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Old December 1st, 2005, 12:48 PM   #1
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Premiere, Matrox, Progressive...NOT!

Hi all,

I apologize in advance for the long post, but this is the culmination of a couple years of frustration. If this can help anyone (or if anyone can help me!), it will be worth the read.

I've been doing NLE with Premiere and a Matrox RT.X100 for about 3 1/2 years now. I capture all my video using a Canon GL-2. I shoot nearly everything in FRAME mode on the GL-2. I like the look it gives, and I prefer a final product in progressive mode.

It's been a struggle to get decent MPEG encodings. I use MainConcept's MPEG Encoder, a fantastic product for the price, IMO. I can set things to look good for the video, but then my titles will look aliased, jagged, combed. If I render for the titles, then the video looks aliased, jagged, combed. At first I faulted the MPEG Encoder. I had several good conversations with the developer, and we determined it must be something in the codecs I have installed on my sytem. I basically gave up trying to get a good render.

Over the last few days I've been trying to finish up a project. It's a simple project of a family gathering. Simple cuts, simple titles. In the credits, I have some particle effects that "break up" the titles. I've been unable to find the right MPEG encoding parameters to make both the titles AND the video look good. I decided to search the Matrox Video user forums. To my surprise and shock I read the following words (the full thread is here):

Quote:
Editing and capture of progressive footage is not supported with the RT.X100. The RT.X100 supports 30fps interlaced for NTSC and 25fps interlaced for PAL. You will not be able to be able to take advantage of any of the RT.X100's realtime features if using progressive footage...
What!?!? No support for progressive scan video? Could this be the root of the problems I've been having all these months? So I performed a couple tests. Starting a new premiere project, I used a Matrox preset (using the RT.X100 engine) and set the properties to progressive scan. I created a simple title and used Premiere's move and scale effects to add motion to the clip. I exported a frame in the middle of the clip, opened it in a graphics editor, and sure enough, it was seriously interlaced / combed / aliased. Yuck. I repeated the entire test, only this time I chose not to use the RT.X100, essentially disabling it. I setup the same title with motion, and exported the frame. It was clean and crisp, with no combing or interlacing.

So it appears that the statement above by Matrox support is true. When using the RT.X100, all editing of video is done in an interlaced mode. This explains many countless hours of frustration, not knowing why my MPEG looked so bad, not being able to control any settings that could affect it. Everytime I applied some effect to my progressive scan video clips, the RT.X100 was interlacing those effects. You can imagine what this would look like. And I apply color correction to all my clips... <sigh>

Now I'm not sure what to do. I still intend to shoot FRAME mode on my GL2. I wonder if I should dump the RT.X100 and get something like Adobe After Effects. This is really too bad. The RT.X100 has some great features, real time being one of them. It's unfortunate I had to spend $1200 and over three years to find that I couldn't do what I wanted. I'm still searching the RT.X100 doco for a statement like the one made by the Matrox support person. I don't think it's there.

I'm open to suggestions, comments, thoughts.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 03:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Buege
Hi all,


Now I'm not sure what to do. I still intend to shoot FRAME mode on my GL2. I wonder if I should dump the RT.X100 and get something like Adobe After Effects. This is really too bad. The RT.X100 has some great features, real time being one of them. It's unfortunate I had to spend $1200 and over three years to find that I couldn't do what I wanted. I'm still searching the RT.X100 doco for a statement like the one made by the Matrox support person. I don't think it's there.

I'm open to suggestions, comments, thoughts.
Canopus is the same way, you capture your frame mode video into the interlaced preset and export it the same way. Now the big diff for me is that I use TMPGenc to create my DVD Ready MP2 files, the Mainconcept encoder built into Premier crashes almost everytime that I use it. As for TMPGenc, you can set the progressive flag there for your MP2 export.

ML
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 03:34 PM   #3
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Hi Miguel,

I'm actually using MainConcept's stand alone MPEG Encoder v1.5, not the junk built into Premiere Pro. It is full featured, with a progressive setting. Unfortunately, with my titles in premiere being processed as interlaced video (because of the RT.X 100), and the clips being progressive, there's not a whole lot I can do. As soon as I export the final AVI from Premiere, the Matrox board exports it all as interlaced, screwing everything up.

I just ran some additional tests last night, and simply having the RT.X board enabled in Premiere (RT.X Editing mode) is introducting color noise and degradation in the video. Turning it off and using the DV Playback editing mode produces clean crisp video. I suspect that the nature of having hardware process the video is introducing noise.

Question: are there any hardware NLE boards out there that support progressive and work with Premiere Pro? Maybe I should upgrade.

Tim
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Old December 9th, 2005, 06:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Buege
I'm actually using MainConcept's stand alone MPEG Encoder v1.5, not the junk built into Premiere Pro.


Question: are there any hardware NLE boards out there that support progressive and work with Premiere Pro? Maybe I should upgrade.



tim
Actually I do believe Adobe uses MainConcepts Encoder in Premiere Pro 1.5, and that's why their standalone is $49 for Premiere Pro Users, since it's just adding a front end client for the existing encoder that's embedded in Premiere Pro. So it makes it a standalone and thus saving $85 for PPRO users.

I myself use ProCoder 2.0 and it seems to do a very good job at encoding, while I don't do any progressive encoding, it's far superior to Encore encoding of course Encore also uses MainConcept.

Matrox Axio works with Premiere Pro and well it seems to support a far greater number of formats, check that out it may do what you want..
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Old December 13th, 2005, 02:49 PM   #5
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Hi Pat,

I'm running Premiere Pro 1.0, so the version of MainConcept's MPEG Encoder is definitely different. The stand alone version is more full featured, and faster. $49 well spent.

Regarding the Matrox Axio, I believe that is only available as a turnkey system, and runs thousand and thousands of dollars. Way out of my price range. Are there any other boards that support progressive full frame editing that include the features of the RT.X100?

Tim
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Old December 13th, 2005, 03:10 PM   #6
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I do a little different routine, but I had a thought. Try rendering your footage as interlaced, which is what it is anyway. Let me explain.

Old fashioned, standard, non-HD tv sets are ALL interlaced. They will not respond to a progressive signal. The progressive setting on standard (non-HDV) camcorders scans the image progressively, then creates the two fields with NO motion between them. If you try rendering interlaced, you cannot alter the original frames or fields. I'm not quite sure what your NLE does, but to be shown on a standard TV, the output MUST be interlaced.

I keep a high quality (interlaced) regulay TV monitor handy for evaluation. Things look different than on the progressive PC display.

Hope this gives you some things to think about.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 03:47 PM   #7
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Hi Dave,

Yes, I understand exactly what you are saying. In particular, I use a Canon GL2 to capture the footage. The FRAME mode on the GL2 does a pretty good job at capturing progressive, but I understand there can be a slight shift in the green from one field to the next. Something to do with how the GL2 captures the image in FRAME mode. I've never noticed the green-shift, but I don't have a proper reference, either.

Anyhow, I've always understood that "progressive" meant interlaced where the two fields are identical. I'm not shooting for transfer to film, and I don't have a progressive HD TV, so I'm not concerned about that. I have noticed a difference between the PC monitor and the TV, but there are a number of contributing factors besides just progressive vs. interlaced display.

I have encoded MPGs as progressive, and authored that to DVD. I believe the DVD player takes care of providing an interlaced signal to the TV. I've never had a problem viewing my progressive stuff on a TV.

Right now my best solution is to do as you suggest: render as interlaced. However, if there is a lot of motion in the progressive footage, it will seem slightly jumpy. Also, sharp, defined lines that are not horizontal will appear aliased, or stair-stepped, when you freeze a frame on the video. I believe this is a result of the process used by the MPG encoder when I tell it to create a progressive video. Maybe it only looks at a single field? I don't know, this stuff is very complicated.

It is a compromise, and one that I'll have to live with until I find a better method, or hardware that will support what I want. Maybe my solution is to render effects such as titles outside of RT editing mode, so that I can truely create a progressive AVI. Then I could pull the rendered titles back into my RT mode project and get it all to export properly. I have a lot of experimenting to do, and it all takes time.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 10:35 PM   #8
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matrox 100

Tim,

First, thank you for the post!! I have been considering going for the matrox 100 pro. I also shoot quite alot in the frame mode. I am now going to have to give that a lot more serious thought before shelling out the 1500 dollars (canadian bucks).
It does not seem there are any easy solutions to your problem.


gus
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Old December 13th, 2005, 11:12 PM   #9
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Tim,

I believe Premiere Pro's progressive scan mode is meant for use with camcorders such as Panasonic's DVX100 that can record 24p video with film-style pull down. A special editing mode is required that removes the unique Panasonic pull-down cadence. Since your GL2 can't shoot video with 24p pull-down, but rather records 30p (essentially interlaced video with the two fields in each frame identical, if I understand it correctly), Premiere Pro's progressive scan editing mode probably isn't the correct mode to use, anyway. The normal interlaced mode is probably the right one to use. You should also probably be rendering your footage to MPEG-2 as normal interlaced video.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 11:16 PM   #10
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Hi Gus,

The RT.X100 is a great board, and does some amazing things...just not progressive scan. Hey, if you find another board similar to the RT.X100 but with support for progressive, let us know. I might be persuaded to switch.

I'm still trying to think of a way around the problem, and I think about this alot. As I mentioned I shoot Frame mode most of the time, and when I do, I use the RT.X100 standard default for a new project in Premiere. What this actually does is to set the project to Interlaced Lower Field First mode. Prior to this recent discovery I was unaware of the significance of that.

What I would do is edit my video, and export the entire timeline out to an AVI file for encoding, only setting the export options to No Fields (Progressive) mode. That made sense to me, as the source video was shot in progressive mode. As far as I could tell, this was working fine. Except that titles and other similar effects were not looking right. The actual video looked pretty good to me.

I have a theory, but I haven't figured out how to prove it yet. Anyhow, I think effects such as Matrox RT.X Color Correction do not have an adverse effect of interlacing the video. More specifically, if the Matrox Effect being used does not cause any change in position of the video, then there is no interlacing effect. For example, a color change, a blur, that sort of thing. I may be wrong, and I need to perform a lot of tests to check this out.

The other possibility is that using those "static" type effects do cause the interlacing, but it's just not noticable. As Dave pointed out a couple posts back, progressive video is actually interlaced, but both fields contain identical information. Maybe that masks the problem. The reason the titles that have Matrox effects applied turn out interlaced is because the titles are truely progressive to begin with, without the extra duplicate fields. It could also be that if I were to use a particle effect that would, say, explode the video into fragments, those fragments may end up looking very interlaced. Again, these are just working theories, and I need to do a lot of testing.

If anyone has thoughts on this, please share. I'm stubborn enough to try and figure this out. I've already spent my $1200+ on the board, and would rather not spend more on another.

Tim
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Old December 13th, 2005, 11:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Lefchik
I believe Premiere Pro's progressive scan mode is meant for use with camcorders such as Panasonic's DVX100 that can record 24p video with film-style pull down.
Hi Chris,

Are you sure? When I go the custom settings in Premiere Pro 1.0, the timebase of the project can be set to 25fps or 29.97fps when the editing mode is set to DV Playback. When the editing mode is set to Matrox RT.X, the only option is 29.97fbs. 24fps is not an option in either mode. Also, I don't think cameras such as the DVX100 that record 24P were available at the time Premiere Pro 1.0 was released. I may be wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Lefchik
Premiere Pro's progressive scan editing mode probably isn't the correct mode to use, anyway. The normal interlaced mode is probably the right one to use. You should also probably be rendering your footage to MPEG-2 as normal interlaced video.
The help file states this about Fields:

"Specifies the field dominance, or which field of each frame's interlaced fields is drawn first. If you work with progressive-scan video, select No Fields (Progressive Scan). Note that many capture cards capture fields regardless of whether you shot progressive scan footage."

Nothing there about only working with 24P. But it's also not as clear as it could be.

My experience has shown that when I encode as interlaced, it definitely looks interlaced on the TV. There is a difference. I believe progressive is the correct way to go.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 11:58 PM   #12
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Hmmm...I just read this on Adam Wilt's site:

Quote:
Each video frame shows up as an intact frame-based image in which both the even and odd fields have been captured at exactly the same time with no interlacing artifacts (of course, the data stream written to tape still interleaves the even and odd fields for proper interlaced TV display; it's just that both fields have been captured simultaneously instead of in even-odd alternation).
So, it is still interlaced video, even though I shot in Frame mode. Interesting.

Chris, I stand corrected.

Gus, don't toss out the RT.X100 idea yet.

I have a lot to think about, and a lot of testing to do.
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Old December 15th, 2005, 09:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Buege
Hi Chris,

Are you sure? When I go the custom settings in Premiere Pro 1.0, the timebase of the project can be set to 25fps or 29.97fps when the editing mode is set to DV Playback. When the editing mode is set to Matrox RT.X, the only option is 29.97fbs. 24fps is not an option in either mode. Also, I don't think cameras such as the DVX100 that record 24P were available at the time Premiere Pro 1.0 was released. I may be wrong.
Um, no, actually I'm not. I've never worked with the GL2. I believe you are right about the Panasonic DVX100 not being out when Premiere Pro 1 was released.

However, the 25fps mode would still not be correct as your GL2 shoots 30p.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 02:02 PM   #14
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Help with XL H1 and Premiere Pro

Hey Guys, I do have a project to finish, and I'm in real trouble,

I shot some footage for a restaurant 20 sec commercial, need to deliver on DVD, I shot in 24f HD mode, using Canon XL H1.
I have Premiere Pro 1.5 and 2.0 installed, aspect HD MainConcept.
I'm really confused how should I properly capture, wich preset I should use, I'm confused with 24f convertion to 60interlaced that Canon XL H1 records on miniDV.
should I capture using Aspect HD 60i? or 24p?
How do I export to DVD, wich preset I should use?

Any help would be highly appreciated,
I'm in real mess.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 03:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerses Papoyan
I'm really confused how should I properly capture, wich preset I should use, I'm confused with 24f convertion to 60interlaced that Canon XL H1 records on miniDV.
I'm afraid you're confusing me. Do you have 24p HD footage, or 60i footage? If it's 24p HD, use the 24p HD capture mode. If 60i (HD?), use that capture mode.

As for rendering to DVD, if it's 60i footage there's nothing special that has to be done. If it's 24p footage, I'm not sure how the PPro export module handles 24p footage. You'd be better off asking that question over in the DVD and Web Video Delivery section.
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