Two questions for THE MAN...WTS! And others.
This is my first post to the DVD authoring and burner site. Last night I spent 3 hours reviewing this discussion board and am so grateful to those who have plowed the ground ahead of me. Especially the threads where WTS guided CowboyVideo though his problems until the Prassi global image technique solved his and also my difficulty in getting most set top DVD players to read my previous attempts. Before last night only a Kenwood 503 DVD player at Risley's Audio Store ($199) was smart enough to decipher my previous attempts at creating a DVD-R. All the Circuit City and Best Buy new models just would not give my DVD-R the "time of day."
I have a PIII 733mhz operating a Win 2000 environment, 512 megs of sd ram. Pinnacle DV500 card with Premiere 5.1c., Pinnacle Impressions Pro 2.1 , Pioneer A03 DVD burner with Prassi PrimoDVD 2.0 burning software. Pioneer DVD-R 4.7Gb DVD media (general ver. 2)(for data) is what I got with the DVD drive.
Here is my procedure so far to create a DVD.
Capture mini DV tape from My Canon Optura (Usually use the Progressive Scan feature to take my movies) by firewire into Premeire 5.1c. Sometimes also Capture VHS tape (analog) to into Premiere 5.1c through the DV 500 capture card. I use the Pinnacle DV NTSC project settings provided. When all editing is finished in timeline, I export to Mini DV Tape as a Master for further use in the tape arena.
However I have exported movies (and segments) to DVD compliant Mpeg 2 and PCM wave by loading the Pinnacle DVD NTSC settings provided and changing the video settings to 7mbps at Varible Bit Rate. I think the field setting says "upper field first" (although I know the DV NTSC settings in the Project settings for DV NTSC in Premeire specifies "lower field first" which I never touch). (From time to time I will also use the advanced setting to export The Mpeg 2 file directly into Impressions Pro with the timeline markers to create the chapter marks. This seems to work most every time, but probably failed to go directly to Impressions a couple of times, which I can't really account for why... not THAT critical though). After Authoring and building the files and then the Image file, I go to Prassi PrimoDVD 2.0 Full Application and (THANKS TO WTS...THE MAN !!!) use the Global Image and other images option under the File>New Job menubar item. Find the DVDR.img file and Burn it.
Enough about that. I have 2 bug a boos.
1.With the known above facts, when my mpeg 2 movies play on the computer in Impressions 2.1 they look just fine. but by the time they are burned on to the DVD-R and played, the red colors on our football teams jerseys (Games at night) exhibit a slight digital
looking "Halo"? Just the red. Has is got something to do with my settings?
2. Inside Impressions Pro 2.1 when I place a longer Mpeg 2 (say 14-15 mins or greater)into the timeline and then play it out to the last frame, Impressions Pro will lock up, except to exit the program. As long as everything was previously saved, no great loss. (just exit and reopen Impressions.) But it does it almost every time you do this. Short Mpeg 2's never do this in Impressions and proceed to the next link in the timeline. Medium length mpeg 2's will do this only occasionally after much playing back within the Program. I'm ONLY mainly concerned IF this will effect the actual building the DVD files or creating the DVDR image file. I really havn't tried to go on and finalize this project. Has anyone seen the same problem before?
These same long mpeg 2's, near their end, can temporarily get the sound a little out of sync (sound usually lags a half sec or so), but clicking within the Impressions Player timeline seems to re- sync them, but it Does recur when you jump between chapter marks.
I Solemly Promise not to write this much in the future, I just REALLY appreciate any help I can get on this.
Thanks guys,(and gals?)
I don't have a Pinnacle based system, so some of this is a guess. The field order is very important. For NTSC stuff, it is generally lower field as you noted. You want to make sure when you are encoding that it matches. I suspect that is probably the reason you are seeing the halos. Streaking/shearing of the images particularly in areas with motion can also be a side effect of field order reversal. I would try just changing that parameter first and see if it helps.
As far as for question number two, are you using 2.1, or have you already upgraded to 2.21. There is a free upgrade on the Pinnacle support web for Impression that I think fixed a lot of the issues with the first release of the program(2.1 was the first release for non-Pinnacle hardware users). The problems you are posting were things I struggled with until 2.21 came out. As far as the audio sync is concerned, you will see the behaviour with audio and video being out of sync within the Impression player, but I don't think you'll see a problem once you burn the disc. If the timecode for your video matches your audio in your asset bin, then they should start and stop together. The sync issue can be because a timecode wasn't stamped into the audio file, so navigation in a simulator can get things off a bit. The simulation window works best for trialing your buttons and dvd navigation, but it isn't a very good way to check audio and video synching--or is it sinking? :)
WTS, Thank you for your advice. I will be a few days getting time to try the change of field, refering to my first question but I'll let you know if that is the cause of the red color having the artifact.
As to the second question, I'll probably try the download of Impression Pro 2.21. Is there any reason to think of that v 2.21 would cause any known problems (ie. something that works now on v. 2.1 but is a known problem that 2.21 introduces?) I just want to be cautious before I Booger something up.
Hard question for me to answer. I had nothing but problems with 2.1, so 2.21 was a God send. I've always been in the camp of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". With that said, I think the problems of Impression crashing that you described doesn't sound like you're losing much to take the gamble. You could always revert back to version 2.1 if things didn't work, but I personally feel the 2.21 version worked a heckuva lot better.
On question #1, I re-exported a clip into DVD NTSC MPEG 2 and changed the default setting to "lower field first". I burned on to a DVD-RW and played back on several players. Surprisingly the clip did no better on the red digital halos. Portions of the clip captured from a mini- DV source were actually just barely worse. And the other portions of the clip originally captured from VHS were now jittery whereas before they were not. So I am not sure what to make of that yet.
Still waiting to download Impressions 2.21 on the second problem.
The most important thing about field order is that your encoding parameters match the field order of the source material. Were the football scenes from night or day games. Some of the artifacting you see can be the fault of your encoder. Not all encoders are created equal, and poor image quality particularily with action, or worse yet action sequences at night (where the quality of the original source may suffer itself) are hallmarks of average encoders. TMPGEnc (freeware for 30 days for mpeg2 encoding and ~$50 thereafter) is reasonably good, but slow. At least it would give you an alternative to your current encoder and you could compare. Here is a link for walking through setting it up the right way:
There are a number of other software encoders that do a great job, but cost more money: Ligo plug-in for Premiere (~$250), and Procoder from Canopus (~$600).
The football scenes were shot at night but with a fairly well lit field albeit not like daytime. And it seems to be only the shots from the digital Canon Optura camera that exbihit the red color problem. Those scenes shot with analog sources don't seem to have the same problem, however they have less quality in the finished DVD due to the inherent analog source. Does it sound like the camera, which is not a 3 CCD camera, may have a possible lack of resolution regarding night time red colors? Or do you think lesser quality encoding is more of a possibility?
Also I am getting ready to upgrade from Impressions 2.1 to 2.21. Do you know the proper procedure for deleting a Project from Impressions so it ceases to show up in the past projects lists under the File menu?
The bleeding of the colors can be due to both. Night time shots, even in well lit situations like a football field, are a challenge for cameras. Because your source material won't be as good as stuff taken in broad daylight, whatever encoder you use will start out with a disadvantage. Your encoded files will never be as good as the source, although it can be quite close depending on the encoder. 'Hot' colors like red, orange, yellows can bleed/halo etc with encoding(particularily with less than optimal source material and motion--both tax the encoder), so your encoder can be part of the issue as well. I think it most likely is a combination of the two. Canopus has an excellent encoder--Procoder, and there is a demo on their website that you could try encoding some of the problem segments and see if the artifact improves/disappears.
As far as Impression is concerned, I had so much trouble with 2.1 that I just uninstalled everything, including mediamatics, and deleted the Pinnacle folder via Win Explorer after that and did a clean install. I suspect that would get rid of your past projects.