23 Replies Latest reply on May 7, 2009 5:29 PM by Kodebuster

    TFF / BFF... Important?

    Ed.Macke Level 3

      When playing around with the GSpot utility, I noticed that some of my DV-AVIs had Top Field First (TFF) and some had Bottom Field First (BFF).


      My DV-AVIs are a mixed bag:

      • Analog Hi8 tapes, captured using Sony Digital 8mm Handycam (camcorder does A-D conversion)
      • Digital 8mm tapes, captured using Sony Digital 8mm Handycam
      • MiniDV tapes, captured using newer Sony miniDV Handycam


      All capturing is done via Firewire to DV-AVI, but some captures were done by PE4, some by PE7, and lately by ScenealyzerLive.


      Sadly, I wasn't paying close enough attention to notice which were which, but my basic question is whether this is something I need to worry about or does PE7 just gracefully handle it?

       

      What happens if I mix BFF and TFF source in the same project?


      Ed

        • 1. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
          Paul_LS Level 4

          Are you sure these are DV-AVI files? That is strange if they are TFF.

           

          The field order is important when working in PE7 even for DV-AVI files. PE7 (and PE4) DV-AVI projects assume the video is BFF, if you place a TFF first video on the timeline whether it is DV-AVI, MPEG etc you must reverse the field order otherwise you will have "jitter" issues when burnt to DVD.

          • 2. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
            Ed.Macke Level 3

            Dang. As usual, I think I should have been paying more attention!


            Yes, they are definitely DV-AVI. There was a discussion on these here forums about different types of AVI, etc., and that's when I found out about GSpot and started spot-checking my files to make sure they were DV-AVI (as opposed to EIEIO-AVI or whatever). I was also checking the field dominance because I was curious, and that's when I noticed the differences.


            So, it seems the easiest thing would just to be to ensure that all my source material is BFF. Is there any way to do this as part of the capture process, e.g. tell PE7 or Scenealyzer to always create BFF output files regardless of what the input is?


            If not, then do I have to determine the field order of each file and reverse the clips that require it within PE7?


            Also, key question: let's say I have a TFF DV-AVI clip and a BFF DV-AVI clip and I use them both in my project. What happens when I export the whole timeline to DV-AVI? Do I have parts that are TFF and parts that are BFF?


            I'm just trying to figure out the least painful way to tranform TFF into BFF.

            • 3. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
              Paul_LS Level 4

              Both PE4 and PE7 capture as BFF, not sure about Scenalyzer but I would be surprised if it captured TFF as BFF is the standard for DV-AVI.

               

              PE7 will export a DV-AVI with BFF, however if you place a TFF video on the timeline you must reverse the field order before exporting to DV-AVI (BFF), if not the wrong field order will be "frozen" in. Basically the two fields are captured at different times and therefore there is a time dependance... the one field played before the other, if you do not reverse the field order the exported video will play the "wrong" field first and give a jittery effect when viewed on an interlaced monitor (TV)... so first thing you must do is correct the field order.

              • 4. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                Ed.Macke Level 3

                Thanks, Paul. That answers everything.


                Now that I know it's truly something I need to pay attention to, I'm going to take a closer look at my source material.

                • 5. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                  Kodebuster Level 3

                  So if I understand TFF/BFF correctly, TFF will cause jitter on an interlaced tv/monitor, but would play okay on a progressive TV (e.g. 1080p) or a flat panel PC monitor.

                   

                  I'm I correct in this statement, or off base.

                   

                  I'm asking cause I edit, burn, and watch my stuff on a 1080p TV and PC flat panel, and never check anything on an interlaced TV.

                   

                  (I also am very lax on Assets, if I burn and view without PE issues I think all is right with the world)...

                   

                  Thanx...

                  • 6. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                    Paul_LS Level 4

                    Using TFF media in a DV-AVI project in Premiere Elements and then burning to DVD and viewing on a interlaced TV will result in a jittery/jerky playback during motion due to the fields being played out of time sequence. If you play your DVD on a non-intelaced computer monitor or progressive TV you would not see the issue.

                    • 7. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                      Ed.Macke Level 3

                      Let me see if I've got it...

                       

                      The DV-AVI that Premiere creates (upon export) is an interlaced BFF file, correct?

                       

                      And the reason that a TFF source file would cause problems is that Premiere assumes the source is BFF and so basically just writes out whatever comes in. So PRE wouldn't know a TFF was TFF, and would write it out as-is, meaning backwards (reversed, whatever).  If *I* know a file is TFF, I can tell PRE to reverse the fields.

                       

                      On progessive (i.e. LCD) TVs, a TFF source isn't an issue because the LCD TV de-interlaces the signal - and apparently BFF/TFF is irrelevent to the de-interlacing process?

                       

                      But a regular TV is BFF interlaced as well, and so a TFF source causes problems?

                       

                      If that's true, then I think I understand everything so far.

                       

                      Kind of makes me wonder why TFF would ever be supported/allowed, but....

                       

                      But now... What happens when I burn a DVD and PRE creates a MPEG2 video (right?)?  Is the MPEG2 interlaced or no? If so, is it BFF or TFF? I'm going to guess it's BFF interlaced?

                      • 8. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                        Paul_LS Level 4

                        Yes, what you say is correct apart from the point that a TV is BFF interlaced. The point is that it presents the two fields one after the other in time sequence... ie they are interlaced together to form the frame and if the fields are reversed it will play them out of time sequence which is noticeable during fast motion or panning.

                         

                        The VOB (MPEG2) files on a DVD are interlaced and infact are generally TFF, (that is why when you import a DVD VOB file you either have to reverse the field domiance or select the "Flash, Hard Drive, DVD camcorder" project preset which expects TFF video), but as long as the workflow takes the field order into account throughout the whole editing/burning process it is not an issue.

                        • 9. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                          Kodebuster Level 3

                          Paul or Hunt,

                           

                          Don't recall, but I think one or the other use Cyberlink.

                           

                          Regarding VOB's and Cyberlink (Power2Go), it has the capability to rip VOB's from a DVD and move to a PC as one large Mpeg2.

                           

                          When time permits I'll check with Gspot, can I assume the TFF/BFF is correct on output, (or don't assume anything).

                           

                          Ripping VOB's from Cyber is easier than using the Command Prompt/Copy to combine them...

                          • 10. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            Kodebuster,

                             

                            I use CyberLink PowerDirector and PowerDVD. Do not believe that I have Power2Go, but will look closely at the workstation, which is in a big Render now. Please let me know what you find out, and how it works. Though I do not rip DVD's with any regularity, I can well image a client coming in with a family DVD and needing to extract from it. I'll also stop by the CyberLink site and see what is available.

                             

                            One can never have too many tools in the toolbox - unless they forget that they have them, or how to use them.

                             

                            Thanks,

                             

                            Hunt

                            • 11. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                              Ed.Macke Level 3

                              Thanks, guys, this discussion has really helped.


                              As a followup... I went through my asset directories with GSpot and wouldn't you know it, I couldn't find *ONE* stinking DV-AVI file that was TFF. So either I was imagining things or I haven't found it yet. I'll keep looking, because now I'm curious.


                              Also, GSpot showed all my VOB files (generated by PRE) as BFF.

                              • 12. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                                Kodebuster Level 3

                                Ed, if you have not located any assets with TFF, and the PE vob's found are BFF, things are looking up.

                                 

                                Most of my assets are Mpeg or VOB as my handycam only outputs to this format (MiniDVD).

                                 

                                So I need to scrub my workflow and stay aware of TFF/BFF.

                                 

                                I good test would be to find a TFF asset, run it straight through PE, and see what happens.

                                 

                                When time permits, I planned to do that, but my day job keeps getting in the way...lol...

                                • 13. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                                  Ed.Macke Level 3

                                  Yes, I will keep looking. If memory serves, it was one of my *recent* files that was TFF because I remember thinking at the time that "oh, apparently the newer technology switched to TFF".

                                   

                                  But who knows, maybe I was dreaming.

                                   

                                  In any event, it's very interesting to know how all this interlacing BFF/TFF workflow stuff works.

                                   

                                  Although halfway thru the discussion, it sounds like it kind of became academic because the last link in the signal flow - my HDTV - deinterlaces the file and effectively hides any TFF/BFF issues. Though I'm not sure why or how the de-interlacing process overcomes those faults.

                                  • 14. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                    Ed,

                                     

                                    You were not using a Matrox encoded file, by chance? Those cards reverse the field order.

                                     

                                    Hunt

                                    • 15. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                                      Ed.Macke Level 3

                                      No, everything was imported via FireWire using PRE, WinDV, or more recently ScenealyzerLive. All source material is from a Digital 8 Sony Handycam (for my older analog 8mm and digital Hi8 tapes) and a newer miniDV Sony Handycam.

                                      • 16. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                                        Kodebuster Level 3

                                        My concern is I have over 50 hours of old Hi8 tape that I move to my PC as Mpeg (using anolog passthru via my handycam).

                                         

                                        I'm slowly pulling content, burning DVD's, and passing along to friends and family.

                                         

                                        If my workflow and test is only to HDTV without concern for TFF/BFF, I might be distributing to someone who happens to use an old style TV.

                                         

                                        No one has complained  to date, but better safe then sorry...

                                        • 17. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                                          Ed.Macke Level 3

                                          My concern is I have over 50 hours of old Hi8 tape that I move to my PC as Mpeg (using anolog passthru via my handycam).


                                          a) I thought Hi8 was digital, so why the analog passthru?

                                          b) Why / how is it being captured as mpeg instead of DV-AVI?


                                          I have almost the exact same setup, and I plop the tape in my Handycam, plug in my Firewire cable, hit "Capture" and get DV-AVI.

                                          • 18. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                                            Kodebuster Level 3

                                            Ed, that was a typo (or better yet a senior moment).

                                             

                                            They were not Hi8 as indicated, but came from a Sony Video8 handycam that I had used in the early 80's.

                                             

                                            It recorded NTSC anolog to tape and came with a standalone tape player (model Sony EV-C8).

                                             

                                            I was able to hook this player to my Digital MiniDVD cam via anolog passthru (Sony DCR-DVD305), then from there to my PC as Mpeg (or VOB).

                                             

                                            It wasn't pretty, but it worked.

                                             

                                            I could have gotten better results with a hardware bridge (like Canopus), but I used what I had and was reasonably pleased with the outcome (quality wise).

                                             

                                            (Considering the asset I started with)...lol...

                                            • 19. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                                              Ed.Macke Level 3

                                              Heh.


                                              Yeah, I captured my VHS wedding video the same way, only my passthru gave me a DV-AVI output so it worked much smoother. I, too, was pleasantly surprised with how well it worked (although sadly it didn't automatically get rid of my mullet )

                                              • 20. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                                                Kodebuster Level 3

                                                Quote : Regarding VOB's and Cyberlink (Power2Go), it has the capability to rip VOB's from a DVD and move to a PC as one large Mpeg2.

                                                 

                                                Hunt, I said Power2Go, the actual app for video was PowerDirector. (Power2Go is the front end interface used to launch the various packaged apps from Cyberlink).

                                                 

                                                I'm running the OEM v7 of DIrector. In capture, if you select the disc icon, if it finds VOB's on your DVD drive, you can then rip (record) to one large Mpeg...

                                                • 21. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                                                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                  Ed,

                                                   

                                                  Maybe a little work in AfterEffects? [Grin]

                                                   

                                                  Hunt

                                                  • 22. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                    Gottcha'. I've got a version of PowerDirector back about 1-2. Maybe mine will do that, otherwise it's probably time to upgrade. I've only used mine for some troublesome files, and just have used it like a conversion program. It's probably a lot more powerful than I know.

                                                     

                                                    Thanks,

                                                     

                                                    Hunt

                                                    • 23. Re: TFF / BFF... Important?
                                                      Kodebuster Level 3

                                                      Yep, that's what I use it for, file conversion (DV-AVI Type II), and now to rip VOB's.

                                                       

                                                      When it comes to editing A/V or creating slide shows, for the price, nothing beats PE...