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Old March 23rd, 2006, 10:51 PM   #1
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MPEG Encoding from PPro 2.0

I'm finally ready to encode a 48 minute HDV video from PPro 2.0. The first time I ran the encoder with default settings it took just over 8 hours and parts of the finished DVD looked pretty bad (mostly some low-light scenes shot during an outdoor dance). So, using some short clips I tried to fine-tune the settings for the encoder and found fairly acceptable results with increasing the max bit rate to 8.000. Unfortunately, now as I try encoding the time estimate is over 22 hours.

This is all pretty new to me and I've kind of struggled getting my pc upgraded to more than meet the recommendations for PPro 2.0 (a P4 3.4 Ghz processor; iNvidea 6800 series video card; 2 Gb ram; and a pair of 300 Gb fast hard drives). What would my next step be to achieve faster, high quality output for a DVD? I know I'm not going to get HDV on a DVD (yet) but I'm assuming the image should still be reasonably sharp.

BTW - I'm using a Sony HDR-HC1 camera and edited the captured clips in HDV mode in PPro 2.0. At present I'm not using any plugins.

Thanks, in advance, for any suggestions.

Carl White
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Old March 24th, 2006, 12:44 AM   #2
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That does seem VERY slow.

I have an Athlon X2 4200+ and using that, the PPRO2 media encoder will encode a 1440x1080 .m2t file to a 8000bitrate DVD mpeg2 file at about 0.5X realtime (in other words your 48min clip would take about 1.5 hours).

Have you loaded up your project with a lot of effects or color correction or anything like that?
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Old March 24th, 2006, 03:08 AM   #3
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I have a lot of transitions and titles, that's about it; and no color correction at all. I have added additonal audio tracks and do some manipulation of volume and opacity in the titles. So far, I'm 7 hours into the encoding with another 16 to go. I am pretty frustrated since this is my first experience using HDV and, due to my own lack of understanding I'm sure, turned into a large time and money drain.

You mentioned that you encoded a m2t file - is that the format of the original source material on tape or what PPro converts it to when it brings the clips into the the software? All of my clips in PPro are "mpeg" files.

Thanks
Carl
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Old March 24th, 2006, 10:49 AM   #4
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.m2t are mpeg2 transport streams that are essentially what's on the tape - and what transfers back and forward over firewire between camera and computer.

I use Cineform's plugin which assigns the .m2t extension ... but .m2t files should be essentially the same as the files you've captured using PPro's internal process.

Hopefully someone else with a single-core processor will step in to say whether the speed you are getting is out-of-kilter, or not. (I'd be suprised if my dual-core processor could make THAT much difference!)

One suggestion: run the free SiSoft Sandra computer analysis tool, and check that your computer's FSB settings, memory speed etc are all what they should be:

http://www.sisoftware.net/index.html...64&langx=en&a=
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Old March 24th, 2006, 11:36 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info and tip Graham. I'm downloading the utility now and will try it shortly and see what it says. I'm hoping it's all good - I just spent $1500 to upgrade my system to the new processor, video card and ram to run PPro 2.

Carl White
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Old March 24th, 2006, 05:43 PM   #6
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Carl, I just tried encoding the same .m2t file on my work machine, which is a single-core P4 3.0GHz. Doing a single-pass render to DVD-spec MPEG2 ran at 0.29X real-time, which would give you an encode time for your 48min clip of 2.75 hours. So there is definitely something amiss with what you are doing presently!

You say you are using PPro's internal Adobe Media Encoder...are you using one of the standard AME DVD-mpeg templates?
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Old March 25th, 2006, 08:39 AM   #7
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Graham - I'm thinking something may have been amiss also. In order to get to the point of exporting my HDV timeline to tape I had to create a new project and import the old project. This resulted in much faster encoding times right down the line. I'm running several tests today on the new project and will check out the results. Since all of my comments were regarding my original project and timeline I'm beginning to think I did something very bad in the original which I managed to clean up in the new one.

So, hearing your results gives me reason to hope that all will turn out well in the end. Today's testing should tell me.

Thanks
Carl White
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Old March 25th, 2006, 08:42 AM   #8
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And, yes, I was originally using the preset MPEG2 DVD template with the High Quality settings. It was here that I noticed the artifacts and pixelation in a couple scenes in my project. These scenes were shot at night using existing "rock" lighting so while the source material was not the best quality, it really got bad in the encoded mpeg file - too ugly to leave in. That started this whole mess.

Thanks again,
Carl White
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Old March 25th, 2006, 09:14 AM   #9
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You havent by chance selected a PAL DVD templete rather than an NTSC one?
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Old March 25th, 2006, 10:31 AM   #10
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That I"m pretty sure I did not do. The encoding started going really slow after I had "tweaked" the presets to increase the bit rate from the default of 7.0 to 8.0. I'm going to try re-encoding the original timeline that I've imported into the new project using the default preset then also try to tweak the bitrate again and see what happens.

Carl White
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Old March 25th, 2006, 02:10 PM   #11
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carl, make sure that you are doing two-pass encoding... it takes a lot longer, but the finished quality is well worth it.
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Old March 25th, 2006, 03:05 PM   #12
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Thanks for the update. So far, I've always used the 2 pass understanding this provided a better quality.

As of this morning I did successfully create a DVD that has a very sharp picture - maintaining a very high percentage of the original source HDV material. I accomplished this by exporting the finished timeline to tape as an HDV file. I then imported/converted mt2 file into PPro converting it from HDV to DV. That file was then encoded using the PPro internal mpeg encoder. The results are very satisfactory (no, not HDV but then there is not "standard" hd dvd out there - yet).

Thanks for all the help from everyone.

Carl White
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