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Old 03-08-2008, 04:52 PM   #1
RonnieMartin
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Default HD/SD artifact solution?

Sorry to beat a dead horse and I promise I will not post a question on this topic again Please don't construe this post as being anti Edius/GrassValley.
I am grateful for the products and the help I have received over the past 10 years or so from both Grass Valley and the good folks on this forum.

HOWEVER,

I have now spent a week editing my first 2 hour project of my shooting season constantly checking the forum and sending files to various people trying to solve the stair step problem or horizontal artifacts when down converting from HD to SD.

So far there seems to be no solution inside of Edius.

My work flow up to this point was as follows:
shoot in 1440x1080 with Sony EX-1
Edit in Edius 4.6 same settings
export time line as Canopus HQ
open new project with SD 720x480 settings
drag the exported HQ file on to the time line
When I play that clip the stair steps on horizontal lines are
really bad.

What can I do in my work flow to get rid of the artifacts at this point? My end product is SD 4x3 DVD.

Several of you have suggested virtual dub. I have downloaded it but have no clue as to how to use it. If you have eliminated the artifacts with virtual dub or Procoder please either post your settings or PM me to save time space on the forum.

At this point I need to convert to 4x3 and encode for DVD authoring
If there is a solution inside of Edius (procoder) or outside Edius (virtual dub or others) would you post your settings using the KISS procedure. Keeping it simple for stupid folks like me.


I guess the real question I have is this an Edius problem or camera problem? Maybe both?

I have looked back at last year's season at my SD DVDs shooting with a Zu1 in the same HDV setting using Edius 3.5. and although the artifacts are there, they are not at pronounced. It appears that part of the problem in down converting is native to Edius. It also appears that it is worse with 4.6.

If this is a universal problem? If it is an Edius problem is anyone working on it? Or do we just let it languish hoping the solution will be blue ray.

What I did in the past is after changing the project settings from 16x9 HDV to 4x3 SD was to go to each of the clips using the layout tool to "fit height".Then laboriously changing each title to 4x3. The last step was to encode with PCE or Procoder before importing into authoring program. The artifacts were there but not as pronounced.

I for one think it will be a while before SD DVD as a product goes away. I don't see my customer base demanding it anytime soon and I don't see me changing my product until the blank disks come way down in price.

One of the reasons I am so interested in solving this problem is that my shooting season is just beginning and I want to improve my product not down grade it. I have a 2 hour project to edit and produce every week and
I am trying to stream line my production and at the same time keep the quality up.

Thanks

Ronnie
www.dirtracingvideo.com
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:25 PM   #2
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Ronnie: can you post a few seconds of a sample clip for testing purposes? I thought this problem was solved by the workaround you described at the beginning of your post, so I'm curious to see an example using something you've shot with the EX1.
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonnieMartin View Post
export time line as Canopus HQ
open new project with SD 720x480 settings
drag the exported HQ file on to the time line
When I play that clip the stair steps on horizontal lines are
really bad.
www.dirtracingvideo.com
Is your 720x480 project 4x3 at this step? Have you tried a 16:9 project? The footage will play back letterboxed, but I think this is the only way to get rid of that stairstepping.

I also have the EX1 and have done a lot of 16x9 SD projects, and there is no stairstepping at all.
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:50 AM   #4
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Another thing you can try is go into your picture profile in the EX1 and turn OFF detail. It takes off the edges slightly and helps with the jaggies. Burn a test dvd and see if this helps. I like to shoot with detail off all the time.
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Old 03-09-2008, 04:30 AM   #5
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I have done quite a number of HD to SD (HD from HVX202, SD output to PAL - not NTSC) on my EDIUS 4.6 - and so far, I fail to see any staircase like artifracts. Input is 16:9 aspect ratio, output is also 16:9 (when played on normal 4:3 PAL TV - it gets letterboxed).

Down-conversion is done using ProCoder 3 or Sorenson Squeeze.
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Old 03-09-2008, 07:16 AM   #6
Khoi Pham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tingsern View Post
I have done quite a number of HD to SD (HD from HVX202, SD output to PAL - not NTSC) on my EDIUS 4.6 - and so far, I fail to see any staircase like artifracts. Input is 16:9 aspect ratio, output is also 16:9 (when played on normal 4:3 PAL TV - it gets letterboxed).

Down-conversion is done using ProCoder 3 or Sorenson Squeeze.
You haven't seen his footage, it is pretty bad, it is not the stair steps, it is the flickering, the only way that will fix that is to use Barry's method of using circular blur with ProCoderor deinterlaced it and accept a softer picture, Seems like the camera is so sharp that because of interlaced footage playing it will flicker, just like when you scan an image at such high resolution to it will flicker with horizonal/diagonal lines.
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khoi Pham View Post
You haven't seen his footage, it is pretty bad, it is not the stair steps, it is the flickering, the only way that will fix that is to use Barry's method of using circular blur with ProCoder deinterlaced it and accept a softer picture, Seems like the camera is so sharp that because of interlaced footage playing it will flicker, just like when you scan an image at such high resolution to it will flicker with horizonal/diagonal lines.
Yes - I have spent a while trying to get the footage to stop doing the jaggies, but to no avail.

You can see the artifacts in the 1080i picture, but its terrible when converted to 576i, regardless of the format and layout scaling I choose.

I am about to go off and try some other tools, but thought I'd add my voice to the list of concerned users - I just ordered an EX1 !.

I do have a faint glimmer of hope that it is the camera settings though.. Rons footage is 1440 x 1080i not 1920x1080p and I believe the cameras sensors are doing 1920 down convert to 1440 to make it HDV compliant?? which may be something to do with it, however its most noticeable in the black and white chrome style objects, high contrast areas, so the sharpness trick mentioned earlier might really help.

To be honest, if there is no solution, I would opt for a different camera or software - its that bad, although IMHO I suspect its not edius's fault but a combination of things camera..

OK - back again:

Exported from Edius HDV timeline to :

1. Windows media (480 x 270) - no artifacts
2. Windows media (720 x 480) - no artifacts
3. M2p Using generic encoder to SD (720x480) high bitrate - lots of artifacts
4. Vp6 flash, using exported M2P (speed encoder) 1440x1080i and Flash Video convertor - no artifacts

Maybe its a weakness in the HQ codec?

Ron, if you capture as a .ts, does it have the same issues?
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Last edited by xmanflash; 03-09-2008 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmanflash View Post
I do have a faint glimmer of hope that it is the camera settings though.. Rons footage is 1440 x 1080i not 1920x1080p and I believe the cameras sensors are doing 1920 down convert to 1440 to make it HDV compliant?? which may be something to do with it, however its most noticeable in the black and white chrome style objects, high contrast areas, so the sharpness trick mentioned earlier might really help.

To be honest, if there is no solution, Ron would have a case for getting another camera, or new software - its that bad, although IMHO I suspect its not edius's fault but the camera..
Hi Guys I'm back from a weeks shooting in the Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide and this problem is a real "BUG"
The problem is two fold
1: The better the camera the worse the problem
2: The better the Encoder the worse the problem. An old mpeg encoder in Media studio pro 7 has no artifacts from the HD video but the DVD video is even softer than I am now obtaining.
This makes Edius and Procoder real problems as they are the best!
I took all three cameras and did some identical shooting making sure there was plenty of HI contrast black and white horizontal detail in the clips and guess what
The Sony FX1 with its soft focus performs admirably
The Canon footage both have the artifacts with the same footage!
The Canons are much sharper so I can imagine the problems with the EX1 which should be sharper again!
It is definitely caused by the interaction of interlaced footage,movement and sharp footage as applying a blur to the original eliminates the problem
The following are my latest settings for curing it in Procoder 3, not necessarily the best yet but better than I have posted before
Import into Procoder in HQ 1440 x 1080i
Add the Circular Blur Video filter with a setting of 0.4 seems universal at this input, may be different at 1920
On the Target Setting add the sharpen filter with the following settings
Radius of Blur 1.5
Blend 0.5
Threshold 0.0
Maybe with some tweeking you can make it better, if so post it and I will try it. The whole thing is so subjective you have to ascertain is it better to have some artifacting or, a slightly softer image
Perhaps GV should look at providing a 1:2:1 pulldown filter like in Boris which stops the artifacting of manipulated HI definition stills, the filter is supplied in Boris to stop shimmering on scrolling text.
My attempts to use it in Boris to down size video so far have all failed
Regards Barry
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Last edited by Bluetongue; 03-09-2008 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:10 AM   #9
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Thanks everybody for all your help with this problem... I really hope that Edius/GV is working on it. I shot a race down on the Gulf Coast last weekend and the fence in the foreground demonstrated similar artifacts on the horizontal components. I feel like we have all been sold a bill of goods with the wonderful reviews of moving up to HD or HDV with our acquisition and then down converting to SD. I must say that most of the other footage I have shot with the EX, and then edited in Edius, when at HDV settings, looks really super on a HD monitor. Unfortunately, we still live in a SD world when it comes to distribution.

The main reason that I have shot with the EX in the HDV mode is because my B roll camera is a ZU1. Also the darn cards are so expensive that to shoot in 1920x1080 for any length of time you need several of the 16 gig cards.

I distinctly remember Sony at NAB last year touting the fact that the cards would be available from other venders and that the price would come down.
So far I have not seen any other companies advertising the cards for a cheaper price. Makes you kinda feel had all the way around.

I stayed up most of the night last night looking on other forums and it seems to be a pretty universal problem regardless of the editing platform. Who ever solves the artifact problem will have a leg up on the rest of the platforms.

Maybe between now and NAB someone will come up with a fix. If not, I for one will sure be Knocking on some doors looking at other cameras and software.

Thanks again guys and gals keep tinkering.

Ronnie
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:56 AM   #10
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Finally got Boris to export a downsized file with 1:2:1 pull down and it cures the jaggies and shimmering, BUT don't rush in, it seems to only accept around 20 secs of video.
When I tried a 24 min program it just baulked at the idea
How do I get to add this to the wishlist for Edius or Procoder (1:2:1 pulldown) as this seems to be the answer??
One other alternative is to change the Project settings to SD and when you find a clip with the problem (Quite noticeable) manipulate it in Boris and replace on the timeline, rather time consuming and bothersome and requires knowing Boris real well or you can get disappointing results
Regards Barry
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