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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old May 5th, 2006, 03:04 AM   #1
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Comments on web film shot with H1 appreciated

Hello video and film pro's!
I made a simple 3.5 minutes film with the XL H1 and then put it on Internet. Shot it with 25F setting and captured it in Final Cut Studio with HDV settings. Then used Compressor to comprimate it to about 6 MB/minute for 640x360 pixels.
However, I have no idea what people think about the quality, download time, settings etc and would be very glad if you would like to comment it to improve my skills and settings.

This film is simple. Customer didn't want to spend money on light setting but I brought my two 800 W lights with softboxes. Unfortunately this means a blend of many different light sources, me as a speaker and no paid actors. I know the sun is striking in the background so don't tell me that.

Is this streaming web film visible around the globe, in the NTSC land as well as SECAM and PAL regions? How about to use QuickTime to watch it on a PC? Do you recommend any other format? Is the window too large for reasonable download? Could the film be compressed much more with more clever settings?
I would be thankful for any possible advice to make improvements for coming films.

You could see the film at http://www.regito.com/emve/6000.htm

Sorry if some of you see this as an ad but I don't think you will buy any potato packaging machine anyway!

Best regards /Johan

Last edited by Johan Forssblad; May 5th, 2006 at 04:46 AM.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 04:21 AM   #2
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The video loaded and played without problem. G5 w/ OS X 10.4.6 & QT 7.0.4. Quality is generally very good, but rolling text appears to cause the H.264 codec some headaches (loss of detail). The only other comment I have is that lip-sync isn't that great when the person stands next to the machine at the end of the clip.

Edit: scratch my comment regarding loss of detail - didn't set QT to play at high quality...


HTH,

Ron
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Old May 5th, 2006, 04:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Pfister
...lip-sync isn't that great when the person stands next to the machine at the end of the clip. Ron
You are absolutely right Ron, lip sync is very bad.
It is me speaking Swedish in the film but the speech was changed to English in post! That is obviously too bad, many will notice it. Sorry but this film wasn't enough planned in advance. The customer didn't want any soundtrack at all but I couldn't release it that way without shame ...

Thank you for your comments and time. By the way, I selected the setting to "Video" when compressing for a CD version. Is this the way to go? If I select H.264 my 1 GHz PowerBook can't show larger than 720x1200 without stutter.
Best european regards /Johan
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Old May 5th, 2006, 06:02 AM   #4
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Don't worry too much about the lip sync, as we've suffered those damn Kinder adverts for years over here in the UK. :-)

It is really good quality overall, but even on high quality the text is still a little bit fuzzy on my player. However, I think this has more to do with the font than anything else.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 07:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lundy
...It is really good quality overall, but even on high quality the text is still a little bit fuzzy on my player.
Hello James,
He he, I threw out our TV set soon after ads started here ... We have lived without TV now for about 15 years ... I'm only viewing films on our computers.

At least on my Mac the text is easily readable. The edges are not very sharp with this resolution. Another font could be better. Do you have any favorite font for this type of film?
Thanks /Johan
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Old May 5th, 2006, 11:45 AM   #6
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Johann,

I was impressed by the fine detail of the resolution even on the web. I'm not sure if this a function of the H1 or the transmission, but it played very clean for the web.

BTW, Download time was about 2 minutes for me. A little slow, but the resolution was worth it. (if I was looking for a potato packaging machine that is).

Ken.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 01:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert
Johann,...Download time was about 2 minutes for me. A little slow, but the resolution was worth it. Ken.
Thanks Ken for your opinions,
But if download takes 2 minutes and film is 3.5 minutes; couldn't you watch it while it was downloading or just give it a leading start?

Nice to see someone from Canada. Actually my contractor sold this machine and the weigher to a customer in Canada just a few days after he was shown this film!

I would also like to know if any with PC could successfully watch this.
I found I could scale this film in QuickTime to the double size without too bad quality. Perhaps the original quality is better than required and a faster load should have been better for the average viewer. Please give me some input here.

One interesting discovery was that Final Cut Studio Compressor gave much better rendering than Final Cut Express. A FCE file showed much larger compression artifacts at the same file size. Not usuable in my opinion. But this is a story for the NLE thread department.

About 25F. If you watch rapid movements frame by frame the pictures are good and much better than the interlaced 50i (which I don't show here). It is a huge difference which is important to not remind the viewer all the time that they are watching video and not the real world by their own eyes.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 03:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan Forssblad
Is this streaming web film visible around the globe, in the NTSC land as well as SECAM and PAL regions? How about to use QuickTime to watch it on a PC? Do you recommend any other format? Is the window too large for reasonable download? Could the film be compressed much more with more clever settings?
1) get rid of the bars and tone
2) get a cute swedish spokesmodel :-) sister, wife, gf?(i'm joking here)
3) there is no such thing as ntsc or pal on a computer, just match the framerate that it was shot at originally... computers do not do interlaced scanning, so don't evaluate video footage with a computer monitor.
4) your 640x360x25 fps looked o.k. at 810kbps, were you able to use two-pass encoding or variable bit rate? i put 640x480x30 fps wmv on the web at ~430kbps, so there is room for improvement with your format/encoding... can you encode the flash 8 format with your system? it's the on2 video codec.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 04:57 PM   #9
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Hi Dan,

1) You are absolutely right. It was left over from some initial tests...

2) They are selling machines, not cute girls. Absolutely nobody there wanted to play in front of the camera. So I went there. Should have had more footage, time and people.

3) Actually I don't know how the video is transferred to the computer screen with different vertical frequencies from the camera to different displays with different frequencies. How can it show an even movement?
And what about if you us an NTSC 24F/60i or PAL 25F/50i camera? Will they show any difference on the internet video?

But 25F to 50i makes a big difference on the computer screen! Lets say you shoot a black picture and then a white. With 50i you will see one intermediate striped frame where every odd (or even) line is black and the others are white on your progressive computer screen! This will not happen with the Canon 25F system, thanks Canon.

Internet video files are supposed to be shown on a computer so why bother about the TV monitor so far?

If you like to spread films to different parts of the world, what is best, MPEG-2 DVD's, Internet video, Data formatted DVD's? I prefer if untechnical people could be able to watch it without installations, different media for different players, regions, computers etc.

4) Yes, it took the night to render ... Perhaps the bandwith could be halved with no obvious disadvantage as you suggest. What do you mean with " it's the on2 video codec."
I used FCP Compressor. How can I encode it to Flash 8? Is it better?

5) When I tried different render settings I observed problems with many settings in the beginning of the film where we have the zoom out of the cabinet door while panning down. Many other settings with faster or smaller rendering files gave plenty of artifacts in the powder coated door! This area were problematic to show nice. Our eyes were very sensitive to these artifacts when they started to move over the smooth cabinet door while panning.

Thankful for your reply and advice, Dan! /Johan
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Old May 6th, 2006, 08:19 PM   #10
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the 50i issues you are seeing sound like a problem with whatever deinterlacing workflow you are using... your editing/web encoding software has to be able to do quality deinterlacing; sometimes it's just a matter of getting the settings right.

but yes, shooting progressive to begin with may be a better idea for web use.

the reasons for using a crt tv monitor instead of a computer monitor for judging the quality of the footage is due in part to the above deinterlacing issues, and gamma issues also... your typical computer lcd monitor will not have the color or gamma range that a crt will have, so you can't tweak the footage properly... most lcd's in particular will never display a true black.

search the sony vegas forum for "16-255", for some other info on these issues.

pal vs ntsc should not matter for the computer display, the differences would be primarily in the frame size, given similar frame rates.

your quicktime video footage played back fine for me on a pc... the artifacting issues can happen with any codec, the best defense for that is to use two-pass variable bit rate encoding, which will allocate more bitrate to the problem areas.

i use only pc's, so i don't know what encoding software is available for the mac, but in the long run you'll probably need professional encoding software... put your stuff on the web in windows media format, flash 8 format, or quicktime h.264 as the last choice... if you were encoding mpeg4 on a pc, i'd tell you to use nero, it's pretty cheap, and it encodes really fast.

whatever you do, always know exactly what bitrate you encoded both the audio and video at.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 01:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Euritt
... your typical computer lcd monitor will not have the color or gamma range that a crt will have, so you can't tweak the footage properly... most lcd's in particular will never display a true black.
Thanks Dan for coming back,
But I don't get this to use the CRT as a monitor for a web film. Not many are watching web content through a CRT except my father-in-law and he uses Win98 and don't care about colors etc (hi).

So why tweak the colors to look good on a CRT if people are watching on LCD? Wouldn't it be better to tweak the dark end for decent LCD picture instead of the bright end for CRT (simplified)?

(But I see the point to at least check on both monitors before film release.)

No, this world has grown so complex with all those different standards, systems and settings so we cannot reach all. But it's a good idea to know how it works at least.

Quote:
... the 50i issues you are seeing sound like a problem with whatever deinterlacing workflow you are using...
but yes, shooting progressive to begin with may be a better idea for web use.
Yes, this is what I did or at least tried with the Canon´s 25F as it is not true progressive but at least to me it looks progressive. Can you or anybody else detect any interlace artifacts in my web film? I think it is great regarding this.

(The artifacts I wrote about had more to do how the codec handled large areas with about the same color. When the codec changed the color stepwise it was very visible and annoying especially when panning. The Final Cut Compressor has handled those areas good in my opinion but I don't doubt there are better codecs out there.)

BTW I forgot to tell you I used these settings in Compressor:

Name: 640x360 Web download 800K 16:9 medium (5.8 MB:min)
Description: H.264 for high-bandwidth connections
File Extension: mov
Audio Encoder
AAC, Stereo (L R), 48,000 kHz
Video Encoder
Format: QT
Width: 640
Height: 360
Pixel aspect ratio: 0.75
Crop: None
Frame rate: 25
Frame Controls:
Retiming: Nearest Frame
Resize Filter: Linear Filter
Deinterlace Filter: Line Averaging
Adaptive Details: On
Antialias: 0
Detail Level: 0
Field Output: Same as Source
Codec Type: H.264
Multi-pass: On, frame reorder: On
Pixel depth: 24
Spatial quality: 50
Min. Spatial quality: 50
Key frame interval: 150
Temporal quality: 50
Min. temporal quality: 50
Average data rate: 0.688 (Mbps)
Fast Start: on

I think some of the settings are unneccessary time consuming but it is as it was. "Deinterlace Filter: Line Averaging" could probably had been turned off with the 25F.

If anybody has any good hint for settings just chime in!

Thank you for your time to help me! /Johan
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Old May 8th, 2006, 02:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan Forssblad
So why tweak the colors to look good on a CRT if people are watching on LCD? Wouldn't it be better to tweak the dark end for decent LCD picture instead of the bright end for CRT (simplified)?
the problem is that you can't predict what kind of monitor people will watch your web video on... except that whatever they are using will not be calibrated to any standard.

are any of the monitors that you use calibrated in any manner? if you find that "16-255" thread in the vegas forum, i posted links to gamma pics that you can use to tweak your computer monitors... but that is still probably not comparable to a real crt tv monitor.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 07:19 AM   #13
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No, so far I'm just editing on a PowerBook 17" with the built in LCD.
Called one of my gear suppliers who sell professional video. They don't stock CRT monitors any more. Sales has dropped. They could offer me a used one which was leftover. Everybody is asking for LCD now, they said.

I'm considering an Eizo CE240W which should have better fidelity than average LCD displays. However, nobody seems to know if it has HDCP or not so I'm waiting and working without control at the moment ...
I will check your suggested pages. Thanks again Dan!

PS. I can't find that thread to your links.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 12:17 AM   #14
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Good video! I find that for industrial commercials it's good to have nice, detailed closeups. I noticed a few things:

at 00:02:36 there is a lip smack that could be edited out.

00:03:07 you might want to cut before the guy moves, it's a distracting cut

Good work! nice lighting and good choice of music.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 07:53 AM   #15
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Thanks Brian,
You have definitely watched it closely. Or perhaps you are the quality approval man from the Houston space control? (Our radio here had a one hour celebration program yesterday from 1969 about the space mission to the moon, very interesting.)

Hou have good points, must check my in- and out points better.
But there is one more thing you didn't mention: At 00:01:47 there is a fault called "klaff-fel" in Swedish (don't know the English word). A piece of film is cut away and the photo jumps a little. There is actually another one close to the end where I needed more footage...
I have started to film longer sequences than what is obvious at the first moment because when we need to do transitions like dissolves we need some extra seconds.

Nice to hear you liked the music. I tell you it was my first experiment with the Apple Soundtrack and I just combined about 8 tracks with loops and sounds from the Final Cut Studio kit. We had some trouble with the sound because the factory had production of machines going on while we where shooting the film! The syncronisation of the sound could be better, though.

About the light. Many different lights are mixed. I had daylight gel to put over the softboxes but did not put it on due to time reasons.

We also like close-up photos. The full size HDV file has of course better resolution and many details and signs are visible in a way it never was before when we shot Hi-8 and copied the film three times in the linear editing. This digital is really great.

Thank you everybody for your imputs! /Johan
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