DV Video -> DVD; Quality problems?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Shane Archer, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. Shane Archer

    Shane Archer Agent

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    We are putting together a low-budget DVD as promotional item; we plan to get about 1000 copies professional replicated and all that, so we want it to look decent on TVs and computers alike.

    So far, we've had nothing but quality problems. Our source video was all shot using a Canon XL1, captured to raw DV video via Firewire, and edited in Premiere Pro. We're using Adobe Encore as the authoring software. Menus were designed in Photoshop.

    The #1 problem we have is that the video just seems pixelated when viewed on a computer monitor or on a projection/plasma TV. Now we realize that 720x480 video is going to look horrible on a big screen no matter what, but I have seen plenty of other video that looks decent, especially on the computer screen. Tons of jaggies all over, etc., even when we are viewing it at 1:1, meaning a 720x480 window.

    So we are thinking that maybe we are capturing it wrong, or missing some other important interlacing step or something on the encode. We are using the normal Premiere capture mode, and encoding to the NTSC DV 0.9 preset. No other weird filters or anything.

    The other problem is that we want to add a still image to the video as sort of an intro/outro title screen. We've designed some stuff that looks decent in Photoshop, used the proper NTSC preset, applied an NTSC color filter and all that. We bring it into the timeline in Premiere, encode, and on the playback the image looks absolutely horrible on a computer screen. It looks halfways decent on a small 25" analog TV, but I don't get why a 720x480 image added to a 720x480 video would in turn play back at absolutely horrible quality in a 720x480 window on the screen. It just seems like we must be doing something wrong.

    Anybody else have any experience doing anything like this? None of us are professionals in this realm, obviously, we're basically just hobbyists with too much money/time to spend on computer programs we don't understand. [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  2. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    How does the raw DV video look? How does the DVD look when played on an old-fashion NTSC CRT?
     
  3. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Unlike pixels on computer screens, the pixels on DVD-Video discs are not square.

    If you shot for standard TVs, your video footage will be for aspect ratio of 4:3. But it'll be stored in a 3:2 format (tall, skinny pixels).

    When you go to display your DVD footage on your PC, either the computer's got to scale the DVD pixels down from a 3:2 ratio to a 4:3 one, or it's got to allow the video to take up too much horizontal room. Neither is optimal.
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    You could try using a different encoder. There's a free one out there that is very, very good. I think it's called TMPGEnc. It provides several options for encoding that can greatly improve the video quality (assuming the source is of good quality)
     
  5. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    The built in encoder (in Encore) is SUPERIOR to any I've ever seen! It takes a while to encode, but the stuff looks GREAT!

    Of course, the old "crap in -> crap out" always applies. As long as your DV stuff looks great, Encore will do a fine job.
     
  6. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    it's probably what thomas is describing, i bet it has to do with non-square pixels.

    CJ
     
  7. Bejoy

    Bejoy Stunt Coordinator

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    You can look thru the forums at doom9 or videohelp. Covers pretty much everything you want to know about video editing.
     
  8. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    You will lose fine detail when encoding to MPEG. You should avoid any one-pixel-thick lines. But you will have to be more descriptive as to what "absolutely horrible" means. Perhaps some screen shots?
     
  9. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    How are you saving the edited video out of Adobe? I have gotten mixed results and some crappy output by choosing the wrong format at the end.

    We need to know at what point it starts looking bad?
     

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