12 Replies Latest reply on Feb 25, 2010 1:48 PM by the_wine_snob

    Best way to work with large image sequences

    NIkkiGD

      Hello,

       

      Im relatively new to Adobe CS4. I am learning to create detailed animations with another software that produces thousands of still images. (I normally save them as  .png, 720 x 480, 29.97 fps) I spent the money to buy CS4 becuase I was told this was what I needed to turn those images into video, add titles, captions, credits, etc. So far, I've been useing PremierPro to import the image sequences and add titles. But when I export the sequences, the quality is crap. I've tried all combinations of exporting formats, but even when I try to go for the greatest quality, my files are 100 MB large, and the quality is still crap (nice smooth lines are jagged, and details are blurry and pixilated, even with the titles I added). Can someone tell me how I should be working with these still image sequences so that I can retain the best quality while keeping the file size large. These videos are just played on local computer systems, not over a network or on DVDs. I dont know if I should be bringing the shorter clip sequences into AfterEffects and somehow exporting those. I just dont know. But nothing is working for me. Help!

       

      Nikki

        • 1. Re: Best way to work with large image sequences
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Welcome to the forum.

           

          Let's step back to the beginning. What is the intended output, as far a Frame Size, etc.? Will you be delivering an AV file, for playback on a computer, and no other delivery format/scheme?

           

          Given that you are working with still images, which you can size as is required, you can set up your Project/Sequence to match your intended Frame Size and then match your source materials to that. What Project/Sequence Preset did you choose? That can have a major effect on your output.

           

          Starting at that beginning and gathering that info will help direct others to help you better.

           

          Thanks for the input, and good luck,

           

          Hunt

          • 2. Re: Best way to work with large image sequences
            NIkkiGD Level 1

            Hello!,

             

            The output frame size has so far been the same as my rendering size (720 x 480), but I's just trying to get the best quality, if I need to render larger I can. Delivery has so far just been video, no audio, although when I get better at this I will record narrations of the animations and put that in. Playback is intended only for computers. Every once in a while, it is requested in a format that will be played over our network, but I wanted to worry about that later.

             

            The preset I chose for the sequence was the DV-NTSC Standard 32kHz

             

            The project/sequence settings are:

            General

                 Editing Mode: DV NTSC

                 Timebase: 29.97 fps

            Video

                 Frame size: 720, 480 4:3

                 Pixel Aspect Ratio: D1/DV NTSC (0.9091)

                 Display Format: 30 fps Non-Drop-Frame Timecode

            Audio

                 doesnt matter

            Video Previews

                 Preview File Format: NTSC DV

                 Codec: DV NTSC

                 Maximum Bit Depth

             

            Hope that was the information you requested.

             

            Nikki

            • 3. Re: Best way to work with large image sequences
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Nikki,

               

              The Project setting looks good, though I would have chosen 48KHz 18-bit, so that you would have the best audio and properly spec'ed should you need to ever go to DVD-Video.

               

              With the 720 x 480 source files, so long as the PAR matches (Standard 4:3 = 0.9091), you should not have any Scaling going on. That can kill quality very quickly.

               

              Thank you for the info, as it will provide others with material to address your issues.

               

              I'm sure that there will be more replies soon,

               

              Hunt

              • 4. Re: Best way to work with large image sequences
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Now, it appears that you have tried several Export settings. Can you list the ones that you have used so far?

                 

                Since you are going for playback on computers, how restricted are you by file size? Quality is one end of the see-saw and File Size is on the other. It is a balancing act to get the best of both worlds, and compromises will have to be made. There is no one perfect Export format/CODEC. Again, there are pluses and minuses. People here do all sorts of Exports, and can offer their suggestions on how they balance the Quality vs File Size.

                 

                Knowing what you have tried, and the negative results will give them ideas of what to suggest to help you the most.

                 

                Good luck,

                 

                Hunt

                • 5. Re: Best way to work with large image sequences
                  shooternz Level 6

                  I agree...let us know what and how you exported it (and maybe even a screen grab of the  before and after result).

                   

                  What application created your animations?

                   

                  Why did you choose png?

                   

                  Did you try taking your sequence into AEFX?

                  • 6. Re: Best way to work with large image sequences
                    NIkkiGD Level 1

                    Hunt,

                     

                    You may be onto something with the PAR. The rendered images have PAR of 0.90000. Image aspect is 1.35000. If I render in HD I can make the PAR 1.0, but I'd rather do that if I had to.

                     

                    I've been playing around with the PAR in the esport settings, having some improvements. I also found a feature where I select the imported clip and "interpret footage". Not sure what this really does, but it did some magic that got rid of the most obvious pixilation.

                    • 7. Re: Best way to work with large image sequences
                      NIkkiGD Level 1

                      The export formats I've tried so far are Windows Media, Microsoft AVI, and most recently H.264. I've tried various settings, and had the most success with H.264 encoding to .mp4. The only problem is that most PCs here dont have quicktime, yet.... But no matter how I seem to adjust the settings, the crisp edges in the animation become jagged once encoded. Captions I add get this burry kind of pixilated edge. Let me know if you need more specifics than that.

                      • 8. Re: Best way to work with large image sequences
                        shooternz Level 6

                        Seems you do have a mismatch of PAR and setting somewhere but...are you exporting  fields or Progressive Frames?

                        • 9. Re: Best way to work with large image sequences
                          NIkkiGD Level 1

                          let us know what and how you exported it (and maybe even a screen grab of the  before and after result).

                               again, so far just .wmv, .avi, and .mp4. I figured these were most common and can be played on most computers. I cant provide screenshots right now (its all proprietary) but I may be able to work up a sample to demonstrate the problem (may take a couple days).

                           

                          What application created your animations?

                               I use Autodesk 3ds Max.

                           

                          Why did you choose png?

                               The rendering farm I use only supports .png or .bmp. The little reading I did on the subject suggested that .png was slightly better at retaining image quality. I can render in other formats, but I have to use only one processor (its just a software limitation). Should I use a different image format? What would you suggest?

                           

                          Did you try taking your sequence into AEFX?

                               Trying that now...

                          • 10. Re: Best way to work with large image sequences
                            NIkkiGD Level 1

                            I'm not sure what either of those are. Should I be?

                            • 11. Re: Best way to work with large image sequences
                              shooternz Level 6

                              Fields come into play in TV sets where it takes 2 scans of each  frame to play out as one whole frame . Each feild is  a half of the resolution of the frame.  These Lower and upper fields are interlaced and played in a special order eg Lower field first or upper feild first.  Your DV preset will be using feilds but un necessarily so ...

                               

                              ...you are basically using still images for a computer end use so there is no need for feilds.

                               

                              Try setting your PPRO Project to Progressive first and also check the Progressive box in an encode and see if it helps

                              • 12. Re: Best way to work with large image sequences
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                Interpret Footage is a neat function. Basically, it tells the program to correct/change some aspect of the Imported footage. This is very handy in cases where PrPro does not pick up some flag in the file, so it guesses at what that attribute should be. Sometimes, it guesses wrong, and the user needs to adjust for that. Other times, the footage is, say a Widescreen PAR = 1.2121 and the user needs for it to be Standard 0.918. Now, when one does a change of the PAR, they need to examine the footage closely, as a couple of things can happen: the subjects are stretched horizontally (Aunt Marge seems to have gained 20 lbs.), or the subjects are "squished" and now one might have black bars on the sides of the Frame.

                                 

                                Interpret Footage can be very useful, but care should be exercised with care, as there can be unexpected results.

                                 

                                Hope you get it sorted out,

                                 

                                Hunt