6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2009 11:15 AM by Doyle Lonnigan

    All My Windows Media Exports Stink - What's My Problem?

    Doyle Lonnigan Level 1

      I've been asked to convert a video file we're working on into a Windows Media format which will be posted on our intranet site via a streaming server.  This video was produced for DVD (which looks great) and has been exported as an MPG with good results.  The source file is 720 x 480, but I'm trying to output at 360 x 240.  No matter what settings I choose, the Windows Media files I've been producing look terrible.  Very pixelated with artifacts everywhere, especially where there's a lot of motion.

       

      I'm not an expert in digital video and generally find the settings in the output module somewhat cryptic, but I usually end up with something decent by experimentation.  I've been making movies all day, pumping out 30 second test clips, but so far I haven't been able to produce anything that I'd call acceptable by my standards.  I've tried different bit rates, rendering at half size versus stretching, turning video noise correction on and off, using different Windows Media Video codecs,  turning up the image quality - no combination seems to work.

       

      Is Windows Media Video simply a crappy looking format, or am I just not getting it?  Can anyone tell me which of these settings is key and what kind of parameters I should be dialing up?  Any help would be appreciated.

       

      Thanks in advance!

       

      B

        • 1. Re: All My Windows Media Exports Stink - What's My Problem?
          Doyle Lonnigan Level 1

          Egad.  36 views and not a peep out of anyone!  That's not a good sign ...

          • 2. Re: All My Windows Media Exports Stink - What's My Problem?
            TimeRemapper Level 4

            Due to the way compression works, AE is not the best tool from which to create an optimally compressed file.

            Your best bet would be to render uncompressed, or losselssly compressed (i.e. "Quicktime Animation codec @ best/full quality), and then use an application that is designed to compress material transcode your footage to WMV. WMV can have very nice results, when done properly.

            • 3. Re: All My Windows Media Exports Stink - What's My Problem?
              Doyle Lonnigan Level 1

              That's what I needed to hear.  I was about to render an uncompressed MPG or quicktime and try to use Windows Movie Maker to convert it to a WMV.  My logic was that a Windows app would probably be good for creating Windows video.  I also have Premier, but I didn't see WMV as an export option.  I'll give this a shot and post the result.

              • 4. Re: All My Windows Media Exports Stink - What's My Problem?
                yenaphe Level 4

                For wmv, the best encoding app for free you can get is the Windows Media Encoder, you can get it on Microsoft website, and it's free.

                 

                Inside AE, export to uncompressed avi (uncompressed mpg doesn't exist by the way ) and then encode it inside WMEncoder.

                • 5. Re: All My Windows Media Exports Stink - What's My Problem?
                  Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                  Doyle Lonnigan wrote:

                   

                  Egad.  36 views and not a peep out of anyone!  That's not a good sign ...

                   

                  Don't worry. Even we experts take the liberty of having "a normal life" and not being around every day and otehrs that peek in may simply not know the answer because they similarly are stuck on the same problem. Anyway, Steve and Seb should have provided enough answers to get you going, so try them and check back if you need more input...

                   

                  Mylenium

                  • 6. Re: All My Windows Media Exports Stink - What's My Problem?
                    Doyle Lonnigan Level 1

                    Thanks for the input, guys.  I think I found the thing I was missing, which was the "Preset" pulldown menu in the Adobe Media Encoder , AKA the idiot button for the parameter challenged.  I was getting such terrible results because I had apparently chosen an export preset that was compressing the hell out of my movie.  I had noticed this earlier, since I was geting 2MB compressed files from my 700MB movie, I just couldn't figure out which parameters actually controlled the amount of compression.  Thanks to the presets, I didn't need to.

                     

                    Anyway, I exported an uncompressed AVI from After Effects, imported it into Premier, and exported via the Adobe Media Encoder.  Then I just chose a reasonable target bandwidth for (I guess) streaming and out popped a perfectly acceptable looking WMV file that weighed in at just over 14MB.  Voila!

                     

                    Anyway, now I can figure out the details on my own time.  Thanks for the help, all.  Much appreciated.