First, make sure you're using the correct project presets in Premiere Elements when you first start your project.
Assuming you're shooting in MXP mode, that will be the AVCHD 1920x1080 setting. If your camcorder records to 5.1 audio, make sure that option is selected also. Choosing the right project settings is vital to getting a good output!
Otherwise, your output settings are about right. Just change the Basic Video Settings to single encoding pass and your results should be virtuallly the same as from MovieMaker.
Thanks for the quick reply, although I am still having issues. I tried creating a new project, and selected the AVCHD setting below:
I have tried changing to single pass encoding, have tried variable and constant bitrate at maximum bitrate and quality settings, and I still can not get rid of the horizontal lines in the clip I'm testing with. I can't figure out if maybe there's some other setting I'm missing? I compared with WLMM once again and WLMM still gives a perfect WMV output file. I'd gladly share the clip if it would help, but it's 117 MB.
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I do not know about PrE's WMV Export/Share, but many PrPro users are not happy with its WMV Export and a lot of them found that the free MS Windows Media Encoder did a much better job. It is a stand-alone encoder, and comes highly recommended.
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We may be getting confused because we're talking about two different settings.
1) The project setting -- which you select when you create a new project -- is based on your camcorder. In your case, I believe, it's an AVCHD camcorder. Make sure you select the right AVCHD setting because there are both 1920x1080 square and 1440x1080 non-square pixel AVCHD as well as stereo and 5.1 audio options. But choosing the right one is critical to creating a high-quality project.
2) You Share preset is what you select to output your video. In your case you're choosing a hi-def WMV option, right? That's under Share/Personal Computer/WMV.
It's in the Advanced settings for your Share option that you select the single-pass video option. (You can even see the option in the screen cap you included with your first post.)
Thanks for the response, I think that's what I'm finding with PrEl. It looks like WM Encoder is being discontinued, and I have been testing their replacement MS Expression Encoder today. However, now I'm finding a different problem. It seems the motion sometimes gets a little jumpy or jerky after it encodes the MTS file to WMV. I think I've played with almost every video setting I can find, and I'm still seeing the same problem. Maybe I'll try the old WM Encoder next? I'm really at a loss for what to try.
Thanks for the response. I did go back and verify the project setting, and I think I was originally using the wrong project settings. This is what I'm using now for the project:
And then to share, I went to Personal Computer -> WMV, and selected these advanced settings:
Unfortunately, I still see the jagged horizontal lines like the original screenshot I posted. I tried playing with other video export settings (constant bit rate, at 8,000 and 20,000 also), and with variable constrained/unconstrained output. I'm really at a loss for what is going on. I did confirm that it doesn't have the horizontal lines if I encode to MPEG, but the WMV problem persists.
What happens if you check the "Allow interlaced processing" option?
While it does not solve your PRE problem you could install the older (and many think better than the 'Live' version) Windows Movie Maker 2.6.
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children
It could well be that the problem is that you're creating a hi-def WMV file -- which can be challenging for most computers to play.
Try creating something more like 640x480 and most likely your stuttering problems will go away.
WMVs really weren't designed to handle 1920x1080 footage!
I probably could have explained more in my first post, but I actually didn't have any problems playing 1920x1080 WMV files that I created in WLMM. I've had pretty good luck using WLMM to edit WMV clips at this resolution, but WLMM gets a bit flaky when handling MTS files. I could only get it to work well if I imported each MTS file individually, rendered it to WMV, and then put together the movie with all WMV clips. WLMM is very flaky when cropping MTS files or when working with multiple MTS files.
Still don't quite know what the hidden issue is behind making the WMV files. The ones I do convert or produce from WLMM look perfect (if it doesn't crash), but even trying to reencode the MTS files with MS's own Expression Encoder gives me jumpy files. I'd be interested if anyone has had luck exporting to WMV at 1920x1080 though.
I guess I probably should consider rendering to MPEG files anyway. I think I'll probably want to archive home movies on Blu-ray, once the price of the burners come down a little more. And the features and editing capabilities in PreEl are so much better than WLMM.