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Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD

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Sascha Engel
Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 6:20:18 pm

Hi Everybody,

I usually always use Compressor, to encode for DVDSP.
But when I do that with HD Material, I get quiet a bit of artifacting, dancing lines and pixelized edges.
It's weird, it happens only with downscaled HD footage.
What I do: Export from FCP 7 in Apple ProRes or LT, then import in Compressor, set it to CBR, 7Mbs, put resize filter on, quality at best.
Why can it be?

Is there an encoder that does a better job, when wanting to encode HD Material for SD Video?
What's with Episode? It's better'


Greetings,


Sascha


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Jessica Muth
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 6:35:39 pm

You will get artifacting via software going from HD to SD. The best conversion is hardware down conversion, via Teranex.

I would assume that your footage is upper or progressive. Depending on what it is, you will need to set your fields to the appropriate lower or progressive if you want to put it on DVD because DVD takes that. If you are doing a conversion and switching the fields, try going to the Frame Controls tab and change the "Deinterlace" option from "Fast" to another setting. It will take a much longer time (depending on a number of factors, but it may help with trying to remove some of the interlacing you are seeing.

ALSO, I would just trying exporting your .m2v and .ac3 stream just as upper field (if your footage is set to that) and just burn the DVD that way and see if you have the same result. Ultimately, you should switch your fields if you are authoring a DVD, but I have experienced that if you are trying to downconvert from HD to SD onto a DVD, leaving the fields alone sometimes produces a better result than trying to fix the fields.

It's better to just keep messing around with it, but unless you have access to a hardware encoder that can downconvert for you, you may continue to experience artifacting.

Jessica Muth
jmuth01@gmail.com


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Sascha Engel
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 6:39:17 pm

Unfortunately, that cannot be the reason. I am sorry I forgot to mention: Footage was shot 25p, edited 25p, output in ProRes 25p and in Compressor encoded as 25p.


Sascha


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Brad Elliott
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 8:22:21 pm

I find Compressor to be inconsistent in the HD to SD conversion for DVD.

Others have found success in changing all the frame controls to best.
This will increase your render time but usually always works. If your show is over 45 minutes I would try a 2 pass variable bit rate with a max of 8 and a average of 6.5mbps. I would do some short tests with known problem areas.

Unless you are editing in PR LT I would export the same settings as your sequence via Quicktime(not Quicktime conversion). I always use a reference file for Compression unless you have to export a master anyway as it will save time. Reference files are like a band-aid. Most do not recommend using them more than once.

I have had consistent success with having FC doing the HD to SD conversion and it is usually faster than using Compressor for everything.

I export a ref QT to my project folder.
Create the appropriate SD sequence
Add the exported ref to the sequence and render.
Export the rendered SD sequence and then compress for DVD.



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Sascha Engel
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 8:35:22 pm

That workflow I never tried, I will give it a shot.
Never did it, because I was always told that compressor does a far better job than FC.


Sascha


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 8:25:24 pm

[Sascha Engel] "Why can it be?"

There's no way an HD picture is going to look as good as an SD picture. That's why they call it HIGH definition.

But you may also have interlacing issues that could be working against you. Please tell people about the footage you shoot (e.g. 1080p25), the sequence you use to cut it in FCP and the type of DVD you create in DVDSP.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Sascha Engel
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 8:40:38 pm

Dear Dave,

Believe me, I am fully aware, that an SD picture can't look like HD, but there is still a difference between lower resolution and artifacting, dancing lines, extreme pixilated edges - specially around red.
When I shoot stuff in SD with my DVX100B it never loos like that.

Ando for the field order: As I wrote above - it's shot, edited and exported in 25p - also in compressor it's handled as 25p footage. The quality issues are also clearly of total different nature that line issues. I know, how those look like.

I encoded in Compressor, then created in DVDSP an SD PAL project, build a menu, imported my m2v DVD video and ac3 Audio files - and build a DVD from that.


Sascha


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eric pautsch
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 8:51:56 pm

DVD doesn't support 25p...only 25i. Compressor is making it interlaced. I would be conforming this to 23.98p and making a 23.98 NTSC disc.



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Sascha Engel
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 9:08:02 pm

Why would I transcode a 25p Pal video into 23.98 NTSC when I'm living and delivering in a PAL area?

Sascha.


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eric pautsch
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 10:47:44 pm

Because all European players play NTSC discs. Either that or down convert to 25i first then encode for PAL. There is no PAL 25p in DVD

...and you're not transcoding, you'd be conforming....just changing those TC numbers to 23.98


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 8:58:26 pm

You may want to experiment with a custom compression preset in Compressor. Set the field order to Progressive.

Now, please understand that it won't actually BE progressive, because SD video can't be progressive. But it will ensure that both fields of the same frame are there. Which could be the problem.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Sascha Engel
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 9:05:21 pm

I will try that setting. Till now it was on 'same as source material'. Why SD video cannot be progressive? When I shot with my DVX, it's miniDV, it's tape and its 25p.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 9:30:03 pm

[Sascha Engel] "When I shot with my DVX, it's miniDV, it's tape and its 25p."

When your camera shoots 25p, it scans the entire frame at the same instant. It then records it as two fields.

When your camera shoots interlaced, it scans one field and records it, then scans the second field and records it.

Two different ways of scanning, but one way of recording: with two fields.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Sascha Engel
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 9:33:30 pm

Interesting. Thanx. So actually it means, that all tape based recorded cameras write the information Interlaced to the tape, even though it is shot progressive?

Sascha


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 19, 2012 at 9:42:03 pm

It's because it's STANDARD DEFINITION, not because it's on tape!

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Rafael Amador
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 20, 2012 at 2:23:50 am

[Sascha Engel] "Is there an encoder that does a better job, when wanting to encode HD Material for SD Video?
What's with Episode? It's better'"

BitVice does a much better job (use open GOPs by default) and has a very good downscaling filter.
Making good MPEG-2 is not just about giving high data rate (I would never make a CBR even if is at the top data rate), but also about the GOPs structure. You should experiment a bit with Short and Open GOPs. And always with VBR.

[Jessica Muth] "You will get artifacting via software going from HD to SD. The best conversion is hardware down conversion, via Teranex."
This is very arguable.
There is no reason for hardware downscaling to be better than software downscaling. First because it doesn't really exist such "hardware downscaling": any piece of hardware is just applying software.
Second because a software downscaling don't need to be done in RT, so the system has all the necessary time to do a perfect job.
The only question is to find the proper software solution.
Compressor is pure shit, but give a try to SHAKE.

[Sascha Engel] "Interesting. Thanx. So actually it means, that all tape based recorded cameras write the information Interlaced to the tape, even though it is shot progressive?"
Right.
That's called "PSF": Progressive Segmented Frame. Is the way camcorders can use all the mechanic developed for interlacing to record progressive. Developing a full progressive system would have been more expensive.
But don't worry, your stuff still being progressive. Just need to be interpreted as progressive by any application on importing.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Miriam Lefkowitz
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 20, 2012 at 2:40:52 am

[Rafael Amador] "Compressor is pure shit, but give a try to SHAKE."

From what I understand, Apple made Shake and discontinued the software. Is there a way to download Shake now?


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Rafael Amador
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 20, 2012 at 6:00:19 am

[Miriam Lefkowitz] "From what I understand, Apple made Shake and discontinued the software. Is there a way to download Shake now?"
I don't think Apple still selling it (although after FCs EOL they have been selling it out of the Apple Store), but I think you should be able to buy it through eBay or so.
Ine terms of up/downscaling SHAKE has the best algorithms ever designed and haven't been much development on this field since SHAKE was released.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Sascha Engel
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 20, 2012 at 6:37:33 am

Wow, that is interesting news. Thanx Raphael. But I assume the learning curve of Shake is rather steep. I know how to work with AE, but Shake? Might be time extensive to dive into, no?



Sascha


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Sascha Engel
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 20, 2012 at 6:42:07 am

As usual, Raphael, great information - thanx! I will give BitVice a shot.
Usually with encoding for H.264s I am quiet happy with Compressor, but not with HD to SD.
What about downscaling in AE? How are those Algorithms?
Does AE do a good job?


Greetings,



Sascha


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Sascha Engel
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 20, 2012 at 6:55:16 am

About BitVice:

1. When you download it, there is a paid and a free version - what are the differences?

2. What are the settings, that work best for you in it? There is a lot of parameters, I don't know what to set, such as Color, Matrix, Transfer, IntraDC, Spatio?


Thanx.

Sascha


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Rafael Amador
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 20, 2012 at 9:01:31 am

[Sascha Engel] " But I assume the learning curve of Shake is rather steep. "
Not for such simple task. Is just like applying a filter and setting the size you want.

About BitVice, let me have a look to the newest version.
The truth is that I don't use it since more than one year ago that i made my last DVD.
I had no idea there is a free version.
I'll post again.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Miriam Lefkowitz
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 28, 2012 at 12:05:29 am

[Rafael Amador] "[Sascha Engel] " But I assume the learning curve of Shake is rather steep. "
Not for such simple task. Is just like applying a filter and setting the size you want."



I finally found a copy of Shake and have quickly browsed the manuals, online tutorials, etc. Is there a specific section of Shake I should focus on in order to teach myself how to compress our footage for DVD?


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Rafael Amador
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 20, 2012 at 2:01:57 pm

[Rafael Amador] "BitVice does a much better job (use open GOPs by default) and has a very good downscaling filter."
Here I made a mistake about the downscaling capability of BitVice.
Sorry, I had in mind "Video Purifier" (from the same company), that is a de-noiser and re-scaler.
Purifier is integrated in BitVice for de-noising, but not for rescaling, as far as I know.

However I stand for what I said about making much better MPEG-2 than Compressor.

[Sascha Engel] "1. When you download it, there is a paid and a free version - what are the differences?"
There is a demo but I can't tell you if is watermarked or time limited. Out of that has no differences with the licensed version.

[Sascha Engel] "2. What are the settings, that work best for you in it? There is a lot of parameters, I don't know what to set, such as Color, Matrix, Transfer, IntraDC, Spatio?"
Most of the parameters get set automatically when you import your movie (color, matrix. transfer,..).
- Check the Purifier window and set 1 if your video has little noise, or 3 if it has a lot of noise. For a very noise video, use a better de-noiser (NeatVideo in FC) before the MPEG-2 compression.
- The IntraDC is to allow the app to work in 9 or 10b. The guys of BitVice say that they put the option just because sis possible to do it, but you don't really gonna see much difference on setting it other than 8b.

BTW, MOTION has a good downscaling filter inherited from SHAKE. Is call "Lanczos". In the Image Units > Geometry adjustments.
Bit tricky to use it.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Sascha Engel
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 23, 2012 at 6:58:08 pm

Thanx Raphael. Learned a lot again, but unfortunately, purchasing a new software is not an option for me right now.
So, I just need to know, which option is the best one for now:

1.) Export as HD from FCP and then doing the downscaling in compressor in the same run than encoding it to MPEG2.

2.) Same as one, but doing Downsizing, Encoding to MPEG 2 in 2 different steps in Compressor.

3.) Export HD film from FCP, importing it again into FCP and exporting it from out a PAL SD Timeline and then encoding the SD Film in Compressor.

4.) Downscaling in After Effects, and then encoding SD result from AE in Compressor to MPEG2.

Will it help to use some smooth and blur settings in Compressor, to smoothen the downscaling?

Greetings,

Sascha


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Rafael Amador
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 24, 2012 at 6:10:40 am

[Sascha Engel] "3.) Export HD film from FCP, importing it again into FCP and exporting it from out a PAL SD Timeline and then encoding the SD Film in Compressor."
No, avoid the downscaling with FC.





[Sascha Engel] "1.) Export as HD from FCP and then doing the downscaling in compressor in the same run than encoding it to MPEG2.

2.) Same as one, but doing Downsizing, Encoding to MPEG 2 in 2 different steps in Compressor."

It won't be much no difference, but always make the downscaling with the "Frame Control ON" and best for the filter.


[Sascha Engel] "4.) Downscaling in After Effects, and then encoding SD result from AE in Compressor to MPEG2."
I remember making some tests in AE, and was not much satisfied, but I may have missed something because I have no much experience with AE.
Why don't you make a short test downscaling the same clip with FC, AE, Compressor and MOTION (Lanczos)?
Then use the one you think is better for the downscaling and make the MPEG-2 with Compressor?
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Sascha Engel
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 24, 2012 at 7:57:48 am

Hi Rafael,

I made following test, very short, since I am under deadline pressure before leaving for shooting to the States:

1.) with MPEG Streamclip since some said it's very good. It is very fast, and in terms of Moire and aliasing it does the BEST job, but makes the footage a lot darker and shifts colors too much.

2.) Direct in Compressor with Frame Controls seems to be best, but in terms of Moire and aliasing less good than Streamclip. Only if you switch anti-aliasing on, but then it takes till the dawn of time, and it's not working when you have long footage and little time.

3.) I mentioned a special script somebody wrote and posted it on COW (see above this post)...I still have to try that one.

One more things is sure: I had some sharpening done in my DSLR footage since it was shot flat, this I had to remove, since it made a big difference later in the SD version of the footage.


Sascha


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Sascha Engel
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 23, 2012 at 8:28:53 pm

Anybody ever tried Katis free B-Spline Scaler:

https://sites.google.com/site/katisvideotoolbox/smooth-bspline-scaler


If yes, how did it work for you to downscale?


Sascha


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Rafael Amador
Re: Encoding & Downscaling in Compressor for DVD
on Nov 25, 2012 at 3:14:39 am

Never used, but I wouldn't hesitate to give it a try.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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