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Pinnacle 23 - Best export settings for 720 x 576 Sony mini DV AVI footage to Hard Drive

Last post 01-12-2021, 12:43 by stevefromleeds. 5 replies.
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  •  01-12-2021, 4:42 810626

    Pinnacle 23 - Best export settings for 720 x 576 Sony mini DV AVI footage to Hard Drive

    Hi All 

    2002 - 2009 I had a Sony DCR TRV110E. Great camcorder at the time. It was the usual story of me taking more footage ( 60 tapes worth) than I had time to edit and I have decided it's time to start getting stuck into some serious editing to catch up. Back in the day, with Sabi's advice I used P17 to make quite a few DVD's with the footage that looked great but I now want to create digital files to store on hard drives / upload to You Tube etc.

    Whilst the camera was still working I managed to import all the footage from the tapes using P12 I think and a firewire card so they are all 720 x 576 AVI's roughly 14GB for one hour. The other properties of an example of one of the AVI's are data rate = 28983 kbps, total bit rate = 30519kbps, length = 01.01.39, Frame rate = 25 frames/sec

    I have already created some movies using Pinnacle 23 but the exported file quality isn't great and I am really struggling to get the correct settings on the export side of things . At the moment I have gone with Format H264AVC & Preset  HD720p which are preloaded export settings but am finding the exported movie is of fairly poor quality compared to the original footage with what I think is known a combing (jagged lines on edges of straight lines when there is movement) and blocky pixelation when there is a fair bit of movement. I seems like a 4.7GB DVD I made years ago has better picture quality that the 10GB digital file I have just made from the same source AVI.

    I can see there are customisable settings for Same as timeline, Video Size, Interlacing, Frames per second and Peak Bit Rate but I'm not sure what these do and what the optimal settings are for these.

    Please could you help me understand the settings to get the best export quality for my movies  and also which particular settings I could play with that allow the size of the files to be reduced without massively affecting the overall quality ( I understand there will always be a compromise).

    Thanks in advance

    Steve 

     

     

  •  01-12-2021, 5:50 810628 in reply to 810626

    Re: Pinnacle 23 - Best export settings for 720 x 576 Sony mini DV AVI footage to Hard Drive

    What is the purpose of the export?

    • Simple "conversion" for archiving to save on disk space?
    • An edited movie that will be watched on some device?

    For archiving, until recently I used MPEG-2 -> DVD quality - gives a frame size the same as DV source and a video bit rate of 6000kbit/sec - and should give a picture quality comparable to previously-authored DVD discs.

    For watching the finished videos I have two targets - DVD and MP4 files - so I export two copies with the appropriate settings. For the DVD authoring (where I don't do it in one step) I create intermediate files as 720x576 MPEG-2 and use thoise in the disc project; for MP4 files I export as MP4 H.264 usually 1280x720 - I often have to further compress using HandBrake to get the file size small enough for sharing by email or social media (for example Facebook Messenger has an attachment size limit of 25MB).

    It's important to respect the interlacing of the source material; the frame rate in the timeline settings need to be set to "25 (50i) for PAL". Putting Interlaced material onto a Progressive (25p) timeline may well result in comb artefacts as Studio might not recognise that it needs to deinterlace it in the export. But, knowing that the project and the export are both Interlaced, it should be OK - and can handle the field order swap from bottom field first (mini DV) to top field first (all kinds of MPEG files) without trouble. Also, a Progressive export from an Interlaced project is OK (Studio does a good job at the deinterlacing).

    I have used MP4 (H.264) exports for more recent archiving as the source material has been full-HD 1920x1080, so have archived a copy of the finished video also as 1920x1080. But I've also output 1280x720 too with good results (I start with the "HD720p" preset and customise it a little) - the default video bitrate 12000kbit/sec is maybe a little high for some needs; depending on the source material you may be able to knock that down to as little as 6 to 8Mbit/sec before the quality degrades too much. I don't notice blockiness, but there is a loss of sharpness and in the areas with a lot of movement things become "mushy" and very indistinct.

    HTH
    Richard

  •  01-12-2021, 7:49 810631 in reply to 810628

    Re: Pinnacle 23 - Best export settings for 720 x 576 Sony mini DV AVI footage to Hard Drive

     Hi Richard

    Thank you for coming back so quickly. I have tried to answer your questions / ask some more questions below in CAPS below + marked as ***. 

    What is the purpose of the export?

    • Simple "conversion" for archiving to save on disk space?
    • An edited movie that will be watched on some device?
    ***SAVE TO EXTERNAL HARD DISK DRIVE FOR WATCHING MP4 ON TV OR OTHER MONITOR AND/OR POSSIBLE UPLOAD TO YOUTUBE 

    For archiving, until recently I used MPEG-2 -> DVD quality - gives a frame size the same as DV source and a video bit rate of 6000kbit/sec - and should give a picture quality comparable to previously-authored DVD discs.

    For watching the finished videos I have two targets - DVD and MP4 files - so I export two copies with the appropriate settings. For the DVD authoring (where I don't do it in one step) I create intermediate files as 720x576 MPEG-2 and use thoise in the disc project; for MP4 files I export as MP4 H.264 usually 1280x720 - I often have to further compress using HandBrake to get the file size small enough for sharing by email or social media (for example Facebook Messenger has an attachment size limit of 25MB).
     

    It's important to respect the interlacing of the source material; the frame rate in the timeline settings need to be set to "25 (50i) for PAL".

    *** PLEASE COULD YOU EXPLAIN HOW I CHANGE THE TIMELINE SETTINGS TO 25 (50I) FOR PAL. IE IS THIS ON THE EDIT TAB, WHICH SYMBOL/MENU OPTIOIN GETS ME TO THIS?

    Putting Interlaced material onto a Progressive (25p) timeline may well result in comb artefacts as Studio might not recognise that it needs to deinterlace it in the export. But, knowing that the project and the export are both Interlaced, it should be OK - and can handle the field order swap from bottom field first (mini DV) to top field first (all kinds of MPEG files) without trouble. Also, a Progressive export from an Interlaced project is OK (Studio does a good job at the deinterlacing).

    ***IS THERE SOMEWAY OF TELLING IF MY SOURCE FOOTAGE IS PROGRESSIVE OR INTERLACED TOP/BOTTOM. I ALSO HAVE MTS2 FOOTAGE FROM A SONY HDD  CAMERA AND A NEW SONY 4K CAMCORDER THAT I WILL GET TO EVENTUALLY.

    ***FOR MY DV TAPE FOOTAGE WHAT IS BEST BEWTEEN PROGRESSIVE/TOP OR BOTTOM INTERLACED? 

    I have used MP4 (H.264) exports for more recent archiving as the source material has been full-HD 1920x1080, so have archived a copy of the finished video also as 1920x1080. But I've also output 1280x720 too with good results (I start with the "HD720p" preset and customise it a little) - the default video bitrate 12000kbit/sec is maybe a little high for some needs; depending on the source material you may be able to knock that down to as little as 6 to 8Mbit/sec before the quality degrades too much. I don't notice blockiness, but there is a loss of sharpness and in the areas with a lot of movement things become "mushy" and very indistinct.

    I THINK MUSHY IS A BETTER DESCRIPTION OF WHAT I AM GETTING THAN MY "BLOCKINESS" :-)

    ***WHEN YOU MENTION BIT RATE, DO YOU MEAN THE SETTING FOR THE PEAK BIT RATE? 


  •  01-12-2021, 9:29 810633 in reply to 810631

    Re: Pinnacle 23 - Best export settings for 720 x 576 Sony mini DV AVI footage to Hard Drive

    Hi Steve,

    In answer to your questions:

    For the intended use of the videos (save to external HDD for viewing on TV or possible later upload) - MP4 files with H.264 coding are the best choice (Studio's MP4 export using the H.264/AVC format)

    To check and set the project's timeline format - there's a "Timeline Settings" tool over on the left of the timeline toolbar (looks like a gear wheel meshed with a smaller one). Hover the mouse pointer over the tool to view the current settings in a pop-up hint; click the tool to open a little dialogue where the available settings are shown and can be changed as required. Probably best to set it to match the format (frame size, frame rate etc.) you are planning to export in. Note also that in Studio's Control Panel - on the "Project Settings" page - you can choose the default timeline setting for new projects and also whether the setting will be adjusted automatically by the first clip added (though that can be fooled if the first thing you add is a photo, a title or a Montage theme)

    Regarding the Interlaced vs. Progressive thing - use the free tool MediaInfo - there's a "tutorial" thread in a pinned post on these forums - here. MediaInfo's "Tree" or "Text" views should tell all you ever wanted to know (and more...) Wink

    My fears about Studio messing up Interlaced footage in a Progressive project were unfounded; I did a quick test with a little piece of the sample video and there weren't any comb artefacts when it was exported from a Progressive timeline using the MP4 "HD 720p" preset
    For viewing on a TV (which is able to play interlaced footage) keeping interlaced footage as interlaced might make movements look smoother. But for upload to YouTube or social media sites and viewing on computers etc.IMO go with Progressive. For the "field order" if exporting as interlaced, stay with whatever is IMO the "industry standard" - top field first for everything except DV (which is bottom field first)!

    Yes, by "video bit rate" I am referring to the peak bit rate. But you ought to get good results using the "HD 720p" or "HD 1080p" prsets as-is without making any tweaks (the files might turn out a little larger than you might be able to achieve with tweaks - but it's quick and simple to use the standard presets. If you do find the file sizes too large, you can then try a test export of a small part of the movie to assess quality vs. peak video bit rate; for HD 1280x720 for starters try 6Mbit/sec and for HD 1920x1080 try 12Mbit/sec (there may be some mushiness creep in where the frame is "busy" with a lot of motion, it's a compromise you will have to judge for yourself (file size vs. quality).

    HTH
    Richard

  •  01-12-2021, 12:40 810638 in reply to 810633

    Re: Pinnacle 23 - Best export settings for 720 x 576 Sony mini DV AVI footage to Hard Drive

    Thanks Richard

    This really is most informative and well explained. I probably won't have time to do it justice till the weekend but I will let you know how I get on

     

    Thanks again

    Steve 

  •  01-12-2021, 12:43 810639 in reply to 810633

    Re: Pinnacle 23 - Best export settings for 720 x 576 Sony mini DV AVI footage to Hard Drive

    Thanks Richard

    This really is most informative and clearly explained. I probably won't have time to do it justice till the weekend and will let you know how I get on

    Thanks again

    Steve 

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