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Old October 12th, 2002, 07:31 PM   #1
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exploding pixel chunks

I’ve been a still shooter for almost 25 years. I bought a GL2 about 2 months ago. I’ve done some family stuff and a short for a potter friend. I’ve just playing around and trying out this video thing.

Two weeks ago I was shooting a head shot of the boss at the local plant of “darn big international corporation.” When I was finished, one of his people asked me if I could do a video for a PowerPoint presentation. This video was going to be part of a presentation shown to the heads of the other 20+ plants across the county. “Uhhhh yeah” I blurted. “What do you need?” “A five minute video tour of the plant.” “How soon do you need it?” “5 days” he said.” I shot for about 4 hours the next day and sweated together the video over the weekend with Pinnacle studio 7 (I know, ick). The final video was 45 work station situations of about 5 seconds with 1 second speeded up strobed cuts of the tour placed between the station shots. For the 1 second tour cuts I just held the camera a waist level, hit the record button and ran their “standard tour” though the plant. The resulting mpg1 technical quality was equal to that of another professionally produced PowerPoint video that they had shown me.

The final product was a smashing success. Every single person that saw it just beamed; meanwhile, I was sincerely thinking how the heck did I pull that off? Their response was gratifying but I know at this point in my video career that I have no business taking on this kind of responsibility.

Now the question. The PowerPoint mpeg1 looks a little blurry but plays fine. When I try to put the mpg2 version to DVD or make a VHS tape there are a lot of problems in the output. Exploding big chunky pixels and frozen frames while the sound is fine. Is this a “feature” of fast moving violent cuts and speeded up pans of DV video or just the wrong software? I know that my client is going to want it on DVD or VHS but I can’t figure out how to do this successfully. Best analogy is trying to play a demanding game on an incompetent computer. Can this thing be saved or have I broken some major rules?

Best,

Ken
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Old October 13th, 2002, 11:35 AM   #2
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Are you using Pinnacle Studio to render the MPEG2? If so avoid it and go get TMPGENC. It is like $48 and is VERY SLOW, but renders very nice MPEG2 video that is amazing for the price. It blows the doors off Pinnacle's MPEG2 and event heir MPEG1. Pinnalce takes many shortcuts to keep the MAKE/RENDER time low. I typically save my Studio projects back to AVI DV and then run that through TMPGENC. It is NOT uncommon for render times with TMPGENC to be 10 to 1 or more for highest quality, so that means a 1 hour video may take 10-14 hours to render on a fast system, but if you want high quality MPEG2 it is worth it. Also TMPGENC gives you great control over your render. You can de-interlace, and more. You can create a true NON-Interlaced MPEG2 and you can choose from various encode bit rates from Constant to Variable and all sorts of combinations. Like I said the best $48 I spend on my video stuff.
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Old October 13th, 2002, 12:38 PM   #3
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Keith,

Thanks for helping me with this problem. I've got TMPGEnc and it is a great program and I bought it. The question I need an answer to is... Is there a limit to panning speed when shooting or how far I can crank up the play back speed? Can using strobe cause problems? Avi's rendered at low and high bitrates with TMPGEnc have the same problems. There are also horizonal saw blade edges in the output avi in fast moving subjects. The results are the same in Real Player, Windows Media Player and Quicktime; Avi's and MPG's and color depth at 16 and 24. Anything moving above a certain speed have jaggie horizonals. Slower moving objects and non panned backgrounds are fine. And then there are the exploding pixels and jerky playback on DVD and VHS tape. Any ideas?

Best!

Ken
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Old October 13th, 2002, 02:29 PM   #4
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I am no expert, but motion at low bit rates is a killer, usually casues blockiness. I make good MPEG 1 by cranking the Motion Estimation to HIGHEST quality and let TMPGENC do its thing. If you have strobe lights going then that casue the frames to be regenerated from scratch frequently needing a high bit rate
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Old October 13th, 2002, 06:47 PM   #5
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Keith,

I think I learned a few things with this project. I'll throttle back on the camera movements and effects until I learn the limits. I might have caught it earlier but there was just no time to render and burn a DVD unitl after the mpg1 was delivered to the client. It was not strobe lights but rather the strobe effect available in Studio 7. I might rebuild the whole video without that effect. Thanks again for your comments.

Ken
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