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settings to achieve the best quality output?

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Joe Danielssettings to achieve the best quality output?
by on Jul 16, 2010 at 7:38:28 pm

Hi there. I am using Adobe CS5. I have a bunch of old footage that I want to post the highest quality versions of online either via email file or on a website.

This footage is home movies from 1980's and 1990's. What I want to do is have clips 1-2 minutes long to post up now and then.

My question is, what is the best setting to export this out as to achieve the highest quality? (h.264?)

The video is your standard 720x480.

Also, any tricks to fix the "milkiness" look that these old videos have. Is there a sharpening secret that works better that the "sharpen" filter?

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated!



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Dave LaRondeRe: settings to achieve the best quality output?
by on Jul 16, 2010 at 7:47:16 pm

Sorry, there isn't anything you can do about light-struck film, if that's what you mean by "milky".

If you mean, "the bright parts aren't very bright" or the "the dark parts aren't very dark", try using the Levels effect.

Don't -- repeat, DO NOT render to H.264 in AE. Here's what you should do:

Dave's Stock Answer #3:

Don't use AE to compress files for final delivery. The various compressors are there only to make quick 'n dirty files showing a project's progress to producers, clients, the kids, etc. AE is incapable of doing multipass encoding, a crucial feature that greatly improves the image quality of H.264 and MPEG-type files in particular.

Render a high-quality file from AE, and use a different application to do the compression. Popular ones are Adobe Media Encoder, Sorenson Squeeze and Apple's Compressor, which comes bundled with Final Cut Suite. Even compressing in Quicktime Pro is better than compressing in AE.

Making good-looking compressed files is almost as much an art as it is a science. It is NOT straightforward at all. I recommend asking a few questions at the COW's Compression Techniques forum.


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


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Joe DanielsRe: settings to achieve the best quality output?
by on Jul 16, 2010 at 8:38:26 pm

Dave,

Thanks for your quick response! That is good info to know. And the "milky" look I am talking about is just its overall "dull" appearance that this footage has due to time and deteriation.

I guess I will try the Adobe Media Encoder since i have that. (I am on a PC)

So from After Effects, should I just render out as an uncompressed avi, then bring it into Adobe Media Encoder?

-Joe



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Dave LaRondeRe: settings to achieve the best quality output?
by on Jul 16, 2010 at 8:50:20 pm

Unless they have guns pointed at their heads, most Windows AE folks favor Quicktime for rendering -- lots of really good codecs, y'know. QT Pro is probably the best 35 bucks you'll spend before the summer's over.

But uncompressed AVI is okay.

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


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Chris WrightRe: settings to achieve the best quality output?
by on Jul 17, 2010 at 12:09:30 am

color correction-auto contrast will maximize your black and white levels. It works exactly the same way alpha levels does for input black and white but does it in easy percentage. Also, local contrast effects (unsharps with selective alpha mattes) will increase the midtone contrast without blowing out whites or over darkening blacks as exampled in my free aep file. Don't forget to reset the white balance too in color finesse. After you're done with contrast and blown out highlights, finally remove grain, bump up the saturation, you'll soon have some really nice footage. Have fun! and hey, you got CS5's new roto so, you can always separate objects and enhance them so they stand out even more.


http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/982410#982452


http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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Sean WorsellRe: settings to achieve the best quality output?
by on Jul 28, 2010 at 5:52:11 am

I believe the issue he's talking about is discussed here:

http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/aadams/story/quicktime/

It's a gamma issue built into Quicktime and it is causing problems for lots of folks.


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