17 Replies Latest reply on Sep 9, 2012 7:23 AM by the_wine_snob

    What is the optimal cel size?

    kellybellis Level 1

      I'm working with a program called Natural Scene Designer Pro v5.0 which allows the user to create a series of still rendered ray tracings into an animated AVI. I would like to edit these AVI clips in Premiere Elements 10, but before going terribly far into this project, I was curious about a couple of things.

       

      1. What is the optimal cel size that I should instruct NSD to produce that will most satisfy Premiere Elements?
      2. What are the optimal Project Settings in PE10 that should be used in editing this type of "footage" ?

       

      Initial tests have been done at 320:240 @ 30fps (which does not appear to be supported in PE10 amongst its presets), but eventually, I'd like to make things as large as is practical and for the broadest audience.

       

      It has been several years since I played around with things like this... which then were on another Windows machine and Premiere Elements 2. I need to get reacquainted with Premiere Elements and version 10 looks a little more mature and myself, more gray

       

      Thank you very much for any replies.

       

      Kind regards,

       

      Kelly

        • 1. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Kelly,

           

          First a few questions, please:

           

          Will you be adding any Video to the Project, besides your rendered background? You say "Broadcast," but knowing if you are doing an SD, or HD Project, will be helpful.

           

          What are the specs. of that possible "AVI" output file? "AVI" is but a wrapper, and a lot of different CODEC's can be included inside.

           

          If you are contemplating an SD (Standard Definition) Project, then there are really only a few choices: PAL, or NTSC, depending on where you live, then either Standard 4:3, or Widescreen 16:9. All of those use non-square pixels, and I would anticipate that your background design program uses square pixels, so that there will be some interpolation there. Let's say that you are doing NTSC Standard 4:3, then you will want the Cell to be 640 x 480 w/ those square pixels. You will not want a non-standard video Frame Size. Also, in NTSC, you will want to render out the background at 29.97, or 30 FPS.

           

          Let us know just a bit more, and someone can suggest the proper output, and design standards for you.

           

          Good luck,

           

          Hunt

          • 2. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
            kellybellis Level 1

            Hi Bill,

             

            Thank you so very much for the reply.

             

            Actually, I said broadest - not broadcast - although I suppose either word will do in making the final thing available in a variety of forms; e.g., DVD, Flash, MPG, Youtube, etc.

             

            I live in Ellsworth, Maine so I recon we're talking about NTSC.

             

            At this point, I'm uncertain which of SD or HD will work best between PE and NSD; however, the 16:9 aspect ratio is preferred in any event.

             

            Below are a few dialog boxes showing the various options that are available noting that the NSD user manual indicates that the list of available compressors may vary depending on which version of Windows is used and the installed compressors.

            premiere-elements-discussion.jpg

            • 3. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Actually, I said broadest - not broadcast

              Well DUH! Teach me to go to the forums, before my first cup of coffee!

               

              Hunt

              • 4. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
                Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                I would recommend 720x480 anamorphic pixels using the DV codec ideally.

                 

                But if that's not avaiable, 640x480 will do. If your program doesn't output the DV codec, you might well have problems working with the file in Premiere Elements, however. The Microsoft Video 1 compressor isn't likely to b be compatible with it.

                 

                In fact, if you don't have the abilty to output DV footage, I would recommend you consider a different program for your video editing. Windows MovieMaker would be a good choice.

                 

                But Premiere Elements just doesn't dance well with non-camcorder footage.

                • 5. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  I would do a test for NTSC (yes, that is correct for the US), and Widescreen. Increase the Frame Size to 640 x 480. You will likely have to Scale slightly, as you will most likely have square pixels, where NTSC Widescreen Video uses non-square pixels with PAR = 1.212 (wider, rectangular pixels).

                   

                  The MS DV-AVI Type I will work, even though MS DV-AVI Type II is the ultimate. Type I's have a Duration limit, but it is pretty big, so you should not bump up against that. Type I's can also exhibit some OOS (Out Of Sync) with Audio, but that should not be a problem for you.

                   

                  The SD Widescreen will be good for DVD-Video, YouTube, Vimeo, and also for sharing as a file to be played on a computer. It is about as "plain vanilla," as one can get. The only thing to keep an eye on, is the non-square pixels in Video and the square pixels (just guessing here, but it's very common with such programs), but a tiny bit of Scale should take care of that. I would not fill the vertical of you background program 100%, as a touch of the top, and/or bottom will likely get cropped just a bit, when you Scale.

                   

                  Good luck, and please report how the test goes.

                   

                  Hunt

                  • 6. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    Steve,

                     

                    I read that as MS DV-AVI Type I. However, I might well be confused. Thanks for probably setting me straight here.

                     

                    Hunt

                    • 7. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
                      kellybellis Level 1

                      Thanks guys - I very much appreciate your help.

                       

                      Steve, I've written to Brett Casebolt, the creator of NSD asking further if possibly the DV codec (or any other) might be able to be used by NSD5. He's been very busy with NSD6 and may not get back to me very quickly - and that's okay - it's just kind of tempting for me to just blunder ahead and install a mess of codecs and hope it doesn't mess up something else.

                       

                      In particular, this looks like the package of codecs to consider:

                      Windows 7 Codec Pack

                      The curious thing to me is the fact that there are indications of other codecs on my system  than just the ones listed by the NSD5 interface; .i.e.,

                       

                      premiere-elements-discussion2.jpg

                       

                      I guess that I should just wait to hear from Brett...

                       

                      And Bill, sorry - I just now realized that I never answered your first question: I'm not sure if there will be any other type of footage (like from my camera, etc.) but for now, consider the answer; no, there will only be avi files which have been produced from NSD5 (hopefully) edited together in PE10.

                       

                      As for MS DV-AVI Type I or II - I've no idea how I can even look for that distinction on whatever file or ? may reside on my local machine. .. right click, Properties or some such thing? I'll happily dig further if I knew better what to look for.

                       

                      Thank you again, both of you for your kind replies.

                       

                      Kelly

                      • 8. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Kelly,

                         

                        I am not a fan of many CODEC "packs," but if they are from MS, they should be safe to install.

                         

                        CODEC's are interesting items. They are the "building blocks" of AV files, but there are so very many available, and some work well, where some do not. For more background, see this article: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/546811?tstart=0.

                         

                        In very general terms, there are three "types" of CODEC:

                         

                        1. Those that are used for playback of AV files - nearly all.
                        2. Those that are used to encode to AV files - quite a few fit this type.
                        3. Those that can be used by an NLE (Non Linear Editor) program, like PrE to edit the material - far fewer fall into this catagory.

                         

                        Good luck,

                         

                        Hunt

                        • 9. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                          As for MS DV-AVI Type I or II - I've no idea how I can even look for that distinction on whatever file or ? may reside on my local machine. .. right click, Properties or some such thing? I'll happily dig further if I knew better what to look for.

                          On a Windows machine, the MS DV-AVI CODEC (DV/DVC), should be installed. In most cases, it will be the Type II version, but that depends on the Encoding program. Some, like Windows Movie Maker (not the newer Live version), choose Type I, but those nearly always work fine in PrE. PrE will Encode to the Type II files.

                           

                          Now, which one CAN be used for Encoding, will depend on both the CODEC, and on the host program, NSD in this case.

                           

                          Now, and in nearly every instance, a CODEC is installed to the system, before it can be used, IF it can be used. One exception to that is with some players, such as VLC Player, which contains many CODEC's, but those are used ONLY by VLC Player. This can confuse a lot of users, as they will be able to play AV file ___, in VLC, but then cannot play it in some other players, or edit the file.

                           

                          Good luck,

                           

                          Hunt

                          • 10. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
                            kellybellis Level 1

                            Steve,

                             

                            You mentioned yesterday:

                            I would recommend 720x480 anamorphic pixels using the DV codec ideally.

                             

                            Okay.. I've gotten a response back from Brett and NSD5 only outputs square pixels; however, he also suggested that there may be something that PE10 users might know of that converts square to anamorphic and most suitable for PE10 use. So the first question in follow up then 1) is it even possible? and then if so, 2) what is it that makes anamorphic recommended over square?(16:9 related?)?

                             

                            And then there's the DV codec... are you referring to the ubiquous mulit-variant format standard or some singular codec - I'm guessing the former.

                             

                            Thanks again for your help.

                             

                            Kelly

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
                              kellybellis Level 1

                              I am not a fan of many CODEC "packs," but if they are from MS, they should be safe to install.

                               

                              Bill,

                               

                              I'm also quite leary of such things; however, the link above is not to anything from Microsoft - that should be made clear upon visiting the CNET site. I went ahead and pulled the trigger, installed the pack from what Windows Control Panel - Programs and Features informs the Publisher as being "Codecs for Windows 7 Pack" while listing its related support link as http://www.codecs4windows7.com/ - a non-existant site.. noting there does exist http://www.windows7codecs.com/ - and that does seem relevant / related.

                               

                              Regardless of that bit of minutia, the added codecs are seen by Natural Scene Designer Pro 5:

                              premiere-elements-discussion3.jpgpremiere-elements-discussion4.jpg

                               

                              From this list, which AVI compression is most suited for the purposes of editing in Premiere Elements 10?

                               

                              Thanks again.

                               

                              Kelly

                              • 12. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                Brett confirmed my speculation, regarding the PAR=1.0, square pixels. This is the same with digital Still Images.

                                 

                                With SD Video, 720 x 480, the difference between the Standard 4:3 and the Widescreen 16:9 is due to the PAR (Pixel Aspect Ratio). Both of those use non-square pixels, either 0.9 for Standard, or 1.2 for Widescreen (NTSC). With MOST HD Video, square pixels (PAR=1.0) is used. The exception is HD Anamorphic for 1440 x 1080 with PAR=1.3333.

                                 

                                With, say an SD Widescreen, PAR=1.2 Project, your animation would be done at 640 x 480 with its PAR=1.0. When you Import that into the SD Widescreen Project, there will be small black bars on either side of the animation. This is because of the difference between PAR=1.0 and the Project's PAR=1.2 (only a slight difference). At this point, one has two choices, and my personal preference is first:

                                 

                                1. With the animation footage on the Timeline, one would Select it, and then go to the Effects Tab. There, one would choose the button at the bottom, Edit Effects. Every Clip in PrE automatically has several Fixed Effects added to it, such as Opacity, Rotation, Volume (if the Clip has Audio) and Motion. It is Motion that we will work with. Twirl open Motion, to reveal Position and Scale. With Constrain Proportions checked, adjust Scale UP a bit, to fill those small black lines. At this point, you will also increase the height, to accommodate that increase in width, SO a little bit of the top & bottom will now be effectively "cropped" off. That is why I recommended not filling the height 100% with material, that you really want to keep. If one wished to ONLY do the cropping on, say the top, but not the bottom, then Motion>Position can be used to "raise" the Clip up just a bit, leaving the bottom of the Clip aligned with the bottom of the Frame. There will be no distortion in the animation Clip.
                                2. The second method WILL distort the animation Clip, but maybe not so much as a viewere would notice. With the Imported animation Clip in the Project Panel, one would Rt-click on it, and choose Interpret Footage. In the Interpret Footage dialog screen, the PAR will be listed as 1.0. That PAR can be adjusted, and 1.2 would be the choice. Now, the animation Clip WILL fill the SD Widescreen Project's Frame Size, as it now would have a matching PAR to the Project, and to any SD Widescreen Video, added to the Project. Test this, to see if that increase in PAR, from 1.0 to 1.2 is acceptable.

                                 

                                Good luck, and hope that helps,

                                 

                                Hunt

                                1 person found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
                                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                                  Kelly,

                                   

                                  Thank you for that clarification. I had mis-read, above, and thought that it WAS an MS CODEC pack.

                                   

                                  The problem with too many CODEC packs is that they often install "stuff," besides the CODEC's, and some of that stuff is not good for a Video editing computer. Also, many (most?) of the CODEC's installed are hacked, or reverse-engineered versions, and will often overwrite good, commercial CODEC's, that are installed. This is why Adobe hides its Adobe MainConcept CODEC's - so that other programs cannot overwrite them. However, their "priority" is still vulnerable, and many CODEC packs will change that priority in the Registry, so that its CODEC's are chosen first, by the system.

                                   

                                  I am a big fan of the Lagarith Lossless CODEC, when using intermediate files. The same for another one, UT Lossless. They DO compress, but at a lossless level, i.e. the quality stays the same. Two others that I like are both Apple QuickTime CODEC's, Animation and Photo-PNG, which are also lossless. However, on my PC, either the Lagarith, or the UT are my first choices. Both of those are wrapped in the AVI format, where the two QT CODEC's are wrapped in the MOV format. [I buy 3D work from several artists, who are on Mac's, and specify the MOV Animation CODEC. Those have always worked 100% on my PC.]

                                   

                                  Now, I see that you have FFDShow installed. One power-user here, Neale, installed that, at the direction of Adobe Technical Support, and all has been great for him. However, and especially in the PrPro Forum, many users have experienced very bad things with it, and for most, PrPro would not even run. Uninstalling that CODEC has proved very difficult, and some have had to wipe their HDD, and reinstall everything from scratch. I shudder, when mention is made of it, BUT Neale has had zero issues, and its installation DID fix a problem, that he had. I avoid it, but that is my personal choice.

                                   

                                  Now, back to the Lagarith Lossless CODEC. One issue with some CODEC packs is that what they install is not even close to the latest version of a particular CODEC. Some are very, very old versions. Before I did much work with the Lagarith, I would check out their site, and compare version numbers, between the one installed with the CODEC pack, and what is currently the newest version. It, like the UT Lossless, is free, so it would cost nothing to install the latest version, if you did not get that one. This article goes into a bit more info on Lagarith and UT: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/875797?tstart=0

                                   

                                  Hope that helps, and thank you for all of the info that you have provided, and for your patience.

                                   

                                  Good luck,

                                   

                                  Hunt

                                  1 person found this helpful
                                  • 14. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
                                    kellybellis Level 1

                                    Bill,

                                     

                                    Awesome replies - thanks very much!!!

                                     

                                    Am just checking in before calling it an evening and letting the machine render another scene through the night. Soon I may have enough "footage" to start putting things together.

                                     

                                    Kind regards,

                                     

                                    Kelly

                                    • 15. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
                                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                                      Kelly,

                                       

                                      If you have any questions, once the Rendering is done, and the files are Imported, please just drop back by. Most of us are usually around, and will try to help.

                                       

                                      Good luck, and please let us know how it goes.

                                       

                                      Hunt

                                      1 person found this helpful
                                      • 16. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
                                        kellybellis Level 1

                                        In the FWIW & FYI column, I've done some more experiments this morning showing a clear winner with Ben Greenwood's (aka Sir Lagsalot) codec: Lagarith Lossless Video Codec v1.3.27 [64-bit] and for the morbidly curious, posted a very brief clip:

                                         

                                        http://panocea.us/2012/09/09/nsd5-and-pr10-codec-test-series-15-19/

                                         

                                        Kind regards,

                                         

                                        Kelly

                                        • 17. Re: What is the optimal cel size?
                                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                                          Kelly,

                                           

                                          Thank you for sharing your tests, and your observations.

                                           

                                          Good luck, and happy editing,

                                           

                                          Hunt