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  1. Member
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    Hi everyone

    I have a true nightmare going. Firstly, I'm a newbie, but that primarily goes for stuff like codecs, bitrates, fps and interleave. I'm a programmer (.NET / MSSQL) by trade, avid photographer in spare time and proficient in both programming and assembling my computer from purchased parts. But this I don't get and it has been bugging me ever since I purchased my video camera which is a Sony HDR-HC1E filming @ 1080i.

    Anyway, currently I am working on some footage from a recent skiing trip, where the said footage consists of my own material and two other compact cameras filming @ 720p and 640x480, none of which I guess matters.

    I have created a clip in premiere pro 2 about 10min long and the whole issue is what to do to export it in good quality and reasonable size ( < 500MB ). I must have made 50 attempts so far and I'm not even close to success. There's just so many options, dialogs, settings...I feel totally lost. Earlier I made a separate series of attempts using Media Encoder in Premiere, and after that didn't fly, I have now moved over to Export Movie and choosing a codec there. I have tried both DivX (v 6.8.3) and ffdshow (rev 1723) numerous times and either I have < 500MB with video quality that is total crap, or I have > 2GB of something resembling acceptable quality.

    To make things worse, I use GSpot to check the encoding of produced files and compare them to some downloaded DivX encoded files. From what I have been able to gather, bitrate is by far most important factor for the quality and size. Still, other DivX movies perform excellent at < 1000 kbps @ 25fps, while I get crappy results @ 5000 kbps, 30 fps.

    I am rapidly getting desperate (and frankly pissed off) and just want a 10 minute movie without flickering or big squares not being able to keep up with the rest of the movie. If anyone has any tips on this, I'd be eternally grateful.


    Thanks
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  2. what is the intended output going to be used/viewed on? that determines how it should be encoded. tv/dvd/computer/streaming video/portable device???

    as a programmer you should have figured out that file size = bitrate x time in seconds. so if you want a 500MB file and it's 10 minutes long you can solve the equation for the bitrate. 500MB=4000mb and 10min=600sec so bitrate = 4000/600 or 6.66mbps(6600kbps). i'm not a programmer or mathematician so don't take my work as gospel but the formula is correct.

    that gives you the general bitrate area you want to shoot for. leave some for the audio and a little for avi overhead.

    size and codec used for encoding need the first question answered to work on.
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    Hey man, thanks for the answer.

    The intended output is computer and ideally file size should be around 300MB (or less). However, I just finished an export that produced a 360MB file encoded with DivX 5 @ 4590kbps / 25fps and the quality is not good. Action shots with movement have squares hanging in the frames and such. Now, does that have anything to do with 25fps or is it just down to bitrate?

    And why is it that a movies I download are working so much better? Random example: 2 hour movie, file size 700MB, bitrate 850kbps, 23.97fps, no trouble whatsoever.
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  4. What frame size for export? How noisy and "bumpy" is your footage (I know it's sking, but...)

    4590kbps / 25fps / @ SD frame size should not give you pixellation with DivX, but using 1920x1080 you would expect pixellation

    You can get better compression with h.264/AVC and AAC audio, but something else must be going on here
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    Originally Posted by poisondeathray
    What frame size for export?

    4590kbps / 25fps / SD frame size should not give you pixellation with DivX

    You can get better compression with h.264/AVC , but something else must be going on here
    I'm exporting at 1280x720, but I can give it a shot at something smaller, just give me a number. I have tried it before though.

    I also think something else is going on, but I can't nail what. I also noticed that my videos are not showing any picture, just sound in VLC (I know, it has its own codec pack), so that might also mean something is fishy here. The question is what?
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  6. I don't get it... you can't see the picture of the exported video in VLC? Then how are you determining that it's pixellated ?? Is your VLC current? Try another player e.g. KMplayer or MPCHC

    720p25 @ 5000kbps is cutting it close for DivX, you would be much better off with h.264

    Noisy footage, and those with lots of movement (e.g. sking moguls) will require more bitrate., so denoising it before or stabilizing it might be considered here if you have a small filesize goal
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    Originally Posted by poisondeathray
    I don't get it... you can't see the picture of the exported video in VLC? Then how are you determining that it's pixellated ?? Is your VLC current? Try another player e.g. KMplayer or MPCHC

    720p25 @ 5000kbps is cutting it close for DivX, you would be much better off with h.264

    Noisy footage, and those with lots of movement (e.g. sking moguls) will require more bitrate., so denoising it before or stabilizing it might be considered here if you have a small filesize goal
    I can't see the picture at all in VLC, but I do see it in Windows Media Player and there I see it is pixelated.

    I've started a h264/AVC1 job now using ffdshow pack and reduced the frame size to 800x450.
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  8. Don't use h264 from ffdshow, very low quality, very old implementation

    use x264vfw and adjust the settings (default settings are low quality as well); the problem is I don't think you can do a multipass encode in premiere using x264vfw (i don't know of a way to read the 1st pass stats fle)

    Ideally you would export as lossless (eg. huffyuv), then encode using x264cli. Many front ends to choose from eg. xvid4psp, ripbot264, megui, handbrake... . But since you are using an older version of Premiere, the Debugmode Frameserver still works with it (it makes a "dummy avi" which then you import into the encoding application e.g. ripbot264)
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    Originally Posted by poisondeathray
    Don't use h264 from ffdshow, very low quality, very old implementation

    use x264vfw and adjust the settings (default settings are low quality as well); the problem is I don't think you can do a multipass encode in premiere using x264vfw (i don't know of a way to read the 1st pass stats fle)

    Ideally you would export as lossless (eg. huffyuv), then encode using x264cli. Many front ends to choose from eg. xvid4psp, ripbot264, megui, handbrake... . But since you are using an older version of Premiere, the Debugmode Frameserver still works with it (it makes a "dummy avi" which then you import into the encoding application e.g. ripbot264)
    That was a mouthful of info for me to digest, but thanks a million. I'll get to it right away.

    Btw, I just finished the ffdshow h264 encoding and VLC is still only sound, WMP and DivXPlayer crash on start. GSpot seems to be showing that I have CoreAVC that should handle this type, but I haven't been able to play the file yet.

    Thanks again for being so helpful
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    Even though this latest advice sounded good, in reality it didn't get me any further. I downloaded and installed Debugmode Frameserver and restarted Premiere Pro. It did show up in the codec list and an attempt to use it produced a 38MB avi file. Is this the "dummy avi" file and what exactly should I do with it. I am puzzled by the small size of it and thinking it's no good...
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  11. You feed the dummy avi into another application to encode e.g. xvid4psp, ripbot264, megui, handbrake etc....Then you encode with that application. They are all GUIs for the x264cli encoder

    This gets around this limitation of Premiere Pro, as you cannot access x264cli directly with Premiere, and there is no huge lossless intermediate file, just a tiny "dummy avi"

    The frameserver basically allows integration of programs that would otherwise not be compatible. In this case, Premiere is "serving" frames to the encoding application (e.g. xvid4psp,etc...)
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    Originally Posted by poisondeathray
    You feed the dummy avi into another application to encode e.g. xvid4psp, ripbot264, megui, handbrake etc....Then you encode with that application. They are all GUIs for the x264cli encoder

    This gets around this limitation of Premiere Pro, as you cannot access x264cli directly with Premiere, and there is no huge lossless intermediate file, just a tiny "dummy avi"

    The frameserver basically allows integration of programs that would otherwise not be compatible. In this case, Premiere is "serving" frames to the encoding application (e.g. xvid4psp,etc...)
    I see. So this happens when I go to ripbot264 and specify the avi file into the video file box: a Media Player Classic pops out and plays some 10 seconds on repeat. The only thing showing is "AviSource: Could not decompress frame 0 (C:\Temp\Ripbot264temp\job1getinfo.avs, line 2)"

    Suggestions?
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  13. Do you have ffdshow and avisynth installed ? Did you leave Premiere open?

    Did you specify YUY2 output for debugmode ?

    If you use xvid4psp it will autogenerate an .avs script for you, ripbot264 should do the same thing.

    If you wanted to do it manually:

    AVISource("video.avi")
    ConvertToYV12()
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    Originally Posted by poisondeathray
    Do you have ffdshow and avisynth installed ? Did you leave Premiere open?

    Did you specify YUY2 output for debugmode ?

    If you use xvid4psp it will autogenerate an .avs script for you, ripbot264 should do the same thing.

    If you wanted to do it manually:

    AVISource("video.avi")
    ConvertToYV12()
    I have ffdshow and avisynth installed, ripbot will not even start without those. I might have had Premiere open, I tried with it closed now and it loaded ok, but said "No audio" for some reason. I take it Premiere should be closed when doing this then? Will also try with xvid4psp.

    Unless there is any good reason to get into manual scripting, I would prefer not to.

    And whatever you meant by "specify YUY2 output for debugmode", I did not. There was no config possibilities as far as I could see for debugmode in Premiere.
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  15. I haven't done this in a while, as debugmode doesn't work with CS4. From what I recall, it should be left open, because the dummy avi is not actually rendered, it's just a signpost file

    When exporting through debugmode, I think there is an intermediate configuration panel that allows you to render the colorspace, and "write audio as PCM samples" in signpost AVI. If you don't checkmark the latter, the audio wont pass through

    If you play the dummy the avi file directly with mpc, what happens?

    Did you try xvid4psp ?

    As for scripting, for this purpose it is very easy, just write those two lines in a text file (eg. notepad), adjust the filename to match, and rename the extension to .avs

    The other option of course, is to render to a lossless intermediate (e.g. huffyuv, lagarith etc...), which would take a large disk space, then use that as input file to plug into the x264 encoder. This is what I often do with Premiere CS4, since the frameserver doesn't work with that version
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    I could not find any intermediate config for debugmode, it just shows up in the export movie settings dialogue box compressor dropdown with title "DebugMode FSVFWC (internal use)" with config button disabled.

    dummy file in mpc gives sound only, as does preview play inside xvid4psp.

    On a brighter note, I managed to use the h264 encoded file that was crashing everything I tried opening it in and produce a decent MP4 using xvid4psp. It's not great, but it's better than anything so far and 300MB is not scary.

    I just started another xvid4psp session to produce MP4 from the dummy avi. I'll post the outcome.

    Thanks for your help and patience, I really appreciate it. Then again, I know you canadians are good people, can't wait to get there again

    edit: xvid4psp produced a sound-only MP4 from the dummy avi that was as mentioned also sound-only in mpc. So no dice there.
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  17. Did you install the most recent version of debugmode frameserver?

    Something doesn't seem right. There must be an issue with exporting out of Premiere if you get black frames (no video). You should be "seeing" the dummy avi properly, which MPC isn't

    Have a look at this tutorial, around the 5min mark there is an intermediate configuration menu, that specifies colorspace, and audio. Also did you forget to checkmark "export video" in the Premiere dialog box?

    http://www.dvxhost.com/tutorial/h264hd/H264HD.html

    Since your project is YV12 to begin with (from camcorder clips) you should choose YUY2, instead of RGB to minimize extra colorspace conversions. In avisynth, you would add ConvertToYV12() , but most of the easy to use GUI's like xvid4psp will automatically add this to the script for you.
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