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Best quality with adobe software? Any advice greatly appreciated!

ksarone's picture
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 07/06/2012 - 10:18pm

Hello, I am new to this site and am hoping to learn quite a bit from the expertise of those that I've seen post on here. I would appreciate any kind of advice or knowledge you may have, and I look forward to learning more and more as I go along.

I have been using Adobe Premiere to edit my videos and then creating dvds with menus using Adobe Encore. Premiere is CS5.5 and Encore is CS5.1. I own a Canon VIXIA Hf r20 camcorder (Link at the bottom of the post), which I use to shoot in FXP mode, which is 17mbps. The camcorder records in AVCHD onto SD cards in the camera. Once I record, I copy the video files from the cards onto my computer via USB cable.

In premiere, I create a sequence with the following settings:

EDITING MODE: AVCHD 1080i Square Pixel (1.0)

TIMEBASE: 29.97 fps

FRAME SIZE: 1920x1080 16:9

The settings for the video files are as follows:

TYPE: MPEG Movie

IMAGE SIZE: 1920x1080

FRAME RATE: 29.97 fps

PIXEL ASPECT: 1.0

I do all my edits and whatever else I have to do, then create an encore project with these settings:

AUTHORING MODE: DVD

CODEC: MPEG-2

DIMENSIONS: 720x480 (I think this may be part of my problem, however Encore will not let me change this)

FRAME RATE: 29.97

MAX BITRATE: 8.0 mbps

Every timeline I create is also 720x480 with 29.97 fps. It will not allow me to change these settings. My menus are set to 16:9 aspect ratio by clicking the 16:9 radio button in the properties panel on the right.

I then import the sequence from premiere, set up all menus, and get everything working. Once everything is set up,I build the dvds and finish. This method has worked for years, but I do notice a general degradation in quality. My camera shoots in decent HD, but by the time it gets to the finished DVD the faces seem more blurry, the pixels can be seen, and on widescreen tvs it seems to distort everything, even though the video is shot in 1920x1080.

I believe my problem is with pixel and frame aspect ratios. I read a few articles and such that state that if the video looks perfect on your computer, it will be distorted on a tv and vice-versa due to the square or rectangle pixel aspect ratios . I've been desperately trying to learn on my own about how ratios work, but it's giving me quite a bit of trouble to wrap my head around.

So my basic question is this: What settings should I be using in premiere and encore to get the best quality video when I create the dvds? It also might be important to note that I do use stills in my video, however the stills I create are 1920x1080 so that they have the same ratio as the video. But these are created by me from scratch, so I can make the sizes whatever they need to be.

I know this is a lot of technical info, but I would rather have too much info than not enough. Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated. I've learned a lot on my own but I think I could benefit greatly from this site and the great people on it. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and once again I would appreciate any input or advice I can get.

My Camcorder:

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-VIXIA-Camcorder-Internal-Memory/dp/B004HW7E7E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341686988&sr=8-1&keywords=canon+vixia


Charles Schultz's picture
Last seen: 12 months 14 hours ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 10:38pm

First of all, DVD are only 720 x 480 so make sure when you shoot you are in the safe zone for that ratio. Second, instead of rendering the video out of PP have you tried to use dynamic linking in Encore. To boast quality try to slow down the burn rate. For example, if you can burn a DVD at 16X try slowing it down to 8X speed and see if that helps. One last thing, can you shoot at 720p? I have had great success with that setting.

Hope that helps

http://www.cschultzmedia.com


ksarone's picture
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 07/06/2012 - 10:18pm

Thank you for the response. I had no idea that the write speed would make a difference. I assumed the faster speeds were better. And I'm not sure about my camera's record settings, there is no 1080p setting, there is only xp, mxp, etc. I'll have to play with different settings and see if I can get a setting that records in 720p.

So should I always just try to make everything in my project 720x480, inclduing the video, stills and sequences?

And also, won't 720x480 still be distorted on a widescreen tv such as an LCD or Plasma set? My understanding was that 720x480 would not look right on a 16:9 set because it would have to stretch the pixels out to fit.


paulears's picture
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 11/05/2006 - 8:36am

The 720x480 format is fixed - but when you select a widescreen format in the sequence menus - the pixels are stretched a bit, and a flag in the data stream is supposed to make sure the wide screen switch matches. I'm in PAL land so we have a slightly different frame size - but a wide screen premiere sequence fills the screen, and a 4:3 sequence gives me black bands left and right. However, my old flat screen tv automatically stretched this and that looked odd.

I shoot in 1080p, but also have older material shot in DV, so for DVD, I edit in a 720p HD preset, shrinking the HD and stretching the DV, and then going out to encore using the stock settings for DVD produces pretty good results I have found. I certainly can view the end product on my big screen and not notice the original format differences unless I want to. I can see the quality differences, but few other people seem to spot it. The picture is sharp. I wonder if what is happening is that the upscaling and then downscaling for DVD sharpens the edges, just enough on the DV material. The same edit at a DV format sequence, where the HD is shrunk quite a lot, or another sequence in HD with a sizeable stretch to the DV material doesn't work so well I have found going out to DVD. 720 seems to work well for me - and the clients seem very happy.