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Old April 22nd, 2008, 07:31 PM   #1
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Funky Flicker in DVD Menu

I created a menu background image in Photoshop for a wedding DVD, and the preview looked fine in DVD Studio Pro. After burning the disc I find that there is flickering in the pixels all over the image, except where the concrete wall is darker and in the bride's veil. It looks like the artifacts you get when you compress video for the web. I don't understand how DVD Studio Pro would have a hard time compressing a still image, though. I mean, the pixels don't change at all.

I've used Photoshop in the past to create menu backgrounds for DVD Studio Pro, and I've never had this issue. I just created one last week and used the same template file for this one. Any ideas?
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 03:22 AM   #2
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try a 1 or 2 pixel blur - that often removes flicker?

(and 1 or 2 pixel blur will be all but unnoticeable)
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 09:05 AM   #3
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If blurring doesn't help, and assuming you have a little space on the DVD left, you could turn the still into a 30 second or so movie and compress that into an MPEG-2 using Compressor. I've had good results doing that in cases where still images look strange. You could use a shorter duration, but then the menu will "stutter" (i.e. respond slowly to remote control buttons) each time it loops.

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Old April 23rd, 2008, 01:01 PM   #4
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Maybe that's it. I used unsharp mask in Photoshop to give the image a little more pop, but that also increased the detail level in the image. I hate to blur the image at all, but maybe a 2 pixel blur will fix it and won't be noticeable. Thanks for the tip, guys.

Oh, and the menu loop is already set for 30 seconds.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 02:11 PM   #5
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I performed a gausian blur of .4 on the still image and it fixed the problem. It didn't blur the image a lot, but I have to say it's pretty annoying that I have a professional DVD program that can't handle a nice-looking sharp image.

Thanks for the tip, though, I'm really glad it worked!
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 05:13 PM   #6
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it's nothing to do with the professional DVD program. It's to do with the 1950's technology CRT-based television that you're showing it on.

TV's don't have to be interlaced nowadays, but they are, in order to be backwardly compatible with the original televisions.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 05:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Coulson View Post
it's nothing to do with the professional DVD program. It's to do with the 1950's technology CRT-based television that you're showing it on.

TV's don't have to be interlaced nowadays, but they are, in order to be backwardly compatible with the original televisions.
For the record, it was flickering on my LCD computer monitor as well as my LCD HDTV. I wasn't previewing it on a CRT monitor or television.

Also, for the record, the .4 gausian blur didn't remove all flicker. On my 2nd inspection I noticed just a few slight area where there was still flicker. Apparently DVD Studio Pro can't handle areas of high contrast in still images very well.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 10:23 AM   #8
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For the record, it was flickering on my LCD computer monitor as well as my LCD HDTV. I wasn't previewing it on a CRT monitor or television.

Also, for the record, the .4 gausian blur didn't remove all flicker. On my 2nd inspection I noticed just a few slight area where there was still flicker. Apparently DVD Studio Pro can't handle areas of high contrast in still images very well.
I've never seen dancing pixels on a still, unless it was during a fade or something. I would have thought that the dvd would be able to display a psd without turning it into a moving picture. Are you adding music and/or a dissolve? Have you tried bringing the image in both as a psd and as video?
I don't believe that studio pro would have trouble with high contrast. But video in general has trouble with gradients, and that pic is one big gradient.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 03:08 PM   #9
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Yeah, I was quite surprised that it had trouble compressing a still image, considering the pixels aren't changing from one frame to the next. I did bring the still into Final Cut Pro and export to Quicktime and brought it into DVDSP, but the image lost resolution along the way, which wasn't what I wanted.

The majority of the pixel flickering was in the concrete wall above the couple's heads. I'm guessing that the detail and high contrast there is what gave DVDSP's compression process trouble, though again, I don't understand why a professional program like this would have trouble with compressing a still image whose pixels don't change from one frame to the next. Frustrating.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 03:35 PM   #10
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There are a lot of little spots in that wall, and it's a big gradient so I can see it being a problem. Maybe you could mask the people out in photoshop and just blur the background wall by at least 2%. I've had this problem with scanned images from books which were made up of fine dots, so I just had to blur it.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 04:37 PM   #11
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Yeah, I understand that it's the extreme contrast in the detail on the wall that's the problem, but I guess I don't understand why. I mean, it's a still image right? So when DVDSP goes to compress it why wouldn't it recognize that the pixels don't change at all from one frame to the next? The compression placed on one frame should just repeat to the next frame. I don't get why it doesn't.

If this was a video shot, in motion, then I could understand the problem, because there would be some movement in the shot and therefore you'd have a difference in pixels from one frame to the next.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 05:58 PM   #12
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try a 30 second video for the still backdrop. Drop the still pic in a 24p (23.98) then export from your editor to your DVD creator program. It should work just fine.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 06:39 PM   #13
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try a 30 second video for the still backdrop. Drop the still pic in a 24p (23.98) then export from your editor to your DVD creator program. It should work just fine.
Well, when I brought the image in to FCP it lost resolution immediately. I noticed it looked soft. Would that change by bringing it onto a 24P timeline vs. a 29.97fps timeline?
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Old April 25th, 2008, 02:53 AM   #14
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Maybe your problem is with the white flecks in the bricks.

if they're 1 pixel high, and your video is interlaced, then every frame, they'll be disappearing and reappearing 25/30 times a second...
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Old April 25th, 2008, 03:28 AM   #15
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Maybe your problem is with the white flecks in the bricks.

if they're 1 pixel high, and your video is interlaced, then every frame, they'll be disappearing and reappearing 25/30 times a second...
I don't think it's that, because it looks like the flicker happens about every second or so. Also, I should specify that the flicker is composed of small clumps of "artifacts", as you would see with poor compression in a video. Maybe I didn't describe the "flicker" well enough earlier. It's not just a flicker in the image, it's a flicker of artifacts or "small clumps of pixels".
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