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vob files always look pixelated after import.

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Richie Tovell
vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 18, 2011 at 5:59:20 pm

Hi guys, hello once again :)

What ever I do this footage always looks terrible in AE, it plays and looks great in every media player but as soon as it's loaded in to AE it go's pixelated and washed out with a severe drop in quality.

I don't know what to do, they're vob rips mostly from public domain dvd's, I'm guessing it has something to do with mpeg, so I've tried different conversion apps and it seems what ever format I convert to these clips never look any good.

Would you guys have a look at a clip? I'm praying someone here will be able to crack this with me. It's an uncompressed raw vob/mpeg. you will see the imediatly the pixilataion and if you playback straight out of a media player the difference between playback quality of AE previews/renders imediatly, it's pretty bad.

1508_vts021.zip

So, if these vob files are actually mpeg what should I do? I realise they have to be converted, but every converter I have used has somehow failed to propperly convert them, they allways still look the same in AE. Are these converters just putting the mpeg's in to a different container and not acutually converting them? I've tried most converters and never gotten anywhere.

Please. . . . Help!!

Coda - musical selections; in film, the ending or last section of a film (often wordless).


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Kevin Camp
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 18, 2011 at 6:47:27 pm

it looks like the chroma sampling is poor. if you add the tint effect (which only uses the luminance) it looks fine, but in areas, like the red in the cheerleaders sweater, the red is pixelated. i do notice this in vlc and to a lesser extent in quicktime, but neither are nearly as bad as ae. this may be due to their par conversion being somewhat softer than ae's.

you could do a quick chroma blur... duplicate the footage in ae. add tint to the bottom layer, and fast blur to the top layer. set the blur amount to 1 - 2 and direction to vertical. then set the top layer's blending mode to color.

or you could convert the mpeg to lossless mov... i used mpeg-streamclip to convert the mpg to lossless mov, and it did look better in ae. however, it stripped the par and the color profile from the export, so you'd need to reset that in ae -- the color profile being the hard one to deal with.

you could look at a different utility, maybe adobe's media encoder would fair better....

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Kevin Camp
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 18, 2011 at 6:53:41 pm

[Kevin Camp] " i do notice this in vlc and to a lesser extent in quicktime, but neither are nearly as bad as ae. this may be due to their par conversion being somewhat softer than ae's."

actually, now that i think about it, the reason the players may display it better and why converting to lossless mov may help, is that the mpeg color space is yuv... the players may handle that better than ae, and the lossless mov is rgb, which is what ae works in natively...

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Richie Tovell
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 19, 2011 at 12:12:29 am

Thanks for all chipping in you guy's, I'm still nowhere near understanding this unfortunately. I had some luck using a Deinterlacing filter in Virtualdub, it completly removed all of the pixelation on the red colors, but added a substantial amount of blurring and also made the pixelation on the cars silver window a lot worse. I also tried converting to uncompressed mov, but it's no different to the straight mpeg import.

I am intrigued to know just how these media players can make this footage look so good, bellow are three screenshots of the same file playing in Power dvd, pdvd has actually upscaled the output to 1080p, also notice there's virtually no pixelation anywhere and the colours look amazing.

http://c.imagehost.org/0446/Uzi.png

http://c.imagehost.org/0477/Comet_Car.png

http://c.imagehost.org/0042/Dress.png

The problem I'm facing is that these vob rips make up %100 percent of my compositions, ok so this one is an extreme example because of the red, red and jpeg or Mpeg obviously isnt good, but what is power dvd doing that I'm not? I don't understand.

If anyone has any more free time to spend on this I'd be more than grateful. I'd welcome any more suggestions, Kevin I'm still working through some of your ideas, I'm affraid you have me a little lost though, so I'm going to try some different conversion and ripping apps as well and just hope I can hit it. You guys should have a look at these png's though as well, considering the source file, this is very impressive for a bundled dvd app imo.

Steve and Dave, thanks also.

Coda - musical selections; in film, the ending or last section of a film (often wordless).


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Steve Brame
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 19, 2011 at 12:35:35 am

First of all, converting or transcoding an compressed video to an uncompressed format doesn't increase the quality, it merely gives you an uncompressed file of the same data that was in the compressed version.

We've been remiss in asking what your comp's size is? If you are placing a 720 x 480 image into a 1080 comp and making the image match the comp, you're asking for a lot of pixelation.

Another thought, what is your Resolution/Down Sample Factor set for the comp viewer?

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Richie Tovell
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 19, 2011 at 1:14:28 am

Sure I realize that, I just dont want to add any more compression, and even uncompressed the file size is fine as it is.

I'm working with my comp res at full with a comp size thats the same as the footage 720 x 480, if you look at the clip in AE you can see the pixelation imediately, infact it already looks like it's lost resolution so the first thing I did was check the comp resolution.

Ideally I would like to get the picture quality and upscaling shown in the screen shots above, however I've never had much success with plugins that upscale, they kind of work but I'd still be left with pixelation on the red areas.

What I might have to do is use screen recording software to grab power dvd's playback, it's a botchy way to do it but it may give the best results. Unless anyone can think of anything else? I really cant see how to get that picture quality.

Coda - musical selections; in film, the ending or last section of a film (often wordless).


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Steve Brame
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 19, 2011 at 1:17:44 am

Cool...just throwing out thoughts. I don't use PowerDVD, so I was just wondering why it would be playing at 1080.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Richie Tovell
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 19, 2011 at 1:59:58 am

Thanks Steve.

I can't record it of the screen, these screen recording apps just aren't up to it.

The screen shots are acurate to hoq pdvd playback looks, it's settings say it's using native colour and resolution, so no tips there.

It's a mystery how it upscales like that without any pixelation. I'd be happy if I could fix up the pixelated at 720 x 480.

Coda - musical selections; in film, the ending or last section of a film (often wordless).


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Steve Brame
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 18, 2011 at 6:57:04 pm

"uncompressed raw vob/mpeg"

MPEG is compressed...a lot. Plus, this one is encoded at a very low 5500 Kbps. Might be trying to make something out of a sow's ear. Still, you would imagine that AE would at least be able to present it at the same quality as it plays in various players.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Dave LaRonde
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 18, 2011 at 6:52:15 pm

Kevin's wise advice is always good to listen to. But you still don't know the bit rate at which the original file was encoded to MPEG2, and a low bit rate means low image quality.

So no matter what you use to convert stuff ripped from a DVD, you're always confronted with two conflicting terms: "silk purse" and "sow's ear".

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


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Steve Brame
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 18, 2011 at 6:58:36 pm

Two references to a 'Sow's Ear' almost simultaneously! May be a record...or perhaps we're just showing our age.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Dave LaRonde
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 18, 2011 at 7:06:12 pm

[Steve Brame] "...or perhaps we're just showing our age."

Could be!

This morning I happened to say, "Ink-jet cartridges and women's hair care products: two of the biggest ripoffs known to man," in the presence of a college-aged person.

I had to explain what the term "ripoff" meant.

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


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Steve Brame
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 18, 2011 at 7:16:45 pm

Hey...a very few years ago when I was going to college(again), the professor asked us to divide into 3 groups. I dubbed ours 'Group W'.

The prof was the only one who got it.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Steve Brame
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 19, 2011 at 1:46:11 am

OK...just tried importing your MPEG into Premiere Pro CS5, and no pixelation. Here's a screen cap of the Program Monitor...

1514_test.png.zip

Now, I import this PNG into AE, and it pixelates, again, mainly at the edge of the red, or perhaps the red is just more noticeable than the other more muted colors.

Now...I export to an AVI, and bring that into AE - pixelation. So I guess we can say it's definitely how AE is interpreting the file.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Richie Tovell
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 19, 2011 at 4:41:26 am

Cool, hey I think I've sussed it, it's AE's deinterlacing.

Thanks for your help Steve, at this stage I usually need serious amouts of moral support lol, but hey I fixed it. The first problem was the interlacing, the second problem is the colour, I'm not sure what causes the image to go so dark and flat but it seems pretty easy to correct, I fixed the deinterlacing in Virtualdub though, it's a good app.

I even managed to get a decent 1080p render without much pixelation, bellow are some screen shots, it's pretty close.

http://c.imagehost.org/0720/VTS_02_1_00643.png

http://a.imagehost.org/0156/VTS_02_1_00843.png

What stumped me was that when interpretting the footage in AE was forgetting to set the deinterlacing to "none" after I had already deinterlaced the clips in Virtualdub.

Coda - musical selections; in film, the ending or last section of a film (often wordless).


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Richie Tovell
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 19, 2011 at 4:53:20 am

Lol, btw Dave the other day I had to explain to someone why they were "out to lunch" they just stood there looking puzzled. . .

I know how you feel.


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Cory Petkovsek
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 19, 2011 at 7:31:35 am

It's probably your pixel aspect ratio.

It looks mostly the same in my media player vs after effects with the exception that this is DVD footage with a .9 pixel aspect ratio. If you drag it into a comp and look at it on your square par monitor, it will look crappy and blocky.

Hit the pixel aspect ratio correction button which will horizontally shrink the image, but convert it to square pixels, or work with the footage in a square pixel comp.

Also, you need a better deinterlacer than AE's default. Red Giant's Frames cleans up some of the edges better than either of the native blended or interpolate deinterlace modes.

I see no reason to convert it to other codec. Unless it's lossless you'll just lose more quality.

Cory

--
Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video


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Kevin Camp
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 19, 2011 at 4:24:59 pm

hey richie, it sounds like you figured a good workflow... but to expand on the rgb-yuv issue that i seemed to notice.

just converting the mpeg (yuv) to lossless animation (rgb) seemed to help significantly with the issue i saw in the original footage. apples' uncompressed 8-bit and 10-bit are also yuv, so that might explain why you saw no difference. nle's and players are probably better suited to using yuv media that ae is -- though i don't know why ae shouldn't be as good, i do know that ae seems to be rooted in rgb.

interlacing may or may not be the problem... the original file you posted was 24p, and didn't seem to have any interlacing artifacts -- at first i though the color issue was due to improper pulldown removal, but there were no interlacing issues in the luminance, just the brighter colors. also, just converting that file to an rgb codec fixed it, i didn't try to deinterlace or remove the pulldown, just dropped it into a converter and exported to mov.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Richie Tovell
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 19, 2011 at 5:20:31 pm

[Kevin Camp] "hey richie, it sounds like you figured a good workflow... but to expand on the rgb-yuv issue that i seemed to notice.

Thanks, yes I'm half there but I do need to look in to Yuv.


[Kevin Camp] "just converting the mpeg (yuv) to lossless animation (rgb) seemed to help significantly with the issue i saw in the original footage. apples' uncompressed 8-bit and 10-bit are also yuv, so that might explain why you saw no difference. nle's and players are probably better suited to using yuv media that ae is -- though i don't know why ae shouldn't be as good, i do know that ae seems to be rooted in rgb."



I wonder; maybe it's not the deinterlacing in Virtualdub that's helping, perhaps it's the codec and simply rendering to avi? I'll try a straght avi render and let AE do the deinterlace.

I agree with your statement bellow, infact the pixels don't look like interlacing artifacts more like simple pixelation.


[Kevin Camp]
interlacing may or may not be the problem... the original file you posted was 24p, and didn't seem to have any interlacing artifacts -- at first i though the color issue was due to improper pulldown removal, but there were no interlacing issues in the luminance, just the brighter colors. also, just converting that file to an rgb codec fixed it, i didn't try to deinterlace or remove the pulldown, just dropped it into a converter and exported to mov.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW"


Was that in mpeg-streamclip? Squared 5? so you converted to the animation codec in this app as well, not in AE it'self?

Coda - musical selections; in film, the ending or last section of a film (often wordless).


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Kevin Camp
Re: vob files always look pixelated after import.
on Jan 19, 2011 at 6:22:31 pm

[Richie Tovell] "Was that in mpeg-streamclip? Squared 5? so you converted to the animation codec in this app as well, not in AE it'self?"

yep, i just dropped the mpeg file into mpeg-streamclip, then just exported to quicktime, choosing what it calls 'apple animation' as the compression and setting frame size to unscaled. i assume any encoding utility would work just fine going under the assumption that the rgb conversion is really the key...

also, in ae, i had it set not to separate fields. again, this was for the original media that did seem to be progressive.

the only real issue was the color shift that was probably due to streamclip's lack of color profile conversion, but again a better compression utility may keep/convert the color profile.

streamclip can convert media straight from dvd too (file>open dvd), though i've never tried that.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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