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Old October 11th, 2003, 12:30 PM   #1
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Video Quality in Adobe & Media Alchemy

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I am impressed by the quality of the video used in the Adobe customer testimonials. They were made by Media Alchemy, hence the name in the message subject.

I assume the editing was done with Adobe products, at least Adobe would LIKE us to think that...

My question though, is regarding the quality of the video itself. I view the presentatrions at the higher data rate with a cable modem. I notice the purple shirt on one subject. (I have noted in some threads in this forum, that it is a difficult color to "get right".) The color looks great. Probably why it is used here. The sound is also great. The screen captures are wonderful.

The whole video production looks "smack on" as should be expected in critical presentation spots as these done by a very professional production company.

The question: Is this level of video quality reachable with the lower level (cost) prosumer equipment covered in this forum? Is it achievable with the Adobe (price) level NLEs? Is this a real amateur expectation, or does it require a crew of 12, unlimited budget, and and high level equipment? I am leaving human talent out of the mix. Is that more critical than the hardware? I know you don't "shake the box" and great video falls out... Great art doesn't require top shelf equipment. (but it helps when the talent comes first.)

Maybe someone knows or can tell me how these clips were produced. I'd like to do half as well some day as a serious amateur. My feeling is that it is strictly top pro level work.

Regards,

Dan Kautz
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Old October 11th, 2003, 07:09 PM   #2
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Which Adobe programs are you talking about? Premiere?

All the non-linear editors out there will give you about the same quality output if your output is DV. There will be some slight differences between the DV codec used, but that doesn't matter too much.

In terms of color correction tools, Adobe Premiere was not that good (now them might with Premiere Pro).

"Garbage in garbage out" still applies though. You need to feed your NLE well shot footage to get a broadcast quality product. Advances in technology has made this a lot cheaper.
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Old October 11th, 2003, 09:06 PM   #3
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Hi Glenn,

Sorry, I should have posted some links. I assumed most folks had seen them. Here are several, there may be more:

http://www.adobe.com/motion/dv_qt2.html

and

http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/premiere_qt2.html

This is some of the best web video I have seen. Is this achievable at the prosumer level and equipment or is this just good marketing by Adobe? (Using full pro equipment and teams)

Regards, Dan Kautz
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Old October 11th, 2003, 09:24 PM   #4
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Short story: Is this achievable at the prosumer level and equipment or is this just good marketing by Adobe? Yes, it will cost you from $0-700 to get very comparable results.

I'm still waiting for the movie to download. As far as I know, divX is the best compression available. divX encoding is rather cheap- you can even do it for free (you may have to install adware for that). see doom9.net for more information on divX.

Adobe may have used Sorenson Squeeze to encode their videos- I will have to look at the movie. I don't know how Sorenson Squeeze compares to divX, but it seems like divX is better since it is the most commonly used to encode movies. At lower bitrates (for material not as long to be delivered over the web) sorenson squeeze might be better than divX- I haven't really tried it myself. You can get close to Sorenson Squeeze quality yourself with Quicktime Pro (cheap download). I think the codec that comes with QT Pro will encode in sorenson using constant bit rate instead of variable bit rate which gives higher quality. I'm not sure about that.
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Old October 11th, 2003, 09:46 PM   #5
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Ok I looked at their movie and they used the MPEG4 video codec for Quicktime. I believe that they used Quicktime Pro (cheap download) to do it. MPEG4 video is not as good as sorenson.

Their video was very bad in some spots if you know what to look for. Look closely at the spinning thing 9 seconds in. It has a distinct JPEG look- at the edges of the text there's "mosquito noise". 44 seconds in you can clearly see blockiness (you can see a whole bunch of squares).

The rest of the video looks pretty good because:
A- the resolution is low
B- the footage was well lit
C- There's lots of talking head footage. This kind of footage is low motion and easyy to encode. When there's high motion or things like flames in the background then encoding gets a lot harder. There also aren't lines which cause mosquito noise (think about how JPEGs handle CG-text).
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Old October 12th, 2003, 01:00 AM   #6
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Thanks Glenn,

I too had noticed some of the minor faults you describe, but did not have a term (name) for them. I wasn't sure if it was due to my system or actual flaws in the video. (I have a homebrew P4 2.53 Ghz and a ATI Radeon 9600 video card.) Computer video usually looks great.

I was most concerned was if what I saw was an achieveable goal for what I intend to do. That being training videos (talking heads) and on-site mechanical room and control system operation education.

My output will be to DVD or VCD and probably some web intranet distribution. Mostly video training handouts to our engineers and contractors.

I want it to be as first class as possible without the expense of a full blown hired professional production. I have been on the customer side of those when I worked for Lennox Industries, so I know what they cost. I want to do this project in-house on a controlled budget.

Most of the current threads here seem to be deal with movie making rather than industrtial video so I wondered if the Adobe clips were truely an achievable look on a limited budget. The fact they are Adobe makes no difference to me. I would like to do work that looked that good whatever the NLE. The fancy renders and spinning logos would not be a part of it.

You seem indicate this quality certainly is achievable at the lower end prosumer hardware level. That's what I wanted to know. Thanks!

Regards, Dan Kautz
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Old October 12th, 2003, 01:40 AM   #7
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Well, you still need good writing, editing, lighting, sound, and narration. The Adobe video looks great partly because they have good lighting.
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