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Old September 6th, 2006, 02:41 AM   #1
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.wmv render from Vegas vs. ProCoder or Sorenson?

.wmv render from Vegas vs. using ProCoder or Sorenson?


Is there any benefit in compression or quality using one of the above apps over exporting directly from within Vegas in the creation of a wmv file?

Will using one of the other apps result in better picture quality at smaller file sizes?

Thanks!
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Old September 6th, 2006, 08:46 PM   #2
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Bump --

anyone?
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Old September 7th, 2006, 10:17 AM   #3
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I can't speak to the quality of output from the two apps you mention, as I haven't used them. Encoding directly from Vegas does have at least one major advantage, though.

Since you're rendering directly from your timeline, you're skipping an intermediate stage (i.e. rendering to .avi from Vegas and then rendering to .wmv elsewhere) and going straight to .wmv. Particularly if you're working with a complicated project or one with lots of color correction / effects / track motion etc. that needs to be rendered, you're skipping a round of compression that may or may not really have a huge impact on the quality of the footage. Your mileage may vary, but I find that it's best to send video through as few compression cycles as possible. Otherwise, you're just adding artifacts on top of artifacts.
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Old September 8th, 2006, 11:34 PM   #4
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I'd generally agree with Jarrod, though we're talking small stuff in one generation of render.

All these tools, including Vegas, are built on the Windows Media SDK - the quality of the compress is the same.

What procoder & squeeze give you is:
*A workflow designed for transcoding. This means easier access to customizable templates.
*"Watched folders" (if you set up a watched folder for a particular template, all you have to do is drop an avi in that folder and the magic happens).
*All kinds of batch processing, more streamlined & controllable than Vegas' Batch Render script.
* A set of filters specific to compression needs, and guidance on how to use them for compression.
* They expose a few more compression controls than Vegas (that usually aren't needed).
* A workflow designed for volume - if you're doing 10s or 100s of conversions a day it REALLY makes a difference. You set up a job, put it into the queue, and move on to the next. Easily drop as many source files as you want into that job.

Vegas gives you:
* A familiar workflow.
* A broader set of filters, but little guidance on using them specifically for compression. (but online forums help!)
* Multiple instances can be opened for multiple compression jobs.
* A good set of tools for low volume work.
* Equal quality.
* An OK batch render capability.

Did I mention a familiar workflow? If Vegas is working for the volume of compression work you're doing I think it'd be good to stick with it.

If you sometimes need access to EVERY compression control without the heavy batch capabilities of sorenson or procoder, the freeware Windows Media Encoder has all of the controls.
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Old September 9th, 2006, 03:41 AM   #5
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I don't know about the two applications you mention, but Vegas 6 is considerably slower than other WMV encoding apps I have used. A 30 second DV-AVI to WMV render on my Core 2 Duo takes seconds with Windows Movie Maker but takes over a minute with Vegas. As Seth says, I can't see a difference in the final product when the same parameters are used for the encode. I still use Vegas because it is familiar and I often render the same project to different formats so it makes sense to stick with one app.
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Old September 11th, 2006, 11:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Bruner
I don't know about the two applications you mention, but Vegas 6 is considerably slower than other WMV encoding apps I have used. A 30 second DV-AVI to WMV render on my Core 2 Duo takes seconds with Windows Movie Maker but takes over a minute with Vegas. As Seth says, I can't see a difference in the final product when the same parameters are used for the encode. I still use Vegas because it is familiar and I often render the same project to different formats so it makes sense to stick with one app.
By DV-AVI to WMV are you talking about two separate operations? First a render to AVI, then a separate encode from avi to wmv? That's what your terminology would suggest. If not, you'd be talking about a straight DV to wmv encode, which is different. 30 seconds vs. one minute? Does that include mouse clicks required to load the avi file you just rendered and tell the NLE to encode it into a wmv file?

It may seem like a nit, but there is a difference between what many call a "render" and a straight "encode." Rendering can mean adding effects, compositing, color correction, etc. Doing an encode (or transcode) usually refers to simply (and only) converting from one format to another. If you compare NLEs for a render, they should be applying the same effects, compositing, etc. Otherwise its apples and oranges. But if all you are doing is an encode, you'll get to see which NLE is faster. And sometimes faster isn't better. Look for "jaggies" in motion, look for interlacing issues (you need a real CRT / television for that), etc.

Finally, rendering to an AVI is mostly lossless. And of course if its an uncompressed AVI it is really lossless. The Cineform avi touts very highly that it is "virtually lossless." In my humble opinion, if I only cared about wmv I would directly render/encode to it. If I were distributing my output in a variety of formats I would render to avi then encode that avi to the various formats. Encoding usually takes a LOT less time then rendering, so you want to minimize the number of renders. (This is assuming you are applying some FXs in your render, like color corrections, adjusting for broadcast levels, resizing, whatever).
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Old September 11th, 2006, 02:23 PM   #7
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What I was referring to is a DV file on the timeline with a straight transcode to WMV. The timing was done from the time the render was started. BTW, the DV files in Windows are in AVI format. Files can have other wrappers. That's why I used that terminology.

Also, my post should have said 'takes 15 seconds with Windows Movie Maker.'
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Old September 11th, 2006, 10:56 PM   #8
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in addition to seths post.. theres also a batch render script which can be set to render to any specific preset yo uhave created
this also helps ...

i periodically do intranet presentations for afew corporate clients and now im getting into corporate podcasts for training and marketing, so runnign a batch straight out of vegas is really REALLY handy...

u can also frameserve vergas and other encoders (such as Procoder) but be aware that procoder does NOT handle progressive scan conversions well. being that if u have an interlaced source, i townt convert to progressive (for pc viewing) very well. you will notice fringing and afew nuances with black contrasts.. interlaced is fine though.. but u dont want that on web material..
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Old September 13th, 2006, 12:57 AM   #9
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Thanks for all of the great replies everyone.

So -- I take it then there is no noticable difference in quality when rendering/transcoding from the Vegas timeline over using procoder or sorensen... (all parameters being equal)

anyone else confirm or comment?
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