19 Replies Latest reply on Apr 1, 2009 6:03 AM by Jim_Simon

    Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?

      I have been an Avid Xpress user for 10 years and I recently switched to Adobe CS4 Production Premium due to being able to get the whole package for cheaper. I used Premiere 6.0 in the past (when it first came out) so I have vague familiarity, so please excuse my lack of knowledge for how this system is laid out.



      I have been importing footage from both a Canon XL1s and a Panasonic dvx100a. My computer is a brand new mac 2x 2.8ghz quad core intel xeon with 6m ram.



      When I imports, the image looks very compressed, lots of artifacting/jaggies/pixelation. After some looking I found a few things (nothing official) saying that CS4 is no longer supporting MiniDV, only DV. I found other people were able to use it with their miniDV cameras though. Additionally, photographs that I import aslo look compressed. I thought it may just be the preview is compressed but the image looks the same on export.



      What strikes me as odd is the only two options I see as raw file formats are HDV (which you have to record in natively to edit in) and Quicktime. Avid uses OMF and I had been under the impression that Adobe used AVI. Quicktime is what I always exported to for a compressed reference movie, not a file format I would ever save my raw data as.



      So my questions are:

      Does CS4 support MiniDV and if not, could this be the issue?

      Can CS4 natively capture/edit raw footage into a better file format than quicktime and if so, how do I do it?

      If neither of the above is what is causing the problem, what might be?
        • 1. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
          Curt Wrigley Level 4
          Yes; CS4 support mini DV just fine.
          Pr CS4 uses native files for editing, unlike some other NLEs. For example; if you use a tapelsess camera, it edits P2, AVCHD files Nativity without the need for conversion. If you are capturing tape formats like Mini DV, on MAC it will by default use MOV to store the DV video. On should work well and be very clear. Your symptoms are not typical. Make sure you choose a Sequence Preset that matches your source video. In your case; one of the NTSC DV presets that match your footage.
          • 2. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
            Colin Brougham Level 6
            Two thoughts:

            1) Make sure that you're looking at your footage in the Source or Program monitors at High Quality, instead of Draft Quality. Draft Quality (as well as the playback of Automatic Quality) is something like a quarter-resolution preview that will permit more layers to playback in realtime, but it can look pretty schmeggy.

            2) If you are "importing" QuickTime DV clips as you say (and not capturing, as you might mean), be sure to set the "High Quality" flag of your clips. You can either do this in QuickTime Pro (one by one, you have to go into Movie Settings and root around for the High Quality checkbox), or download HiQual, a free utility from Synthetic Aperture that lets you drag-'n'-drop multiple DV MOVs onto it and automagically set the high Quality flag.
            • 3. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
              Level 1
              Sorry I did mean capture footage from the camera, not import. I also imported still images which acted the same (jaggies, pixelation).

              The preview monitor is set to high quality. As stated, when exported, the footage remains looking poor. Preview is not the issue.

              I have tried EVERY sequence preset available as well as some custom ones with no improvement to the image.

              Also, I have found several other people having this same issue on both PC and Mac and so far no one has found a solution that I can see. I am curious why Adobe has chosen to save miniDV footage as MOVs when doing so degrades the original quality.
              • 4. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                Curt Wrigley Level 4
                > I am curious why Adobe has chosen to save miniDV footage as MOVs when doing so degrades the original quality.

                Because you are on a mac. On PC the default is AVI. It really maters not because the MOV or AVI is just a wrapper that contains the DV video file.

                Your results are not typical or normal. You either have a problem with your local environment or a setting wrong.

                Lets be specific. You are capturing from a mini DV cam. So, tell us:
                * the exact preset you are using to capture into.
                * Is the cam NTSC or PAL?
                * Does the cam record 4:3 or 16:9?
                * How are you exporting to view the result?

                We will go from there.
                • 5. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                  Level 1
                  Three words-

                  Final Cut Pro

                  I don't know why anyone would edit using Premiere on Mac. Is it too late to return it?
                  • 6. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                    Eddie Lotter Level 4
                    > I used Premiere 6.0 in the past (when it first came out) so I have vague familiarity

                    You will also find links to many free tutorials in the PremiereProPedia that will quickly show you how things are done in Premiere Pro.


                    Cheers
                    Eddie

                    PremiereProPedia    ( RSS feed)
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                    • 7. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                      Level 1
                      It is recorded NTSC 4:3, as I stated earlier, I tried EVERY, and that means EVERY capture setting possible. That means I captured using ALL DV24p settings including both standard and widescreen at both khz options as well as ALL DV-NTSC settings including both standard and widescreen and both khz options with the SAME RESULT.

                      For Exporting I have used a wide array of export formats including uncompressed, dv, minidv, hd, hdv, flash, and several other options with the SAME or SIMILAR results.

                      Please realize I have 10 years of editing experience and I know how to troubleshoot. It is NOT the preview, it is NOT the standard capture settings, it is NOT the Export settings. I uploaded the same footage from the same cameras in to Premiere Pro 2 on a friend's computer with no problems (in capturing or exporting).

                      Curt, Please do not tell me other people aren't having this problem because I have talked to them on other forums. Telling me otherwise is implying that I am a liar. If you like I can waste my time in finding them and re-posting them for you to look at.

                      According to adobe's website, they don't say that they do not support miniDV, but they don't list it as being supported either. Most people having this problem are using miniDV. That may not be the cause but it is my strongest lead so far, unless someone can give me another possibility.
                      • 8. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                        Harm Millaard Level 7
                        Why not try the simple rule:
                        b Capture with the same settings you recorded?
                        It may work. It makes no sense to try all different settings. Just limit yourself to what is on tape.
                        • 9. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                          Curt Wrigley Level 4
                          > Curt, Please do not tell me other people aren't having this problem because I have talked to them on other forums. Telling me otherwise is implying that I am a liar. If you like I can waste my time in finding them and re-posting them for you to look at.

                          Im sorry, I thought you were looking for help. You really think PPRo cant edit standard Dv video?

                          Instead of trying every preset,(i guess what you are calling capture settings) you only need to try one preset. The one that matches your source video. You still havent answered which one you are using specifically. There just is no point in troubleshooting further until you verify the basic settings first. Also speecify how you are recording to the cam. You infer 24P. The XL1s has a couple flavors of 24. Which are you using?
                          • 10. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                            Colin Brougham Level 6
                            Jeremy, kindly drop the attitude. Insulting Curt, a knowledgeable and respected member of the community, or anyone else for that matter, is not going to curry favor with anyone here.

                            If you have been editing video for 10 years, regardless of the platform you've used, it would be expected that you would recognize that DV is a standard video format that has been in existence for almost a decade and a half. You are confusing the standard (DV) with a tape format (miniDV) and a file container (QuickTime MOV). DV is the same the world over (yes, I'm discounting NTSC/PAL differences, but pick a region as an example), and can be acquired on a physical tape medium like miniDV, DVCAM, or DVCPRO, or stored in a file container like AVI, MOV, or MXF. The end result is the same: DV is DV is DV, and Premiere Pro works with DV. No one will deny that you've found other people on other forums that are having difficultly with some mode of DV editing in Premiere Pro, but to make the blanket statement that "it doesn't work" is ludicrous. The silent majority begs to differ...

                            OK, now that that's over with, I have something for you to try. You haven't expressly said it, but I'm assuming from the bits and pieces gathered that you're working, or attempting to work, with 24p media. In CS4, the handling of 24p media changed a bit--whereas in previous versions, 24p pulldown was automatically detected and removed on capture or import, it now must be done manually (at least until a later update of PPro). If you try to use media that has not had the pulldown removed in a 24p timeline, you can see some pretty nasty results, and not unlike the ones that you're describing here.

                            When you capture footage shot in either 24p or 24pA modes and capture it into PPro CS4, it is NOT recognized as 24p/24pA footage automatically. That's because CS4 changed the way projects work. Instead of a single setting for a project, like in PP2.0 or CS3, the project file is now simply a generic container for sequences. In CS4, it is the SEQUENCE that defines things like frame size, preview codec, and editing timebase--not the PROJECT. That captured DV 24p/24pA footage is only initially recognized as 29.97--that's because it is. That's all DV ever is--until you tell the editing program otherwise. And this is what you have to do in CS4.

                            Simply select your clips in the bin, and go to File > Interpret Footage. You'll see that your clips are being interpreted as 29.97; click the "Remove 24p DV Pulldown" checkbox and hit OK. Now, your footage will be interpreted as 24p--actually, it'll be 23.976, but who's counting? If you create a 24p sequence and use the clips, the preview should be free of the jaggies that you were seeing previously. You can now export using a 24p destination format, and your exports will be clear as well.

                            Of course, if you're not working with 24p media, all of this is for naught...
                            • 11. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                              Level 1
                              It is called troubleshooting. When you capture using the settings you recorded with and it looks bad, you troubleshoot to rule out other possibilities. That is why you try other settings (btw, "preset" is the shortened form of the term "pre-ordered-settings" so calling them settings is the same thing). It obviously isn't the settings when it looks the same using different ones.

                              I have two different sets of footage I am capturing from. One is from the dvx100a filmed with its "24p" mode (which isn't true 24p) and shot with its 16x9 mode (which just adds black bars to the 4:3 image and is not really 16x9). In case CS4 was programmed to read these differently (automatic calibration maybe?), I tried all the other presets to be sure. I also was capturing footage from the xl1s recorded 4:3 30i, which is the only option with the xl1s (Curt-you are incorrect, the xl1s has no 24p options, that is the xl2). As stated earlier both cameras are NTSC.

                              All the footage from both cameras using different record settings have the same exact problem no matter what setting I capture them with.

                              When all the footage from both cameras are captured into PPro 2 using the different capture settings "presets" it looks good in all of them. So keep telling me it is the capture settings.
                              • 12. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                                Level 1
                                >Simply select your clips in the bin, and go to File > Interpret Footage. You'll see that your clips are being interpreted as 29.97; click the "Remove 24p DV Pulldown" checkbox and hit OK.

                                Did you try this or not??????
                                • 13. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                                  Level 1
                                  Colin- I respect your defense of others on this forum. Please know that I do not and did not intend to insult anyone, as I am sure was not their intention to do to me. Please note that often when reading text, "attitude" can be read in by the reader that was not intended by the writer. Please forgive my use of ALL CAPS. The reason I did so was because it had seemed as if my previous post had not been read because I was asked which format I used when I just said I tried ALL of them. Thus the reiteration. Also, my responses to Curt were meant merely to clarify that other people are having this issue and saying they aren't after I just said they were is calling me a liar
                                  (I took offense); that yes "capture settings" and "presets" do mean the same thing; that no, the xl1s does not have 24p capabilities (I am not trying to insult with this, merely point out a simple error because the xl2 does have 24p); and finally I am not stupid enough or inexperienced enough to not have tried capturing using the settings I recorded with.

                                  Also, I am not confusing the standard (DV) with a tape format (miniDV) and a file container (QuickTime MOV). This is what I meant, sorry I should have been more clear: Adobe cs2 says it offers full compatibility of xl1 and dvx cameras, cs3 says they have some support of the xl1 and dvx cameras and cs4 does not say it has support for these cameras. I know dv is dv, but if the new program is leaving out support for older cameras, wouldn't there be a possibility of incompatibility? It was just a theory that I wanted to check here. Saying that my theory is "ludicrous" says you do not value my experience or knowledge and could be taken as very insulting.

                                  I am frustrated and I am sorry if my frustration comes through in what I write, however, please know that it is not directed at anyone in particular as I will try not to be insulted as you try to help me.

                                  I will try your "remove 24p pulldown" suggestion once I am back in the office, however, I am also capturing footage from an xl1s that is not 24p with the same problems and I am also importing images larger than 3000pix X 3000pix with the same issue. I do not think that removing 24p pulldown is going to fix those issues too.

                                  Do you have other ideas on what may be causing this issue in the meantime?

                                  Thanks...
                                  • 14. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                                    Level 1
                                    I tried to select the "remove 24 dv pulldown" option but it is grayed out.
                                    • 15. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                                      Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                                      Is there anyone here on a Mac who is successfully using CS4 with DV? I know Macs are the minority on this forum.

                                      Curt at post #4:

                                      > It really maters not because the MOV or AVI is just a wrapper that contains the DV video file.

                                      Curt, is that true for Macs? I'm still looking for a way to use .mov exports from FCP (in CS3), and remember there being issues about QT not keeping adequate quality without going to datarates that were not standard for the PC flavors. See this thread for an example, but not right on point here.

                                      http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=9119485

                                      Colin at post #2

                                      > 2) If you are "importing" QuickTime DV clips as you say (and not capturing, as you might mean), be sure to set the "High Quality" flag of your clips. You can either do this in QuickTime Pro (one by one, you have to go into Movie Settings and root around for the High Quality checkbox), or download HiQual, a free utility from Synthetic Aperture that lets you drag-'n'-drop multiple DV MOVs onto it and automagically set the high Quality flag.

                                      I realize that you are capturing and not importing, but I am curious as to whether, given the problems you are seeing, this might be an issue.
                                      • 16. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                                        Curt Wrigley Level 4
                                        I completed a couple projects in Pr with me on PC and a partner on a MAC. We exchanged mov files and project files routinely with no quality problems.

                                        Pr would not be a viable product on mac if it did not support DV video.

                                        Now; FCP saving out MOV files may be another matter, as I do not know what proprietary ways FCP encodes files within the mov wrapper.
                                        • 17. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                                          Jim_Simon Level 8
                                          >"preset" is the shortened form of the term "pre-ordered-settings"

                                          I've not found that. All I can find is that it means "to set in advance", from the root words set (the act of putting things in position) and pre- (to come before).

                                          >One is from the dvx100a filmed with its "24p" mode (which isn't true 24p) and shot with its 16x9 mode (which just adds black bars to the 4:3 image and is not really 16x9).

                                          For that, use an NTSC Standard 48k preset.

                                          >I also was capturing footage from the xl1s recorded 4:3 30i

                                          For that, use the same preset. The two types will have a different look, one filmish and the other pure video, one cropped and the other full frame. But they're both properly edited in the same preset.

                                          If that doesn't work, then we have a mystery. The capture process doesn't change what's recorded, it's really just a file transfer of 1s and 0s from tape to hard drive.
                                          • 18. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                                            Level 1
                                            Thanks Jim,
                                            I did try those settings but still have the same quality issues.

                                            I really can't imagine it being a capture setting issue (as I have tried all the settings with the same results). There has to be something else going on here.
                                            • 19. Re: Import pixelation-MiniDV not compatible? or Quicktime as raw format?
                                              Jim_Simon Level 8
                                              Agreed. But I'm at a loss to explain what at this point. Using the suggested capture preset, and a similar export preset, all should be well.