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Old August 31st, 2009, 12:19 AM   #1
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CS4 AME effectiveness and rendering

I have CS3 and was wondering if Adobe did anything to improve the quality of the encoding with CS4. By that I mean more passes, higher rate etc.

Are they still using a "dumbed" down version of Main Concepts Encoder?

Are you satisfied with AME's results or do you use a stand alone or perhaps a plug-in for that function?

Curious!

Thanks
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 11:11 AM   #2
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Sorry to bump this thread to the top however, please.... I need someone who owns CS4 to fill in some of my informational gaps, especially in regards to adobe media encoder and its MPEG-2 settings and parameters. That will tell me enough in order to make a decision on whether to upgrade or not.

I'd be much oblidged if someone would provide me with screenshots of all of the MPEG-2 functions and settings in the export/settings window(s) as ADOBE purposely left all MPEG functionality and erased them from their CS4 demo/trial !! So there is no way of knowing what there is to work with MPEG-wise from the demo itself.

All i can find online is a list of the parameters and what they do however it doesnt' give the range of settings and I want to see how everything is layed out

Alternatively, if there is a place online where I can see this visually in a clear manner, please let me know where it is.

Thanks all,

Bruce
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 05:15 PM   #3
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Are you wondering about the MPEG2 DVD parameters or the regular MPEG2 for HD and other uses? If you are asking about the MPEG2 DVD, then not much has changed (2-pass, etc.), except for the fact that Adobe hid a setting in the Sequence Properties to enable "Maximum Render Quality". With this setting enabled, your mpeg2 DVD encodings will take MUCH longer, however it does improve the downscaling quality.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 10:05 PM   #4
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My goal is threefold:

My workflow is strictly 100% SD from start to finish.

1) To see if CS4 improved the quality of the encoding process in an appreciable and noticeable manner over CS3. I see there seems to be a lot more advanced parameters and settings present over CS3. I'm very curious to what extent the "render at maximum quality" improves the file and how much longer it takes to acheive this. Is it worth the time and wait? Any idea what's being done when the (RMQ) option is selected?

2) To ascertain what the ranges of the settings are for MPEG and MPEG 2 encoding In CS4. I always encode at VBR 2 Pass, 9.00 (bit rate for all settings: min+max+avg). I was curious if they upped the bitrate or did anything else.

3) To solicit the forum and discover what they personally thought about the quality of Adobe Media Encoder (whether it be CS2, CS3 or CS4) versus other alternatives whether it be a standalone application or a 3rd party plug-in. I'd rather spend money buying a external encoder if the forum feels that's the better way to go over a CS4 upgrade.

Thanks for continuing the conversation and for pointing out your blog. I bookmarked that web page.

Bruce
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Old September 7th, 2009, 10:56 AM   #5
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First of all, I would never encode an MPEG2 DVD file over 8 mbps as it causes problems with playback on DVD players. If you use a good quality encoder, you will not notice any difference in quality above 7 mbps.

Second, I would not upgrade to CS4 just for it's mpeg2 encoding. You will get MUCH better results using the free application called HC Encoder. You will likely need AVISynth to use it, as it only imports avs script files or DGIndex files. It may sound like a hassle to use, but the results are amazing, better than Procoder, TMPGEnc, and all the NLE programs. The only program that can compete with it is Cinema Craft Encoder (CCE), which is not free.
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Old September 7th, 2009, 08:34 PM   #6
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I appreciate your encoding recommendation. For a relatively short time I've been aware of this application as a possible solution, however, knowing zero about Avisynth, command lines, scripting or .dv type files it looks (that route)to be a little involved and somewhat intimadating for a encoding newbie as far as alternative options to AME goes!

On the other hand, if I could find out via a guide or set of instructions how to take an .avi and feed it through the whole process successfully I'm sure willing to try it out and see what will happen.

Where do I start? Which is a better file type to feed into HC?

DG Index or AVISynth?

What would be the workflow?

Any pointers welcome.

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 10:36 AM   #7
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Bruce,

Why not make life a bit easier, while you are getting acquainted with PR and video editing and encoding?

With your time-line active, use File/Adobe Dynamic Link/Send to Encore and let Encore receive your complete time-line for transcoding and figure it out itself. No need to worry about optimal settings, Encore will do that for you.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 12:08 PM   #8
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Harm,

If I let Encore automatically figure out to do with the file it will encode by default at an low, i.e. an unacceptable level with predictable results. As far as I know both Premiere and Encore use the same encoder so it wouldn't matter from which program you launching the encoding process with. With PPro I handtweak the settings to the highest possible quality that will fit to DVD.

I'm quite willing to give HC encoder a chance with outside help.

Thanks for chiming in.

Bruce
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Old September 8th, 2009, 04:54 PM   #9
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Bruce,

I have never experienced Encore to use low settings. It always chooses, as far as I have seen maximum encoding rates that still fill you DVD to around maximum capacity, while maintaining maximum compatibility with various players. So it will not go over 8 Mbps.

Personally I prefer to use my own settings and I often use this bitrate calculator to help me:
DVD-HQ : Bitrate & GOP calculator

This would be especially advantageous when using CCE with 9-pass VBR.
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