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Old April 24th, 2011, 05:52 PM   #1
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MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

I have been trying to encode 444 footage with After Effects using the latest Neo 4K trial and the results are not good. There are massive amounts of banding and compression artifacts. The files look like they are encoded at "low". Remaster outputs the same results.

Source originates from Canon H.264 cleaned up with a process of mine to up convert to a clean 444 colorspace. You can download the files below to see the results and footage.

You can use the Uncompressed footage to test the encoding on your platform.

After effect settings are 16bit project / Codecs: QuickTime / CIneform 444, ProRes444 and 10bit YUV Uncompressed / Trillion of colors.

Quality slider is set to MAX (supposedly that equals to FilmScan2, i wish there was some consistency and have proper codec settings like any other codecs...There is one on PC!)

The Prores 444 and YUV uncompressed are super clean, perfect and give me full range. The Cineform from After Effects and Remaster have banding and are of extremely low quality.

I'm not sure what's going on, I never had any issues with 444 encoding in the past on PC. Since I moved to Mac I have all these problems. It's getting to the point where i have to look at other workflows and i don't want to loose Firstlight. It's extremely frustrating.

Here are download links: (All clips except h.264 source are from an AE 16bit project, trillion colors)

H.264 source (no real need to see this but if you are curious on how bad the source was versus the post processed files go ahead)
www.voicewalk.net/Test/CF_test/MVI_1761.MOV.zip

ProRes 444
www.voicewalk.net/Test/CF_test/ProRes444.mov.zip

10Bit YUV Uncompressed
http://www.voicewalk.net/Test/CF_tes...10_422.mov.zip

CIneform 444 from After Effects CS5
www.voicewalk.net/Test/CF_test/CF444_FS.mov.zip

CIneform 444 from Remaster
http://www.voicewalk.net/Test/CF_tes...444-FS.mov.zip

As you will see the Cineform clips are really low quality. Not sure what to do. It seems every release introduce new bugs and oddities. Sometime conversions are greenish, Firstlight features don't work fully, not sure what quality setting is used when exporting from CS5 etc...
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Old April 24th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #2
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Re: MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

I know you're on a Mac....I'm having problems exporting to the Cineform Codec from After Effects on a PC. All looks good, I mux the clips together, import them into Premiere- then when I export them to 3D Intermediate I get some really weird colors happening.

What would be really, really helpful is some documentation on how to export from AE to the Cineform codec.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 08:10 PM   #3
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Re: MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

Martin, neither of those clips are 4:4:4, both 4:2:2. I don't think Remaster will upconvert to 4:4:4 anyway (little point from a 4:2:0 camera,) that option is likely there for DPX sources. Contact support to determine what can be done with your AE exports, as we finding a bug in Mac AE it which it is still choosing an 8-bit YUV output, support will know the latest on this.

Mark, on the PC it is easy, just select the CineForm AVI export module and select RGB+A and Trillions+.
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MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality-aeexport.png  
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Old April 24th, 2011, 08:47 PM   #4
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Re: MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

To clear things up I did not convert the original H.264 in remaster. I used the processed de-noised up-converted 4:2:2 YUV uncompressed clip and the ProRes 4:4:4 clip in Remaster.

I made a tutorial a while ago on my process, it's posted here somewhere.

I just rendered a ProRes 4:2:2HQ and although it is light years better quality than the current Neo 4K MAC Cineform exports (ALL quality settings tested) from After Effects I do see banding and compression artifacts on that clip.

ProRes 4:4:4 does not. Look at the clips, they look a lot different and 4:4:4 is vastly superior.

PC Neo4K Cineform 4:4:4 AE exports were super nice and clean as well. NEOHD at 4:2:2 were showing banding just like the Prores422HQ. It's a huge visual difference.

Here's the Prores 4:2:2 clip i just rendered where you can see banding.
http://www.voicewalk.net/Test/CF_tes...s422HQ.mov.zip

Compare it to the 4:4:4 above and you will see that it is visually a lot worse.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 02:39 AM   #5
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Re: MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

Sorry to partially hijack your thread Martin, but while I've got David's ear.....

David, I noticed in your AE export box that you have 444 selected, I tested this with Neo and yes it works, the thumbnails in PP display correctly and the muxed together AE exported files will export to 3D Int from the PP timeline. I appreciate the free new features that I can now access in Neo 5.5 from being a NeoHD owner, previously I could not render from AE to 444, so I presume they rendered to 422, it is these muxed together 3D files that don't behave when exported from PP to 3D Int. I can reproduce the problem in the current version as well. I guess that's why I asked for some documentation, to clarify if you can export a Cineform 422 file from AE, mux the file in FL and get the 3D file to be able to export successfully to a 3D Int from PP- I can't.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 08:40 AM   #6
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Re: MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

Let's try to stay on the subject in this thread, Mark can you open a thread for your issue? David usually repond to all questions.. I would like to know if there's a solution for THIS issue.

Opening another case for support seems like a long trek that I'm not willing to go on at this moment. I have a lot of work to do. Unfortunately Cineform has to be sidelined for me.

The clips above are only to show you the different encodings, I really don't think it's my footage only... The clips are available for download, support can download them from here. I have received PMs from other MAC user expressing their frustration and inconstancies with CF MAC so I know I'm not the only one.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 10:57 AM   #7
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Re: MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Newman View Post
I don't think Remaster will upconvert to 4:4:4 anyway (little point from a 4:2:0 camera,) that option is likely there for DPX sources.
There is a big difference.

I don't know if it has to do with 4:4:4 or not but visually when transcoding H.264 with HDlink or Remaster at 4:2:2 it adds banding and "dirty" the picture up more than the original. This does not happen when encoding via Neo4K in Media Encoder at 4:4:4. The result from media encoder is a visually exact representation of the original h.264 compression artifacts. HDlink and Remaster at 4:2:2 do not.

I already heard from Tech Support that this is "normal wavelet compression artifacts" we are seeing but why aren't we seeing them at 4:4:4?

Here's an example. This is ONLY showing 4:2:2 CF vs original H.264. I don't have access to PCs anymore so i won't even try to do this on the MAC. You can see how much dirt is introduced by CF vs the original. It's all over the image. Again this dirt is not present when encoding 444 in media encoder so i would say it would be beneficial to add 4:4:4 up conversion.

http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/1...neformtest.png
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Old April 25th, 2011, 11:35 AM   #8
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Re: MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

You are comparing source decoders not the final compression. There are not wavelet artifacts here, that is all H.264 with a green shift. The green shift we believe to be another QuickTime f-up. Apple keeps changing the way Canon MOV are decoding and we have to keep patching it seems. I love to all the source material to determine if again the Mac H.264 decode is doing some wrong with Remaster, but this is not happening in PC testing, and I know 444 will gain you nothing if all it working correctly. Please file a ticket on this, we have a new support site for this at cineform support

The PC doesn't use QuickTime, and is so much better for it, let's hope FCPx drops QuickTIme.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 12:27 PM   #9
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Re: MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

We have found why the Mac is behaving badly. Love to use your clip to confirm/demo the fix.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 01:01 PM   #10
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Re: MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

Thanks David,

You can use or share the clips below with your team for testing:

ProRes 444
www.voicewalk.net/Test/CF_test/ProRes444.mov.zip

10Bit YUV Uncompressed
http://www.voicewalk.net/Test/CF_tes...10_422.mov.zip
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Old April 25th, 2011, 01:22 PM   #11
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Re: MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Guitar View Post
There is a big difference.

I already heard from Tech Support that this is "normal wavelet compression artifacts" we are seeing but why aren't we seeing them at 4:4:4?
Was this in a support ticket or e-mail? I don't think support would have said that as there's no such thing as wavelet compression artifacts and I'm not seeing this quote in any tickets or support emails.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 01:37 PM   #12
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Re: MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Guitar View Post
Thanks David,

You can use or share the clips below with your team for testing:

ProRes 444
www.voicewalk.net/Test/CF_test/ProRes444.mov.zip

10Bit YUV Uncompressed
http://www.voicewalk.net/Test/CF_tes...10_422.mov.zip
The issue is with the original H.264 decode, could you send the sequence used in the PNG example. The problem has been fixed internally, just would like to confirm with your data.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 02:30 PM   #13
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Re: MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

I do not have that old test clip but you can use this new source. It will react the same way.

www.voicewalk.net/Test/CF_test/MVI_1761.MOV.zip

The green shift was fixed not too long ago for the PC version. Current MAC version does not exhibit this green shift but the compression artifacts are definitely there.

Like I said previously, the wavelets don't show up when encoding 4:4:4. That's why there are some people out there saying that native h.264 footage imported directly in CS5 look better than transcoding. It's because they have not tested encoding h.264 in 4:4:4 Cineform via external encoder like media encoder.

If you use HDlink or Remaster the result is the same as the example PNG I have uploaded above minus the green shift.

I would also point out that it's worse in the shadow areas. Well exposed footage require a little more attention to spot but it's there.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 03:37 PM   #14
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Re: MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

There are no compression artifacts in 4:2:2 vs 4:4:4, as they are the same wavelets (same code.) What you have shown me in not a wavelet artifact, which looks completely different and you have to compress much more too see those. We only store what the H.264 decoder sends us, likely it is simply a difference in the decoder used. We did find a fix on the Mac for the 601 vs 709 colorspace issue, which might be all you are seeing. These are issues for support, they will have the new Mac build shortly.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 04:54 PM   #15
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Re: MAC Neo 4k After Effects and Remaster encoding bad quality

Is this the "601 vs 709 colorspace issue" you are referring to? See image below:

[IMG=http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/8546/badcompression.png][/IMG]

I know that per you explanation we are not supposed to notice any new artifacts but i can clearly see weird dirt and banding on my CF files. The green shift also seems to be back.

Hopefully the next MAC build fix the issues.

Could we also request a proper MAC exporter for CS5 with selectable quality settings? (Low, High, FS1 and FS2 etc)
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