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Exporting HD footage from AVCHD source in PE7

Specific to Premiere Elements Version 7.

Exporting HD footage from AVCHD source in PE7

Postby Michael_Dean » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:54 pm

I've been experimenting with VirtualDub's Deshaker plugin. One obstacle that must be overcome is getting my raw footage (AVCHD from a Canon HF10) into VirtualDub which is limited by the type of files it can open (currently no AVCHD/H.264 support). In PE7 the only way I have found to export without loosing resolution is using the "MPEG2 1920x1080i 30" preset, but for some reason I get video quality degradation coming out of PE7. I've experimented with the quality slider and bitrate settings in the "Export Settings" dialogue with little positive effect.

Do you have any other ideas about exporting this footage in a more pristine format? Is there a way to export DV-AVI at a greater resolution than standard? I'm looking for an export that fits the following parameters:
* 1920x1080 resolution
* 1.0 pixel aspect ratio
* 29.07 fps
* Progressive scan preferred
* Must be MPEG1, MPEG2 or AVI file format.

Thanks,

Michael
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Re: Exporting HD footage from AVCHD source in PE7

Postby Paul LS » Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:12 pm

What bit rate did you set for the high definition MPEG2 export?... the HDV standard is 25Mb/s CBR.
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Re: Exporting HD footage from AVCHD source in PE7

Postby Michael_Dean » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:55 pm

Paul LS wrote:the HDV standard is 25Mb/s CBR.
I had it set to 15Mb/s. I'll bump it up and see what happens.

Thanks!

EDIT: Incorrect. It is set for target 25, maximum 30 and minimum 18.

Any other ideas?
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Re: Exporting HD footage from AVCHD source in PE7

Postby Paul LS » Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:56 am

Hi Michael, what do you mean by... "video quality degradation coming out of PE7"?

Also try changing to Constant Bit Rate (CBR) instead of VBR and bump up the bit rate to the maximum.
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Re: Exporting HD footage from AVCHD source in PE7

Postby Michael_Dean » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:43 am

Paul LS wrote:what do you mean by... "video quality degradation coming out of PE7"?
The picture is soft with lots of compression and in some cases, severe combing.

Paul LS wrote:Also try changing to Constant Bit Rate (CBR) instead of VBR and bump up the bit rate to the maximum.
Will do.

Question: Does the bit rate (either CBR or VBR) control the amount of compression?

Thanks for the feedback.
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Re: Exporting HD footage from AVCHD source in PE7

Postby Paul LS » Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:17 am

I assume you are judging the quality on the exported file not the monitor in PE. The combing is no doubt the interlacing... you should be able to set the media player to deinterlace. Regarding the softness... after a single conversion I would be surprised that you would see softness... after several export/import iterations you would expect this.
The bit rate does not control the amount of compression... with VBR the bit rate is determined by the content of the frame... fast action, high bitrate... no action, low bit rate with a target bit rate. This results in a good quality with a lower file size. With CBR the bit rate is constant so best quality, but larger file.
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Re: Exporting HD footage from AVCHD source in PE7

Postby Michael_Dean » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:17 am

Paul LS wrote:I assume you are judging the quality on the exported file not the monitor in PE.
I've been pulling the exported footage back into PE7 and comparing it with the raw footage, one with the monitor and the other in the preview window. Both are unrendered so I'm seeing actual results. They look the same if I pull them into a media player except for the combing [see below].

Paul LS wrote:The combing is no doubt the interlacing... you should be able to set the media player to deinterlace.
√ The problem here was reversed field order setting on the export. I thought that MTS footage had lower field dominance, but it's actually upper. The strange thing is that I didn't see the combing in VirtualDub or a media player (or PE7 at first), only in the finished AVI file exported by VirtualDub, and only in PE7!!! Then I got really bazaar, thick looking combing. That's why I didn't catch the field issue at first. It seemed like a PE7 issue.

Paul LS wrote:Regarding the softness... after a single conversion I would be surprised that you would see softness... after several export/import iterations you would expect this.
Agreed. Now that the field order issue is solved, I've exported some footage with both VBR and CBR. The latter is a little better, but both show more compression and softness than I'd like.

Is there a way to export 1920x1080 footage without recompressing it? I can't find a way to export using AVI at this resolution.

Paul LS wrote:The bit rate does not control the amount of compression... with VBR the bit rate is determined by the content of the frame... fast action, high bitrate... no action, low bit rate with a target bit rate. This results in a good quality with a lower file size. With CBR the bit rate is constant so best quality, but larger file.
Thanks! This is helpful information.
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Re: Exporting HD footage from AVCHD source in PE7

Postby Paul LS » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:31 am

You can not export as AVCHD or MPEG2 without recompressing it. You can export from PE7 as an AVI, but as an uncompressed AVi so the file will be huge... over 1GB per minute. File>Export>Movie, then in Settings go to General, File Type and select Microsoft AVI ( NOT Microsoft DV AVI)... then in Video for Compressor select None.

If I want high quality for doing editing, color correction I convert to Cineform AVi or Canopus HQ AVI which are compressed and so have lower file sizes but still very good quality. You could take a look at Cineform NeoScene... this is a codec that you could use in PE7 and it can batch convert to AVI. http://www.cineform.com/neoscene/
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Re: Exporting HD footage from AVCHD source in PE7

Postby Michael_Dean » Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:07 am

Paul LS wrote:File>Export>Movie, then in Settings go to General, File Type and select Microsoft AVI ( NOT Microsoft DV AVI)... then in Video for Compressor select None.
Thanks, Paul!!! This is exactly what I was looking for. For some reason, when I was hunting through PE7 for myself I only came across AVI formats fixed by PE7 at 720x480.

I don't mind the large file size since I'm only using the AVI for an intermediate step in the workflow (getting my AVCHD footage into VirtualDub). The files will be deleted when I'm finished. I want the highest possible quality at each step since the footage will be going through three processes before being dropped on the timeline.

Paul LS wrote:If I want high quality for doing editing, color correction I convert to Cineform AVi or Canopus HQ AVI which are compressed and so have lower file sizes but still very good quality. You could take a look at Cineform NeoScene... this is a codec that you could use in PE7 and it can batch convert to AVI. http://www.cineform.com/neoscene/
I'll give these a look, but given what you've shared above, I may not need to. :TU:
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Re: Exporting HD footage from AVCHD source in PE7

Postby Michael_Dean » Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:41 am

Update:
Paul, the video quality coming OUT of VirtualDub is practically indistinguishable from my raw MTS footage. This is exactly what I wanted to do! A big thanks for your help!

Now, I realize that the best thing to do is to use a tripod or hold still. But if I ever need to stabilize footage, I can now do so with the minimum loss of image quality - and at no cost.
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Re: Exporting HD footage from AVCHD source in PE7

Postby Di Hansen » Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:50 am

Michael_Dean wrote:
Paul LS wrote:File>Export>Movie, then in Settings go to General, File Type and select Microsoft AVI ( NOT Microsoft DV AVI)... then in Video for Compressor select None.


I will try the process (cited in the quote above) to improve the quality (softness and combing) of my AVCHD video that occurs after I export these clips as Microsoft DV AVI files and then set them into the final timeline for final editing and export.

Quick question: After entering the Settings cited in the quote above, do I change the frame size? Currently my Video settings Frame Size is set at 720 h 480 v :conf:

Thanks!
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