What file type are you Sharing it as? Some file formats that are to be viewed online (like WMV) are 320x240 by default.
If you output a DV-AVI though (Share/Personal Computer) it should be identical to your source footage and project setting.
BTW, what type of camcorder did your video come from and how did you get it into your computer?
If your AVI file came from the Internet, instead of from a tape-based mini-DV video camera, you might want to check its properties first. In Windows Media Player, click on Properties, to see the frame size, frame rate, etc. Steve has asked for the proper info, if you did Capture from a camera.
For more info, use a freeware program, G-Spot to gather almost everything about the file, plus the CODEC's required to properly play the file, and whether you have those CODEC's.
Once you know the properties of the file(s) that you're working with, you will launch PE and choose New for the Project. There, besides naming and locating your Project on your computer, you will use one of the Project Presets that should match your source files' specs. Note: it's ideal to work in a Preset that matches what you will be feeding to PE. You can always Export/Share in another format.
Let us know the properties of your file(s) and also which Preset you have chosen. Those bits of info can help us to help you.
The avi file in question is 720x480 resolution. I work in film (computer fx), and we get our shots provided to us from the studio on DVD, but of course, these are the raw shots. To edit them into a reel of work, as in this case, I convert from vob to avi using Format Factory. I will pull out the info and post here. So I gather that at least it should not be because I'm testing in the trial version?
At work now, so will post data on the file when I get home. thanks
Maybe this will clear things up (in two ways actually) and help you get closer to the quality of the original.
If your DVD has the files in a VOB, it is a DVD-Video. There will be a VIDEO_TS folder with the VOB(s) and a few other files inside of it. This material is NOT the raw footage. It is an MPEG-2 compressed file. That is the required conversion/compression for DVD-Video.
What that means is that the files have been compressed, via MPEG-2 CODEC and quality has been lost, as the MPEG-2 CODEC is a lossy CODEC/format. You can never get that lost quality back. The structure of the file is also one that only contains the full "frame" of the footage, about every 15 "frames." Everything in betweeen is only data to describe the difference from that first "frame," and the following 14+/- "frames." PE (and most NLE programs) need to re-construct those "difference frames," and basically fill them in. That is what you are doing with your conversion in Format Factory. All it's doing is filling in the missing data and then packaging the whole thing as a DV-AVI Type II file (assuming that that is the output format and CODEC). You only have a file with the "filled in" data, now representing every "frame." The loss is still there and can never be replaced.
Depending on the capabilities of your telecine company (or equipment if you are not using a Service Bureau), the ideal would be to convert your film footage to DV-AVI Type II files, using the DV CODEC, and not to DVD-Video. However, this runs into a problem: file sizes and transfer media. Most telecine companies can copy the film footage to a miniDV tape (just like one would shoot in their miniDV tape video camera). Then, one would take these tapes, pop them into either a miniDV tape deck, or their miniDV tape video camera, hooked up via FireWire, and use PE to Capture from those tapes. This would be exactly like doing so from footage that one created with that camera. This process will yield excellent quality and also easily editable files. Check with your telecine company about doing the transfer to miniDV tapes. Most will provide the tapes, or at a substantial cost savings to you, allow you to provide these. Note: always use the same brand and type of tape. Buy in some bulk and provide the blank tapes, if the telecine company will allow it.
The problem with going even to a DVD-Data (where you could get raw footage, or DV-AVI Type II) is that 1 hour of footage will equal ~13 GB of data, much more than can be fit on a single DVD-5, or even DVD-9 as data, without compression. These ARE big files, and that is the nature of video.
The DVD-Videos, that you get back are really meant for viewing and not for editing. Though PE handles some VOB's and one can usually convert all to an editable format, the quality has already suffered.
Thanks for the info, Hunt.
Yes, in this case they've provided me with must be a DVD-Video, which is unfortunate. But more so, I can't ask for something better, as the studios don't take request, you get what they are willing to provide. Still, the quality of the DVD footage is still much higher than what I'm seeing, but that probably means in converting from VOB (mpeg-2 encoded) to avi, I'm loosing even more.
Actually, the conversion, if done well, will not compromise the quality any more. Yes, the DV CODEC has some compression, but it is very minor. I do not know your conversion program, so cannot be of help there.
I have a few questions, and a few suggestions:
1.) when you bring in your converted AVI to the Timeline, is there a red, or a green stripe above the Clip (right up beneath the Timeline Ruler)?
2.) if red (and not green), hit Enter to Render your footage for Preview. More on this later.
3.) in your Program Monitor Panel, Rt-click and if it's set to "Fit," choose 100%. Does this show the Preview better?
4.) if you had a red stripe, this means that your conversion was NOT to the DV-AVI spec., using the DV CODEC. At this point, I'd download and install the freeware program, G-SPOT. Run your converted AVI though it. Two things will happen: G-Spot will survey your computer and locate all properly installed CODEC's. Next, it will survey your file and tell you all about it. Most important, right now, will be in the upper right section of the GUI. It'll tell you the CODEC used in the file, with the official name.
5.) you probably posted this info, but I can only see your last reply in the forum, while I type: what is your Project Preset - the settings that you chose, when you did Project>New? Maybe something there.
[Edit] I am assuming that you are judging the quality of the footage in the Program Monitor Panel. If this is not correct, please tell me where/how you are making that judgement. I think that that info might have been asked for in Steve's question, above.
Thanks for everyone's help here. I went back to the original source disc and reviewed it closer, and that quality of the original is just as bad. The conversion through Format Factory said 720x480, mpeg-2, so I think that was fine. Garbage in, garbage out.
On the good side, based off the support here and the feature set being close enough to Premiere Pro (1.5), I bought the software straight out. And thanks to whoever posted the details on how to loop a dvd, I got my reel done.
Thanks again, Quentin
Success is always great news. The completition of a Project (especially a show reel) is good indeed.
Yes, the GIGO aspect does figure directly into Video, unfortunately. Some times, however, we just must do the best that we can, with what we've got. With the differences between PE7 and PrPro 1.5, I think you will appreciate Steve Grisetti's book on PE7. I know PrPro 2 quite well, and still have to rely on resource material, when working in PE4. The programs are similar, but different enough to make one think. Steve's book gets that "thinking" on the right track to begin with.