Help! An editor’s worst nightmare…

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    • #46466
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      So I’m a freelance editor trying to start my own business and have been handed an awesome job that should get the ball rolling for me– a video to play on a projector in the main lobby of a major museum.

      However, there are many issues with this project that I’ve never dealt with:

      > I was asked to use footage that needed to be ripped from DVDs. To do this, I used Mac The Ripper and then transferred the files to DV with MPEG Streamclip. (First problem with image degradation)

      >The projector that this will be screened on is 16:9, and I’ve been asked to make the image conform. Of course, all of my ripped media is 4:3. I’ve been experimenting with different custom sequence settings in FCP and different croppings in Compressor, but have no idea what will yield the best resolution. I’m not a genious when it comes to codecs and compression, and this is my first time dealing with widescreen. My first crop resulted in a .MOV file that was 720×356 and had visible linear glitching. (The blow up is my 2nd problem with image degradation)

      >And the last irritation: the program that will be running the media to the projector is a PC-run application called MX5 which appears to ONLY play .WMV and .MPEG files… another nightmare for degrading my image.

      As you can see, there is little hope for making this project look good on projection. If anyone has ANY advice on how to convert my edit to a decent-resolution MPEG that’s cropped for 16:9, I will be forever in your debt! OR, is it at all possible to cross the Mac/PC divide and make my FCP-produced project a .WMV file?

      Thanks for any help!

  • #191594
    AvatarAnonymous
    Inactive

    WOW!

    Nighmare in an understatement!

    I’m afraid that you’re attempting the impossible. Even if you did somehow get a picture from a DVD and changed it to 16:9 it probably wouldn’t look good at all.

    Ask the museum to send you to where ever and to re-shoot the footage that they want you to use. It will probably be easier and look WAY better + you might get a vacation out of it on their dime! πŸ™‚

    RAM

  • #191595
    Avatarbirdcat
    Participant

    I would build a new 16:9 project, add the video on the timeline in it’s 4:3 aspect ratio, then add some additional stuff in the borders (moving text and/or graphics).

  • #191596
    AvatarAnonymous
    Inactive

    birdcat Wrote:

    I would build a new 16:9 project, add the video on the timeline in it’s 4:3 aspect ratio, then add some additional stuff in the borders (moving text and/or graphics).

    Won’t happen unless you don’t care if it looks like junk. The resolution of the video will be shot by then. With all of the decompressing and recompressing and reshaping needed, the video will look like it came out of a blender in the end. I’m sure a public museum paying money to have this done won’t stand for something that looks bad!

  • #191597
    AvatarAnonymous
    Inactive

    I wouldn’t accept that job if it paid in gold.

  • #191598
    AvatarAnonymous
    Inactive

    Couldn’t you use Motion2 (or similar) to compose a filled in HD frame with the original 4:3 footage in the middle of it much like birdcat suggests? I don’t see why this wouldn’t work.

    Dave aka Jardini

  • #191599
    Avatarbirdcat
    Participant

    Video-maniac Wrote:

    Won’t happen unless you don’t care if it looks like junk. The resolution of the video will be shot by then. With all of the decompressing and recompressing and reshaping needed, the video will look like it came out of a blender in the end. I’m sure a public museum paying money to have this done won’t stand for something that looks bad!

    I don’t understand – Even assuming 1080i (which is what 1920 X 1080 pixel resolution) – NTSC SD is 720 X 480 pixels so figure about six SD screens can fit onto one 1080i screen (three columns, two rows) – Since there is additional DVD SD source videos, why not put a few of them on the screen at one time, fading in and out between the six panels and adding some text and graphics around them – Put some good music in the BG and fade/cut at appropriate points and maybe you’ve just salvaged the old video and given them something they could use?

  • #191600
    AvatarEndeavor
    Participant

    birdcat Wrote:

    Video-maniac Wrote:

    Won’t happen unless you don’t care if it looks like junk. The resolution of the video will be shot by then. With all of the decompressing and recompressing and reshaping needed, the video will look like it came out of a blender in the end. I’m sure a public museum paying money to have this done won’t stand for something that looks bad!

    I don’t understand – Even assuming 1080i (which is what 1920 X 1080 pixel resolution) – NTSC SD is 720 X 480 pixels so figure about six SD screens can fit onto one 1080i screen (three columns, two rows) – Since there is additional DVD SD source videos, why not put a few of them on the screen at one time, fading in and out between the six panels and adding some text and graphics around them – Put some good music in the BG and fade/cut at appropriate points and maybe you’ve just salvaged the old video and given them something they could use?

    Thats just what I was thinking!

  • #191601
    AvatarAnonymous
    Inactive

    Endeavor Wrote:

    birdcat Wrote:

    Video-maniac Wrote:

    Won’t happen unless you don’t care if it looks like junk. The resolution of the video will be shot by then. With all of the decompressing and recompressing and reshaping needed, the video will look like it came out of a blender in the end. I’m sure a public museum paying money to have this done won’t stand for something that looks bad!

    I don’t understand – Even assuming 1080i (which is what 1920 X 1080 pixel resolution) – NTSC SD is 720 X 480 pixels so figure about six SD screens can fit onto one 1080i screen (three columns, two rows) – Since there is additional DVD SD source videos, why not put a few of them on the screen at one time, fading in and out between the six panels and adding some text and graphics around them – Put some good music in the BG and fade/cut at appropriate points and maybe you’ve just salvaged the old video and given them something they could use?

    Thats just what I was thinking!

    OK… I think I see what you guys are saying. However, if I’m reading the first original post correctly, it sounded like they just wanted to take that 4:3 footage from a DVD and somehow fill up a 16:9 screen in a different format. Taking a 4:3 DVD (MPEG) and changing it to DV for editing, then blowing that screen up to 16:9 and then recompressing it back to either MPEG or .WMV would really alter the original quality of the footage. Athenagold even mentioned how the video was degraded just ripping the DVD.

    I do agree that if you can avoid stretching the footage to 16:9 and doing something clever with the rest of the screen space, it might not look to bad. I was just commenting on what he originally was trying to do.

    Any video file format that you decompress and recompress a few times will somewhat lose its original quality. Remember that compressing is actually taking repeated frame data between consecutive frames and deleting it, which is how the file sizes are shrunk down. Now when you do the opposite, the software is forced to compensate by somehow pixel blending each frame and that’s just not going to make your final results as true to life as it was originally. It will come out kind of grainy and not real sharp.

    That is a GREAT idea on creating the montage effect as a work around.

  • #191602
    AvatarTomScratch
    Participant

    Hi Athena Gold,
    Like your website. You have a strong committment to being honest with yourself. Unless my comment here has been OBE (overtaken by events), do you need to aim some of this honesty at your client and advise them that you cannot do the the job to the specs they have in mind without image mutilation (nothing worse than this in a museum lobby — or for your business). Possibly no one could within their budget. Describe for them the wonderful job you could do for them within reason to YOUR SPECS and give them a one minute sample. Sit down with the key people and tell them and show them what is possible and how you can make them very happy within your means (which are impressive based on web site). Engage in a collaborative process, with give and take. Be prepared to tell them what equipment will work best for your result. Also model numbers, sources. They may think they want 16:9; talk them out of it, if the choice is between 16:9 and better quality images. ETC. If they are unreasonable, politely take a walk and start looking for your next client. (Make sure to leave your # because they may change their mind.) Do not compromise your basic standards of quality. Everyone who walks into that lobby will know your name.
    (Aside. In my former career, I frequently recruited from the musuem community on national level, for my Agency. Museum staff from management on down are really underpaid even compared to librarians (another recruiting source). Sometimes when a staff is underpaid, they need outside help (yours) to make good decisions…)
    Best of luck!
    REGARDS … TOM 8)

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