30 Replies Latest reply on May 31, 2010 12:37 PM by Jeff Bellune

    Exporting AVCHD for DVD...

    david pro Level 1

      Hi there.

       

      I've asked a similar question before, but I have recently purchased CS5 and am still coming up with poor quality exports.

      I filmed at AVCHD 16M (FH)  1920x1080 and amongs all of the info out there I have figured out that my presets should be 1080i30 (60i). When I right click on the  footage and choose properties it shows:

      Image Size: 1920 x 1080
      Pixel Depth: 32
      Frame Rate: 29.97
      Source Audio Format: 48000 Hz - compressed - 6 channels
      Project Audio Format: 48000 Hz - 32 bit floating point - 6 channels
      Average Data Rate: 1.8 MB / second
      Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1.0

      My options for presets are:

      1080i25 (50i) Anamorphic
      1080i25 (50i)
      1080i30 960i) Anamorphic
      1080i30 (60i)
      1080p24 Anamorphic
      1080p24
      1080p25 Anamorphic
      1080p25
      1080p30

      However, when I export to MPEG-2 DVD the video has an awful  trail behind any movement.

       

      Just to see what would happen, I tried exporting to Progressive High Quality Widescreen (instead of just High Quality Widescreen) and the trailing effect after any of the motion went away.

      Any suggestions?

      Thanks,

      David

        • 1. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
          Igor Valentovitch Level 1

          Interesting thread. I hope some of the experts will provide a workflow guidence for exporting AVCHD content for DVD with the stress put on not loosing much quality of the original footage. I have been experimenting with different settings myself. There are lossless codecs one can use to preserve the quality (whe exporting in WIndows AVI) but the content is not playable on a standard video player or WD HD Media Player in my case.

           

          In short, Adobe Gurus please help us with a description of the workflow you follow to export avchd edited content to DVD.

          • 2. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
            Harm Millaard Level 7
            the trailing effect after any of the motion went away.

             

            to be replaced by stutter.

            • 3. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
              Curt Wrigley Level 4

              Igor Valentovitch wrote:

               

              There are lossless codecs one can use to preserve the quality (whe exporting in WIndows AVI) but the content is not playable on a standard video player or WD HD Media Player in my case.

               

              You can make soup from chicken, but you cannot make a chicken from soup.

               

              I dont think it would be all that helpful to save an AVCHD file to uncompressed just to make a highly compressed and scaled down DVD.

               

              Its important to know the file attributes you are starting with.  CS5 makes this easy.

               

              • Drop the AVCHD clip on the New Item icon to create a new sequence that matches the source video attributes.
              • Edit your project
              • When to export ; Make sure MAX render quality is checked.  If you source is interlaced and you dont check this, PR scales it down very badly.

               

              I suggest "Sending to Encore" rather than exporting.  I find it easier and faster.

              • 4. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                Igor Valentovitch Level 1

                Thank you Curt.

                 

                Similar to David my footage is mostly 1080i30 (60i) avchd files. My goal is to export them in the best quality possible and play them

                on a Blu Ray player. Can you please advise the best work flow for this with special attention on the exact settings (if possible)? I still use CS4 but will migrate to CS5 soon.

                 

                I don't know how are the other artists in this forum but I focus mainly on being professional in shooting my films. I also enjoy editing them in

                Adobe PrP (I don't apply too many corrections as I shoot most of the footage properly the first time). After processing the footage through PrP I got disappointed sometimes when the final outcome in terms of video quality does not quite match the quality of the original raw avchd files. This is the reason I joined David in his thread and asked for assistance as probably I'm not using the right settings.

                 

                My inderstanding is that the purpose of creating something is to share it with the audience (friends, clients, etc.). The best way for me to do this is to use the widely available technology = HD LCD + BD player. I just want to learn how to export properly.

                 

                Thanks (and sorry David if I hijacked your thread - this was not my intention).

                 

                Igor

                • 5. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                  david pro Level 1

                  Thank Curt, for your response.

                   

                  Yeah, I've done exactly what you first suggested. I have read in a couple reviews that my camcorder (Sony HDR-SR12) films  in 1080i30 (60i), but and have set the presets according to my footage, edited, then exported using the settings in Jeff Bellune's video on exporting HD to SD. I made sure that "Use Maximum Render Quality" was checked.

                   

                  And like I said, the footage has a trailing effect when there is motion.

                   

                  Then I set my preset for 1080 30p and exported as widescreen progressive, with all the same settings, and the video didn't have the trailing effect. No stuttering either, just nice, smooth video. I'm just wondering if you have any insight into this... something I may not be aware of, being a beginner.

                   

                  And Igor, no I don't mind the questions. This is what the forum is all about!

                   

                  Cheers,

                   

                  David

                  • 6. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                    Curt Wrigley Level 4

                    I dont use AVCHD myself.   But when I send other forms of HD to Encore I simply set Encore for Bluray; it encodes to bluray and it looks gorgeous.

                    • 7. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                      Curt Wrigley Level 4

                      By settig your timeline to progressive you are essentially converting interlaced footage to progressive.  Thats OK if there is not a lot of fast motion.  OR maybe your footage is indeed progressive?    Thats why I suggested letting Pr make the Seq for you by dropping a clip on the new item icon.  See how it makes it and you will see if Pr thinks your footage is progressive or not.

                       

                      I hope in the next release Adobe puts the field info in the Properties or info panel.

                      • 8. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                        david pro Level 1

                        So I had it confirmed that my footage is in fact 1080i60. Here are my export settings and what I have tried to improve the quality of the resulting AVCHD to SD conversion:

                         

                        I have played around with the Field Order to see if that would make a difference. Upper has the worst results,  lower isn't bad and 'using source setting' isn't bad... but they can be  quite 'square-ish' around the outlines of a person's body. I'm not sure  if I'm describing it well, but it's like the old atari video games -  they had a squareness in the graphics - that's what it looks like  sometimes, particularly with lots of movement.

                        I chose non-anamorphic for the  preset. I chose the quality to be the highest, with the box for 'Use  Maximum Render Quality' checked. VBR, 2 Pass, Target Bitrate 7, Max  Bitrate 8.

                        I have left the box for 'Use Frame Blending' unchecked and the Display  Format has 'Drop Frame' checked, rather than 'Non Drop Frame'.

                        I have also left the box beside 'Render at Maximum Depth' unchecked.

                        Cheers,

                        David

                        • 9. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                          Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                          1080i60 AVCHD is upper field first.  If you're getting bad export results with that setting, then I suspect your clip intepretation is wrong or your sequence settings are wrong.  Can you post a screenshot of your sequence settings?

                           

                          -Jeff

                          • 10. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                            John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            This is EXACTLY the discussion I need... I have a Canon Vixia HFS100 (still waiting on CS5... other thread about that) and, for now, a DVD writer since I don't have a BluRay player and nobody I know who might be inflicted rewarded with a home movie I make has a BluRay player

                             

                            I'm sure I will have to experiment some myself with the files my camera produces... but having this discussion is going to give me a good head start... such as learning that CS5 has a "New Item" icon where I can just drop my file and CS5 will figure out the settings (for now, I'm using 60i at the FXP 17Mbps setting... and I am WOW'd by the quality)

                             

                            By the time I'm ready to start editing, this (and other) discussions should have me going from a walk to a run in short order

                             

                            Also... I have 2x320Gig (Boot & Temp) and one Terabyte for data... so when I start editing, I'll find out if AVCHD really does work OK without Raid... I don't think I'm going to get into many effects, so my editing should be mostly stitching clips together with either some kind of transition or maybe "Star Wars" type title between clips to introduce what is coming next

                            • 11. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              >I suggest "Sending to Encore" rather than exporting.  I find it easier and faster.

                               

                              I take that to mean that you let Encore do the conversion from HD to SD to write a DVD, instead of using Premiere Pro... or does PPro downscale and send SD to Encore ???

                              • 12. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                david pro Level 1

                                Hi Jeff. Here's the screenshot....

                                 

                                Screen shot 2010-05-09 at 11.40.44 AM.png

                                • 13. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                  Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                  Thanks.  What was the min bitrate for export?  Set it too low and you may end up with artifacts in odd places.

                                   

                                  Also, try the export with the Quality slider set to 4 instead of 5.  In some cases, it will produce better results.

                                   

                                  Finally, you didn't have "Use Preview Files" selected, did you?  If so, uncheck that immediately!

                                   

                                  -Jeff

                                  • 14. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                    david pro Level 1

                                    Hi, Jeff.

                                     

                                    Min. bitrate is set at 2.8 and Use Previews is unchecked.

                                     

                                    I tried lowering the Quality to 4 and that had no effect. I also tried raising the min. bitrate to 4 and that also had no effect.

                                     

                                    Argh.

                                     

                                    David

                                    • 15. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                      david pro Level 1

                                      Here's the screenshot of my export settings....

                                       

                                      Screen shot 2010-05-09 at 5.40.53 PM.png

                                      • 16. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                        Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                        OK, let me ask you this: How were you viewing the output from Pr when you made the quality comparison?  Please include playback device and display device.

                                         

                                        -Jeff

                                        • 17. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                          david pro Level 1

                                          Hi Jeff.

                                           

                                          I'm using VLC to play the .m2v, on my iMac.

                                           

                                          David

                                          • 18. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                            Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                            VLC, while an excellent player of rare and exotic video types, is a lousy judge of quality.  Use VLC to play an .flv file and you'll see what I mean.  Any time there's motion across the screen, VLC needs a second or two to "catch up" and bring the picture into focus once the motion stops.

                                             

                                            Burn an RW disc with a short test segment of your most demanding footage, and play it back on a hardware DVD player hooked up to a TV.  LCD, CRT, DLP, anything you can get your hands on.  Heck, even a software DVD player playing a burned disc would be better than VLC for judging image quality.

                                             

                                            -Jeff

                                            • 19. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                              david pro Level 1

                                              I just burned it to DVD and played it in my DVD player.

                                               

                                              The pixels still have a funny squareness around the person that I filmed. The odd thing is, it looks much worse when I play it on the DVD player that is hooked up to my TV, and not so bad when played on my iMac using DVD Player.

                                               

                                              I also burned the project that I exported in progressive, and again, it looks better when played back.

                                               

                                              I contacted Sony and they confirmed that I'm filming in 1080i.

                                               

                                              Argh!!!!

                                               

                                              David

                                              • 20. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                                Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                                I don't know what else to try.  About the only thing left would be screenshots of the pixelated interlaced video and of the not-so-bad progressive video.  Maybe a clue will show up.

                                                 

                                                -Jeff

                                                • 21. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                                  david pro Level 1

                                                  Hi Jeff.

                                                   

                                                  When I try to take a screen shot of the video in my DVD Player, it shows as a blank screen... doesn't seem like I'm able to do it.

                                                   

                                                  Upon the advise of a friend, however, I exported to h.264 level 5.1, and it has no pixely artifacts in the motion. It looks much better.

                                                   

                                                  Still, they both look awful on my DVD player... not sure why.

                                                   

                                                  Thanks,

                                                   

                                                  David

                                                  • 22. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                                    david pro Level 1

                                                    Out of curiosity, Jeff, do you know why there are so few format options when you export? Other editing software has avi as an option, among many others. Also, under MPEG-4 there are only two presets... 352x288 h.263, and one smaller frame size. I would just assume that there would be more ways of exporting....

                                                     

                                                    David

                                                    • 23. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                      David,

                                                       

                                                      It sounds like you are missing some Presets, or perhaps looking in the wrong places.

                                                       

                                                      There are many dozen Export options (more if one has other CODEC's, like Lagarith Lossless, installed, and dozens of variations of most of those.

                                                       

                                                      Maybe a screen-cap of your Export Options would show up what is missing. Someone's sharp eye will likely give you a list of the missing Presets. This would be the drop-down from your earlier screen-cap.

                                                       

                                                      Good luck,

                                                       

                                                      Hunt

                                                      • 24. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                                        david pro Level 1

                                                        Can you also tell me what the Profile and Level options mean? I can't find any info online. I've chosen the level as 5.1 and the Profile as Main within the h.264 format options.

                                                         

                                                        Here's the screenshot of my format options:

                                                         

                                                        Screen shot 2010-05-10 at 12.22.15 PM.png

                                                        • 25. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                                          Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                                                          • I don't think Pr on a Mac has an AVI export option.  I can't say for sure since I'm on a PC.
                                                          • MPEG-4 encompasses a lot of stuff: H.263 is an older version.  I think the included presets are for older 3GPP handheld devices.  You can still set whatever parameters you need.  But, H.264 is better.
                                                          • Profile and Levels settings can help define specific "formats" like Blu-ray or iPod.  You can change these to possibly improve your output, but you risk incompatibility with whatever device you use to play it back.  Why and how to set those deserves its own semester-long night class.

                                                           

                                                          -Jeff

                                                          • 26. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                                            david pro Level 1

                                                            Hi Jeff.

                                                             

                                                            Thanks again for all your help.

                                                             

                                                            Are you able to tell me what to set the Profile and Level at to export for DVD? I already tried Profile at 5.1 and Level and Main, and it after I burned it it played on my DVD player. What do you think?

                                                             

                                                            Cheers,

                                                             

                                                            David

                                                            • 27. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                                              Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                                              Just choose MPEG2 DVD in the Format drop-down list.  Profile and Level will be set automatically by Pr to be DVD-legal.

                                                               

                                                              -Jeff

                                                              • 28. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                                                david pro Level 1

                                                                Hey Jeff.

                                                                 

                                                                I found a solution to my problem. A friend of a friend has been a professional videographer for 25 years and he came to my place to help me out.

                                                                 

                                                                Essentially what we came up with is that, since AVCHD footage is filmed in h.264 HD, the best thing to do is export to a h.264 intermediary, before rendering to MPEG-2. So that's what I did... from Premiere Pro I exported to h.264, HDTV 1080p 29.97 using a target bitrate of around 8. The resulting file was my 'master copy', from which I rendered to MPEG-2, using the settings you suggested.

                                                                 

                                                                The quality was excellent. He said that going from the native AVCHD footage directely to MPEG-2 looses too much quality because MPEG-2 is such an old, low quality codec.

                                                                 

                                                                Thanks again for your help.

                                                                 

                                                                David

                                                                • 29. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                                                  Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                                                  david pro wrote:

                                                                   

                                                                  since AVCHD footage is filmed in h.264 HD, the best thing to do is export to a h.264 intermediary, before rendering to MPEG-2. So that's what I did... from Premiere Pro I exported to h.264, HDTV 1080p 29.97 using a target bitrate of around 8. The resulting file was my 'master copy', from which I rendered to MPEG-2, using the settings you suggested.

                                                                   

                                                                  The quality was excellent. He said that going from the native AVCHD footage directely to MPEG-2 looses too much quality because MPEG-2 is such an old, low quality codec.

                                                                   

                                                                  Thanks again for your help.

                                                                   

                                                                  David

                                                                  You're welcome, but....

                                                                   

                                                                  I don't understand how re-compressing an already compressed video file before compressing it yet again for DVD can improve the quality.  The statement that going from AVCHD directly to MPEG2 loses too much quality because MPEG2 is an old, low-quality codec doesn't make any sense to me at all.

                                                                   

                                                                  However, if that workflow gets you the quality you need, then that's what matters most.  As I've said before, whatever it takes...

                                                                   

                                                                  -Jeff

                                                                  • 30. Re: Exporting AVCHD for DVD...
                                                                    david pro Level 1

                                                                    Yeah... as a beginner I'm not sure why it created better quality.

                                                                     

                                                                    And you're right, whatever works! I'm happy I found a solution!

                                                                     

                                                                    David