Sorry for the lengthy question.
I recently downloaded a short clip from YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_riYAlUp4V4
GSpot tells me that the codecs (MPEG2 for video and MPEG-1 Layer 2 for audio) are installed, and that the frame size is 640 wide x 360 high. The frame rate is 25.000 per sec. Other audio details include 44100Hz 192 kb/s tot , Stereo. Then I open up MediaInfo and while it does not inform me that this is a PAL clip or not, at 25fps I am guessing that it is. These are the clips's other properties:
Name: Helena screen test.mpg
BitRate is 1 193
Frame is 640px wide x 360px high.
Display aspect ratio: 16:9
Bit depth: 8 bits
Scan type: Progressive
Compression mode: Lossy
Bit rate: 192 Kbps
Channel(s): 2 channels
Sampling rate: 44.1 KHz
Compression mode: Lossy
I now wish to edit the video, so I open up Premiere Elements 11 and go to File | New Project and in 'Project Settings' I try to match the clip's properties that I know about from GSpot and MediaInfo with the settings I am about to assign to my project. Thus, I ignore NTSC completely since my clip runs at 25fps. On the other hand, there is no PAL setting in Elements 11 that corresponds exactly to my clip's 640 x 360 frame-size properties.
Eventually, I choose PAL | DV Standard 48kHz (not my desired 44.1kHz) which has a frame rate of 25 fps and a frame size of 720 x 576 (and not my desired 640 x 360). However, if I have understood correctly the clip itself obliges Elements 11 to accept its own properties once it is on the Timeline.
I think that's right?
I click OK to the PAL | DV Standard settings on the 'Change Settings' dialogue box and leave unticked the 'Force selected Project Setting on this project' because I don't want to impose different properties on my clip.
I click on 'Add Media' and drag my clip to the Timeline. I go to Edit | Preferences | General and ensure that 'Default frame to scale size' is ticked. So far so good. Now for the confusing part: I go to Edit | Project Settings | General and see that although my clip is on the Timeline and despite not having ticked the 'Force selected Project Setting on this project' (in my Presettings), Elements sees my clip as having a 720 x 576 frame-size and not a 640 x 360 frame-size which is really what it is (screenshot).
On the other hand, if I go to File | Get Properties for.... | Selection with my clip still on the Timeline, the Properties dialogue box tells me that my clip has a frame-size not of 720px x 576px as 'Project Settings' has informed me, but of 640px x 360px! (screenshot).
It seems that Elements 11 is trying to dictate the properties of my clip, rather than the clip determining the settings in Elements 11. The two lots of settings are inconsistent in that the clip's properties do not correspond to the settings in Elements 11.
Be that as it may, I add a couple of transitions to the clip and I'm now ready to Publish+Share it. I choose 'Computer' and then MPEG, and then under 'Presets' I choose PAL DVD Standard. I can see immediately that the project will be saved with settings that do not correspond to the clip's original properties. The frame rate is the same but the frame size at 720x576 is not; neither is the audio setting of 48kHz (the
original is 44.1kHz) (screenshot).
I click on 'Advanced'. Under 'Video', I set 'Quality' to 5, leave TV Standard at PAL, frame-rate at 25, 'Field Order' at Lower, and 'Pixel Aspect Ratio' at 4.3 (1.094). I don't understand the Bitrate or GOP Settings so I leave them as they are. I change the 'Preset' field of 'Export Settings' from Custom to PAL DVD Standard. I can see that the frame-size is 720x576, but it is greyed-out so I couldn't alter it even
if I wanted to.
Under 'Audio' I leave 'Audio Format' at Dolby Digital and the 'Preset' at PAL DVD Standard. The Bitrate is set at 192 which corresponds to the original clip's audio properties, so I leave it at that.
As it happens the clip turned out very well - I can detect no difference between my clip and the one I downloaded from YouTube - but what I wanted to ask was, despite the 'lack of correspondence' between original and exported settings, is my methodology - the way I am going about processing the clip - a reasonable one? Is that the way it is supposed to be done? Furthermore, is it true to say that since my final exported clip looks just fine, that settings do not NEED to correspond exactly?
Sorry again for the lengthy nature of the question.
It is just after 1 am where I am so I will go through the details with you in a few hours in the morning here.
Lots to talk about.
How do you want to export this Timeline once we have established the project settings?
Are you aiming for the same properties as the original file? In other words, do you want to end up with a 640 x 360 16:9 video @ 25 progressive frames per second or other?
I will go through this step wise.
Thanks for your reply.
When I first downloaded the YouTube video I was conscious of the need to replicate that file's properties in Elements 11 in order to avoid a 'shaky' clip (problems with colours didn't come into the equation because the clip is in black and white).
So I was keen to have my Elements settings at 640 x 360 frame-size and audio settings at 44100Hz. I wasn't able to replicate those settings and the end product is a file that has imposed (for want of a better word) its own attributes on the saved file (screenshot).
The clip runs just fine and I can't note any difference between what I have and the YouTube original - even though Elements has changed the clip's properties. I was quite surprised because elsewhere I have read that using 'arbitrary' settings accounts for colours that 'run' and figures that move too fast (Keystone Cops!), etc, in the final product.
I suppose it's just a bit confusing.
I am not going to proceed on specifics based to your source. Rather I am going to generalize....
1. Given you have video that is characterized by
Frame Height 640
Frame Width 360
Frame Rate 25 progressive frames per second
This video is 16:9 for display purpose due to its frame dimensions and does not need a 16:9 flag to stretch it for display after encoding.
2. Open Premiere Elements 11 and set the project preset manually for
AVCHD LITE 720p25
(remember to put the check mark next to "Force Selected Project Settings On This Project" before exiting the new project dialog)
3. Back in the Premiere Elements Workspace, you can leave "Default Scale to Frame Size" active in preferences.
Import your video into the project using Add Media/Files and Folders/Project Assets from where you drag the video to the Expert workspace monitor.
4. When it comes to export, we are going to export the Timeline to match the properties of the import as close as possible, using
with Presets = PAL DV Widescreen
But we are going to change the export settings under the Advanced Button/Video Tab
The targets for your adjusts are going to be Frame Width, Frame Height, Field Order, Pixel Aspect Ratio, Profile, and Level. Leave everything else as is for now. (If you have any problems typing in the frame size, click the link between frame width and height to release the link.)
The end result of the export should be a 640 x 360 @ 25 frames per second H.264 AAC.mp4.
Please review and give it a try and then, if necessary, I will go through the reasons for my path choices.
Add On...Please watch for an Adobe Private Message from me.
I set up the video with settings along the lines you suggested (screenshot).
These settings have a frame-size of 1280 x 720. I find that a bit confusing because the original settings are 640 x 360. These settings effectively double the original settings, don't they. Why would I want to do that?
Anyway, I ticked the "Force Selected Project Settings On This Project" and left "Default Scale to Frame Size" active in preferences. Then I imported the video alone into my project Expert Timeline (that is only the video and not any Folders).
I then clicked on 'Yes' to the SmartFix 'Fix quality problems in clips?' I then edited the video a little and then clicked on Publish+Share | Computer | AVCHD. For PAL DV Widescreen I can only see MP4 - PAL DV Widescreen, so I set it to that.
In Export Settings I needed to release the link between frame width and height and type in 640x360. I have to leave the Preset field in Export Settings as 'Custom', otherwise if I try to select MP4 - PAL DV Widescreen from the drop-down menu it alters the frame-size. The Format, which is greyed-out, is set at H.264. I then change the 'Field Order' to 'None (Progressive)' and the Pixel Aspect Ratio from Widescreen 16.9 to Square Pixels. The other settings are as you have them: Profile = Main; Level = 3.1 The final settings before clicking 'Save' look lie this:
I click Save and it saves as an MP4 video and the quality looks good! One thing I am unsure about is why you would choose this: Publish+Share | Computer | AVCHD | with Presets = PAL DV Widescreen. Why widescreen? Is there something in the original clip's settings (frame-size of 640 x 360) that indicate to you that the clip should be saved as a widescreen clip?
The key to my approach was recognizing that 640 x 360 was 16:9 just from its frame size as compared to PAL DV Widescreen which is based on taking a 4:3 frame size and stretching it to 16:9 with a 16:9 flag. Another consideration was the factor that the frame rate (25 frames per second) was a progressive one rather than an interlaced one. What to do?
I took the closest 16:9 project preset with a frame rate of 25 progressive frames per second. That turned out to be
PAL AVCHD AVCHD LITE 720p25
True, that was going to present in the Edit Mode monitor in a 1280 x 720 16:9, but it had two major ingredients 16:9 and I maintained the progressive frame rate of 25 frames per second. The choice of 1280 x 720 did not compromise anything since I was going to be depending on my export settings. All of the above was based on weighing all factors as I saw them.
Now for the export settings....as said, I was targeting for as close as I could come to the original
640 x 360
25 progressive frames per second
and a good quality AVCHD.mp4 could be obtained with adjusts of a preset under Publish+Share/Computer/AVCHD
Is there something in the original clip's settings (frame-size of 640 x 360) that indicate to you that the clip should be saved as a widescreen clip?
The fact that 640 x 360 (square pixels) is 16:9 (which is characteristic of widescreen)
When you have time, check out the following article on Pixel Aspect ratio.
to check out the difference between non square and square pixels.
The story goes deeper, but I am not sure that we need to go there yet. But let us see how you do with the above.
If you still need clarification on anything that I have written, do not hesitate to ask.
Yes, I see what you mean.
You couldn't choose AVCHD 1080p50 because that setting is 50fps, while AVCHD LITE720p24 is 23.976 fps. AVCHD LITE 720p50 is another 50fps, so the most likely candidate was AVCHD LITE720p25 at 25fps which is the one you chose.
There's a lot to learn, but I have the impression that you place a fair amount of emphasis on the 16.9 and the 25fps frame rate - presumably to avoid shakiness, running colours, etc.
I will have to read up on 'Progressive Scan' and 'Interlaced' - there is a discussion about it here:
in addition to Aspect ratios: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspect_ratio_(image)
The fact that 640 x 360 (square pixels) is 16:9 (which is characteristic of widescreen)
Oh, right! I didn't know that. I think I'll devise myself a wall-chart to illustrate what the various settings actually signify and what I can expect from them when saved/exported.
Great! Thanks for the link. I was reading a book only recently on Photoshop and didn't know that movies use non-square pixels whereas still images use square pixels, so the article at the end of your link looks very useful.
Many thanks again for your kind explanations.
Here is the ultimate article for understanding interlaced and progressive video. See if you agree.
The more you go into these matters the deeper and deeper it gets.
Something to think about...for DV Standard, why is 720 x 480 (NTSC) and 720 x 576 (PAL) referred to as 4:3 when the frame aspect ratio is not exactly 4:3? Hint: this is a non square and square pixel matter.