Best Render Option

Paul6_3333

paulkinsella
I am trying to render to a high-quality mp4. Client is going to display on large monitors at trade show. Project looks sharp/great on timeline, but render is less than optimal.
My project is HDV NTSC 1440x1080. Utilizing SE2, rendering to mp4 16x9 Progressive 1280x720 16000 kbps (tried variable and constant).
Any tips to make my mp4 renders look as good as the project? Maybe someone in the past has done a test and published best render settings for multiple formats??
 

Danner

Pixel Mage
I use adobe media encoder for mp4. It has lots of options and if you let it go to high bps it's hard to tell from uncompressed file. (I do lose some frames on playback so it can stutter slightly)
 

Paul6_3333

paulkinsella
Thanks Danner. I was looking/hoping for best options within the SE2 render selection. If there are other options, like Adobe, that are that much better, than I can take a look at them. If that's the case, how do I get the project into a third party program?
 

Danner

Pixel Mage
I don't know if there are any settings that can work on SE, I gave up and went with what I knew worked. I render out uncompressed from SE then put that into AME
 

Danner

Pixel Mage
Can't remember exactly.. I'm not at that Worstation, something like: avi uncompressed 4:2:2:2 with audio (if it applies)
 

Shabazzy

LightWave Fan Boi
I've used SE's built-in mp4 codec with the .avi wrapper in the past and have achieved some pretty good results. I posted my suggested settings in a thread here.

Of late though I've been using Xvid's mp4 codec to produce my mp4 based .avi videos and have to say that I prefer the quality and compatibility this brings.

The thing to note is understanding what all these settings mean in order to get the best quality for the given playback device and for understanding Xvid's settings I recommend reading this:

http://www.divx-digest.com/articles/xvid_setup.html

It really helped me a lot.

See how you get on.
 

Paul6_3333

paulkinsella
Thanks Shabazzy. I tried your AVI with MP4 codec settings (from your post to Tony R). The result is similar. My static or slower-moving graphics really look pretty good, but the fast moving images leave a "tearing" or artifact as they move. As an addition, I played with Interlaced v. Progressive and the Progressive looked slightly better.
When played on my timeline, the project/video output is clean and crisp. Am I reaching here? Is there no way to produce a crisp MP4 file that is comparable to original? Seems like I see competitor files that are perfect (even with high motion action) and the file size is not overwhelming.
 

Shabazzy

LightWave Fan Boi
Hi Paul,

I'm getting bits and pieces of the problem here and I'm suspecting that you're having fielding issues and if this is the case, the problem isn't to do with SpeedEDIT's codecs, it's more to do with understanding how to set the settings to be compatible with the display on which the video will be shown.

Now, forgive me if you're already very familiar with the technicalities of video but I'm going to assume that you're not and try to ascertain some extra info.

HDV 1080 normally creates interlaced files and as such SpeedEDIT takes those files, and it's Output monitor can simulate how this will look when played back on a device that needs interlaced video in order to work.

The reason this is important to note is because, as you'll no doubt know, your computer monitor is a progressive display and as so playing back interlaced video on it will normally result in this "tearing" on fast moving objects. However, SpeedEDIT is able to (rather cleverly) simulate an interlaced display, so that you have an idea of how it will look when you render your video using the appropriate settings to create an interlaced video file for playback on a display the requires interlaced footage (such as a TV set).

So the questions I have for you are as follows:
  1. Is the video going to be played back on a progressive display or interlaced display?
  2. Have you tested your renders on the intended displays?
  3. Do you know the capabilities of the intended displays?
  4. Can post a screenshot of the problem you're seeing?
  5. Do you know if the original clips were shot in interlaced or progressive mode (Right clicking on the source clip in the Add Media window and selecting Properties should tell you)?
  6. Can you tell me what camera was used to shoot the clips?
  7. If the clips are interlaced, do you know what field order the clips have (Top Field First or Bottom Field First - Right clicking on the source clip in the Add Media window and selecting Properties should tell you the field order) and does it match the field order of the intended display or can the intended display automatically switch between field orders?
  8. What are you using to preview the test renders that you create (viewing on computer/TV/mobile device etc)?

The answers to these questions will help me better understand the problem you're having and may help me direct you to a solution, but if you can't answer them all, just answer what you can.

Shabazzy
 

Paul6_3333

paulkinsella
Here's a go at some of the answers:

[*]Is the video going to be played back on a progressive display or interlaced display? PROGRESSIVE (COMPUTER MONITORS AND LARGE SCREEN VIA LAPTOP PROJECTION)
[*]Have you tested your renders on the intended displays? ONLY ON COMPUTER LCD MONITOR / ON PREVIOUS PROJECTS, DVDS (MP2) TEND TO LOOK GOOD ON TELEVISIONS
[*]Do you know the capabilities of the intended displays? NO - THIS WILL BE GOING TO ASSORTED AUDIENCES, BUT LARGEST VIEWING WILL BE VIA PROJECTION
[*]Can post a screenshot of the problem you're seeing? I HAVE A STILL OF THE PROBLEM, BUT LOOKS LIKE I CAN'T ATTACH TO THIS THREAD...I CAN EMAIL TO YOU??
[*]Do you know if the original clips were shot in interlaced or progressive mode (Right clicking on the source clip in the Add Media window and selecting Properties should tell you)? NORMALLY MY HDV VIDEO CLIPS LOOK GREAT. THIS PROJECT IS ALL GRAPHICS & TEXT LAYERED ON TO A MOVING BACKGROUND
[*]Can you tell me what camera was used to shoot the clips? N/A
[*]If the clips are interlaced, do you know what field order the clips have (Top Field First or Bottom Field First - Right clicking on the source clip in the Add Media window and selecting Properties should tell you the field order) and does it match the field order of the intended display or can the intended display automatically switch between field orders?
SAYS "EVEN FIELD FIRST". NOT SURE IF THAT IS TOP/BOTTOM OR FIELD 1/2 AS SE2 LISTS IN LAYER SETTINGS. USUALLY MY PROJECT IS SET TO AUTO ON FIELDING AND ASPECT.
[*]What are you using to preview the test renders that you create (viewing on computer/TV/mobile device etc)? VIEW ON COMPUTER LCD MONITOR (WMP OR QUICKTIME)
Other Misc:
-I USUALLY USE A 1440X1080 PROJECT TIMELINE;
-MOST TEXT IS GENERATED THROUGH SE2, BUT FOR THIS PROJECT THERE IS A MIX INCL PHOTOSHOP
-AS MENTIONED, MOST OF THE STATIC IMAGES LOOK GOOD RENDERED AT DIFFERENT SPECS (EVEN WHEN FULL SCREEN), BUT THE MOVING IMAGES THAT START SMALL AND BLOW BY SCREEN ARE THE ONES GIVING PROBLEMS
-EACH PHOTOSHOP IMAGE WAS SAVED AT 1920X1080 72 DPI BEFORE BEING LOADED INTO SE2
 

Shabazzy

LightWave Fan Boi
Ok, If I understand this correctly, you're starting a new project using SE's "NTSC HDV 1080i" preset and adding imported progressive graphics from photoshop into the timeline as well as creating motion text using the CGPost tools. If this is so, when you go to render your project, you're probably trying to customise the codec but still using the "Use Project Settings" (which is set as an interlaced project) in the "customise preset" window.

If this is the case, your problem is the choice you made when started the project. You should have selected "Progressive" for "NTSC HDV 1080i" from the "Project Settings" window and this would have changed the "Preset Name" to "Custom Format". Clicking "OK" would then create the correct project settings for working with progressive media, with the intention of being be rendered out using the "Use Project Settings" in the "customise preset" window of the "Render" panel for display on progressive screens.

To do this, open up your existing project, select everything and click the "Copy" button at the top of the SpeedEDIT window. Then File>New and create the correct project settings as I described. Then, making sure the timebar is at the start of the timeline, click the "Paste" button at the top of the SpeedEDIT window and all your clips will be pasted back into the timeline.

Save the project under a new name and try rendering the edit using the setting .mp4 settings I recommended and see what it looks like when played back on a progressive screen. It should come out very well. The only possible issue may be with the smoothness of the motion. It may be a little jerky. If you find this to be the case, it's a common problem with progressive video playback of animated elements (text or graphics). Some programs usually compensate for this by simulating motion blur between frames, however, I've yet to find such a setting in SpeedEDIT, but it may be somewhere in the codec customisation settings for mp4. Interlaced video does not have this problem at all.

The other approach is to use your existing project with it's interlaced settings and apply the de-fielding effect to the whole project and rendering out as a progessive file. That may resolve the jerky motion issue.

FYI, to attach files to a post, just click the "Go Advanced" button and you'll be taken to a page that has more formatting tools as well as a button with a paperclip icon that allows you to add attachments and a button with a picture icon that allows you to "Insert Image".

Also, "Even Field First" is the same as "Bottom Field First" or "Field 2".

In any case, try this out and let me know how you get on.

Shabazzy
 

Paul6_3333

paulkinsella
Well, using the Progressive timeline mode (1440x1080p) did the trick! Quality is crisp and clean - final MP4 file renders are smaller in overall mb size with better quality, thanks!

On another note: when working within this Progressive timeline, subprojects would not work properly. I was using these subprojects since I had many layers within the project. When created, I would get the evil "green screen" on just the bottom half of the screen. On previoius interlace timelines, these subprojects worked just fine. Any idea on what may be causing this?

Thanks again,
Paul
 

Shabazzy

LightWave Fan Boi
Thanks for the update Paul. I was wondering if you'd had a chance to try out my suggestions and pleased that you did and that it worked out well for you.

On another note: when working within this Progressive timeline, subprojects would not work properly. I was using these subprojects since I had many layers within the project. When created, I would get the evil "green screen" on just the bottom half of the screen. On previoius interlace timelines, these subprojects worked just fine. Any idea on what may be causing this?

Ah yes, this old chestnut. I've had to deal with this very annoying problem on many occasions (a real PIA).

This seems to be a problem that SE has when importing interlaced based sub-projects into progressive based projects. The only way around it that I've found is to expand (not drill into) the sub project (or sub sub projects) and have all it's clips on the timeline. That seems to solve it.

It seems to me that the rule is generally try to keep all your media in the same format as your project. Try not to mix and match too much. I think the problem is a technical one and I'd say it along the same lines as why SD DVEs are not compatible with HD projects. So interlaced sub projects = interlaced based projects and progressive sub projects = progressive based projects.

Keep it simple and things should work out.

Hope that helps.

Shabazzy
 
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Shabazzy

LightWave Fan Boi
LOL.

Thanks Icress. That would be nice wouldn't it.

The fact that you deem my help as being something worth paying for is very flattering and makes me feel appreciated (a very rare thing in today's world).

You're a true gent.
 

travisr

Multimedia Magician
This is all useful information. When I try to render like this, though, I get a pop up that says "Statsfile not found!" and then SpeedEdit locks up.
 
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