12 Replies Latest reply on Oct 19, 2009 12:07 PM by Jim_Simon

    1080p quality issue in Premiere Pro, AME CS3

    fred_r_bundos

      I wish to create a video of the very highest quality from a series of 1920x1080 tiff still images (created on the computer - scientific vis.) for playback either on computer or Blu-ray disc.  I import the images as "Numbered Stills" in Premiere, then export to Adobe Media Encoder.  I've tried using presets for mpeg2, h.264 (with and without "blu-ray"), and in every instance, when played back on the computer, the video is quite a bit fuzzier and "jaggier" than the original images. (Note that I always choose 1920x1080, progressive, high quality, etc.)

       

      Obviously, the encoded video has a data rate much lower than the original images (which are 6 MB apiece).  Is this loss of quality inevitable?  If not, how to increase?  Is there a difference in the quality of the output of the CS3 and CS4 Media Encoders?

       

      Thanks much!

        • 1. Re: 1080p quality issue in Premiere Pro, AME CS3
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          For computer playback, try installing the free Lagarith codec and exporting to that.  It's lossless, so should not reduce quality at all, but creates a smaller file than Uncompressed.

          • 2. Re: 1080p quality issue in Premiere Pro, AME CS3
            fred_r_bundos Level 1

            Thanks very much.  I will try this!  If our computer is able to play back video fast enough, this may solve the problem.  If not, can anyone think of a way to proceed with Blu-ray encoding that will give better results?  Thanks again.

            • 3. Re: 1080p quality issue in Premiere Pro, AME CS3
              fred_r_bundos Level 1

              I have generated an AVI file using the Lagarith lossless video codec.  Unfortunately, our computer is unable to decode the file fast enough on playback to give an acceptable (e.g., ~20 fps) playback rate, so we are back to square one.  Thanks for the suggestion, though.

              • 4. Re: 1080p quality issue in Premiere Pro, AME CS3
                Jim_Simon Level 8

                List your computer's specifications.  It's seems unlikely that a machine sufficiently powerful to edit your media would have trouble with a Lags file.

                • 5. Re: 1080p quality issue in Premiere Pro, AME CS3
                  fred_r_bundos Level 1

                  It's a dual core Xeon, 2.5 GHz, 3.0 Gbytes RAM, Vista Ultimate (32-bit).  The Windows Experience Index base score (sic) is 4.8.

                  • 6. Re: 1080p quality issue in Premiere Pro, AME CS3
                    Jim_Simon Level 8

                    OK.

                     

                    What hard drive config?

                     

                    And how are you playing the exported Lags file?

                    • 7. Re: 1080p quality issue in Premiere Pro, AME CS3
                      fred_r_bundos Level 1

                      RAID 0 (4x500GB), 128K stripe size.  Black Magic Design's disk speed test says read throughput is 295 MB/s.  I've tried playing the AVI file with Windows Media Player, SMPlayer, and Ben Greenwood's AVI player.  None approach 20 fps.

                      • 8. Re: 1080p quality issue in Premiere Pro, AME CS3
                        Jim_Simon Level 8

                        Try VLC or KM Player.

                         

                        I see no technical reason your machine can't handle playback of that file.  It's well more than adequate.

                        • 9. Re: 1080p quality issue in Premiere Pro, AME CS3
                          fred_r_bundos Level 1

                          Thanks for these suggestions. 

                           

                          I've now tried both VLC and KMPLayer.  VLC can't seem to deal with LAGS files.  KMPlayer plays it, but at a low frame rate. 

                           

                          Here's another thing to try, perhaps.  Can you give me a pointer to a LAGS AVI file that, as far as you know, plays back on a machine such as ours

                          at ~20 fps?  Or, if I can get permission from the owner of our content, can I send you in private correspondence a URL for a five second version of our LAGS file?

                           

                          Thanks for all the help!

                          • 10. Re: 1080p quality issue in Premiere Pro, AME CS3
                            Jim_Simon Level 8
                            KMPlayer plays it, but at a low frame rate.

                             

                            That speaks to a disk issue.  Run Hd Tach and report the results.

                             

                            The other thing is you keep mentioning "around" 20 fps.  As you also intend this for Blu-ray, this causes me concern.  For starters, video files don't run "around" anything, even on a computer.  They're not like games.  Video runs "at" a very precise frame rate, no deviations, same for all computers.  Further, 20 fps isn't a Blu-ray legal spec.  It would have to be 24 fps (aka 23.976) or 30 fps (29.97) for ATSC countries.

                            • 11. Re: 1080p quality issue in Premiere Pro, AME CS3
                              fred_r_bundos Level 1

                              HD Tach doesn't seem to work under Vista (32-bit).  I don't suspect that disk speed is an issue, though, because an uncompressed AVI, which is 3X the size of the Lagarith compressed file, plays back smoothly.  (And the Black Magic Design disk speed test did not point to a problem with disk read speed.) 

                               

                              Here's where we seem to be:  Uncompressed AVI file looks good (i.e., no jagginess) and runs smoothly enough on this computer.  Lagarith compressed file looks good (no jagginess), but runs jerkily (skipping frames, apparently, to keep up the original frame rate) on all players.  Mpeg2 and H.264 encodings look jaggy, but play back smoothly.

                               

                              Question: do you know of other encoders we might try?  I.e., we could produce a high quality, perhaps uncompressed, AVI file, then produce an Mpeg2 or H.264 file from that.  With a different encoder, perhaps the jaggies would go away.

                               

                              Again, thanks for all your help.

                               

                              P.S.  You might ask: why not just use the uncompressed file if it looks good and plays back smoothly.  Well, our final playback venue is a conference where we'd much rather bring a laptop or (ideally) Blu-ray player rather than this computer.

                              • 12. Re: 1080p quality issue in Premiere Pro, AME CS3
                                Jim_Simon Level 8

                                I have to admit, your situation just doesn't make sense.

                                 

                                If it were the drives, Uncompressed would be even jerker than Lags, which makes me suspect it's lack of CPU horsepower.

                                 

                                But if it were insufficient CPU muscle, H.264 would stutter even more than Lags.

                                 

                                We have three files, A, B and C.  File A needs the most disk speed, but not much CPU.  B needs less disk speed than A, but more CPU.  C needs the least disk speed, but the most CPU.  So for either insufficient disk speed or lack of CPU muscle, performance will degrade as we go from A to C.  Basically speaking, if A and C work, both disk speed and CPU power are sufficient and B will also work.

                                 

                                It doesn't make sense that is not the case for you.