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Old February 16th, 2010, 08:58 PM   #1
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Footage not the same as Output

Im using a 5DMKII and I compress it to XDcam1080P30 in FCP before I use it to edit. Than I export it to compressor and burn a DVD using DVD fastest encode 90min. Now! The footage on the timeline is very clear, vibrant and colorful. But if I burn it to a DVD with the settings I mentioned earlier its not the same. Im also experiencing this when I encode it for Vimeo. The footage does not look the same.
So my question is what am I doing wrong? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. No sense having this great camera and awesome NLE and then end up with crappy footage.

Tom Marks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 16th, 2010, 09:48 PM   #2
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It's an issue with XD Cam footage - it doesn't encode cleanly from HD to MPEG2.

I did a TON of testing with this - as my DVDs looked crap - and this is what I cam up with.

I use an intermediate project in After Effects at 720x576 [PAL]' I export the XD CAM program, then scale is to [I think....] 53.4% to hit the SD FRAME. Then I re-export it and it looks great encoded from the PAL intermediate.

I think it's something to do with the MPEG / HD RES intermediate, - macroblock incompatibility but can't be sure. The Blocks just make it look like rubbish - very low res - on SD TV unless you pre scale it.

Hope that saves you some headache.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 12:39 AM   #3
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Tom, using the two pass "Best Quality" setting is better for outputting to DVD. The two pass process allows Compressor to determine where to allocate more or less bits, based on shots/scenes that are more or less detailed. "Fastest Encode" is a single pass encode, so the result tends to be pixelated for high action and/or detailed scenes since they haven't been looked after properly.

The same applies to any encoding process: always use two pass if you want the result to look good and if you have the time.

As to Vimeo, no matter how good your uploaded file looks, it will still be re-encoded by to flash and you'll lose detail and clarity. I haven't figured out how to make Vimeo videos looks crystal clear, but based on 5D/7D/1D videos by others, it can definitely be done.

Maybe if someone has a killer Vimeo preset designed for DSLR Video, they could share it here!
Canon 5D Mark II || L-Series Lenses || Steadicam Pilot || Final Cut Studio
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Old February 17th, 2010, 01:58 AM   #4
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I made a couple of free scripts into an automated app for this.
Canon DSLR Video Transcoding

I alway edit with Apple Prores, Standard or LT.

The basic rule with Vimeo is if you upload a 1080 file Vimeo will scale it down to 720. If you start with 720, Vimeo will still transcode the file and you will loose quality. So starting with a 1080 file will end up looking better after conversion in Vimeo, even though it only get play back most of the time in a 640x360 window.

Unless you edit the settings in Vimeo and allow a 1080 playback in the standard 360 window. You need a fast mac for this and it can slow down your viewer experience too.
Vimeo then transcode your original uploaded for 1080 playback.

Vimeo displays video in the standard page as 640x360 half of 720. When you scale the 'playback' of video to half it' size it look good.

Vimeo also has a HTML5 player that plays back the .mp4 wrapped H.264 file directly.

I upload at a bitrate of 5,000 kbits/sec up to a 3 min film. You can upload at much higher bitrates and even the original 5D movie files. If using compressor to output the Vimeo file I add a little sharpening as this helps on the downconversion in Vimeo.

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Old February 17th, 2010, 04:06 AM   #5
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I use SmugMug rather than Vimeo for video hosting as I think that the service is better plus I can use it commercially which is forbidden in the Vimeo T&Cs. SmugMug have offered 1080p playback for over a year & offer versions of the uploaded video in different resolutions. For 1920x1080 the bit rate is just over 7Mbps & for 1280x720 a little more than 3Mbps with lower resolutions at correspondingly lower bit rates.

For video on the web & specifically SmugMug (this will work for Vimeo too) my workflow is to convert all 5DII video to ProRes LT edit in FCP & then output also as ProRes LT. I take this file & then for speed generally convert to H.264 MPEG4 using the Elgato Turbo.264 HD gizmo. This produces extremely good quality encodes in about real time. Better quality video can be produced using MPEG Streamclip to convert the ProRes files to H.264 but this takes much longer. You should be able to export directly from the FCP timeline to H.264 using the Elgato dongle but currently there is a bug that leaves the first couple of seconds of audio missing.

Here are some of my videos that are unedited 1920x1080 .MOV straight off the 5DII card that have been converted with MPEG Streamclip to 10Mbps H.264 & then uploaded to SmugMug where they are automatically converted to the lesser bit rate & resolution versions.

HD demos - Barkers Videos

In that gallery there is a screenshot of MPEG Streamclip showing the settings that I use.

Here is an example of a edited video that was converted to H.264 at about 9Mbps using the Elgato dongle before uploading. Select different video sizes at the top of the page (Web, iPod/DVD, Mid-Def, Hi-Def, FullHD)

Video Hosting - Barkers Videos
The time it takes to convert depends on the speed of your computer. Mac users have another option as the Elgato Turbo.264 dongle does the conversion in hardware & in about real time i.e. 1 minute of video takes about 1 minute to convert.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 04:17 AM   #6
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Incidentally the good news once you get your video converted to H.264 is that changing from the original bit rate to a lower one does not take much time (it's a 'simple' matter of flipping some bits) & also the quality holds up really well.
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