26 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2009 6:56 PM by Dan Isaacs

    PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)

    matt.choules

      I recorded in HDV PAL, now I am trying to export to SD PAL (720x576)...

      I have exported using the Media Encoder and I get black bars on the sides (e.g. vertical letterboxing).

       

      I did a bit of research and I see that this is due to the corrected Pixel Aspect Ratios of CS4.

      I am told on other forums that the overscan of a telelvision will not show these bars, however I preparing my video for DVD, but I am going to be making digital versions for online use...

       

      Thats a problem, as I don't want to see the black bars at all.

       

      So I need to know if I can correct this mis-match in PAR's, or if I am stuck with it from now on with CS4...??

        • 1. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
          Dan Isaacs Level 2

          Well, you are sort of stuck with it. You can try cropping some pixels off of the top and bottom until the black bars disappear. (8 pixels from top, 8 pixels from bottom for a 1080 source, if memory serves me correctly).

           

          Premiere's HD -> SD is pretty stinky anyway. Take a look at the workflow I have outlined here. (note: by default, this workflow will crop a little from the top and bottom to match the correct ratio conversion).

           

          The example posted there with work fine for 60i and 60p sources -> 480i … and also for 50i and 50p -> 576i.

           

          If you are doing something different.(such as 1080/25p -> 25p) then you need to make some adjustments. Likewise, there are some changes that need to be made to accomodate square-pixel output, such as that destined for the internet.

           

          But all variations are possible with my workflow – not to mention higher-quality and usually much faster than with Premiere alone. If there is a specific type of output you are trying to get from a particular source, let me know and I can show you how.

          • 2. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
            matt.choules Level 1

            Interesting.

            I have heard of people using VurtualDub to do various things, but never known where to start with it all...

             

            I do have one question after reading through the workflow you linked me;

            At the end of it all Encore is still going to have to transcode it all... So, wouldn't a decent MPEG2 output file make more sense, as then you can avoid the whole transcode process and another step down in quality...?

             

            Interested to know what you think, as many people recommend exporting out of PPro in MPEG2-DVD or similar to avoid that last step in Encore (or whatever you use).

            • 3. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
              Dan Isaacs Level 2

              Of course you can use a different MPEG-2 encoder. What you end up with is an excellent quality, lossless "master" format that you can convert in any program you like. As far as I know, Encore and Premiere (given the same settings) will produce the same MPEG-2 file. It's not my favorite quality either, but it is a good example for this workflow – easy to explain.

               

              Do you have any commerically available 3rd party MPEG-2 encoders (ProCoder, Squeeze, Elecard, etc.) that you like?

              • 4. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                matt.choules Level 1

                Ok, falling at the first hurdles here;

                 

                • In which premiere program file folder(s) do the Adobe Media Encoder CS4 presets for 100Mbps MPEG-2 I-frame 4:2:2 go?
                • I am running a 64bit Win OS, so I should go for the 64bit Lagarith codec & 64bit VirtualDub, right?
                • Should I stick with the AviSynth 2.5 or can the alpha version be trusted not to fall down?

                 

                Thanks, and apolgies for the simple questions...

                • 5. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                  matt.choules Level 1

                  "Do you have any commerically available 3rd party MPEG-2 encoders (ProCoder, Squeeze, Elecard, etc.) that you like?"

                  - Not that I know of!

                   

                  I am just picking your brain. Trust me, I know alot less than I make out!

                  • 6. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                    Dan Isaacs Level 2
                    In which premiere program file folder(s) do the Adobe Media Encoder CS4 presets for 100Mbps MPEG-2 I-frame 4:2:2 go?

                     

                    Well, normally in the C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Adobe\Adobe Media Encoder\4.0\Presets folder, but you can import them individually into AME if you prefer.

                     

                     

                    I am running a 64bit Win OS, so I should go for the 64bit Lagarith codec & 64bit VirtualDub, right?

                     

                    64-bit Lagarith installer should install both 32 and 64 bit version of the codec. Try the all-in-one .exe installer from Zarxrax that is posted there.

                     

                    But… go with normal 32-bit VirtualDub (because AviSynth is 32-bit, so its scripts can only be read by 32-bit apps)

                     

                    Should I stick with the AviSynth 2.5 or can the alpha version be trusted not to fall down?

                     

                    use AviSynth 2.5.8 (normal, non-alpha, 32-bit release)

                    • 7. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                      matt.choules Level 1
                      Well, normally in the C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Adobe\Adobe Media Encoder\4.0\Presets folder, but you can import them individually into AME if you prefer.

                       

                      Ummm...

                       

                      There was no folder inside the C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Adobe\Adobe Media Encoder\4.0 folder, so I created one called Presets and moved all the Adobe Media Encoder CS4 presets for 100Mbps MPEG-2 I-frame 4:2:2 into it. This doesn't seem to give any more export options in Premiere, as I imagine it wouldn't as its in the AME folder (not a common folder), so I assumed I need to go about this backwards to what I usually do and open AME, then import the PPro sequence into that rather than sending the sequence to AME from PPro...?

                       

                      Assuming this I tried it. I opened the PPro project in AME, but there are no MPEG2I-frame options there...

                       

                      I cannot see a way of making AME see the new MPEG2 I-frame codecs.

                      • 8. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                        matt.choules Level 1

                        Oh no, hang on.

                        I've found the way to import the codec settings.

                         

                        Do I need to "Save filter Settings" and "Save other Tasks"?

                        • 9. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                          matt.choules Level 1

                          Also, the format is MPEG-DVD rather than MPEG right?

                          As we will be creating .m2v and .wav files, rather than combined files.

                           

                          I just want to know, so I can put it under the correct format drop down option, so not to confuse myself in later operations...

                          • 10. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                            matt.choules Level 1

                            Hmmm... When I try and import the MPEG2 I-frame presets into AME under the MPEG2-DVD option it says:

                            The selected file does not appear to be a valid preset

                             

                            However it imports the preset fine when under the MPEG2 option...

                             

                            But this will not give us a sepatare .wav audio clip...!

                            • 11. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                              matt.choules Level 1

                              Ok, I got it working.

                              Exporting the MPEG2 I-Frame video and audio now.

                              • 12. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                matt.choules Level 1

                                Ok, I followed your little tutorial i the link after figuring some things out and I now have 5min 1.7GB lagarith encoded AVI.

                                I must admit it looks pretty sweet!

                                 

                                Gonna try for a burn of a DVD and report back.

                                • 13. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                  Dan Isaacs Level 2

                                  Good to hear.

                                   

                                  I had a very well-established workflow (that I had explained 100s of times) for CS3. However, this relied on the DebugMode FrameServer plugin, which no longer works in CS4. This part of the process was replaced by the AME I-frame + WAV export step.

                                   

                                  So, a summary of what's going on during the process:

                                   

                                  1. AME exports high-bitrate 1080i MPEG2 + separate .wav audio
                                  2. AviSynth reads and combines the audio and video
                                  3. The hd2sd() function that I wrote deinterlaces, scales and weaves (re-interlaces) the video
                                  4. VirtualDub converts the script output to a lossless standard-def AVI file that can be used directly for transcoding in any application
                                  • 14. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                    matt.choules Level 1

                                    Cool.

                                    Only one more question then:

                                    Is the final outputted lagarith compressed file de-interlaced or interlaced then?

                                     

                                    Does anyone bother de-interlacing for DVD's anymore? What with the advent of LCD screens...?

                                    • 15. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                      matt.choules Level 1

                                      Hmmm... I am getting that error again when trying to get AME to export the video file with the MPEG2 I-frame 1440x1080 @ 50i codec:

                                       

                                      The selected file does not appear to be a valid preset.

                                      • 16. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                        Dan Isaacs Level 2

                                        You need to set AME's Format to MPEG2 (not MPEG2 DVD, not MPEG2 BluRay). Once you have successfully imported it, it should be available from the Preset dropdown list.

                                        • 17. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                          Dan Isaacs Level 2
                                          Is the final outputted lagarith compressed file de-interlaced or interlaced then?

                                           

                                          The file, in this case, is interlaced – bottom-field first.

                                           

                                          Does anyone bother de-interlacing for DVD's anymore? What with the advent of LCD screens...?

                                           

                                          I am confused by this question.

                                          • 18. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                            matt.choules Level 1

                                            Ah, i see...

                                            I figured as it was dividing the files into separate files it was the MPEG2-DVD as that does the same sort of thing...

                                            • 19. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                              matt.choules Level 1

                                              Ignore me, I am sunburnt and exhausted.

                                              But, i am on the home stretch now...

                                              • 20. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                                Dan Isaacs Level 2

                                                Great. As I mentioned, there are plenty of variations to this workflow. If you want to create a 25p version (deinterlaced) from your 1080/50i source, just modify the line in the script that begins with hd2sd :

                                                 

                                                video = "myfile.m2v"

                                                audio = "myfile.wav"


                                                FFMpegSource(video)

                                                (audio == "") ? last : AudioDub(WavSource(audio))

                                                hd2sd(OutputColorSpace="YUY2", interlaced_out=false, OutputFieldRate=25, SmoothTime=false)

                                                 

                                                Sometimes the chopped-down framerate can look a little flickery. In this case, try setting SmoothTime=true instead.

                                                • 21. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                                  matt.choules Level 1

                                                  I have a problem...

                                                  Once the video is out of VirtualDub I it and it is skewed vertically...

                                                   

                                                  Here is the media info from the lagarith video file:


                                                        Format : AVI
                                                        Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
                                                        File size : 1.75 GiB
                                                        Duration : 5mn 18s
                                                        Overall bit rate : 47.0 Mbps
                                                        Writing library : VirtualDub build 30091/release
                                                     Video
                                                        Format : Lagarith
                                                        Codec ID : LAGS
                                                        Duration : 5mn 18s
                                                        Bit rate : 45.5 Mbps
                                                        Width : 720 pixels
                                                        Height : 576 pixels
                                                        Display aspect ratio : 5/4
                                                        Frame rate : 25.000 fps
                                                        Standard : PAL
                                                        Resolution : 16 bits
                                                        Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 4.387
                                                        Stream size : 1.69 GiB (97%)
                                                     Audio
                                                        Format : PCM
                                                        Format settings, Endianness : Little
                                                        Format settings, Sign : Unsigned
                                                        Codec ID : 1
                                                        Codec ID/Hint : Microsoft
                                                        Duration : 5mn 18s
                                                        Bit rate mode : Constant
                                                        Bit rate : 1 536 Kbps
                                                        Channel(s) : 2 channels
                                                        Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
                                                        Resolution : 16 bits
                                                        Stream size : 58.4 MiB (3%)
                                                        Interleave, duration : 40 ms (1.00 video frame)
                                                        Interleave, preload duration : 500 ms

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  For some reason the aspect ratio is 5/4?!

                                                  This is a major problem!

                                                  • 22. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                                    matt.choules Level 1

                                                    Please please help, I have no idea awhy my video is not 16:9.

                                                    • 23. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                                      Dan Isaacs Level 2

                                                      When you import the AVI in to Encore, you need to right-click on the asset, Interpret Footage and choose the PAL widescreen PAR.

                                                      • 24. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                                        matt.choules Level 1

                                                        Funnily enough I figured that one out myself and was about to report back on it.

                                                        I tried to preview the video and it gets to one part where it fails...

                                                         

                                                        So I tried to transcode it and the encoding fails at roughly the same spot.

                                                         

                                                        I may have to re-export from AME and re-encode with VD again as I think maybe trying to do too many things at once while it was exporting caused the issue...

                                                         

                                                        Annoyingly, KMPlayer played it without issue. Damn that player is TOO stable!

                                                        • 25. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                                          matt.choules Level 1

                                                          Getting a few copies sent out to test on friends pc's and dvd players.

                                                          Hopefully thats it all done...

                                                           

                                                          But we'll see.

                                                          • 26. Re: PAR causing vertical letterboxing (black bars)
                                                            Dan Isaacs Level 2

                                                            If you want some better quality (and to not have to deal with Encore or AME), try taking your Lagarith 720x576 .AVI file and creating another script, like such:

                                                             

                                                            AviSource("lagarith_sd.avi")

                                                            ConvertToYV12(interlaced=true)

                                                             

                                                            Open this script in HC Encoder  v0.23. Here is a little guide I made for HC's settings: http://forums.adobe.com/message/2035361#2035361