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What in the world is my problem? Deinterlacing and other quality issues!!

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Jeremy Cucco
What in the world is my problem? Deinterlacing and other quality issues!!
on Jan 30, 2011 at 10:39:41 pm

All -

First, let me apologize about my above-average level of ignorance!

I'm relatively new to the world of video editing. I record classical orchestra concerts on-location (audio) and have recently expanded to doing video on those concerts. Many of the clients I work for are asking for video and the guys in the area that do video for this kind of work (and the kind of budget my clients are seeking) don't really do very high quality stuff.

That being said, as kind of an "entry" into video, I've picked up a few Vixia HF20 cameras (3) and a Panasonic GH2 D-SLR (wonderful video quality).

I've purchased a wide range of video editing software. I have Vegas Pro on my PC, and I also purchased Premiere Elements (to get a taste of Premiere's work flow) and finally a new copy of Apple Final Cut Pro. So far, the work flow on FCP appears to be what I'm most comfortable with (which is good news, because I'm really not in the mood to sink any more money into it!)

In all of my editing programs, I try to edit 1080/24P video footage into a variety of output formats. Some for DVD and some for downloadable/uploadable (youtube, etc) files.

In all cases, I get way less than stellar results. I've tried just about every permutation of video codec and interlacing/deinterlacing combo and I'm at a loss. I've searched this forum and many others to figure out what the heck I'm doing wrong.

The footage I'm shooting is very challenging for the cameras - extremely high contrast (brightly lit scenes with solid black and solid white all over the place) and fast motion (conductor's baton, violin bows, etc.)

All of my outputs show horrible looking horizontal lines that detract from the footage and I can't seem to get rid of them.

The best luck I've had so far, though not perfect, was using Compressor to generate a 480P stream for DVD, but for uploads, I need 720P or 1080P and none of those formats look usable at all!

One other minor issue that I'm having is with the raw AVCHD files. When I was using Premiere Elements, I was able to copy the raw files into a directory and work with those. Now that I've switched to FCP, those raw files won't work unless I have all of the "other" files associated with AVCHD which I no longer have. I've tried to export from Premiere Elements into an Apple ProRes 422 file, but the interlacing is even worse (and the file sizes are huge - >20GB for a 1 hour concert shot).

Please let me know what I'm doing wrong!

Please also don't be afraid to treat me like I'm a 2nd grader - that is probably overshooting my level anyway.

Thanks!!!
Jeremy


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Olin Padilla
Re: What in the world is my problem? Deinterlacing and other quality issues!!
on Jan 30, 2011 at 11:52:17 pm

Man, there is a lot going on here.

First of all, was the HF20 shot at 24p? I don't really know anything about the camera, a but a quick google search informed me that it can record 24p to flash memory. So there shouldn't be any interlacing introduced by the camera.

So, where in your work flow do you start seeing interlace lines? In FCP, or just the final exports.

Also, Adobe Premiere is capable of editing raw AVCHD footage because it is 64bit, and can utilize multiple cores. FCP is not, and cannot. Personally I would transcode the AVCHD footage regardless of which program I use to edit it. Yes, the files will be huge. That is the nature of high definition video. If you have FCP7 you can use the Prores LT codec, and that will save you some space.

Editing highly compressed video is hard on your computer, and takes way more processing power per edit. By converting the highly compressed AVCHD video to much larger prores files, you are taking the stress off the live edit, and potentially avoiding a lot of problems.


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Jeremy Cucco
Re: What in the world is my problem? Deinterlacing and other quality issues!!
on Jan 31, 2011 at 12:02:02 am

Olin -
Thanks so much for the quick reply!

Yes, I am shooting in 24FPS. However, different editors show the properties as different. Some shows it as 29.xx FPS, others show 60i, yet still others show 23.97. When I go to render the file, I render in progressive, yet I still get crazy lines through the image on fast moving (conductor's baton) objects.

I don't mind the large file sizes. I've got stacks and stacks of 1TB hard drives for audio - I can easily repurpose them for video. Currently, I'm doing all of this editing on a MacBook Pro i7. I had been using a home-built quad core PC but the MBP smokes my PC.

Thanks again!!!
Jeremy


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Olin Padilla
Re: What in the world is my problem? Deinterlacing and other quality issues!!
on Jan 31, 2011 at 1:39:12 am

Let's focus on FCP for now. Are you importing the footage directly, or are you transcoding it first? Which program and settings are you using for the transcode? When imported, what does FCP read the frame rate as?

Also, are the issues consistent between all the cameras?

And just to clarify, are you not seeing the interlaced lines until the final export, or do you see them while editing in FCP?


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Jeremy Cucco
Re: What in the world is my problem? Deinterlacing and other quality issues!!
on Jan 31, 2011 at 1:53:54 am

I'm not sure about the Gh2 as the only video I've shot with it so far was a wide angle (which doesn't capture the up-close baton shots).

The Canon cameras definitely appear to be where the problem is a known quantity.

So far, the only transcoding that I've done is to convert the files to MP4/H.264 in a way that FCP will recognize them.

I did also just take the plunge to purchase Cineform NeoScene for transcoding and the little I've done with it (I did use the demo version several times before) seems like it may help significantly.

The video that I imported using the GH2 did go through the "Log and Transfer" process - which may be one reason that the files from that camera look so good.

Thanks again for your help!

Jeremy

PS -
Do you have a relative named Mary? I have a friend, Mary Padilla. I haven't ever seen that last name before other than the two of you.


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Dennis Radeke
Re: What in the world is my problem? Deinterlacing and other quality issues!!
on Jan 31, 2011 at 11:32:51 am

You should probably try Log and Transfer for just about all of your footage. If you go into the settings, you can make sure you're using a high quality codec like ProRes422. If you're finding success with NeoScene, it amounts to much of the same thing.

When outputting your final product, it's important to consider what the deliverable is (DVD, on-air, web, etc.) and work to create a specific output that meets your quality criteria within the limitation of the medium. I would say that doing some research on encoding would be time well spent.

Good luck.


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Olin Padilla
Re: What in the world is my problem? Deinterlacing and other quality issues!!
on Jan 31, 2011 at 11:37:10 pm

First off dude, you need to stop dumping so much money into software. You have way more than what you need as is. Trust me.

You have two issues with the avchd footage:

1) FCP doesn't recognize them without going through a log and transfer process.
2) H.264 and AVCHD are pretty much the same thing, and are not designed for editing.

You need one simple work flow that will work for both cameras. I recommend using Log and Transfer. Choose prores as your codec, and make sure that anything that says 'interlaced' or 'field order' is set to progressive.

Once you've gotten your footage logged, create a sequence and make sure it is also set to prores and progressive.

Finally, when you do your final export, everything should be set to progressive and you should have no problems.


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Jeremy Cucco
Re: What in the world is my problem? Deinterlacing and other quality issues!!
on Feb 1, 2011 at 2:39:35 am

Believe me- I'm done spending money on software.
I originally bought Vegas and used it on my PC for a while. I like the work flow and capabilities. However, I've since switched to editing on Mac (I've had Vegas for a little over a year). I only recently switched over to Mac. The only reason I went with Premiere Elements was because it was cheap and gave me a taste of the workflow for the "real" Premiere. I decided that I don't care for the workflow and had a chance to try FCP and immediately liked the workflow and capabilities. That's the reason for all the purchases...The Cineform was bought so I could transcode some of the M2T files to ProRes.

I'll play around with the settings you've suggested and see what happens.

Thanks for all the tips!
J.


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Keith Pratt
Re: What in the world is my problem? Deinterlacing and other quality issues!!
on Feb 5, 2011 at 2:21:54 am

The 29.97/59.94i video may well be 24p recorded with 3:2 pulldown. Find a problematic clip and run a Reverse Telecine in Compressor, and see if it has the desired effect.

And for AVCHD clips you've removed from their folders, you can use Clipwrap to rewrap or transcode ready to edit.


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Jeremy Cucco
Re: What in the world is my problem? Deinterlacing and other quality issues!!
on Feb 5, 2011 at 3:15:28 am

@Keith Pratt -
You are the man!
You're right on both counts - I did the reverse TeleCine and it appears to have fixed the issue.
The Clipwrap program also looks like my problem solver!

Thanks!


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Dennis Radeke
Re: What in the world is my problem? Deinterlacing and other quality issues!!
on Jan 31, 2011 at 11:29:00 am

[Olin Padilla] "Also, Adobe Premiere is capable of editing raw AVCHD footage because it is 64bit,"

Ah, Premiere Pro is, but Premiere Elements is not. However, like Premiere Pro and Adobe in general, Elements will read the files natively.


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keith greenfield
Re: What in the world is my problem? Deinterlacing and other quality issues!!
on Oct 8, 2011 at 10:22:44 am

They have said it all. One small thing, has anybody tried using the HDMI out from the GH2 to a DVR? Rumour has it that the field order is getting trashed. For example, record to a Ninja in ProRes 422. Shame if it is. 4:2:2 ProRes right off the GH2 chip ..hmmm nice.

Now slightly of post:
My pennyworth(rant): AVCHD, XDCAM EX et al are all what an old fogy like me calls a 'delivery codec'. Then at that momentous year at NAB, alongs come ...h264. And everybody ends with a cpu intensive non I frame codec. to record with and edit.
Everything now has to be 'wrapped' then 'unwrapped' then transcoded again into something resembling true I frame video.
In the 'old days' this is the decision we had to make. Analog video out and convert to digital, MJPEG was the first of the few. Then came DV, albeit linear digital it was transferred via ieee 1492 cable (Sony iLink) bit for bit onto your waiting DV timeline to edit...natively ...no render bars. All those years ago.
And now here we are, doing the same damn thing. Transcoding into something we can work, 'natively' with. Bit for bit, digit for digit.
ProRes has become the new MJPG. All seems so familiar.
Anyhoo, rant over. Get to ProRes soon as, get out of any longop codec quickly.
Look at it this way, shoot with the GH2, thats either h264 or MJPG, unwrap using Clipwrap, edit then transcode yet again into mpeg2 for SD dvd or mpg2/h264 for HD Bluray. So many burning hoops to jump through, each time taking a bit of skin with it.
That rant did'nt stop did it sorry.

BTW, you tried outputting your HD footage as h264 putting it onto a USB thumb drive and playing via BluRay deck that has a usb slot?
Or, with short clips, less than 30 minutes, using Toast 10 with the HD pluggin to author and burn a BlUray fomat onto a DVD disk.?


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