11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 25, 2016 9:24 AM by Steve Werner

    Video quality in interactive pdfs

    visualisingdata Level 1

      Hi, I'm using InDesign to create an interactive pdf that (amongst other things) will include short embedded videos. I have good quality mp4/h.264 video files but when I place them in the InDesign file and then export to Interactive pdf the resulting video resolution quality is extremely low. In fact they are utterly unusable. I am not stretching the video windows, they are the same dimensions as the original videos so clearly something is going awry at the export stage. 

       

      Many others I have spoken to have shared the same experience that the resulting quality is poor, can anyone offer any remedies or is this just how it is?

       

      I know .swf et al offer alternative output formats but it really needs to be pdf so it feels like InDesign will no longer be a viable means for doing this.

       

      Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: Video quality in interactive pdfs
          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          What video resolution have you set? What PDF reader are you using to view the video? I don't believe InDesign does anything to the video but just passes it to the PDF reader so that might be the problem.

          • 2. Re: Video quality in interactive pdfs
            visualisingdata Level 1

            Thanks for the reply Steve.

             

            When you say 'what video resolution have you set', perhaps I'm missing a huge thing but I don't see any option to specify this? I'm just doing File > Place and choosing video from my directory. When I do place it the poster image it defaults to is very low res (though I've seen this with placing images that then come out ok when exported to a 'print' pdf).

             

            Just to add that the original video was a quicktime screen recording from a retina display converted from .mov to .mp4 using Adobe Media Encoder but I've also used native mp4 videos (unconverted) and they've been just as bad.

             

            I'm viewing the resulting pdf using Adobe Acrobat Pro and Reader, same outcome either way.

            • 3. Re: Video quality in interactive pdfs
              Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              When you use Adobe Media Encoder, you're always choose a particular preset for video resolution. What preset did you use? Maybe you chose a really low frame size like 640x360.

               

              You use the Preset Browser. Here's where it is in the current version:

               

              Media Encoder CC001.png

              • 4. Re: Video quality in interactive pdfs
                visualisingdata Level 1

                I used the 'Match source - high bitrate'. As I say, the video file that I embedded was of high/sufficient quality, the decline happens from the 'place' action onwards...

                • 5. Re: Video quality in interactive pdfs
                  Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  I'm not an expert in working with video, but it's not something I've ever experienced. Maybe someone else has an idea.

                   

                  Can you post the file on a server (Dropbox, for example) where we could test it?

                  • 6. Re: Video quality in interactive pdfs
                    visualisingdata Level 1

                    Really appreciate your efforts to help Steve!

                     

                    In case anyone else can offer any insight, I have uploaded on dropbox the movie file, the indesign file in which I'm placing it and the resultant exported interactive pdf, this link opens up the folder with these three files >> Dropbox - InteractivePdf

                     

                    Thanks

                    • 7. Re: Video quality in interactive pdfs
                      Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Your video has sufficient resolution. It's 1160 x 1130. It is MP4 H264 encoding which is all good. It looks fine in QuickTime Player.

                       

                      I think here is the problem:

                       

                      Video.png

                       

                      You scaled the movie in InDesign. Type will not look good when you start out with a video (which is necessarily pixels) and then try to scale it. The video looks good in QuickTime Player since it's unscaled. It wouldn't make any difference what PDF viewer you're looking at it in because the damage is already done.

                      • 8. Re: Video quality in interactive pdfs
                        visualisingdata Level 1

                        Thanks for your perseverance Steve. I'm still not sure that's it unfortunately - I just created an unscaled version, placing the media file without any modification to the frame dimensions and the exported output is still poor. (Added to the dropbox folder)

                        • 9. Re: Video quality in interactive pdfs
                          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Nope, I got the same result as you unscaled.

                           

                          I've never placed videos which are basically type, however. The resolution of the type somehow gets lost, even when unscaled.

                           

                          Why are you not just sending/posting the MP4 by itself? It looks fine when just played in any video player.

                          • 10. Re: Video quality in interactive pdfs
                            visualisingdata Level 1

                            Well, the video(s) are just part of the content - this is just a trial of one page but there will be over 300 pages as I work towards migrating my teaching materials from PowerPoint into InDesign. My materials include a blend of text, images and videos so the interactive pdf will give me both presentational materials and handout materials.

                             

                            I have embedded video media like this into PowerPoint, Keynote, resized it and it runs fine in the presentation/show mode, obviously the print to pdf just leaves an image but I just can't see how Indesign can fail to cope (you'll notice the video quality is poor even before the export). Thanks again.

                            • 11. Re: Video quality in interactive pdfs
                              Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              InDesign doesn't actually write the PDF. It uses the PDF Library it's supplied with, and the limitation could be there when it comes to videos. It's not helpful to you, but interactive PDF containing videos with type is probably a relatively rare event.

                               

                              Let's see if anyone else can suggest a workaround.