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Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode

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Jeremy Garchow
Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Nov 30, 2012 at 12:54:18 am

I can't seem to do it.

I am sending MPEG2 HD spots @ 45Mb/sec.

the 3:2 pulldown setting cuase a big loss of resolution.

I have tried everything.

I have resorted to hardware methods or flipping the file elsewhere, then bringing back to Episode for the final 1080i encode, but this doubles my time which is very frustrating when you have 38 spots to send in an afternoon.

Is there a way to get 3:2 out of Episode that doesn't halve my resolution?

Thanks so much.

Jeremy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Nov 30, 2012 at 8:11:22 pm

Here's two TIF exports from 45Mb mpeg2 files made in Episode.

The first is called "Pulldown Elsewhere".

The originating file is 23.976p, and I added 3:2 pulldown elsewhere.

I then brought the 1080i movie in to Episode and encoded to a 1080i MPG.

5023_elsewhere.tif.zip

This file looks great

The second is called "Pulldown Episode"

The originating 23.976 file is brought in to Episode and 3:2 pulldown is added in the application creating a 1080i file.

5024_episode.tif.zip

Notice the difference in quality.

These are on no moving images, simply black and white text.

Any insight as to what setting I need to hit to get rid of these artifacts?

On moving images, this translates to loss of visual fidelity and quality, and also introduces a certain level of pulsing.

I have tried everything I know how to try. I know with Compressor, you sometimes have to force the application to read the incoming file as progressive otherwise you might get similar results. Even that doesn't work with Episode. It appears that Episode is not handling this correctly.

Thanks,

Jeremy


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John Heagy
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 3, 2012 at 5:08:58 pm

Hi Jeremy,

I've encoded thousands of hours of 1080 24p material in AVC-I, mp4 and ProRes into 1080i60 ProRes and have not seen your problem. I just exported white on black text set from FCP7 in 24p to Episode and it came out perfectly clean edge wise.

How are you viewing/exporting the Episode encodes? If it's in AE I'd check if AE isn't de-interlacing it by default. The process that produces clean images may not be tagging it as interlace and thereby avoiding the default de-interlace.
John


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 3, 2012 at 5:14:24 pm

[John Heagy] "How are you viewing/exporting the Episode encodes? If it's in AE I'd check if AE isn't de-interlacing it by default. The process that produces clean images may not be tagging it as interlace and thereby avoiding the default de-interlace."

This material happens to be 720p23.976, maybe that's what's confusing it.

I view the material out of Pr CS6/Transmit to AJA Kona 3.

It is definitely a problem with Episode, as I can add pulldown in Compressor, FCPX, and via hardware and the subsequent 1080i encodes of all of those are fine.

It's only when adding pulldown in Episode that the image comes out looking compromised.

Let me try a 1080p23.976 movie and see what happens.

Maybe it's the scaling that's trashing it.

Thanks for your response.

Jeremy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 3, 2012 at 5:19:37 pm

1080p24 is perfect.

This must be a 720p -> 1080i bug.

Thanks.

Jeremy


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John Heagy
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 3, 2012 at 5:22:28 pm

Make sure the "Interlace Handling" in the Resize menu is set to "Progressive Output". Never ever use "Scale fields independently" it's a faster crappy process and Telestream should indicate that.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 3, 2012 at 5:29:04 pm

[John Heagy] "Make sure the "Interlace Handling" in the Resize menu is set to "Progressive Output". Never ever use "Scale fields independently" it's a faster crappy process and Telestream should indicate that."

Thanks.

I think I have tried every combination and permutation of these settings, but let me double check.

Jeremy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 3, 2012 at 5:48:52 pm

Well, the scaling is certainly better and the image looks better quality wise, but now the pulldown is screwed up and juttery.

More testing ahead, but thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Jeremy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 3, 2012 at 6:54:00 pm

I am beginning to think there's a deficiency here.

I can't get anything to look as good as if I add pulldown outside of Episode and so a straight 1080i encode.

Jeremy


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John Heagy
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 4, 2012 at 2:40:56 am

Did you try only doing a Resize to 1080p24 and compare the quality to your other methods? I've had no issues with 3:2 cadence.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 4, 2012 at 2:52:01 am

[John Heagy] "Did you try only doing a Resize to 1080p24 and compare the quality to your other methods? I've had no issues with 3:2 cadence."

1080p23.976 files work just fine.

It's the combination of scale and 3:2 that screws it up.

I can add pulldown via other methods, but then I have to encode once there and once in Episode.

Not my favorite.

If I leave the "telecine" option off and choose automatic, I get picture perfect picture, but 2224 pulldown.

There's something wrong with how the scaler and interlacer (pulldown maker) are talking.

I must have made 50 files today with all differing combinations, nothing is right. I have contacted support.

Compressor does it fine, but I can't get the proper bit rate out of it.

Jeremy


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Craig Seeman
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 4, 2012 at 3:08:52 am

Since you know 1080 is working, as a test try staying at 720 and seeing what happens.
If that's OK you'd be confirming it's most likely the Resize.

Since you're upscaling use the Resize Advanced settings.
Try Bicubic for example.
With Resize Advanced Interlace Handling it defaults to Automatic which may use Progressive Output. As a test you could try Scale Fields Independent.y.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 4, 2012 at 3:23:37 am

[Craig Seeman] "Since you know 1080 is working, as a test try staying at 720 and seeing what happens. "

720i :)

I'll give it a shot, but I don't know if I can monitor that correctly.

[Craig Seeman] "Try Bicubic for example."

I've tried them all. Using a lowpass gets rid of it, but of course turns it to a blurry mess. When the scaling looks good (but interlacing doesn't) Bicubic with a sharpening of 22 looks great.

[Craig Seeman] "With Resize Advanced Interlace Handling it defaults to Automatic which may use Progressive Output. As a test you could try Scale Fields Independent.y."

Scale fields is what I used at first, and it doesn't work (the results are the frame grabs in my second post). Mr Heagy pointed me to Progressive output. This doesn't produce those weird soft lines, but it does not produce correct pulldown.

There's something weird with the combination of scaling AND the telecine pulldown setting. Shut either one of those down, and everything looks great in terms of quality, but then of course the motion isn't right.

Thanks, Craig.

Jeremy


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Craig Seeman
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 4, 2012 at 3:56:57 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "720i :)

I'll give it a shot, but I don't know if I can monitor that correctly."


I know it's not a spec for anything but it might point to what part of Episode is tripping up.

[Jeremy Garchow] "I've tried them all. Using a lowpass gets rid of it, but of course turns it to a blurry mess."

Yes, lowpass would be for downscaling. That's because HD can resolve very high in which a single 1080 scan line becomes less than a scan line when downscaled.

[Jeremy Garchow] "This doesn't produce those weird soft lines, but it does not produce correct pulldown."

So is it simply a matter of a bad cadence. Can you count out the cadence problem?
Can you test on a single clip? I'm wondering if edit points cause a trip up.


[Jeremy Garchow] "There's something weird with the combination of scaling AND the telecine pulldown setting. Shut either one of those down, and everything looks great in terms of quality, but then of course the motion isn't right."

Try something inconvenient. The quasi equivalent of job chaining. First do a scale to an intermediary (ProRes 422HQ maybe) and then do an encode to add pull down. Of course another thing to try is to reverse the order of which you do first pass vs the second pass. Granted you don't want to work that way but it can expose what's tripping up.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 4, 2012 at 4:08:25 am

[Craig Seeman] "So is it simply a matter of a bad cadence. Can you count out the cadence problem?"

No it's not bad cadence only.

If I set the interlacing to "automatic" this produces a great looking image, but 2224 pulldown, so the scaling is fine.

If I add a 1080p23.976 source file and add pulldown with no scaling, this produces a great looking image with proper pulldown.

If I set the pulldown to telecine, and the scaling to bicubic, and scale fields independently, the motion/interlacing looks just fine, but the image quality is compromised.

I will have to check 720i in the morning as I don't have the proper setup here with me now.

This combination of 720p23.976, scaling, and pulldown seems to be the issue. Take one of those away, and things seem to work.

[Craig Seeman] "Can you test on a single clip? I'm wondering if edit points cause a trip up."

I can try that, sure.

[Craig Seeman] " First do a scale to an intermediary (ProRes 422HQ maybe) and then do an encode to add pull down."

I can upscale 720p23.976 to 1080p23.976 without an issue.

I can successfully encode 1080p23.976 to 1080i 29.97 without issue and it looks as it should.

[Craig Seeman] "Of course another thing to try is to reverse the order of which you do first pass vs the second pass. Granted you don't want to work that way but it can expose what's tripping up."

I'll try 720i tomorrow.


Jeremy


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Craig Seeman
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 4, 2012 at 4:17:53 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I can upscale 720p23.976 to 1080p23.976 without an issue.

I can successfully encode 1080p23.976 to 1080i 29.97 without issue and it looks as it should."


What happens if you flip the sequence and add the pull down first and scale the 720i59.94 (which is 23.97) up?

BTW are you wedded to the pull down or is your goal simply 29.97?
There might be a workaround with the Advanced Frame Rate filter.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 4, 2012 at 4:28:30 am

[Craig Seeman] "BTW are you wedded to the pull down or is your goal simply 29.97?"

It's broadcast with stringent QC.

I can try and slide mushy frames by them, but they usually fail temporal artifacts.

I'd rather do it right, it saves me lots of time.

I've already delivered 57 spots, and I have another round of 48 to go in a few weeks, and another large round a few months after that.

[Craig Seeman] "What happens if you flip the sequence and add the pull down first and scale the 720i59.94 (which is 23.97) up?"

I can't do this in one pass in Episode, right?

I have to try 720i tomorrow and let you know.

If I'm doing two passes, I can do what I need out of other apps and do the final in Episode. I know that pulldown works, I know that scaling works, the combination seems to be off, at least with 720 -> 1080i. Perhaps I should try a downscale 1080p -> 525i and see if that's any better or worse which might point to 720p being a culprit.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 4, 2012 at 4:47:14 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "It's broadcast with stringent QC."

I think the 29.97 would be legal (I think).
As long as you have i59.94 (fields).

Advanced frame rate to 59.94 frames and then reinterlace to 59.94 fields.

[Jeremy Garchow] "I can't do this in one pass in Episode, right?"

Of course you'd want to but I want to see if reversing the sequence impacts the results.

It might indicate where the issue is (it might not but that's what testing is all about).
I'm playing a hunch that Episode's telecine and scaling issue is related to a "locked" order of filter sequence processing. If that's the case there may be a workaround for this but it may mean Telestream writing a "secret source" solution for you. I vaguely remember them doing that for a filter processing order issue recently.

[Jeremy Garchow] "If I'm doing two passes, I can do what I need out of other apps and do the final in Episode"

This is just a troubleshooting test.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 4, 2012 at 4:48:48 am

[Craig Seeman] "This is just a troubleshooting test."

I see.

I'll try 720i, but that also introduces other weird variables. I'll see what I can see tomorrow.

Jeremy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 4, 2012 at 5:31:09 pm

I've tried to encode 720i three times with ProRes and it simply hangs.

720i in to MPEG2 works, and the results look like my very first test and the screen grabs here (wierd soft lines/edges).

It appears the problem is a 720p source and adding interlacing.

Thanks, Craig.

Jeremy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 17, 2012 at 5:16:55 pm

To keep this updated, Telestream sent back a new encoding preset.

It uses the Advanced frame rate filter to essentially make a 59.94i file.

While it is quite amazing what can be done, the results aren't up to snuff. The softness is gone (so the scaling looks great) but instead of normal 3:2 interlacing, there are now very "mushy" frames that some broadcasters will fail.

It appears that scaling 720p material to 1080 and adding pulldown in one step might not be in the cards for Episode.

Jeremy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Getting decent 3:2 pulldown out of Episode
on Dec 21, 2012 at 12:13:34 am

I will say, the two step watch folder method isn't 100% terrible.

Seems a shame to reencode everything twice, but that's what ProRes was made for, am i right?

Jeremy


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