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A max bitrate of 120 Kbps is really small, especially for your screen area. Try setting the max bitrate to 1500, min to 1200. The file should be really heavy, but it should look ok. Work your way down until you're happy with the result. Looking at your file, you may have figured it out already - the quality looks better than I would have expected for your screen size.
Sorry those max min levels are % of target rate so I can't set them as high as you recommend. Any other thoughts? Thanks so much.
What is your source media?
Right now I'm just throwing in some Premiere titling and a static image of high quality for test material. Don't want to start actually producing videos for this odd size until I get the quality issue straight.
I don't have the option of doing standard 4:3 ratio. I tried to do some with canvas size divisible by 16 but it still looked bad.
What will be your source media when you're ready?
Lots of Camtasia screengrabs, Ken Burns type effects on still images. No actual video.
I assume your screen grabs will be standard desktop resolution?
I may be wrong, but I think flv files have to be 220x176, 176x144, 320x240, or 640x480. At least every other flv converter I've seen only gives those options.
Consider that, as Kickerlight says at post #1, the quality may not be that bad. Your text is pixelated, but I wonder if that is your source material or other issues, and not the flash encoding. For your odd size, and text/graphics, etc, I think you may need to use vector, not rasterized, text and graphics - i.e. do it in flash or AE.
In your desktop mode, what are you using for video rendering?
Are you kidding me? That video quality is horrible! I've never had this issue with using Sorenson before, and if I upload a DV-AVI export to some place like Motionbox.com the FLV comes out crisp and clean.
Stanley, not sure what you're asking me about rendering. Don't see any setting for that when I create my custom project, however my output for DV-AVI or .mp4 is beautiful. If you mean in AME I'm using the default On2 VP6.
Here is a crazy workaround I found...
1. Make a new HD project from the 720p 30fps (1280x720) preset
2. Export that project in AME (Adobe Media Encoder) cropped to 1200x596 (proportionate to my final canvas size of 515x240) and then for the resize settings change to 515x240.
Here is a side by side of regular FLV encoding versus the HD workaround:
The text in that footage looks perfect, but that's a whole lotta trouble for a custom canvas size don't you think?
This all leads me to believe AME has some serious bugs. Don't you think? Or am I missing something huge?
> Are you kidding me? That video quality is horrible!
Yeh, I was kidding. No, actually, I should have said, "Consider that the flash-encoding quality may not be the problem."
I started to say, and didn't, that I have improved such results (coming from AE in the pre-DL days) by doubling the source resolution in AE. Are you sure you are not zooming in more than 100%? Does PPro (I'm CS3, but I don't think this has changed) create a rasterized image at the sequence resolution? (But the CS4 by-sequence settings raises an interesting question as to how titles would be handled.)
> that's a whole lotta trouble for a custom canvas size don't you think?
No. For such an odd size, I'd consider any option that works just fine. And I suspect an asset problem.
> not sure what you're asking me about rendering
Sorry; don't know if it is different in CS4, but in CS3, in the new project -> custom tab, there is a "video rendering" setting. You can set this anywhere from uncompressed 10bit to cinepak. I think this only affects previews; just curious.
A couple things:
1) VP6 and H.264 are codecs that operate in "mod16". What that means is that they begin by dividing a video image into 16x16 blocks, followed by 8x8, 8x4, and 4x4 blocks. This makes for a more efficient encode. Your 240 dimension is fine (240 / 16 = 15), but the 515 dimension could be slightly problematic (515 / 16 = 32.1875). The codec will stretch or compress the image to fit into that dimension, and so can result in a lower quality encode. If you can, try encoding at 512x240, by cropping a couple pixels in the horizontal dimension. May not make a big difference, but it's good practice with these codecs.
2) To me, your original encode looks like the product of Adobe's less-that-capable deinterlacing scheme. You're dealing with progressive assets and a progressive target. I'd submit that the reason your 1280x720 encode looks better is that you're using a progressive preset, with no deinterlacing necessary when exporting. One thing you could check is the field order of your original sequence setup--if it's interlaced, I'd say you have your answer. If it's progressive--well, then I'm wrong :) However, you didn't explicitly say this in your original post, but it's worth a look.
If it is interlaced, I don't think you can change that after the sequence is started, so just create a new sequence with the proper progressive settings, and copy and paste the original sequence contents into that one. Now, when you export, there will be no need for deinterlacing.
Anyway, that's my guess...
He might also try just placing the video within a new project set to 16x9 and then choosing to keep that video file's original aspect ratio within the new video settings, so the end result would look a little letterboxed, but within a proper aspect that flv (among others) can handle more easily.
I think that is essentially what I did with my HD workaround. I believe that had a 16:9 aspect.
As far as the canvas size being divisible by 8 or 16 I tried that too. I'm getting the same results with little test videos at 320x240 too which tells me something is whacked with AMEncoder.
These same source files in Motionbox.com or the free RIVA FFMPEG encoder look great.
See my updated tests here...
May just wind up with that crazy workaround at the bottom with RIVA.
Yeah, that first one did look pretty bad. The last one looked best I thought, but they all looked okay after the first one.
They all looked slightly soft, but that's the nature of Flash and the very compressed sorensen codec.
Here's one I made with the titler in the old Premiere 6.5 exported as DV and then converted to flv with a program called "Any Video Converter":
I think it looks about the same as your better ones, but still a tad soft, so again, I think this is about as good as it gets with flash video. As to why AME in CS4 isn't converting to flv files very well, I don't know. There are a lot of codecs PPro doesn't do well. It doesn't convert wmv nearly as good as WMM does for instance.
etruth, just FYI, I could not create anything as bad as yours in CS3. Don't know what that means.