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Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Specific to Premiere Elements Version 7.

Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Postby Di Hansen » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:13 pm

Please advise.

I just reviewed a DVD of a wedding day, viewed from my Sony HDTV. I am disappointed/disheartened with the interlacing lines and softness I am witnessing in the footage, especially during the ceremony chapter. I need to go back, correct these symptoms and re-burn the project to DVD. :pull:

Source video footage: AVCHD and a few .MOV clips
I separated the project into chapters and set the clips to each chapter to its own timeline for editing. I then exported each chapter as a DV-AVI to be used in the final compilation.

Ceremony Chapter: I used 2 video cameras to capture the footage - one captured the footage in AVCHD, the other as .MOV files. Then:
1. Because these clips were in two different formats, I converted them to DV-AVI's prior to setting them to a timeline.
2. Set the clips to a timeline, edited and then exported the chapter footage as a DV-AVI to be used in the final compilation.
3. Upon compiling all of the chapters (including this ceremony chapter) the final wide-screen compilation was burned to a folder and then to NTSC DVD.

Questions:
1. Did exporting the ceremony clips as DV-AVI files twice before burning to the final DVD, cause the degradation of quality in the final DVD?
2. Do I dare mix raw clips of AVCHD and .MOV on the same timeline to preserve the quality (and omit one of the DV-AVI exports)?
3. Is there another format (other than DV-AVI) to which I should export the AVCHD files to preserve as much HD quality as possible?
4. Did I miss a setting during my DV-AVI export that may have caused the degradation? :conf:

Please advise. Thank you!
Di
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Re: Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:25 pm

Unfortunately, you can't really mix video formats in version 7 without problems. Pre-version 11 Premiere Elements required an exact match between your project settings and your video, and adding a video with a different format can require some fudging. This is complicated by the fact that version 7 also doesn't do AVCHD well.

Is your AVCHD 1920x1080?

What are the dimensions of your MOV footage and what model of camcorder did it come from?

What are your project settings for your Premiere Elements project (listed under the Edit menu)?

I'm sure it's no consolation to know that your workflow would be tremendously simplified if you were using versions 11 or 12 of the program. But it would be. Sorry.
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Re: Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Postby Di Hansen » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:42 pm

Hey, Steve.

AVCHD is 1920x1080
MOV from Canon PowerShot SX210 IS, dimensions 1280x720

Project Settings:
Prior to DV-AVI exports: NTSC-AVCHD Full HD 1080i 30 for AVCHD clips

I did not include the MOV files with the AVCHD until all were DV-AVI.

No need to apologize.
Can I preserve the best quality of AVCHD out of PRE11 or PRE12 without converting all to DV-AVI files? If processing AVCHD files is best in PRE 11 or 12 is better and save workflow, I have no problems purchasing and re-editing. I will need to re-edit anyway.

Thanks!
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Re: Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:50 pm

I would definitely recommend the upgrade to version 11 or 12 if you are going to mix those formats in a video project, Di.

Then you don't need to convert any of the video files to a common format. Just use them as is.

BTW, did one camera seem to give you more troubling issues than the other?
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Re: Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Postby Di Hansen » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:02 pm

No troubles with either camera or respective clips. Since I've used PRE, I've always converted all to DV-AVI before inserting any clips to a timeline.

My main issue: the final product - the footage on the DVD did not look good when viewed on an HDTV! I know to expect some standard quality disappointment when viewing on an HDTV, but this level was more than I can handle.

In the past, I have used my (relatively new AVCD video clips) for online uploads and viewing with no problems/disappointment - this is the first time I have converted them down into a standard DVD.

Thanks for your help!
Di
P.S. I will upgrade. I see Adobe has a sale until Dec. 2nd. :tup:
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Re: Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:34 pm

Before you get too deeply into this, Di, let's make sure we agree on your terms.

You keep talking about your DVD's "quality". What exactly do you mean by that?

Naturally, a DVD (which has less than one-fifth the resolution of hi-def) is never going to be as clean-looking, sharp or detailed as your original footage.

But when you say "quality" do you mean something more than the fact that it's not as clear and sharp?

You really can't get around that -- unless you save your projects to BluRay disc instead.
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Re: Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Postby Di Hansen » Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:24 pm

Points well taken, Steve. Yes. We can agree on the terms of "quality". Thanks for taking the time to clarify.

I had interlacing lines and fuzziness in my final DVD footage (especially in my ceremony chapters), not just a lack of clarity, sharpness or detail. I believe this was caused by the compression of my AVCHD clips into DV-AVI files. As I mentioned in my initial post, my ceremony clips were exported as DV-AVI files twice during the editing process - before being burned to DVD. No doubt, I was stuck in the old solid fundamentals associated with PRE 7, so that PRE 7 would not crash before my eyes. :-8

My goal is to eliminate as much of the compression of original quality as possible. My understanding is that upgrading to PRE12 will allow me to omit converting (compressing/down-rezzing) my clips and preserve, within reason, as much sharpness and detail of the original footage as possible. I have burned 100s of DVDs from other formats (mpegs, DV, etc.) with more pleasurable viewing on my HDTV than this one originating from AVCHD.

Please correct me if I am on the wrong path of thought and reason. Why do I still use PRE 7? I like the interface more than PRE 9 and PRE 10. I do use those on occasion. As I am using AVCHD more frequently during editing, I will use PRE 12 and "bond" with it. \:D/

Thank you!
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Re: Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:14 pm

You're going to be amazed how much better version 12 works with AVCHD, Di!
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Re: Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Postby Bob » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:25 pm

Regarding the interlacing artifacts you are seeing with PRE7. AVCHD and DV-AVI interlaced footage have reversed field dominance compared to each other. If for some reason the field dominance was not converted properly when converting from AVCHD to DV-AVI, the "combing" from the interlacing will be worsened and more obvious -- especially where there is motion. You might want to make a small test to verify that the dominance was converted properly. Reverse the field dominance on a short sample of the converted DV-AVI footage, preferably with motion, and see whether it becomes better or worse. If it becomes better, the field dominance was not converted properly and you should use the reverse field dominance option on all the converted footage.
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Re: Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Postby Di Hansen » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:07 pm

Regarding the interlacing artifacts you are seeing with PRE7. AVCHD and DV-AVI interlaced footage have reversed field dominance compared to each other. If for some reason the field dominance was not converted properly when converting from AVCHD to DV-AVI, the "combing" from the interlacing will be worsened and more obvious -- especially where there is motion.

Thanks, Bob! So I understand correctly, when using PRE7, does this mean I should be selecting the Deinterlace Footage box and looking at the field order selections upon exporting AVCHD to DV-AVI? (which may be a non-factor if I use PRE12?) I have not been deinterlacing my AVCHD footage when exporting. Please advise.

Steve Grisetti wrote:You're going to be amazed how much better version 12 works with AVCHD, Di!

Just downloaded it and am looking forward to using it. Purchased your book through Amazon too! \:D/

I will submit my critique/editorial in a few weeks! :CS: (was dying to use this Smilie somewhere!)
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Re: Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Postby Di Hansen » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:18 pm

Bob wrote:Regarding the interlacing artifacts you are seeing with PRE7. AVCHD and DV-AVI interlaced footage have reversed field dominance compared to each other. If for some reason the field dominance was not converted properly when converting from AVCHD to DV-AVI, the "combing" from the interlacing will be worsened and more obvious -- especially where there is motion. You might want to make a small test to verify that the dominance was converted properly. Reverse the field dominance on a short sample of the converted DV-AVI footage, preferably with motion, and see whether it becomes better or worse. If it becomes better, the field dominance was not converted properly and you should use the reverse field dominance option on all the converted footage.


Just checked my video camera settings and PRE7 project settings - please advise after reading the following.

Problematic?
I captured AVCHD footage (1920x1080) set to PF30 (30 fps progressive) via my Canon Vixia HFG10. If I set it to a project timeline with settings of Full HD 1080i (note "i" for interlaced), will it render correctly as a DV-AVI (without artifact, interlacing issues)? Canon asterisks the progressive*, stating it is recorded as 60i. :conf:

If so, I won't combine this capture setting with this particular project setting. Thanks!
Dianna
P.S. Really feeling like I need to go to school - desiring to understand these technical aspects.
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Re: Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Postby Bob » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:35 pm

PF30 is interlaced, but it's recorded differently than normal interlaced footage and shouldn't cause a problem. Go ahead and use it. You won't introduce interlacing artifacts even if field order isn't converted properly.

Interlacing records two fields per frame. One field records the even numbered scan lines, the other field the odd numbered scan lines. Together, the two fields make up a complete frame. With normal interlacing, the two fields are recorded consecutively so there is a time difference between what's recorded in the first field and what's recorded in the second field. If there is a moving object, it will be in a different position from one field to the next and when combined the object lines will not line up and you will see what's called combing or "jaggies". The faster the motion, the worse the jaggies. If the fields are displayed in the order they are recorded, this can actually be beneficial as it forms a sort of temporal smoothing of the motion. But, reverse the order the fields are displayed and the motion will become jittery and the combing will appear much more obvious -- it won't be pleasant to watch.

For PF30, Canon uses what's called a progressive segmented frame. It's essentially a way to record a progressive frame into an interlaced frame. With PF30, the camera doesn't record the two fields consecutively. Instead, it records once and then creates the two fields from that single image. The image lines will always line up because there is no time difference between the fields. Reversing the field order will not make a difference. The image will not be jittery or have combing. Playback may appear choppier than normal interlaced footage because it will not have the temporal smoothing, but it will be more film like.
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Re: Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Postby Di Hansen » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:33 pm

Thanks, Bob! That gives me a good base of understanding.
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Re: Getting the most quality: AVCHD to Standard DVD

Postby Di Hansen » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:11 pm

I revisited my AVCHD chapters and the settings of converting them to DV-AVI - in PRE7 there is a Recompress option that was checked upon each of my exports. I missed the opportunity to uncheck the box. So - my files were being recompressed - some more than once, as I put chapters of footage together. I believe this is what caused the disturbing artifacts and combing in my final movie.

I reprocessed the AVCHD files - some in PRE7 and my larger files in PRE12 and the resulting DV-AVI files were much cleaner and sharper.

Thank you for your help!
Di
P.S. I noticed that the Recompress setting is not obviously present in PRE12.
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