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Old October 28th, 2007, 09:58 AM   #1
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banding in output file

When I render to a video file from Vegas 7, there is a sunset scene fading out to black that exhibits a lot of color banding. They are mainly around the glow of the sun into the sky. The weird thing is when the project is on the vegas timeline, and I scroll around, my external preview monitor (a regular computer CRT monitor) doesn't show this banding at all.

I have tried exporting the video out to many different formats including Cineform 2.5, xvid, wmv9, etc. Also I have tried using Debugmode Frameserver to serve to an avisynth file, and encoded the video into xvid in virtualdub... all with the same banding artifacts. I have also played around with the rendering settings in Vegas, setting all of them to "best" where I could.

My source files are m2t converted to cineform 2.5 (the one built into vegas 7).
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Old October 28th, 2007, 10:05 AM   #2
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Ok, I just realized most of the banding is visible only when playing the output video file on my lcd (which isn't a very good one). When I play it on my CRT, the banding is greatly reduced. However, there is still a little more banding than when playing back directly from the timeline. Is this just an unavoidable result from generational loss?
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Old October 28th, 2007, 10:16 AM   #3
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Is this just an unavoidable result from generational loss?

Unfortunately it is :-(
Extreme examples of this are when shows on satellite (maybe cable too) fade to/from black.
Depending on the transmission bandwidth, the blockiness can be extremely bad.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 11:54 AM   #4
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It is not generation loss so much, it is much more related to 8-bit banding -- there are just not enough levels in 8-bit data to smoothly present 8-bit gradients. In version 3.x CineForm codecs we bump the data to 10-bit before compression, then dither back to 8-bit for presentation for applications like Vegas, this helps a lot. For data that you already compressed, you have simulate dithering by injecting 0.05% noise (about one 1 bit of noise), but it will not work as well doing it after 8-bit compression. You can get some of higher quality using NEO Player which upgrade your Sony CineForm license to v3 for free, or even more benefits by purchasing NEO HDV/HD which gives you much more quality controls.
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