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Computer desktop screencasting to DVD blurry/unreadable

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Chris Ernst
Computer desktop screencasting to DVD blurry/unreadable
on Jul 22, 2009 at 1:04:50 am

I am working on a project for my college over the summer to do find out how to record demo's of the computer screen (how to use MS Word, etc.) and distribute using DVD.

OS: Windows Xp
Software: Priemiere pro 2 and encore, both old versions
Input: Screen capture 800x600 using BSR Screen recorder
Output: Burn to DVD
PROBLEM: DVD Plays but can't read anything on the computer screen, I think because of artifacting and the size conversion to DVD Mpeg-2 limits.

I am not at campus so I can't give a ton of specifics, but I think one of you could probably steer me in the right direction easily. BSR screen recorder has lots of options so I can probably change the input file to fix my problem before encoding and burn - I just don't know what exactly to do in order to get a DVD of a screen capture video that is not blurry.

I included specifics that I wrote my professor below in case any of you want to see exactly what I did, and if I forgot to answer any basic questions.

PLEASE HELP =)





This is the email I ended up sending reporting my progress:
******** Only read below if you need more info to answer ********

Ok, good news is I finally got all the way to burning a DVD that plays what the screen capture recorded. (still not the MS Word lecture, but its not working yet anyways - see below)

The bad news is it looks like crap. Ill throw the one dvd I made under your door in case you have time to take a look. Here are the steps I took, so I don't forget them.

1. Capture output from the screen recorder, currently done at 20fps (inputted, not sure if real), Stereo sound from the microphone jack. (that was part of the "upmixing solution - choose stereo") - This file looks very good, and sounds ok.

2.In Adobe Premiere, start a brand new project, choose File | Import and select the file from step 1.

3.In Adobe Premiere, do File | Export | Adobe Media Encoder.

4. Here is where more work is needed. Encore won't take (as far as I know...) files that aren't formatted as MPEG-2 DVD standard. The "High Quality 7 Meg" option isn't good enough - Icons are blurry and unreadable - it is just terrible. But trying things such as "HD 720p Windows Media files" won't import into encore using the Import as timeline option (again, new project)

5.Worth noting is an Audio .Wav and the video file need to be exported from Premiere Media Encoder SEPARATELY, I could not get the audio track to work unless I first added the timeline with the video file, then loading the audio track afterwards in Encore.

Stopping here because I really need to read google about DVD formats, and I can do that for free at home.

Attached are screenshots of the Export dialog. None of the High Quality DV presets gives a clear picture, not even Progressive scan. 7Meg looks as bad as 4Meg. 2 passes doesn't help either. Again, this is Google fodder for me. =)

Ive got to figure out how to get the good video I have into DVD format.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Computer desktop screencasting to DVD blurry/unreadable
on Jul 22, 2009 at 4:48:19 am

attach some screenshots here

this maybe a using battle, DVDs are meant for TV and are low rez, although not to much lower than your 800x600 captures.





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Chris Ernst
Re: Computer desktop screencasting to DVD blurry/unreadable
on Jul 22, 2009 at 12:47:58 pm

Screenshots of Adobe Premiere or of the blurry DVD playing?

Either way I don't have access to that computer until I go back to campus on Friday. I was trying to regroup and come up with some solutions to try when I go, which is why I posted to this wonderful forum =)

Its hard to believe that a DVD can't be made to contain a video of a computer desktop shot with a digital screen recorder (BSR Screen recorder) that would be clearer than just simply shooting a computer monitor with say, a Sony Handycam DVR and burning *THAT* to DVD.

Is there any encoder I can try? any tweaks you can recommend? I forgot to mention that the file coming from the screen capture is uncompressed .avi but does not have to be, I can try encoding it there, the screen capture software has the option, but capturing uncompressed is easier on the computer, of course.

I'd hate to have to tell my professor that blurry is the best we can do. =(


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Michael Sacci
Re: Computer desktop screencasting to DVD blurry/unreadable
on Jul 22, 2009 at 6:56:00 pm

a frame of the video before m2v encoding and after would be good.

How are you watching the DVD, what size computer screen and how close to it are you. DVD are made to be watched at TV distances.



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Chris Ernst
Re: Computer desktop screencasting to DVD blurry/unreadable
on Jul 22, 2009 at 8:13:37 pm

One frame? how do I do that. I can take a new desktop video and try to upload it using the video tool I see on this email.

I cannot access the original video until Friday, however. Will you still be interested in helping by then?

How will a clip help you help me anyhow? =)

I can tell you what it is. It's an almost crystal clear capture of an 800x600 desktop, avi uncompressed.

On the other hand it might be to big to attach without choosing a compression method.

Are you still not clear on what I am trying to do? I just need a nudge in a better direction.

Maybe it is impossible without Hollywood quality equipment to get a clear video onto a DVD? What are my options?


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Michael Sacci
Re: Computer desktop screencasting to DVD blurry/unreadable
on Jul 22, 2009 at 10:02:22 pm

Chris, I do understand what you are trying to do but I don't think you are listening to me.

DVD are first and foremost for TV playback, TV text is always big and bold, if you want it to be readable. Computers are most to be viewed close up, TVs are made to be viewed at more of a distance. If you watch any DVD enlarged to a fill a computer screen it will be blurry, why you are enlarging the video at least 200%, video does not like this. The sharper the lines, especially with text the more this is noticeable.

Why a single frame, see if your encodes are actually blurry when viewed at 100%.

If you just want a couple of things to try, make sure your screen capture is progressive and that you encode the m2v as progressive, and nowhere in the process is interlacing added to the video.

I have seen very few DVD Videos with screen capture tutorials on them. The DVDs delivery method is used but the movies are QT files that are at a high resolution then what is found on DVD Video.



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Chris Ernst
Re: Computer desktop screencasting to DVD blurry/unreadable
on Jul 22, 2009 at 10:12:07 pm

Yes I am listening to you, Thanks! You just provided a ton of information right there!


I can tell you the encoding is indeed blurry when viewed at 100% if you are talking about after I ran it through the Adobe Media Encoder versus before.



Yes I can tell by how Googling this problem gives me almost no help that what I am doing is rare.


Tell me more about this high resolution Quicktime method if that is what people are doing when they release video computer how-to's on DVD.

It sounds like from what you are saying that the reason that is done is because of the inability to get good quality otherwise.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Computer desktop screencasting to DVD blurry/unreadable
on Jul 22, 2009 at 10:38:39 pm

If your encodes are blurry at 100% you are doing something wrong. They should be pretty close to the original at 100%.

Check out some of the video podcast here on the Cow, I know there are several good ones under FCP, you are looking at the delivery method more than the content, but they are using screen captures. Below is a good one to start with.
http://podcasts.creativecow.net/final-cut-studio-podcast/compression-with-t...

Check out http://callboxlive.com/products/digital-color-correction.

The method of delivery are normally just QT encoded to H.264 so they playback on any computer that has QT installed. You



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Chris Ernst
Re: Computer desktop screencasting to DVD blurry/unreadable
on Jul 22, 2009 at 10:44:30 pm

Awesome, Thank You! Let me read, watch and digest all this... It might be a couple days before I respond again, and besides, I plan on working Friday on this as well.


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Chris Ernst
Re: Computer desktop screencasting to DVD blurry/unreadable
on Jul 24, 2009 at 9:40:24 pm

I've just identified my problem that I originally posted having to do with Interlacing.

I found this helpful article that explains it, but still kind of makes my head hurt. =)

http://neuron2.net/LVG/interlacing.html

The question I have for you is, what should I do if I want to burn a DVD that someone might play on a computer OR a CRT TV and want it to look good in either case?

Do I use progressive scan or interlaced? Whats the easiest way to do this using an Adobe Product, if you know.

Its a pain while I am here because all I have surrounding me are LCD's and I need to plop this DVD into a TV based DVD player and have a look.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Computer desktop screencasting to DVD blurry/unreadable
on Jul 25, 2009 at 3:39:40 am

As for Progressive, Interlace question, my mantra is

However it was shot or produced, it should be edited, how it is edited it should be encoded.

So your screen capture SHOULD be progressive. So you should keep it that way throughout the process. DVD players are all able to interlace progressive footage, 99% of Hollywood titles are progressive. Watch a movie on a CRT and you are watch progressive video that is being interlaced on the fly.

The problem is when people deinterlace footage via a quick methods, Graphic programs AE, Motion, Shake and the likes will do a much better job, and will take a lot longer than FCP to deinterlace. But the key is to not do it, if you don't have to, in most cases you don't have to.

So the main thing is make sure your screen capture is set to a progressive codec/settings and keep it that way throughout the process.



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Chris Ernst
Re: Computer desktop screencasting to DVD blurry/unreadable
on Jul 25, 2009 at 6:31:45 am

Thanks! That is really music to my ears.

The only thing is I am finding myself pushed toward apple products for editing. What if I am not an apple guy?

I used to be so I am softer than most, I am old and I had an apple IIc back in the day before the mac rage caught on, and I am drooling over the Iphone/Ipod touch platform.

I guess kudos to apple I will become a convert, but I will still use windows along side it.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Computer desktop screencasting to DVD blurry/unreadable
on Jul 27, 2009 at 2:30:49 am

I'm a Mac only guy, love the systems, love the software, but I don't enter into the flight. If you have what works for you or you like something that is on the PC, I say go with it and make it work. My Mac was a IIci, which may have had the longest production life of any computer, close to 4 years!

Anyway Adobe, Vegas and a host of others have a complete package to work with on the PC side.



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