7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 25, 2007 12:34 PM by (Doug_DeVany)

    Imported screen capture avi looks pixely in pp2 cs3

      Okay this is my first post on here so please bear with me, I will try to make this any easy one.

      I am using Adobe Premiere Pro cs3 and I have been trying like mad to get a usable screen capture incorporated into my videos. I work for an internet company and I am charged with the task of creating tutorial dvds for training new employees and new website owners how to use our software. I am a professional, but I have never had to use so many screen captured elements, to be truthful, I have not used any until recently.

      I have tried importing flash files of the content I need into premiere, which as far as I can tell is impossible and not the way to go about this. I then aquired a program called Hypercam that allows me to screen capture directly to AVI which I thought was wonderful until I brought the avi movies into premiere. What I am seeing is the source go from looking near perfect when not in motion in the source window, then the instant I hit play, the pixels turn to crap and it looks terrible, unusable for my purposes as smaller text gets completely obscured. The same is true if the avi file is brought into the timeline, no matter if it's rendered or not.
      Upon closer inspection it appears that the pixels become wider and blurred when the video is played than when it is at rest.

      The AVI files default properties copied directly from what premiere is telling me are as follows:
      Type: AVI Movie
      File Size: 22.6 MB
      Image Size: 1280 x 1024
      Pixel Depth: 1280
      Frame Rate: 10.00
      Total Duration: 00;00;17;17
      Average Data Rate: 1.3 MB / second
      Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1.0
      Depth is 16 bits.
      Compressor: 'CRAM', Microsoft Video 1

      My project settings are:
      720x480
      dv ntsc PAR .9
      29.97 fps

      My system is a Dell XPS 710 Quad core with Nvidia 768mb 8800 GTX card and dual monitor set up.

      I have read through the other thread dealing with this and as far as I can tell, it is either a PAR issue or a problem with using an AVi in premiere. I need help friends, and I guess the questions I need answered would be one or many of the following.

      1. How do I screen capture into a usable format for Premiere with no loss of quality?
      2. How can I use/convert my existing files so that I may edit them without loss of quality?

      I will continue looking and I will be monitoring this thread until I get something that works. I'm not afraid to spend money to do this right so any and all suggestions are welcome. Please HELP!
        • 1. Re: Imported screen capture avi looks pixely in pp2 cs3
          Harm Millaard Level 7
          Make sure your screen capture reflects your project settings, so 720x480 with 0.9 PAR or 640x480 with 1.0 PAR and with 29.97 FPS, capture that as DV AVI type 2. CRAM type 1 is not good, nor is any of the other capture settings. Maybe use Camtasia or SnagIt to achieve that. Or save the screen captures as JPG still and modify to your liking with SnagIt.

          I wonder if using PP is the best way to achieve what you want.
          • 2. Re: Imported screen capture avi looks pixely in pp2 cs3
            Level 1
            So I have been doing some more homework and I took Harm's suggestion to get Camtasia. Thank you for that, I love it. It is quite versatile and looks great(It should for $300). So now I am able to produce a screen captured video that is workable though I am having a couple of issues still. The Dv/NTSC standard of 720x480 PAR .9 is not the easiest to match up. I have output my camtasia video as an AVI, 640x480 with a PAR of 1 and set it to 30fps, I also set my premiere project to 30 fps. The AVI file I created is about 14 gigs as the movie is 9 minutes long. I tried importing it but only the first 2 minutes of the video come into the project which makes no sense to me. I am getting low on Hard Drive Space ~30 gigs left of 320, so maybe there are safeguards in the machine or program which won't let me use the whole file as it would bring me too close to the limit(don't worry, I'm getting a 1TB external drive later today). So now I am pondering my options and again asking for help.

            My first question is why would a 9 minute avi cut itself off to 2 minutes when imported into premiere and how can I get it to import properly?

            Second question, perhaps I am approaching this the wrong way, is there a better way to make a tutorial video with the screen captured AVi that I now have? I want to do some fancy stuff with AE an PP to make it shine but neither seem very willing to comply. What I'm considering is just producing an intro and ending separately and then importing the finished videos back into Camtasia, even though their transitions are kind of basic, it would work I think.

            I am going to be using this alot as I have 12 different lessons to create so if Harm or anyone else wants to offer suggestions on the best way to approach this and/or fix my importing/compatibility issues, I would greatly appreciate it.
            • 3. Re: Imported screen capture avi looks pixely in pp2 cs3
              Jim_Simon Level 8
              You don't mention which codec was used for the Camtasia file. It could be that, despite the screen size and frame rate now being closer to the ideal, Premiere just doesn't work well with the codec.

              Here's the problem in general. Most computer screens are at 1024 x 768 resolution or higher. Video is 720 x 480 (or the computer equivalent of 640 x 480). Computer monitors often have at least a 60 Hz refresh rate, and often much higher, whereas video uses 30 frames per second. Computer monitors are always progressive, whereas video is interlaced. That's a LOT of differences, and making a screen capture look good on video takes a LOT of high quality interpolation. I won't say it doesn't exist, but I'm just not aware of any software than can do that.

              If this is something you'll be doing a lot of, my own preferred method is to use an external scaler, a piece of hardware that will take your computer output and convert it professionally to an NTSC signal, which can then be recorded to DV tape for later capture.
              • 4. Re: Imported screen capture avi looks pixely in pp2 cs3
                Level 1
                aha, yeah that sounds like the right way to keep my quality up, any suggestions on the hardware? I am close to completion of the first segment, I have recorded an intro, voice, and outro for my 10 min instructional vid and I am about to attempt to take my exported movie and mash it together in camtasia one way or the other.
                • 5. Re: Imported screen capture avi looks pixely in pp2 cs3
                  Harm Millaard Level 7
                  What is your intended delivery format? DVD. Flash, WMV?
                  • 7. Re: Imported screen capture avi looks pixely in pp2 cs3
                    Level 1
                    DVD and flash for web delivery