecting edge detection interlace and then de-interlace moving areas as the type. This method will only apply the de-interlace to areas in the frame that have a detected amount of interlace tearing. This is only a guess without seeing anything. There is some frame processing that happens between Compressor and Episode so it would be good to test it without compressor in the loop.

Kevin Louden
Product Manager | Episode
http://www.telestream.net


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Jason Brown
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 18, 2010 at 8:20:18 pm

[Kevin Louden] "Have you tried skipping compressor and going straight to Episode with an exported self contained or reference movie?"

Same as source export rendered good looking result.

....

Doesn't appear to be interlacing...seems the Compressor step is the issue.

So what would be a solution? I like using the "send to compressor" function in FCP...should I just create a template in Compressor to create my WMV's and stop using Episode to create my WMV's?

I've always been happier with Episode's results...is there anything in v6 that may help resolve my issue?

-Jason


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Robert Longwell
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 18, 2010 at 8:27:42 pm

Why do you like sending to Compressor? That compresses your file and then you're asking Episode to compress it yet again. You should really consider not doing this.

Robert Longwell


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Kevin Louden
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 18, 2010 at 8:34:48 pm

I agree with Robert, is there a reason that you need to go through compressor? If not then just export out and run it through Episode directly. Unless the content needs a long time to render/flatten I find going straight to Episode more streamlined and efficient. If your workflow is pretty static you can always automate the process even more with a watchfolder (V5) or monitored workflow (V6)

Kevin Louden
Product Manager | Episode
http://www.telestream.net


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Jason Brown
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 2:06:16 am

[Robert Longwell] "Why do you like sending to Compressor?"

I use the "send to compressor" command because it's seamless transfer from the timeline to compress. No creating interim files, I can work on the same media as compression works in the background and I can set MULTIPLE output modules...including the Matrox CompressHD settings from inside Compressor.


[Robert Longwell] "That compresses your file and then you're asking Episode to compress it yet again."

My understanding of how the "Episode for Compressor Plug-in" works, is that it uses Compressor ONLY as an interface...there is no compression that happens inside compressor...but obviously something is happening between FCP and Episode.

-Jason


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Craig Seeman
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 2:09:42 am

BTW are you using FCP 6 or FCP 7?
Episode version 5.3.2 also?
I just want to root out a couple of possibilities.



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Jason Brown
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 3:40:54 pm

FCP 7.0.3

Episode Pro - 5.2.1


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Craig Seeman
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 3:45:41 pm

Update Episode to 5.3.2 and install the Compressor plugin that comes with it. My memory is failing me but there might have been a plugin update as well during that period.

It may have no impact on the issue but it's always good to start with the most recent version (for 5 series) as updates were bug fixes.



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Jason Brown
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 4:08:52 pm

Does version 6 still have compressor plugin? I could just update to 6 and go with most current version.


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Craig Seeman
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 4:16:43 pm

Episode 6 does not support Compressor plugin.

My personally opinion is that Compressor mucked with the encode too often to make it a worthwhile workflow. Of course Telestream may evaluate the viability but it's currently not supported in 6.

In Episode 6 I like pointing FCP export to a "monitor" (watch folder) and let Episode do its stuff directly.

5.3.2 had the latest version of the plugin as part of the download.



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Jason Brown
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 5:36:26 pm

Can't find a link on Telestream's site, or a link in the menu's of Episode on my machine. I can only find links to v6.

-Jason


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Craig Seeman
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 6:01:48 pm

Links to 5.3.2? Here it is. You may need to login or create a login first.
http://dynamic.telestream.net/downloads/download-episode.asp?prodid=episode
The last version of the Compressor plugin is included with it.



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Jason Brown
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 6:16:54 pm

Anything I need to do regarding uninstalling the previous version?


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Craig Seeman
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 6:25:02 pm

It should install over. I'd double check the plugin version to make sure that installs. I'd reboot to make sure there's no "seized" processes in the background. Compressor particularly can be funny that way.



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Jason Brown
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 6:33:02 pm

[Craig Seeman] "check the plugin version"

How would I do this?


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Craig Seeman
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 6:41:50 pm

File/Get Info on the plugin.



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Robert Longwell
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 3:58:33 pm

"My understanding of how the "Episode for Compressor Plug-in" works, is that it uses Compressor ONLY as an interface...there is no compression that happens inside compressor...but obviously something is happening between FCP and Episode."

Jason sorry to inform you that Compressor will ALWAYS re-compress. It does not have a 'passthrough' mode for video, only audio.

Robert Longwell


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Craig Seeman
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 4:06:59 pm

Episode plugin takes responsibility for the compression as Compressor plugin but Compressor does have impact on that depending on how it "sees" the file. I've seen issues with deinterlace and aspect ratio for example. It may have impact on how scaling is handled as well.

The best way to see what's happening is do the encode in Episode and do it in Compressor plugin using Episode settings.

If it looks better in Episode with the exact same settings you'll have your answer. Then you may have a choice to make about workflow.

Note that currently Episode 6 does not support the Compressor plugin.

My own workflow is to export self contained from FCP as that's my master. If I'm in a hurry or space constrained, I'll export a reference movie.


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Jason Brown
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 4:32:04 pm

I did this test yesterday, took flat export from fcp into episode and through compressor using episode.

My results were that episode created good file, compressor didn't.

I'll update and post my results.


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Craig Seeman
Re: downscaling 1920 to 1280-WMV text edges look horrible
on Oct 19, 2010 at 4:54:29 pm

The problem that I've seen is that Compressor makes certain "assumptions" about the source and its handling before Episode gets its hands on the file with the plugin.



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Jason Brown
Re: Final Result of scaling issue using Compressor Plug-in
on Oct 19, 2010 at 6:52:21 pm

Alright, updated plug-in and Episode app, and still having same result.

File created using plug-in results in bad looking scale.
File created using Episode directly (and same setting) creates good looking file.

So I'll play with the settings inside Compressor...to make WMV directly from there. Hope this helps someone dealing with the same issue in the future.

-Jason


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Craig Seeman
Re: Final Result of scaling issue using Compressor Plug-in
on Oct 19, 2010 at 7:23:49 pm

[Jason Brown] "So I'll play with the settings inside Compressor...to make WMV directly from there."

Wouldn't that still be using Episode plugin? Unless you also have Flip4Mac installed.



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Jason Brown
Re: Final Result of scaling issue using Compressor Plug-in
on Oct 19, 2010 at 7:53:22 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Unless you also have Flip4Mac installed."

Yes, I'd be using Flip4Mac


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Craig Seeman
Re: Final Result of scaling issue using Compressor Plug-in
on Oct 19, 2010 at 8:00:49 pm

In that case It might be interesting to compare exporting directly from FCP to WMV vs doing it in Compressor. I vaguely remember someone pointing out that it looked better coming out of FCP directly because apparently FCP's scaling is better than Quicktime. Give a test and compare if you can.



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Jason Brown
Re: Final Result of scaling issue using Compressor Plug-in
on Feb 25, 2011 at 2:04:22 pm

Hey Craig,

I know it's been awhile...but I've followed up (finally) on this test and compressor is doing something in regards to the scale. A WMV straight out of FCP with the same settings creates a better looking file.

This stinks, because I do so much template encoding...I have several outputs for my videos...and I hate to have to do everything in compressor - mobile, media player box, SD-DVD, CompressHD h264 encodes...then have to use a different route to create WMV's -- :(

-Jason


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