Two findings and a question HDR-HC1 and DVD output, stills, tape export at

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Old May 6th, 2006, 07:34 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Portland OR
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Two findings and a question HDR-HC1 and DVD output, stills, tape export

I've just finished my first significant project. All my footage was taken with the HC1's default HDV setting: 1080, 30fps - interlaced. For travel and events, I don't have the discipline to reset the camera to "cinema mode" (24fps progressive with CineformHD plugin) every time I turn the camera on. The project has about 50 stills from my digicam (3072x2304 pixels), some music (mp3 at 250 or 384kbps) and a voice over track (recorded on the computer at 48khz). You can check my profile - plenty of computer horsepower (dual core, 2gigs RAM, single RAID5 array) and a beautifully smooth full size playback preview on my second HDTV screen.

1) The biggest quality issue is with interlacing artifacts. When the edited project was exported back into the camera (since Blu-Ray is not here yet) and played on my 50" 720p display, the output is just STUNNING. Especially since most of the footage in gardens and the shore was taken on a steady tripod or with the legs folded as a monopod and leaning against a wall. The issue really was what the less-steady clips looked like when reduced to standard definition (NTSC) on DVDs for our friends. When output normally (interlaced), any panning and or rapid motion horizontally showed noticeable banding and feathered edges. The solution here is to output as 480 PROGRESSIVE. In the Export-Movie-Cineform settings, the tab for "Keyframe and Rendering" and box for "Fields" I changed to "Progressive". I assume the Adobe Media Encoder for non-Cineform users has something similar. Encore had no trouble importing the resulting .avi, though I saw no "properties" spot where it disclosed the progressive nature of the .avi file. This approach works great since even a single HDV 30i field (540x1440 pixels) has plenty of resolution for standard definition (480x720).

2) The other quality issue is how to size stills in PPro/AspectHD. In other posts I mentioned I just used the excellent "Motion" effects to resize my full res, 7 megapixel .jpg files. While they looked great on timeline playback, I found that when exporting the movie to an NTSC .avi, half the hard cuts were spoiled by a "stutter". If it was a hard cut from still image A to image b, the actual frames would come out AAAbAbbb. Even worse, one or two stills would come out completely black in the NTSC .avi. Usually it was a still that was toward the end of a string of five or ten in a row. None of these problems showed up on the export to HDV tape. The solution, was to go back through and make copies of each still cropped and sized just for the video, in this case 1080x1920 for square pixels. My guess is that with two multithreaded cores and a deep pipeline, more complex threads were thrown off than the operating system and application was able to manage. This was underlined by having a couple of exports actually stall before completion complaining about "insufficient windows resources" - a sure sign of poor memory page management. This behavior disappeared with correctly sized stills. It will be hard to determine if this is a Cineform, Premiere or Microsoft problem.

3) Finally a question. something I read suggested that after an export to tape using AspectHD, I would be asked where to store the .m2t file. I had no such dialog box. Is that just a ConnectHD thing?
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Old May 6th, 2006, 07:56 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California
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2) sounds like an Adobe bug. Aspect HD has no involvement for motions on large JPEGs.

3) Never use "Export to Tape", that was just for backwards compatibilty with Premiere's old workflow. Use Export Movie and set the compression to CineForm M2T, this will give you higher quality output.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 11:02 PM   #3
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I'll submit (2) to Adobe and try (3) tomorrow!
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