17 Replies Latest reply on Apr 15, 2010 1:02 PM by the_wine_snob

    cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution

    Level 4


      Im using CS3 with dv avi type 2 source material , 780x420 Interlaced, 29.97, 16:9 ( widescreen ). Video length is about 50 minutes.


      I don't have Sorenson (can't afford now )...and am using CS3 to export to burn a DVD.  My impression has been, according to posts here, that CS3 is not the best way to export ...that using frameserver and Sorenson is better...

      However, I am new to this and have a lot to learn about the compression used to export for DVD...and so I tried a couple things in CS3.


      1) checked preset(s)... for mpeg2-dvd (format) , ntsc high quality preset.

      In this case the quality is set by CS3 to 4, lower field first, aspect 4:3, vbr 2 pass, with 1.5, 4 , 7 as min, target, max bitrates.


      In the preset for ntsc widescreen medium quality (there is no high quality widescreen preset)...everything is the same except it is vbr 1 pass. and aspect is set to 16:9.


      I exported using ntsc high quality but changed quality to 5 from 4, min bitrate to 2 instead of 1.5...aspect to 16:9 from 4:3.


      It looked horrible.  major horizontal lines throughout...sawtooth patterns, etc.


      Harm Millaard suggested a calculator:



      I put in my info and got the suggestion to use 8 mpps for bitrate, CBR...


      Did that export....

      Looks horrible !....  major horizontal lines, sawtooth patterns...


      info from calculator:


      -------------  calculator will suggest CBR in 2 circumstances instead of VBR 2 pass ---------

      Second, when there is enough space on the disc to make the average  bitrate equal to or greater than the maximum bitrate. In this case, a  VBR file would effectively be CBR, therefore it makes no sense to use  the VBR mode (which takes longer to encode). If the calculator suggests  VBR with an average bitrate value that is very close (i.e., within 10%)  of the maximum bitrate value, you can greatly reduce the encoding time  (with a very small loss in quality) by selecting CBR mode.



      Sooo, I decided since interlaced video was apparantly NOT AN OPTION ...I went to progressive....


      And wanting to take advantage of EVERY OUNCE OF QUALITY I decided to force CS3 to do a VBR 2 pass export using 8,8, 8 as the min, target and max bitrates....


      This would seem dumb because CBR at a setting of 8 should be the same thing....


      But for some reason I decided to do this crazy thing...and it looks good ....


      Although this is fine for now I am wondering....why does interlaced look so terrible ?


      I also wonder what the M frames and N frames default settings of 3 and 15 is the same for all presets.  My GOP is apparently I - frame = 1

      P frames = 17, GOP limit = 18....  but how that translates to M frames (number of B frames between consecutive I frames and P frames) and N frames ( number of frames between I frames - must be mulitiple of M frames value )  ????  What's the story with this and why the default of 3 M frames and 15 N frames ?  Confusing.


      Don't know if this will ever help anyone else but forcing the VBR 2 pass with 8,8,8 worked well, took about 45min to export 50 minutes of the video..and gave me the calculator's predicted file size to put on the DVD ( roughly 3.3 gig )...

      Thanks for that calculator again, Harm



        • 1. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
          Level 4

          meant 720x480


          • 2. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
            Harm Millaard Level 7



            I only use PAL, not NTSC, so someone more in the know of NTSC encoding, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I always use a GOP limit of 12 for PAL and AFAIK the standard for NTSC is GOP limit 15.


            You have to take into consideration that the best way to judge interlaced material is on a settop box attached to a TV, not on a progressive computer screen. I have never had the problems you describe, which does not mean it can't occur, but I'm surprised to say the least. Also remember that converting interlaced footage to progressive means that CS4 will throw away half your vertical resolution, which is not something I like.


            If you export your footage as DV AVI and let Encore do the encoding, are the results better?


            In the AME settings did you uncheck Use Preview Files and check Master Render Quality. It will make the encoding time about 4 times longer, but gives much better results and since you want to get every ounce of quality, that may be worth the wait.

            • 3. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
              Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Rod, I am also using CS3 and do not have the roblems you are describing.  If your source material is as you describe, you should not get the results you saw, interlaced or not.


              Do Harm's experiment,export as movie (i.e. your project setting), import to Encore, and use Enocre's automatic transcode setting.


              While you can do a small test like that, Encore will use the max bitrate you specify in creating the project.  In this case, that's okay - it will be the same as what you did at 8.


              Sorry you beat me to correcting your 780x420.  I was going to say:  "No wonder it looks so bad, it's 780x420 for crying out loud!"

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
                Level 4



                Hmmm, thanks you guys...


                I sure wish I was smarter about this stuff...  oh well, I guess I will be someday...sheesh...


                ( "No wonder it looks so bad, it's 780x420 for crying out loud!" ) hehe...DOH !  Stan, sometimes I even TALK backwards !...


                Harm,  that calculator has pal as being 15 gop.....and ntsc as 18....

                That by itself , to me, doesn't mean much at this point because the main thing I'm trying to figure out is how the M and N frames relate to it...and why it is always defaulted to 15 and 3 in CS3.


                I should explain more:  I'm looking at the m2v file created by the export, when I see the "quality" ....and looking at a "preview" of that file in the DVD authoring program, and again judging the "quality" ....of the interlaced export....which looks terrible....


                I'm not using encore....the client has a bunch of graphics and menus he wants to use (from some other previous edit ) from another authoring program....

                I'm not getting paid for this rough cut...as I was the one who asked for "material" to edit to learn more on my own....long story...


                But anyway, looking at the m2v file created by the export from CS3...interlaced....it looks REALLY bad....but that's on my computer monitor..and in the preview of the DVD authoring program.....I really don't think it will look better on a DVD on my settop box dvd player and normal tv ... but will try it if you think something magical will happen when I actually burn the DVD.... like all the horizontal lines and sawtoothing will go away ??  Somehow I don't think that will happen.


                RE: AVI export...it will be multiplexed...should I export only video and then export only audio and try that ??  hmmmm....why not...will try it...


                Thanks....  will try that now...



                • 5. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
                  Level 4

                  whoops, forgot to add pic



                  • 6. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
                    Harm Millaard Level 7



                    I just checked and my previous post was incorrect. Sorry. I use M=3 and N=12 for my PAL material.


                    I would burn on a DVD-RW and see how it plays on your settop box. Encore CS4 has horrible previews.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
                      the_wine_snob Level 9



                      Which authoring program are you using? That could dictate how you Export. Some authoring apps need muxed, DVD-compliant MPEG-2's, and others can handle elemental/elementary streams, plus some can also do the Transcoding, like Encore does, with Automatic. It will just depend


                      For testing (NOT for delivery), pick up a pack of DVD RW's and use those for actually testing on your set-top player and TV. Next to feeding to a calibrated NTSC monitor via A-D and FireWire, that is about as good as you will get.


                      Good luck,



                      • 8. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
                        Level 4

                        Hi you guys...thanks !!! for help...and advice


                        With regard to the m frames and n frames ( which I still don't get ....am totally confused )...I finally opened up the book I bought on mpeg compression...and started looking at the pictures....

                        I am like very into pictures and illustrations ..... and if it wasn't for the "classics" series of comics ( re: "The Fall Of The Roman Empire" etc)..I would never have graduated from 5th Grade.




                        Soooo, at least I can start getting into this book a little and see if it starts making sense...


                        Stan, Bill, Harm....did the AVI export ( 10 gig ) and didn't export audio. Used the wav file from previous export ( mpeg-dvd ) and stuck both in the DVD authoring program...  and they were the same "length" ....( hopefully in sync ) ...and I burned a DVD....which took FOREVER....the encoding part of it...couple hours almost...


                        However, it looks WAY better than the progressive burn...ESPECIALLY ON FAST PANS .....

                        Harm, I guess what you said about losing the one field , when camera pans fast, makes it more blurry on progressive conversion....  cause I see a pretty big difference in that ....


                        NOW...( Bill, your comment re: preview quality )...it seems to me that maybe when I was doing the original export and previewing, and seeing the horrible sawtoothing and horizontal lines, etc....that maybe if I had gone ahead and burned the DVD it would have been OK.....


                        So I'm sorta back where I started.   Now I have to start from the beginning....over again....export from CS3 as mpeg DVD, DO NOT LOOK AT PREVIEW ( PUT HANDS OVER EYES )....and burn the DVD and see what happens....


                        Geez....  there's so much to learn about all this...every " step" in the process....  It's kinda fascinating in a way...you know?  Very cool....to think you can actually do what guys were doing back in the 1930's....and get it onto a DVD successfully....  boggles the mind !





                        • 9. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
                          Level 4

                          Hi again...


                          I'm now burning a DVD from the original exports (interlaced) despite the horrible previews...and will let you know how it works out.


                          Would be nice if it looks good on DVD despite the previews...and will let you know how it works out...



                          • 10. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
                            the_wine_snob Level 9



                            Maybe you answered and I missed it, but what authoring software are you using?


                            Good luck, and let's hope that the test DVD-Video does look great. You are using DVD RW's for testing (NOT delivery), aren't you?



                            • 11. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
                              Level 4

                              hah !  FINISHED.....ok...this is what happened....


                              Thanks Bill...I'm using DVDit pro ---at the moment...it's kinda dummied down for use of easy "graphics" and slideshows and menus that are easy to link...


                              Soooo, what I just did is I went back to square 1.....exported from CS3 interleaved ntsc high quality 16:9, at CBR 8 mpps....and then looked at the preview ( which once again sucked ...both as a m2v file and in the authoring program preview.....  jagged edges and sawtooth patterns, etc...


                              But this time I put my hands over my eyes and burned a DVD ( not RW ...don't have any...but have about 8 DVD's left to play with ...well, now 7...)...


                              And guess what ???  YES !!!!  IT LOOK GREAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                              Who woulda guessed THAT would happen ?????  Like magic....no blur on fast camera pans...nice looking !!!!!!!  Better than the AVI export done earlier as a "work-a-round" as suggested by Harm and Stan....


                              I guess my " preview " is just not to be trusted, whether it's from the m2v file or from the authoring program.....and I just have to burn the thing and THEN look at the product....


                              Live and learn .....


                              Thank you so much, everyone , for your support and help with this..  sorry it took so long to get here....  I'm new at this and it is a little confusing that something that looks so terrible (preview ) should turn out so good on the DVD...


                              I only looked at it just now on computer, so have to put in dvd player hooked up to old tv and see how it looks..


                              Then make a copy and mail to " client " ( the luckiest client in CT right now, as I have worked for about 20000 hours for nothing on safari rough cut )....and that's the end of this project....whew.


                              thank you all.





                              • 12. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
                                the_wine_snob Level 9



                                Good news.


                                DVDIt Pro is one that I know zero about. Was it in that authoring program, that you had the poor preview? If it's like Encore, it has a very rudimentary preview function, just an emulation, and quality is impossible to judge. That will be seen back in the NLE, or on a test Folder, or disc.


                                Also, if it's like Encore, there might be some things, that just do not display correctly in preview. One example of this is is things like transitions to Menus, and from Menus. In Encore's preview, there will almost always be a black "flash," that is not on the burned disc, but it is alarming to people, not knowing about.


                                Good luck,



                                • 13. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
                                  Level 4

                                  Bill, yes, the preview in classic media player (of m2v file) and the preview in dvdit program both looked HORRIBLE...like REALLY horrible...as interleaved export...so I didn't even burn a DVD...and started this whole journey ---going to progressive.....and then asking you guys what's up ...how come interleaved looks so horrible


                                  Then Harm, Stan, you ...suggested the alternative ( avi export ) and so on...and I am happy to report that I've followed through on it ( took most of afternoon but worth the learning process and help and so on....)....and..


                                  I just looked at the DVD on dvd player hooked up to old tv...and it looks GREAT.   Mission Accomplished !  No blur on fast camera pans...everything looks great !


                                  Thank you so much !  I made copious notes and so on, so that I won't EVER forget this stuff....and can duplicate what I did when the time comes.


                                  One thing I noticed while watching on normal TV...just now...is this interesting tidbit, and maybe someone will benefit in the future...


                                  When you are looking at a herd of zebras ( they have stripes on them ) and you are also looking for artifacts of interleaving problems...like sawtoothing and so on....you will notice that


                                  a) zebras shake their skins in this weird way to get rid of bugs and flies and stuff....like they sometimes " shimmer"....


                                  This should not be confused with sawtoothing and artifacts !  it is just the way zebras ACT !!!!!!  live and learn ...




                                  • 14. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                    I would guess that zebra (or is it zebrum?) would be like the sportscaster with a striped shirt - shimmer! OTOH, I have never shot zebra with either a Weatherby, or a camera, so could well be wrong there.


                                    One thing to embrace is your journey to knowledge. You might have taken a bit of a detour with the Interlaced vs Progressive options, but you walked away with knowledge.


                                    One other little "trick" that I do is first Burn to Folder (Encore-speak), and then use CyberLink's PowerDVD to play that file, though it will be on a hi-rez progressive computer monitor. When that testing is done, I'll burn a DVD RW, and begin testing that on several set-top players, hooked up to all sorts of TV's. If things still pass muster (I'm always appalled at the little things that I did not catch in either the NLE, or the authoring program!), then I do the burns to either Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden blank discs, at a less-than-max speed.


                                    Good luck,



                                    • 16. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
                                      Level 4


                                      For some reason my email reply didn't go thru to the forum...( mssg above )...just as well...had nothing new to say.


                                      Now I do


                                      DVD looks good...exported interlaced ( thank you Harm for reminding me I'm losing the field going to progressive )...saved all the info and notes and so on...and I'm happy with the product.


                                      Sooo, bottom line, don't look at previews and judge quality based on what you see...just burn it and THEN look at the quality...  strange but true.



                                      Thanks you all !


                                      ps. on personal note: I would like to say that I got 4.5 hours or safari stuff down to 49 min rough cut and the story is OK...looks pretty nice...with less walking and more nature shots, and once in a while killing something large and wild....to eat and so on...fact of life...  if the supermarkets fail someday and you are sensitive about this, good luck feeding your family ( maybe you could be vegetarians and have 1000 acres of farmland, you are OK ...just no McDonalds )


                                      anyway, it tells a story and the script girl and wardrobe girls are now living together. Script is doing prop /fx ( pulling ropes attached to stuffed buffalo on track thru fake bushes ) and wardrobe girl is now the key grip....who left in a huff because the script girl was his wife....





                                      • 17. Re: cs3- exporting dv ntsc widescreen-solution
                                        the_wine_snob Level 9
                                        anyway, it tells a story and the script girl and wardrobe girls are now living together. Script is doing prop /fx ( pulling ropes attached to stuffed buffalo on track thru fake bushes ) and wardrobe girl is now the key grip....who left in a huff because the script girl was his wife....




                                        I think that you need to option the screen rights to THAT story. Sounds more interesting, than a bunch of walking through the Veldt.


                                        Good luck, and glad that the DVD looked good.