15 Replies Latest reply on May 9, 2009 7:50 PM by GreedyTurbo529

    Video Quality


      Sorry if this has been answered bafore, forums and I dont understand eachother vary well. Anyways, I have a probvlem with video quality in AE CS4, for some reason when I do something to a video that changes britnes, contrast, or collor, the video is "flashy" in certin areas, its like that in AE before I render and its also after I render, I dont know whats going on. Anyone know how to get it to stop?


      Heres a video I have (not finished, lol) there are others that are much much worse.



        • 1. Re: Video Quality
          GreedyTurbo529 Level 1

          Holy crap sorry for all the spelling errors.

          • 2. Re: Video Quality
            Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            Presumably this is footage rendered from a 3D application.  Is it rendered at standard definition?  Is it interlaced?


            Check that AE is interpreting the footage the way it was created - ie interlaced or progressive, with the correct field order.


            Are you rendering your output as interlaced?  Does it need to be interlaced?


            Are you shrinking high definition material down to standard definition size?  If so, sometimes you need to soften the footage a little to stop the flickering of contrasty edge detail.  Experiment with the "Reduce Interlace Flicker" filter.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Video Quality
              GreedyTurbo529 Level 1

              ... um ... I guess now would be a good time to mention that I dont know a whole lot about the details on this kinda stuff, so I have know idea wtf you just said, lol.


              "Presumably this is footage rendered from a 3D application."

              - If you mean a video game than yeah, it is.


              "Is it rendered at standard definition?"

              - well its definatly not HD I can tell you that, so, yeah I guess so.


              "Is it interlaced?"

              - um ... what?


              "Check that AE is interpreting the footage the way it was created - ie interlaced or progressive, with the correct field order."

              - And how would I go about doing that? and "interlaced or progressive, with the correct field order" wtf?


              "Are you rendering your output as interlaced?  Does it need to be interlaced?"

              - Um ... All I do is Composition>Add to Render Queue, I check the 2 settings things, Render Settings: Best, Output Mode: Loosless, and its a .AVi. BTW I dont know what Looseless means thats whats just there.


              "Are you shrinking high definition material down to standard definition size?"

              - As far as I know ... no


              "If so, sometimes you need to soften the footage a little to stop the flickering of contrasty edge detail.  Experiment with the "Reduce Interlace Flicker" filter."

              - I tried messing with it, but nothing changed


              Ill upload the regular "stock" video (dont know the proper term) tonight and have it on here in the morning so you can see it, if that will help.



              Sorry about my lack of knowlage, I feel kinda dumb. But hey at one point even the best didnt know how to do it, lol. Thanks for helping by the way.

              • 4. Re: Video Quality
                Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                Don't feel dumb - we all started out not knowing this stuff! 


                Interlaced video is video that contains two fields.  I won't explain it here, you can read about it in the After Effects help if you want to.


                Odds are that your game caps are NOT interlaced.  You should check that they are being interpreted that way by right-clicking on the footage item in the Project window and choosing "Interpret Footage".  The "Separate Fields" setting should be set to "Off".


                You should also ensure you're not outputting interlaced video, presuming you're rendering this stuff for the web.  Once you've sent footage to the Render Queue, open the Render Settings and make sure Field Render is set to Off.


                Lossless Output means you are rendering an uncompressed AVI file.  That means no quality loss but big file size.


                Are you adjusting the scale of the footage?  Select the footage in the Project window and you'll see a list of specs about the footage including its resolution (such as 1024x786).

                Compare that to your output resolution in the Render Settings.


                If you scale hi-def stuff like game caps down, the very thin lines can end up looking flickery.  The best way to combat this is softening the material with a slight blur, such as "Reduce Interlace Flicker".

                • 5. Re: Video Quality
                  Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                  Actually I believe this is a simple side effect of adjusting the captures. When you capture, you capture at the screen Gamma and the default color space/ profile for your system. If you then take your footage into a graphics program and ramp up some values, previously invisible abnormalities come out. Furthermore I think you are seeing "texture swimming", i.e. flicker due to insufficient mipmapping and antialaiasing at geometry edges in combination with the front buffer/ back buffer switching for on-screen display in the game. If you will, one buffer has the correct result, the other hasn't. these alignment problems could possibly be eliminated by ramping up the framerate at which the game is played, but then you may just get the same issues, if the capture software can't keep up and only retrieves every odd frame... Really not much you can do. what perhaps helps is to use tools such as RevisionFX' SmoothKit to adaptively blur/ interpolate areas base e.g. on the luminance of the footage. It all being rather dark it might not work as expected, though.



                  • 6. Re: Video Quality
                    GreedyTurbo529 Level 1

                    oh, well that sucks, I tried all of Andrews ways and nothing changed, but thanks for tellling me about looseless and interlaced . And should I get the SmoothKit? Dont want to spend money on something that doesnt help. Are there any other ways that I could atleast reduce the flicker, other then whats mentioned so far? Make the video better quality perhaps? I just remembered to say that it doesnt flicker on still images I put in there, just on video, if that helps any. But that would be a lot of masking.

                    • 7. Re: Video Quality
                      Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                      I don't think there's a real solution here. It really comes down to how games cheat the human eye by doing some refresh trickery in their internal calculations. They build on the fact that you don't see it when you run through your scene being chased by enemies and adrenaline levels going through the roof... ;-) As for SmoothKit - you could download it as a trial and see if it solves your particular issue. if it doesn't, then you probably are stuck with the problem. Then the only way would be to rebuild it in a 3D program and use software rendering. Anyway, I'm sure you can get some advise on machinima and modding forums on such problems or even from the publisher themselves. Perhaps try there. After all, I'm not really into games anymore since i don't have the time. Perhaps there's even some secret built-in capture mode in your game that you are not aware off and that dumps files directly on the disc in perfect quality...



                      • 8. Re: Video Quality
                        GreedyTurbo529 Level 1

                        Yeah I have an account on Machinima.com but its very very rare to see a machinima with special effects like this (in the game this map looks like its 3 pm, and Im trying to make it look like 12 am) since how no one does it, they have no idea how to fix it. And I do film it the way its supposed to be filmed, well for best quality anyway, so I know its not that. To satisfy my curiosity, I looked on my tv screen to check it out there and, guess what, it flickers in the same spots … that sucks, lol. Ill get the trial of SmoothKit and see if it works, if not, o well. Thanks for the help guys.

                        • 9. Re: Video Quality
                          yenaphe Adobe Community Professional

                          I've been making Capture of video games on PC with "Fraps" and everything worked great. I even have done some gameplay capture of my Xbox 360 using a Intensity HDMI card.


                          WHat are you using to capture your videos, and at what framerate ?

                          • 10. Re: Video Quality
                            GreedyTurbo529 Level 1

                            Oh Snap! Just when al hope was about lost! lol. Im using Dazzle 100 and as for the framerate, I dont really know, AE says 29.97.

                            • 11. Re: Video Quality
                              Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                              That explains a lot.  Using a composite analog capture device is probably a large part of the problem.  A Dazzle is pretty old technology, too.


                              You could look into better conversion tools, like a Scan-Do or AverKey converter, which do much better jobs of converting scan rates and downsampling.  But tools like that can be quite expensive.


                              Presuming you're using an analog output from your display card, try to match your output resolution to NTSC as best as possible:  set your computer display/game resolution to 800x600, 60Hz, for example.  If you can actually run at an NTSC resolution (720x486 or thereabouts) then that's even better.  This will reduce the amount of aliasing in the images before it is converted to an analog signal.

                              • 12. Re: Video Quality
                                yenaphe Adobe Community Professional

                                As andrew says, it explains a lot. My question is, why are you using an analog card to record your PC game ? You should definitly use a screen capturing software, as FRAPS, which is specifically designed for that purpose. You will get _really_ better quality.

                                • 13. Re: Video Quality
                                  GreedyTurbo529 Level 1

                                  Its not a PC game, its on my Xbox 360 (Halo 3 to be spesific) and currently what Im doing is I have the yellow, red, and white cables comming out of my 360 and I have them pliged into RCA Y adapters, I think thats what they are called, and from there  I have one set of yellow, red, and white cables going to the back of the TV and the other set of yellow, red, and white cables gong to mu little dazzle, which then plugs into my computer. Ill look into those other things you guys mentioned and get back to ya, because no doupt Ill have some more questions, lol.

                                  • 14. Re: Video Quality
                                    yenaphe Adobe Community Professional

                                    Ok so, if you really want to have good qualtiy for your XBox 360 captures, here is the cheapiest way (but you'll still need some bucks), this is the workflow i've been using for my shows about the Xbox Live Arcade (you can check heavily compressed version on dailymotion here but you'll get the idea of how clean it was before web compression) and it's the general workflow every amateur/pro blog/sites uses for their capture.


                                    First, buy an Intensity card from Blackmagic.


                                    When everything is installed / plugged, use either Premiere or the built-in BM recorder to record your videos. Here you'll have different settings:


                                    Blackmagic 8/10bit RGB codec

                                    Blackmagic Mjpeg codec.


                                    Now, if you have a raid disk setup with 4 or 5 disks in your array, use the uncompressed BM 8/10 RGB codec.

                                    If you have a "normal" computer with standrad HDD? use the BM Mjpeg codecs. You'll have great quality too.


                                    If you PC is not a super calculator, i would use 720p (don't forget to tell your xbox to output the same resolution as your recodring mode). When your recording is done then import it into AE for Prost Production (and in a NLE before if you need editing). Mjpeg always encoded interlaced for me, even if i chose progressive, so if your edge are a bit block, don't forget to deinterlace (and in AE, in the interpret footage dialog check the "preserve edge" option).


                                    Several things to know:


                                    1) You will have a delay between your xbox output and what you see on the recording software. Less than a second, but it can be disturbing. If you need to play with no delay, you'll have to buy a HDMI (or YUV) splitter so you can play in realtime. The delay in recording is due to the fact that the software first encode the frame and then display it. Also, as realtime encoding is hig priority, your recording software might not display everyframe.


                                    2) Be sure to close any other program on your PC, and have a drive with enough free space to record. As realtime is mendatory for your capture not to fail, know that when your HDD is 1/3 full, it's speed performance decrease by 50%, so make _plenty_ of free room.


                                    3) If you have trouble recording in HD, select a NTSC or PAL setting, progressive if possible. You'll still get high quality recording, but it will be in SD. (And don't forget to switch your 360 in SD if that is the case).


                                    4) Your encoding parameters must match your Xbox 360 output, otherwise you'll get black screen.



                                    Tell me if you need any more specific advice, but that should do what you need, with a great quality.


                                    And by the way, this workflow (for HD capturing) doesn't work with the PS3 (in case a PS3 reader finds this thread) as all HD output are protected via AACSS (on 360, only DVD/HD-DVD output is protected).

                                    • 15. Re: Video Quality
                                      GreedyTurbo529 Level 1

                                      Alright guys, thanks for all youre help. As of now Im going to try to get that BlackMagic thing that Perier recomended, I just gotta get the money first, lol. Spendable money is rare nowdays. But ill try to get it and when I do Ill check it out and get back to ya. Thanks again.