Homemade DVD Video- Whites get blown out

Discussion in 'Computers' started by MarkHastings, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I am creating a DVD of scanned photos set to music. I have no video footage involved at all, just pictures. The pictures were scanned in and saved as Pict files. I am using Premiere 6.5 to output the video (using Adobe's MPEG encoder version 1.3) and when I play the video, the whites blow out.

    I've tried rendering as an avi and the levels are fine, just anytime I use MPEG compression, the levels get screwed up. Even if I use the uncompressed AVI file (which looks fine)...once I create the DVD with Sonic DVDit PE, the video gets washed out.

    I am getting the same results on 2 different computers. They are both Dells (newer systems), They are both over 1 Ghz and have more than 500MB of ram. One system is running Win2000 and the other is running WinXP.

    I have some screen grabs of the issues:
    1.) The original scan
    2.) AVI movie
    note: The above clip looks exactly the same wether I'm encoding as a DV AVI, or an uncompressed AVI or any other non-MPEG codec.
    3.) MPEG exported from Premiere
    4.) MPEG exported with Premiere (with the "Input Video is RGB 16-235" Checked)

    Considering I'm getting the same results when I let Premiere do the MPEG compression or let DVDit do the MPEG compression, it leads me to believe it might be more with the photos? Or is it the MPEG encoder?

    I noticed that some photos actually look pretty good (i.e. not all of them get blown out when I create the MPEG), it's only the ones that have bright areas to begin with (they get brighter). [​IMG]

    p.s. Last month I pulled in a movie clip from my ReplayTV and created a DVD and I ran into the same washed out results (even the blacks were a bit bright).

    I also have a 3D program where I render out uncompressed AVI files, but once I compress them with the DivX codec, they too get washed out.
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Run them through the "Broadcast Colors" filter in Photoshop.
     
  3. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Where is Broadcast Colors?

    Is that the same as: Filter -> Video -> NTSC???

    If it is, it didn't seem to do much. I read something about playing with the brightness and contrast. I am currently trying a +8 Brightness along with a -20 Contrast (which I read somewhere), and my initial tests seem to be working ok. I'll post examples when I'm done.
     
  4. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Yes

    One thing to remember is that a properly encoded image for NTSC should look too bright and washed out on a computer monitor
     
  5. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  6. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    I know the exact problem you're having, Mark. I made some pluge patterns to confirm that the Adobe MPEG encoder, even the 1.3 beta, screws up white level a lot, and black level also but not quite as much. I saw your message at the MainConcept/AdobeMPEG forum. I posted there too but I didn't get much help, they seem to be in denial about the problem.

    I've learned to never trust a software decoder. It may or may not expand black RGB 16 to 0 and white RGB 235 to 255, or worse things, making it impossible for you to determine if the encoder screwed it up or it's the decoder. I use my DVD player, and I make sure my black level is correct using the Video Essentials DVD.

    Until they figure it out, I'm using TMPGenc+. In the environmental settings, I set the 4:4:4 transform colorspace to CCIR-601, and in the encoder quantize settings, I set the output as Basic YCbCr instead of CCIR-601. This gives me the proper levels on my DVD player from DV source video, confirmed using my pluge patterns.

    DV and MPEG-2 are CCIR-601 formats, which means black is at RGB 16 and white is at RGB 235. Have you made your pictures 601 compliant? The easiest way to do that is a Levels effect with output range adjusted from 0-255 to 16-235. (If your source video is a DV capture then you shouldn't need it, but beware that some DV cameras capture black as 0.) It sounds like that's what you're trying with +8 brightness and -20 contrast.
     
  7. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    The 601 levels used by DVD look washed out when viewed directly; blacks are greyish and whites aren't bright. A DVD player program will stretch the levels to make it look right. Also, computer monitors have a different gamma curve, so everything is darker than on a TV.

    Mark, I took the original JPG, threw it on the timeline of a new Premiere 6.5 project, exported to MPEG (1.3 beta), and it came out OK. (And when I tested it, the "Input Video is RGB 16-235" option is broken, and not applicable anyway.)

    What are you using to view the MPEG and get the screen shot? Is there some kind of color profile in effect? For example, when I use PowerDVD to view the MPEG, with the color profile at Original, it looks OK, but when I switched to Vivid, it looked close to what you posted.

    //Ken
     

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