12 Replies Latest reply on Mar 11, 2010 11:22 AM by garek007

    video feels a bit soft

    garek007 Level 1

      Hi,

       

      Let me first walk you through my workflow.

       

      I made five compositions, each of which contains 2-3 compositions (which then have more comps nested inside). The main five comps are standard dvd resolution 872x486 (gotten straight from one of the preset options for comp sizes).

       

      The nested comps are all at high def, 1920x1080.

       

      So I rendered my five main comps (the 872x486) to uncompressed AVI, then ran those through Adobe Media Encoder at MPEG2-DVD VBR 2 passes. I've attached a screen cap of my settingssettings.jpg

       

      When I use Encore to author my dvd, and then view it on a dvd player, all of my fonts look a bit soft. Maybe it's my imagination, and that is the best it gets, but to me I feel like they could be a bit sharper.

       

      Is this a product of my workflow? Or is that normal?

        • 1. Re: video feels a bit soft
          TimeRemapper Level 4

          If you're not using any 3D layers, just scaling, then you may just want to enable "continuosly rasterize" on your text layers (assuming you created the text from within AE), then enable the "collapse transofrmations" switch on your precomps (where they are nested in other comps) to ensure proper vector redraw on the fonts. All that being said, if you're creating your type at HD 1080 uncompressed, it's bound to look a little fuzzy when shrunk to NTSC DV, then compressed to mpeg2. If the above solution doesn't work because of 3D layers, unexpected transfer mode situations, or whatever reason, you could try to apply a sharpening filter (i.e. Unsharp Mask) to your text layers. A mild amount may help.

          • 2. Re: video feels a bit soft
            garek007 Level 1

            I read another post about sharpening and tried to apply unsharp mask, but that was doing some wierd thing where some of

            my layers were feathering black into and over other layers. I'm not sure what was going on, so I used a regular 'sharpen' set with a value of 10. It's rendering now, so I don't know how it will look on the tv yet.

             

            I am not using any 3d layers and I don't render to 1080. My nested comps are 1080 but before rendering they get dropped and scaled (at 45.5%) to make them fit into an 872x486 comp. Then it is that comp that actually gets rendered to AVI and then finally compressed to MPEG2-DVD.

             

            Even my rendered AVI's are a bit soft.

            • 3. Re: video feels a bit soft
              TimeRemapper Level 4
              I am not using any 3d layers and I don't render to 1080. My nested comps are 1080 but before rendering they get dropped and scaled (at 45.5%) to make them fit into an 872x486 comp. Then it is that comp that actually gets rendered to AVI and then finally compressed to MPEG2-DVD.

              Did you try enabling continuosly rasterize on the text layers, and then collapse transformations as I suggested earlier?

              Did you create the text in AE, Illustrator, Photoshop?

              • 4. Re: video feels a bit soft
                garek007 Level 1

                I haven't tried continuously rasterize yet. will do on the next comp I render.

                 

                I did all text in AE.

                 

                I will let you know how the continuously rasterize works.

                • 5. Re: video feels a bit soft
                  garek007 Level 1

                  Hey TimeRemapper.

                   

                  I tried that. I think it had a very slight improvement, but it still feels a bit soft to me. Would it have anything to do with my 872x486 as opposed to 864x486 comp size?

                   

                  Isn't 864x486 more standard?

                  • 6. Re: video feels a bit soft
                    Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                    How "soft" do they look? Vertically? Horizontally? In both directions? there could be a million things at play here and it's not necessarily AE's scaling.

                     

                    • The encoding, obviously. Inherent limitation in all MPEG.
                    • Field order not being correct.
                    • Fields being removed/ interpolated on the DVD player.
                    • Other weird "optimizations" on the DVD player or screen.
                    • Scaling on LCD screens.

                     

                    Verify these things first before trying to fix something that is not actualyl there....

                     

                    Mylenium

                    • 7. Re: video feels a bit soft
                      TimeRemapper Level 4

                      872x486 is the correct square pixel equivalent of a D1 Anamorphic (NTSC) comp.

                      The size is correct regarding the updated PAR settings included with the CS4 release.

                      As Mylenium suggested, check your field settings. Are your rendering progressive or interlaced?

                      And as also mentioned previously, you're just going to suffer when going to mpg compression.

                      The severity of it may increase if you have field issues, or if you don't get the best quality possible with your text (as you are now doing by using continuously rasterize/collapse transformations).

                      • 8. Re: video feels a bit soft
                        Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        As has been hinted previously, if you're showing this on an HD screen, it's going to look soft. You're creating SD content and, if it's being blown up

                        to fit an HD resolution screen...ick. There is nothing you can do about that except find some way to deliver HD content to the HD screen.

                        • 9. Re: video feels a bit soft
                          garek007 Level 1

                          Mylenium,

                           

                          Both directions...

                           

                          If it's a limiation in MPEG, and as TimeRemapper says, "I'm going to lose quality" when going to MPEG, is there another option? MPEG is dvd no?

                           

                          My field order is lower field first. I tried upper field first, but I did not see much difference. I'm still new to the whole field thing, is there more I should know/do about this?

                           

                          Mylenium, what about scaling on LCD screens? can you elaborate? Is it just going to lose quality? period?

                           

                          TimeRemap, I used the preset that did NOT have "progressive" in the title, so I believe I am using interlaced. Should I try progressive?

                           

                          Like I said, maybe it's the best it will get and I am just expecting too much of standard def.

                          • 10. Re: video feels a bit soft
                            Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            What about scaling on LCD screens?...Is it just going to lose quality? period?

                            Yes. A DVD is 720x480, most LCD's are much higher resolution than that. If it's an HDTV screen, it's going to be 1280x720 or larger. Therefore it is upscaling your DVD video.

                            Try putting in a Hollywood DVD you get from your local Best Buy. It'll look soft too.

                            • 11. Re: video feels a bit soft
                              TimeRemapper Level 4
                              TimeRemap, I used the preset that did NOT have "progressive" in the title, so I believe I am using interlaced. Should I try progressive?

                              If your source content is progressive, then I'd recommend staying progressive. Rendering interlaced material from progressive source will result in two identical fields anway (unless you introducted additional animation). Interlaced material can look a bit sharper depending on the content, but usually that will apply to things in motion more than static imagery.


                              Here's a good link to more information about interlacing.

                               

                              Of course, the first place you should look (the online help) has a great description and some very helpful links at the bottom of the page (including the one linked above).

                              • 12. Re: video feels a bit soft
                                garek007 Level 1

                                TimeRemap,

                                 

                                Most of what is in there is all AE animation. flying around text, animated lines, etc. and a lot of static images and text as well. There are a few places where video is used, and that does look good. I'll try one progressive and see how that works. I'll also read up on the links you sent. thank you.