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Old May 3rd, 2011, 11:18 AM   #1
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Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

As always... a bit confused regarding codecs and render settings. It seems I'll never quite get the hang of it... (sigh).

Probably a simple question: I have a project with standard PAL 720x576 material. I want to render it, creating a file for simple playback on my pc using VLC or some other media player. But file size is not an issue. I'd like to render it to a file using the best settings quality-wise.

What file format to choose?
Which codec? and if the codec has advanced settings - how should I set those up as well?

I have the Lagarith codec installed, but two issues bother me. First of all, VLC player won't play Lagarith codec because it doesn't use the system codec but rather its own. Secondly, there's a small chance that the file might need to be played on a computer I don't know (not mine) and possibly it won't have Lagarith codec installed.
I'm looking for best possible quality, but also high compatibility.

Thanks!
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 11:27 AM   #2
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Re: Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

The best way to render a file is to keep its original settings in the render. From what you say it seems that you are using dv. So my suggestion would be to use: "Save as type" choose video for windows (.avi) and in "template" choose whether its wide screen (16:9) or not (4:3). Hope this helps
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 11:31 AM   #3
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Re: Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

Thanks for your reply George! Actually, the majority of material is mpeg2 which was imported from a DVD. Far from great quality, I know, but that's the way it is. Would selecting the PAL DV template work in this case? or should I render to mpeg2?... or something else?
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 12:13 PM   #4
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Re: Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

Sorry for assuming you were using dv. Since your original clips are in mpeg2, if you render in mpeg2 you will have no loss of quality at all. And I think all PC's can play mpeg2 files.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 12:15 PM   #5
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Re: Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

For straight viewing purposes only, mpeg 2 is not what you want, it is not a delivery format, it is for DVDs. Windows media player produces excellent quality, just choose your settings properly. AVC mpeg 4 is good also.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 12:56 PM   #6
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Re: Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

Thanks George.... but now with Jeff's comment I'm a bit confused again....

Jeff, thanks for chipping in. I'm not sure I follow you though...

I understand from what you're saying that mpg2 is not the preferred format in my case?.... Basically I'm just gonna play on the computer using a media player and with a projector hooked up to it so that the video will be projected on a wall. This will be my only use with this particular file.

What exactly do you mean by "Windows media player produces excellent quality"? Do you mean Windows Media Video (wmv) file format?
Regarding AVC mpeg4... I see that Vegas (v.9) has a file format that I can render to called: MainConcept AVC/AAC (mpg4) - is that what you're referring to?

I've taken a look at both wmv (assuming that this is what you meant) and also AVC/AAC (mpg).... each of them have custom settings and several templates that I can choose from and I'm not sure how to set that part up to best fit my needs. From what I can tell, the default settings are not optimal.

Looking forward to your reply.
thx
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 02:22 PM   #7
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Re: Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

I've never had luck with Mainconcept codec, I use mp4 avc. Yes wmv file is the one I was descibing.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 02:54 PM   #8
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Re: Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

Jeff..... I don't see mp4 avc as an option. Here is what I'm looking at:

http://i53.tinypic.com/2nu3xav.jpg
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 02:55 PM   #9
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Re: Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

Sony avc
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 03:16 PM   #10
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Re: Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

Thanks Jeff. Does this seem right for the Video settings? I just selected "Default" and then changed the frame size to 720x576 (using PAL video). Should I change anything else? What about bit rate?

http://i51.tinypic.com/97odft.jpg
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 04:00 PM   #11
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Re: Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

Actually, I shouldn't have mentioned avc to you, it is most commonly used for HD stuff. Why not just render out to wmv? It is the logical choice, IMO and very good quality.

I do mostly HD and avc was just a knee jerk reaction, sorry.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 04:30 PM   #12
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Re: Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

Okay. In that case can you just run by my settings in the Video tab for rendering to mwv format here:
http://i55.tinypic.com/qz4yl5.jpg

and my settings on the bit rate tab here:
http://i53.tinypic.com/24pa007.jpg

In the video tab I just changed the frame rate to 25fps (PAL)
and in the bit rate tab I did nothing. I have no idea what is recommended here.

thanks!
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 04:39 PM   #13
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Re: Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

Did you look at the other options? You need to choose based on what you need. The settings you have chosen are for internet, that's what it says. Your settings are for low quality. You should try a couple out and just render them and see how it turns out. This is how you learn how the settings affect things, by rendering it out and looking at it, then if it's not good enough change it.

How long is the project?

You can also use any template that has = sign next to it.

also try avi, and see which template has an = sign next to it, and if there is one, use that.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 04:47 PM   #14
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Re: Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

It's not too long, about 5 minutes.

I actually started out rendering out to .avi before starting this thread. I tried several different codecs. some looked better than others and there's quite a number to choose from. I also realized that quality is not my only concern, but also the compatibility is important. I don't want to face a situation where I render using a codec that looks great on my computer, but then when trying to play it on a different computer I find out it doesn't play.

That's when I decided to post here and get some advice.... :)

I'd be happy to render to .avi, but I need advice on how to configure the custom settings and codec options.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 05:12 PM   #15
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Re: Seeking advice selecting optimal render settings - for playback on my pc

choose avi and then find the template with an = sign next to it.
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