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Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


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Old June 28th, 2011, 10:00 AM   #1
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Is this just the way it is?

I've just shot my first project in HDV, edited it in FCP and am now burning to disc, both blu-ray and standard def versions. It's a 3-hour documentary of my long-distance hike of the Continental Divide Trail, which means there is lots of fine detail in the background--stuff like waving leaves, pine needles, waves on lakes, distant mountainsides covered with fir trees .

What I'm noticing with alarm is how compression (iDVD--"professional quality") struggles to resolve fine detail. It ends up having a "strobe effect"--tree leaves, instead of smoothly waving, jerk at about 1/2 second intervals from one position to another.

Is this just the way it is with nature video put on dvd? (Or to put it another way, is this why throwing the background out of focus is a good thing...even for outdoor video productions?)
Lynne Whelden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2011, 04:15 AM   #2
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Re: Is this just the way it is?

I no longer use HDV (now I use XDCAM-EX with higher bitrate than HDV), but have had a sequence with a lot of moving details that turned out unusuable after going through Compressor. However when I used Bitvice (innobits.com) with the highest possible bitrate it turned out nicely.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 10:14 AM   #3
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Re: Is this just the way it is?

Lynne,

I would say refer back to the source files and how the project looks in your editor. If it looks good on a production monitor or T.V., then HDV is not your issue.

What framerate was the project shot in?
Do you have any way to monitor the editing that is not just the preview window on the computer screen?
Have you tried to export an editing quicktime file and played it to see if the issues are present?

Compression and knowledge of it is right up there with what camera you use in importance. Poor compression can kill great footage.

I have moved to TMPGenc Mastering works and find it has the best quality around for only $99.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #4
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Re: Is this just the way it is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynne Whelden View Post
What I'm noticing with alarm is how compression (iDVD--"professional quality") struggles to resolve fine detail. It ends up having a "strobe effect"--tree leaves, instead of smoothly waving, jerk at about 1/2 second intervals from one position to another.
What you are seeing is the GOP structure as each i-frame updates the distortions caused by the motion derived p and b-frames. These artifacts could be in your HDV source, but more likely result from your DVD workflow. The following ideas, listed roughly in order of preference, could improve your workflow:

1. Use high quality HD to SD downscaling such as Dan Isaacs' hd2sd script.

2. Use a better encoder such as tmpgenc or hcencoder.

3. Deinterlace to 30p to remove temporal information so interlacing doesn't overload the encoder.

4. Increase the minimum quantization level on the encoder to hide GOP artifacts.

5. Apply a selective blur keyed to green to remove detail from those pesky leaves.

Options 1 and 2 increase quality with no side effects, while 3, 4 and 5 attempt to balance quality loss.
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