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Old October 7th, 2004, 09:23 AM   #1
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Help with MPEG-2 Encoding... (Grainy Encode from CCE)

Hi,
I have a project which I've been editing in Premiere Pro, I shot it all on a Canon GL-2, and it's of a band. There were some very low light situations, but I had read on this forum how people said not to use the gain in the camera, so I tried to minimize it.

Anyhow, I have a T.V. next to my computer, with the video going out from Premiere. It looks decent enough.

Next I frameserved my video to CCE (2.67), I followed the guide at doom9.org on encoding, and set the offset line to 1, as my frameserved video was being served as BFF (bottom field first).

Anyhow, I burned a quick test DVD, and it looks terrible. There is a TON of "snow" in all my dark scenes, even the ones where I didn't use much if any gain. There's an interview section that was shot outside on a very sunny day, and though none of the footage is overexposed, the encoder has seemed to "block" the colors, and it doesn't look high quality at all.

So I thought it might be the frameserver (debugmode for Premiere), and just exported my video to .AVI and encoded it again, it's still looks crappy.

One more thought is that I have 2 T.V.'s I've been testing this on, one is a 27" flat screen panasonic, and on this the DVD looks terrible, on a smaller 19" T.V. I don't seem to have the same issues. Is it possible that the white-enhancing thing on my Panasonic is screwed up (they call it "picture", but I've been having to turn it off on regular DVDs too, but i've never seen "snow" like this)?

Anyhow, I swear I burned a earlier cut of my film to DVD and it looked fine.. but I don't have that DVD anymore.

Thanks for any guesses to what's going on because it has me scratching my head.
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Old October 7th, 2004, 11:04 AM   #2
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Sounds like a wrong setting or something. Is this interlaced or
progressive? Can you point to the exact guide on Doom9? What
where the exact settings you are using?
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Old October 7th, 2004, 01:35 PM   #3
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here's the encoding tutorial

I used exact settings, other than anything you needed to change (no progessive flag, and alternate scan order, and 1 for "offset line") for interlaced. I shot most of this footage in the GL-2's "movie mode" but as I understood it, all that does is duplicate both fields to make it appear "progressive" so I exported out of premiere as interlaced BFF.
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Old October 10th, 2004, 07:52 AM   #4
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Frame mode IS progressive (and much more complicated than simply
dropping a field and duplicating the other!), so you should choose
progressive in Premiere everywhere and in CCE as well!!

Also the average bitrate of 3000 is a tad on the low side. I would
go for at least 5000 if you can (ie, length for your movie).
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Old October 12th, 2004, 10:58 AM   #5
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rob, thanks for your help.

few questions:

Does the setting in premiere refer only to exporting your project (field options), I notice it's greyed out in project options, so the only place I can change it is when I export my movie.

The audience for my project is going to be TV, not film, so why do I still need to export it progressive? I mean, even if it is exported as progressive, won't it be displayed as interlaced on non-progressive TVs?

I re-encoded it with the Adobe built in codec and it looks a bit better, as far as the grainyness. I also used my levels filter and it reduced the noise a bit. I'm going to give CCE a try again with progressive and see how it works, thanks again for your help!
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Old October 14th, 2004, 02:56 PM   #6
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Well, i'm answering my own question (sort of)...
Instead of frameserving, I re-exported my movie to a DV .avi file, and then used alternate settings in CCE. Strangely, I got a better quality encode with CBR settings at 6,000kbps. Most of my "snow" problems were gone, except for a few clips, which don't have very much "grain" to being with. I'm starting to think either I'm cursed, or that there's something going on with CCE not liking me.
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Old October 18th, 2004, 08:16 AM   #7
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The reason you want to stick with progressive is that it was
shot by you in that fashion. Yes, the TV will still display it as
interlaced, but the footage is progressive.

With progressive you want to make sure in Premiere that you
start your project of correctly, in other words set it to progressive
when you choose your project settings since you can't chance
this later (like you can with Vegas for example). Then export
should be done in progressive as well (whether you go to AVI
or DVD etc.).

The frameserving should not cause the problems you are
describing. I suspect some settings went bad when you did
the frameserving earlier.
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