9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 7, 2009 9:29 PM by Jim_Simon

    Trouble Encoding MPEG-4 Videos

    anathematized_one Level 1

      My camera (Sony DCS-W290) takes HD videos in .mp4 format.


      I have no problems editing them and working with them in Premiere.  The only problems come when I try to export them in this format.


      1.  The original video clip is 1280x720 (16:9) pixels wide.  However, no matter how high of a quality I put on the level when I click advanced settings, it won't let me make a video with these high of a dimensions.

      2.  I set everything to maximum quality, the bitrate for video and audio and everything.  I set all the settings (like frame rate and field order) to be the exact same as the original video clip.  I click export and it encodes.  When I go back to the video to watch it, it is either 0 kbs, and "in a format DivX or Quicktime" can't understand (which I know they can understand .mp4).  When it does work, the sound comes out great and everything else, but the video is way longer than what it should be, choppy, and slow.


      I haven't encountered any other problems with the few other formats I have tried.


      OS:  Windows Vista Home Premium (SP2)

      Premiere:  CS4 (v4.1.0)

      Video card:  ATI Radeon HD 4650 (1GB)

      RAM:  8GB

      Computer:  (Basically top of the line) Gateway DX4300-03 (sorry, I don't feel like or have the time to list anymore specs)

        • 1. Re: Trouble Encoding MPEG-4 Videos
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          I don't have much time either, so get a VIDEO camera instead of a STILL camera or use different software, like Magix or WMM.

          • 2. Re: Trouble Encoding MPEG-4 Videos
            Jim_Simon Level 8

            I have to echo Harm's sentiments.  Consumer software is the better choice for that camera.

            • 3. Re: Trouble Encoding MPEG-4 Videos
              anathematized_one Level 1

              None of that matters.


              The point is, regardless of what camera I use or format I start with, I will still have trouble exporting/encoding in MPEG-4 format.


              So I'm ignoring your highly non-helpful advice and continuing my search for a solution to my problem.


              If you don't like my camera, I don't care, either contribute to finding a solution to my problem, or don't bother posting.

              • 4. Re: Trouble Encoding MPEG-4 Videos
                Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                anathematized_one wrote:

                 

                regardless of what camera I use or format I start with, I will still have trouble exporting/encoding in MPEG-4 format.

                What other formats and cameras have you tried beyond your Sony?

                None of that matters.

                Actually, it might.  If you have infinite amounts of time available to you, then testing combinations of project, sequence and export settings in order to produce an acceptable .mp4 output may ultimately be successful.  Or it may not.

                 

                If you don't have an unlimited amount of time, then there are any number of consumer-oriented (read: less expensive) software packages that likely will produce the quality output that you desire, and you should use those.  We here generally assume that you need to get the job done, and that results are more important than method.

                 

                You can continue to seek answers here on how to improve Premiere Pro's .mp4 output, but be warned.  Statements like:

                sorry, I don't feel like or have the time to list anymore specs

                will not generally entice other forum members to spend their time trying to help you find a solution.

                 

                -Jeff

                • 5. Re: Trouble Encoding MPEG-4 Videos
                  anathematized_one Level 1

                  You can continue to seek answers here on how to improve Premiere Pro's .mp4 output, but be warned.  Statements like:

                  sorry, I don't feel like or have the time to list anymore specs

                  will not generally entice other forum members to spend their time trying to help you find a solution.

                  At the time, I didn't have the time to post more because I was on my way out the door for work, and I didn't feel like it because I just woke up.


                  I wasn't trying to offend or anything like that.


                  What's more, I already have Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, which I use to edit the videos.  Why would I want to spend time downloading yet ANOTHER program, which takes up MORE room on my hard drive, to further RE-ENCODE (thus lowering video quality) a video I already encoded in a different format from Premiere?


                  Sorry, that just doesn't make any logical sense to me.


                  Point blank, there is a problem, that I sated, that nobody has offered a fix to.  They've just told me to get different programs.  I'm asking for help on an Adobe product, and being told to get a different program.  That's not help.


                  So, if I seem a little brash and harsh at this point, hopefully you can see the logic as to why.

                  • 6. Re: Trouble Encoding MPEG-4 Videos
                    Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                    anathematized_one wrote:

                    At the time, I didn't have the time to post more because I was on my way out the door for work, and I didn't feel like it because I just woke up.


                    I wasn't trying to offend or anything like that.

                    No problem.  It's hard sometimes to convey one's exact meaning or intention via the printed word in a forum.  We almost always get it straightened out eventually, though.

                     

                    I'm asking for help on an Adobe product, and being told to get a different program.  That's not help. 

                    So, if I seem a little brash and harsh at this point, hopefully you can see the logic as to why.

                    I understand completely.  For example, PrCS4 should be able to deinterlace and scale footage better than it does.  But the truth is, there are freeware programs that do a better job.  And getting Premiere's best effort in scaling and deinterlacing requires many more steps and much more time than it should.  You should be able to edit an HD sequence and export it to the AME with SD settings and get a pristine result.  Well, you can't.  So an editor with a deadline turns to tools that are faster and that can produce better results, even though the investment in Pr and the Production Premium Suite should have produced those same results.

                     

                    Another example: I can't get Pr to output an iPod-legal .mp4 that doesn't have artifacts at every keyframe.  So I spend $30 to buy Quicktime Pro, and I feed QTPro a pristine .avi or .mov from Pr and let it encode to iPod .mp4.  And my clients get a quality iPod video that makes them happy.

                     

                    So you're not really being told to get a different program (although some people make it sound that way ).  You're being told to get an additional program.  Whatever it takes.

                     

                    -Jeff

                     


                    • 7. Re: Trouble Encoding MPEG-4 Videos
                      anathematized_one Level 1

                      See now that was much better, on everyone's end, including mine.


                      Anyway, it still doesn't resolve the problem of re-encoding a previously encoded file, causing subsequent and/or unnecessary loss in quality.


                      ;_;


                      I hate wasting money.  :'(

                      • 8. Re: Trouble Encoding MPEG-4 Videos
                        Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                        anathematized_one wrote:

                         

                        Anyway, it still doesn't resolve the problem of re-encoding a previously encoded file, causing subsequent and/or unnecessary loss in quality.

                        Just export from Pr as a lossless .avi file using a (free) codec like Lagarith, or as a lossless .mov file using the Photo-JPEG codec.  No loss in quality.  And if you need more hard drive space, buy it.  It's cheap.

                         

                        -Jeff

                        • 9. Re: Trouble Encoding MPEG-4 Videos
                          Jim_Simon Level 8

                          I hate wasting money.

                           

                          We all do, especially in today's economic climate.  That's why some education in video production and some research into cameras is a good idea before hand.  Using a still camera to shoot video you want to edit just isn't a good idea at all*.  But for those who intend to do it anyway, better results can often be had using a consumer editor than using Premiere Pro.

                           

                           

                           

                          *(At least not yet.  DSMC is still a very nice dream, but not quite fully practical.)