19 Replies Latest reply on Feb 8, 2014 6:56 PM by A.T. Romano

    Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?

    mart53 Level 1

      Why is the quality of .avi output poorer than in previous versions, at least appears that way?  .avi output is marked as "for editing in Premiere Elements".  Outputted a portion of current project as .avi file.  Playback quality in Widows Media Player was poor.  Brought it back into the same project and quality is poorer than the original.  When selecting .avi as output type, I couldn't find a way of modifying the file parameters. This is frustrating because I always thought that .avi was a great format for viewing in other computers as well as for further editing in Premiere Elements.  Would appreciate an answer to this question or maybe a suggestion as to what format to use for hight quality viewing in computers and for sending to others for further editing in PE  The original footage was taken with a Canon HG20 HD camcorder.. 

        • 1. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          What were the Share settings for that AVI file?

           

          Also, are you judging the AVI vs another w/ the same settings from a previous version of PrE?

           

          Good luck,

           

          Hunt

          • 2. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
            mart53 Level 1

            Thanks for reply.  Still have PE11 on my computer.  Will try same files on it and see what happerns..

            • 3. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
              mart53 Level 1

              Not much leeway on Share settings.  Only two presets available.  One is DVNTSC Standard, the other DVNTSC Widescreen.  Wouldn't think there would much difference in picture quality between them..  No other presets.  Under Advanced settings, there are diffenent Codecs.  I used the DVNTSC codec which appears to be the default.. 

              • 4. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                Kawika808 Level 1

                Mart53,

                I, too, have been struggling with quality issues. 

                 

                Based on a suggestion in a different thread, I exported/saved/"shared" as MP4.  The results are beautiful: orders of magnitude better than AVI or MP2.  My original footage was shot using Panasonic AVCHD and there is virtually no difference in quality between AVCHD and MP4.

                 

                Hope this helps.

                • 5. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                  A.T. Romano Level 7

                  mart53

                   

                  I think that you are overlooking all your opportunities under Premiere Elements 12 Publish+Share/Computer/AVI.

                   

                  True, your Presets choices are as stated

                  DV NTSC Standard

                  DV NTSC Widescreen

                  or

                  the PAL counterparts

                   

                  There is no Microsoft AVI as in prior versions.

                   

                  BUT, if you have a HD project, you can select DV NTSC Widescreen and then, under the Advanced Button/Video Tab, customize the settings for what you want.....first changing the Video Codec from DV NTSC to one of the other choices. And, if you do not like the other choices, you can download a free Lagarith video codec. Once the Lagarith video codec is installed, it will show up as a choice under the Advanced Button/Video Tab for Video Codec for this AVI export.

                   

                  Have you been there and done any of that yet?

                   

                  ATR

                  • 6. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                    A.T. Romano Level 7

                    Kawika808

                     

                    AVCHD (MPEG4 AVC/H.264) is a type of video compression.

                     

                    MP4 is a file extension (wrapper format) that wraps the video and audio compressions of the file.

                     

                    What are you comparing, your original Panasonic AVCHD with ? file extension (wrapper format) to AVCHD.mp4 export from Premiere Elements?

                     

                    ATR

                    • 7. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                      Kawika808 Level 1

                      The answer is a bit more complex.

                       

                      I created a 25-minute video using PE12.  Sources were all Panasonic, mostly AVCHD 60p but including one or two ill-advised (very low IQ) clips shot in AVI.

                       

                      Resulting video was "shared" as follows (used various formats to compare IQ):

                      AVI - save as computer file

                      MPEG-2 - save as computer file

                      MPEG-4 - save as AVCHD computer file

                      Burn to DVD NTSC standard DV, high quality (burner is the one on my HP Pavilion).

                       

                      I then burned DVDs using the output files (AVI, MP2, MP4).

                      I burned them using two methods:

                      1. Simply burn using CD drive on computer

                      2. Burn using WinXDVD, a free program.

                       

                      Results (judging IQ):

                      Playing the computer files:

                      AVI was not acceptable.

                      MP2 was mediocre

                      MP4 was beautiful.

                       

                      Playing the DVDs:

                      AVI was not acceptable.

                      MP2 was OK.

                      MP4 made directly was OK, but would not play on my Toshiba player, only on the computer player.

                      MP4 made with WinXDVD Creator was outstanding and played on both players.

                       

                      I would use the WinXDVD but unfortuately they have a static page that is a commercial for the product.  If I could figure out how to remove it, my project would have been long finished using WinXDVD.  I have written them to ask if they have any other product that will get the same results without the advert.

                       

                      Most recently, I bought Sony DVDA Studio 5.0, since the product info claims it will accept MP4 input.  However, it will not accept MP4 generated by PE12.  The sound is loaded, the video is not.  I  then tried using AVS Video converter to generate MP4 from the PE12 MP4.  Sony DVDA Studio was able to load and burn this, but the results were totally unacceptable: filled with compression artifacts and totally lacking in resolution.

                       

                      MP4 may be just a package, but it's quite evident that not all MP4 is created equal.

                      • 8. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                        mart53 Level 1

                        Thanks Kawika808 for adding your input, also Bill and A. T.  The avi output in PE12, as well as previous versions 11 and 9 just doesn't seem to cut it.

                         

                        So, I'd like to rephrase my request.  I'm starting with an AVCHD, .MTS video file with a frame size of 1920w x 1080h, 29 fps.  Can you gentlemen suggest what would be the most practical, high quality output available as a preset in PE12 to view on a computer and, more important, use it for further editing in PE12?  Second best?

                         

                        Don't kinow a lot about video file types, codecs, etc., and I might be showing my ignorance, but why would PE12 show the default .AVI output as the one to "Use for editing in Adobe Premiere Elements"?   Am I missing something?  Brought a previously outputted .avi file back into PE12 for further editing and then outputted it as an mpeg2, m2t file and quality was horrible Had previosly outputted part of the original file as an mpeg2 m2t file and quality was very good.

                         

                        Would appreciate your recommendations as requested in my second paragraph.  Thanks much.

                        • 9. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                          A.T. Romano Level 7

                          mart53

                           

                          Just a few more question before I offer more comments.

                           

                          What is your source...1920 x 1080 @ 29.97 interlaced frames per second or 1920 x 1080 @ 29.97 progressive frames per second?

                           

                          How many times do you intend needing to edit the export/encoded file in the video editor?

                           

                          Why are you not editing from the project.prel file for exports subsequent to the first?

                           

                          Thanks.

                           

                          ATR

                          • 10. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                            Kawika808 Level 1

                            Somehow my previous answer wasn't clear; sorry.  I said:

                            " I exported/saved/"shared" as MP4.  The results are beautiful: orders of magnitude better than AVI or MP2.  My original footage was shot using Panasonic AVCHD and there is virtually no difference in quality between AVCHD and MP4."

                             

                            To elaborate:

                             

                            I agree with you that AVI is very poor.  I also found MP2 to be very poor.

                            I urge you to save as AVCHD ("save to computer" option) - MP4.  I shot wide screen so I saved widescreen (1920x1080).

                             

                            The MP4 is beautiful on computer screen.

                            You can easily burn to DVD or BluRay.  The BluRay will give best quality (obviously).

                             

                            In my experience the program you use to burn makes a huge difference.  The results when burning from PE12 are mediocre at best.  They are OK when viewed on TV but very bad on a computer--full of banding, clumps of JPEG artifacts, etc.  Not bad while viewing, but if you stop to look as something it's ugly.  I tried many, many programs to burn and many of them are as bad or worse.

                             

                            The best one I have found for burning the AVCHD MP4 is a free program called WinXDVD Creator.  Even burning as ordinary DVD (not HDVD) the results are almost as clean as what you get with AVCHD right from the camera.  The only bad news is that they have their logo on the first page, but if you can live with this (it's NOT a watermark, just a static first page) this is the best.

                             

                            I tried Sony DVD Architect to burn but it can't read the MP4 produced by PE12.

                             

                            As for your project preset, set it at the same as your input, since you have good input.  Be sure it is NOT interlaced.  Then if you output 1920x1080p 30, MP4, you will have very nice footage that you can either view or burn.

                             

                            Hope this is clear.

                            • 11. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                              mart53 Level 1

                              Will try to answer A. T. Romano's questions.

                               

                              1. Intelaced vs. progressive.  Checked clip propetries using PE12 and Windows Explorer.  Couldn't tell if i or p.  Default frame size on the Canon HG20 is 60i  BUT I noticed that my camcorder is set at PF30.  So, not sure what type has been imported to PE12.  Think I'm going change camcorder to 60i.

                               

                              2.  40% of the time will not re-edit.  40% of the time will re-edit once.  20% of the time will re-edit twice. 

                               

                              3.  Only use maybe 5-15% of some clips.  Would delete the original files ...prel file would no longer have access to originals.  Have over 600 gigabites of video and need to clean up.  Not saying this is the best approach and will reconsider depending on whether or not I can come up with a suitable file format for further editing.

                              However, would still need a good format for viewing on any computer.

                               

                              More on the camcorder.  It records AVCHD using MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression

                               

                              Hope you guys missed today's snow storm.

                               

                              Thanks again for everybody's input. Getting some good info.

                              • 12. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                                A.T. Romano Level 7

                                mart53

                                 

                                Thanks for the information. I will get back to you later with more comments. I need to make sure that I am focused into all the details of this thread.

                                 

                                My current take on all this...

                                 

                                The PF30 sounds like Canon's version of 30 progressive frames per second. So, for now, I will direct my thoughts around progressive footage. Putting together all that you wrote, I believe that you have been shooting

                                1920 x 1080 @ 30 progressive frames per second, with video compression AVCHD which is often referred to by the name of MPEG4 AVC/H.264, and there is a file extension of .mts.

                                 

                                If all of that is correct, then your Premiere Elements 12 project preset should have been

                                NTSC

                                DSLR

                                1080p

                                DSLR 1080p 30 (or could be DSLR 1080p30 @29.97)

                                 

                                If you switch your Canon setting to 60i, then you will be shooting 1920 x 1080 @ 29.97 interlaced frames per second. That 60 is referring to 60 fields per second which would be 30/29.97 interlaced frames per second.

                                http://neuron2.net/LVG/interlacing.html

                                 

                                The program should be setting the project preset for you automatically based on the properties of the first video drag to the Timeline. Sometimes it does it OK, sometimes not. If not, then you set the project preset manually before you import your video into the project. It is important to start off with the optimal project settings so that subsequent troubleshooting is not clouded by problem in the project settings. You can check what the program set at Edit Menu/Project Settings/General and the readings there for Editing Mode, Timebase, Frame Size, and Pixel Aspect Ratio. We can help you interpret that if necessary.

                                 

                                When it comes to exporting that video, I need to read your thread to figure out how all this .avi exporting got into the discussion. It appeared that you mentioned a miniDV camcorder at the onset and that may have started the ball rolling in the direction of .avi, possibly related to DV data capture firewire into Premiere Elements Capture window?

                                 

                                Unless you have a special plan, your recently described workflow would be in keeping for a MP4 H.264 1920 x 1080p30 export (if you stick with Canon pf30 or M2t H.264 1920 x 1080i30 if you switch to 1080 60i.

                                 

                                More later and all this.

                                 

                                Thanks for the follow up. Much appreciated.

                                 

                                ATR

                                 

                                Add On...We got hit heavily with snow today. Tomorrow's snow removal will be challenging. My snow brush and snow removal equipment are going to need energizing as well as me.

                                • 13. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                                  Kawika808 Level 1

                                  Sorry, all, I seem to have somehow misread the initial post?

                                   

                                  I thought the issues were:

                                   

                                  1. AVI output is poor quality (on this I agree wholeheartedly).

                                  (Original post: "Why is the quality of .avi output poorer...")

                                   

                                  2. What would be a good output format for high quality?  (I highly recommend MP4.)

                                  (Original post: "Would appreciate...a suggestion as to what format to use for hight quality viewing in computers and for sending to others for further editing in PE.)

                                   

                                  Anyhow, this is why I made the comments & suggestions regarding AVI and MP4.

                                   

                                  Luckily, MP4 output is good even if one fails to set up the project pre-sets for input in advance.  I shot a mix of AVCHD60p, AVI, and AVCHD30p, combined the results in one timeline, and the MP4 output (30p) was perfect--even though I had forgotten to do the pre-set (default was 60i).  Clearly best practice is to do the pre-sets properly, but failure to do so through oversight does not necessarily end in poor output.

                                  ---------------------

                                  EDIT TO MY POST OF FEB3

                                   

                                  I neglected to mention that the DVDs discussed in post of Feb3 were done by "drag & drop" method.  Using this method, the DVDs did fail to play on my Toshiba player as stated. However, DVDs burned via PE12 (import MP4 into PE12 and "share" as DVD NTCS Widescreen) played perfectly on the Toshiba player, as well as on computer.

                                  • 14. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                                    A.T. Romano Level 7

                                    Kawika808

                                     

                                    I based by reply numbered 12 on mart53's post numbered 8 in which mart53 rephrased the question with more details.

                                     

                                    ATR

                                    • 15. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                                      Kawika808 Level 1

                                      You're right, I did gloss over the details.  I was still focused on "what would be the most practical, high quality output available as a preset in PE12 to view on a computer and, more important, use it for further editing in PE12? "

                                       

                                      I will admit I'm not much of a tech guy--I just like to photograph and shoot video and combine the results.  I probably spent too much time with high-res photography, so I'm sure I'm overly picky about IQ in video...I'm just always aiming at the highest IQ I can get.

                                       

                                      I just wanted to share the fact that based on my experience, regardless of input files and program setup or input pre-sets (NOT output presets) that output of MP4 gave stellar results, both for viewing on computer and for re-editing and/or burning to DVD. 

                                       

                                      (For example, my current project had dozens of clips, stills, and titles, as well as multiple sound tracks.  It was getting very unstable (especially when working with titles, which PE12 seems to resent) so I saved the whole thing as a single MP4 file.  Then I opened the MP4 in PE12 to add a menu and burn to DVD.  Came out very nicely.)

                                       

                                      You and many of the other contributors know far more than I ever will about the technical ins and outs.

                                      • 16. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                                        mart53 Level 1

                                        Kawika808,  your info is very much appreciated.   A.T. Romano, I am looking forward to the additional comments you said would be coming, hopefully about output/share formats.  In the meantime, since I have an AVCHD camcorder, why would I set the project preset to NTSC / DSLR, etc as indicated in your next to last post?  Going out of town for a few weeks.  Will have an ipad with me but no access to PE 12 software.  So, I may not be able to follow up to your posts very well.

                                        • 17. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                                          A.T. Romano Level 7

                                          mart53

                                           

                                          Thanks for the reply.

                                           

                                          Generalized Answer For Now

                                           

                                          If you are working NTSC and have AVCHD 1080p (other than 1080p60), then you go with the NTSC/DSLR since that choice has the project settings for the videos with progressive frame rate. The NTSC/DSLR does not exclude use of video with AVCHD video compression in such a case. The first focus is on whether you have an interlaced or progressive frame rate and where is the best match available.

                                           

                                          1. If source was AVCHD 1920 x 1080p60, then your project preset would be

                                          NTSC AVCHD AVCHD 1080p60 since your focus is on the frame size and frame rate and progressive nature of the frame rate. And, this particular project preset is listed on the AVCHD section.

                                           

                                          We will supply further details and clarifictions when you have time for replies.

                                           

                                          Thanks.

                                           

                                          ATR

                                          • 18. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                                            mart53 Level 1

                                            Thanks for the explanation. Plan on trying 60i soon.

                                            • 19. Re: Why is quality of .AVI output from PE12 so poor?
                                              A.T. Romano Level 7

                                              mart53

                                               

                                              Frames versus Fields

                                               

                                              Just a just in case message...when you have video described as 60i..the 60i means 60 fields per second, not 60 frames per second. So, that 60i would translate into 29.97/30 interlaced frames per second.

                                               

                                              If you had 60p....that would be 60 progressive frames per second.

                                               

                                              http://neuron2.net/LVG/interlacing.html

                                               

                                              Thanks for the follow ups.

                                               

                                              ATR