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Overman's rendering process and settings


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#1 tkd27

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 01:19 AM

Hi Overman - question for you. Your movies always look so sharp. Even when you post them on the Moviestorm site versus Vimeo. What is your secret? You must render extremely high quality out of both Moviestorm and your editor - but what is it you do that no one else does?

#2 Overman

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 04:28 AM

QUOTE (tkd27 @ May 19 2009, 01:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Overman - question for you. Your movies always look so sharp. Even when you post them on the Moviestorm site versus Vimeo. What is your secret? You must render extremely high quality out of both Moviestorm and your editor - but what is it you do that no one else does?


Aw, thanks man. I'm not up to speed on what everyone else does for comparison, but here's what I've been doing for the past several films:

1) Render out of Moviestorm at 1920x1080 using the standard MPEG-in-a-AVI codec.*
2) Bring that footage into Vegas, render out uncompressed AVI at 1280x720. This sizing down from the original footage size seems to really smooth out some hard edges (a common effect when video is downsized at quality settings) while still preserving a clean image.
3) I then take that AVI file, open it in QuickTime Pro, and render out as a QuickTime .MOV file; 3000-4000kbps video data rate, automatic keyframes, H.264 codec, 160kbps AAC audio. I got these specs from Vimeo's HD FAQ, tweaked them a bit to my liking. http://www.vimeo.com.../hd#hd_encoding

That file from step 3 is what I upload to Moviestorm, Vimeo, and YouTube alike. I do use that same uncompressed master to render to other formats, including FLV (Flash Video) and DivX AVI, the latter at very similar settings to the QuickTime file. DivX actually looks a tad better than QuickTime, but has slightly larger file size and also doesn't seem to upload/encode at the same quality.

* I've recently been made aware that a feature I'd been neglecting since it bombed out on me in an earlier MS version, that of rendering out to system codecs, is now working very well. So I'll be revising this step effective immediately to use HuffYUV as the footage codec, which should only improve things further. Who knows, maybe I'll even get to open my footage files in Vegas and HAVE AUDIO! The world's a crazy place.

Hope this helps!
Phil "Overman" Rice
Zarathustra Studios - http://z-studios.com
You can connect with us On Twitter, On Facebook, On YouTube, and On Vimeo.

#3 kkffoo

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:17 AM

Can we sticky this or something?

#4 AngriBuddhist

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:44 AM

Or get Overman's permission to copy/paste it into the wiki?

#5 act3scene24

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 08:10 AM

I wish the Mac version of MS had the exporting options the PC does. sad.gif

I will try to export my next movie as close to that as I can and see how it does. smile.gif


#6 johnnie

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 09:18 AM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ May 19 2009, 07:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can we sticky this or something?


Done. I've also changed the title of the post - hope you don't mind tkd27.
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#7 Overman

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:45 PM

QUOTE (AngriBuddhist @ May 19 2009, 07:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Or get Overman's permission to copy/paste it into the wiki?


Feel free to do so, absolutely.
Phil "Overman" Rice
Zarathustra Studios - http://z-studios.com
You can connect with us On Twitter, On Facebook, On YouTube, and On Vimeo.

#8 iceaxe

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:56 PM

QUOTE (AngriBuddhist @ May 19 2009, 07:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Or get Overman's permission to copy/paste it into the wiki?


What wiki?

#9 act3scene24

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 01:26 PM

QUOTE (iceaxe @ May 19 2009, 05:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What wiki?


http://wiki.moviestorm.co.uk/ blink.gif


#10 Overman

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 02:49 PM

I've recently revised my procedure here to a system that has higher hard disk (size) requirements, but yields absolutely stunning vid quality results, thought I'd share it here:

1) Render out of Moviestorm at 1920x1080, using the Custom option, and using the tab where you can render to a series of PNG images. It's best to (ahead of time) create a folder specifically to hold these images rather than have them dumped into a folder which contains other things. Moviestorm will automatically number the individual frames (PNG images) in sequential order.
2) Launch VirtualDub - www.virtualdub.org - and then open the first PNG image in the series created above. Be sure the checkbox for "automatically open linked segments" is checked. This will load all the images, in order.
3) In VirtualDub, under the Video menu, choose Full Processing. Under Compression, choose the HuffYUV codec. Under the Audio menu, choose "No Audio." Save As AVI... voila, you have a lossless AVI file (large, but significantly smaller than Uncompressed). Once this file is created, you can safely delete all those PNG images used to create it.
4) IF YOU NEED THE AUDIO FROM MOVIESTORM... Back to Moviestorm, render out a second copy of the movie at low resolution, using the default output type. (If you use Vegas, you'll have to take an extra step to extract the audio from this file - I've found it's easiest to just open the AVI file in Goldwave and save as WAV.) If for some reason you didn't need Moviestorm's audio, you can skip this entire step 4.
5) Bring the HuffYUV footage (with the audio from step 4, if applicable) into Vegas, edit / post produce as needed, and render out uncompressed AVI at 1280x720. This sizing down from the original footage size seems to really smooth out some hard edges (a common effect when video is downsized at quality settings) while still preserving a clean image.
6) I then take that AVI file, open it in QuickTime Pro, and render out as a QuickTime .MOV file; 3000-4000kbps video data rate, automatic keyframes, H.264 codec, 160kbps AAC audio. I got these specs from Vimeo's HD FAQ, tweaked them a bit to my liking. http://www.vimeo.com.../hd#hd_encoding

That file from step 3 is what I upload to Moviestorm, Vimeo, and YouTube alike. I do use that same uncompressed master to render to other formats, including FLV (Flash Video) and DivX AVI, the latter at very similar settings to the QuickTime file. DivX actually looks a tad better than QuickTime, but has slightly larger file size and also doesn't seem to upload/encode at the same quality.

- - -
This takes a little bit longer than my former method, however the improvement in quality is stellar, and is well worth the time for your productions when quality is a must.

I've got two short films I'll be releasing very soon which used this procedure, and I think you'll be able to see the difference especially in places like Vimeo where the film is watched in HD.
Phil "Overman" Rice
Zarathustra Studios - http://z-studios.com
You can connect with us On Twitter, On Facebook, On YouTube, and On Vimeo.

#11 primaveranz

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 12:03 AM

Hi Overman,

Can you give me an idea of what file size "Responsibility" ended up after this process?

Cheers.


"If we only use 1/3 of our brain, what's the other 1/3 for?"


#12 Overman

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 01:58 AM

QUOTE (primaveranz @ Dec 1 2009, 12:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can you give me an idea of what file size "Responsibility" ended up after this process?


Sure thing. The QuickTime 1280x720 (per above specs) weighs 44.3 MB, and the DivX AVI (same dimensions, default HD specs via DivX Converter) weighs 36.3 MB.

Not 100% sure why the QuickTime ended up a little bigger this time, usually it's the other way around. It's possible I beefed up the data rate on the QuickTime version to > 4000, I can't remember. Sometimes I give it a nudge if it has noticeable compression artifacts in the regular range.
Phil "Overman" Rice
Zarathustra Studios - http://z-studios.com
You can connect with us On Twitter, On Facebook, On YouTube, and On Vimeo.

#13 Overman

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 02:01 AM

Sorry for the double post.
Phil "Overman" Rice
Zarathustra Studios - http://z-studios.com
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#14 primaveranz

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 02:29 AM

QUOTE (Overman @ Dec 1 2009, 12:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sure thing. The QuickTime 1280x720 (per above specs) weighs 44.3 MB, and the DivX AVI (same dimensions, default HD specs via DivX Converter) weighs 36.3 MB.


Wow! I must try and get your method working. I originally created "I Bin Gat Wan Taem" in 6 or 7 separate MS movies rendered as "Ultra". Adding up their file sizes, came to about 250Mb. When I combined them all in Sony Vegas and output to an .avi using the PAL DV Widescreen template they came to 950Mb! That's probably bigger than Pixar's "Up" wink.gif

I had to mess around and lower the quality to get down to about 400Mb.

I don't understand why the combined total would be so much bigger but hey its a great reason to try your approach.

Thanks for the info.
Cheers!

"If we only use 1/3 of our brain, what's the other 1/3 for?"


#15 iceaxe

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 02:05 PM

Hi Overman,

a question for you; you seem to jump through a few hoops to render using HuffyUV and to stitch the audio back in using Vegas. OK, that's not a question, I realise... I'm getting there...

I render from Moviestorm directly using HuffyUV, and PCM audio. Then this single file imports into Vegas OK, and the audio works. Then rendering from Vegas is fairly straightforward.

There's obviously a reason you're not doing this (i.e. you export as PNGs then use Virtualdub to get to HuffyUV) - what is is it?

Or is this just an Oversight. (See what I did?) rolleyes.gif

#16 Overman

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 03:49 PM

QUOTE (iceaxe @ Dec 1 2009, 02:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Overman,

a question for you; you seem to jump through a few hoops to render using HuffyUV and to stitch the audio back in using Vegas. OK, that's not a question, I realise... I'm getting there...

I render from Moviestorm directly using HuffyUV, and PCM audio. Then this single file imports into Vegas OK, and the audio works. Then rendering from Vegas is fairly straightforward.

There's obviously a reason you're not doing this (i.e. you export as PNGs then use Virtualdub to get to HuffyUV) - what is is it?

Or is this just an Oversight. (See what I did?) rolleyes.gif


I think this might be a case of me settling into a process and it getting stale. When I started doing the above process, I was having trouble rendering directly to HuffYUV from Moviestorm; a lot of dropped frames. However, that was several MS versions ago, I really need to try it again. It would be great if I could go straight to HuffYUV while keeping Vegas-friendly audio and saving those extra steps.

Thanks for the heads up, Iain! I'll try it when I render my next footage and will report back here.
Phil "Overman" Rice
Zarathustra Studios - http://z-studios.com
You can connect with us On Twitter, On Facebook, On YouTube, and On Vimeo.

#17 Overman

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 03:59 PM

QUOTE (primaveranz @ Dec 1 2009, 02:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow! I must try and get your method working. I originally created "I Bin Gat Wan Taem" in 6 or 7 separate MS movies rendered as "Ultra". Adding up their file sizes, came to about 250Mb. When I combined them all in Sony Vegas and output to an .avi using the PAL DV Widescreen template they came to 950Mb! That's probably bigger than Pixar's "Up" wink.gif

I had to mess around and lower the quality to get down to about 400Mb.

I don't understand why the combined total would be so much bigger but hey its a great reason to try your approach.

Thanks for the info.
Cheers!


Starting with the best quality source footage you can manage (however it is obtained) is always a good thing, and sometimes the source quality can indeed affect how well a video compresses... but if what you're focused on right now is output size then you'll probably be best served by playing with the final steps, i.e. rendering settings out of Vegas.

The DV codec you mention doesn't compress the video very much, and results in large files (as you noticed). That codec isn't really intended for Internet video; I think if you take the same movie and render from Vegas to WMV... XVid... DivX... etc. you'll find that the resulting file is of a much more manageable size. I've got my codec preferences re: quality for this, but other people get great results from these other codecs so they're worth a try as long as you're experimenting.
Phil "Overman" Rice
Zarathustra Studios - http://z-studios.com
You can connect with us On Twitter, On Facebook, On YouTube, and On Vimeo.

#18 kv

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 06:42 PM

Very useful tips in here, something I was doing is rendering from moviestorm at 1280x720 using the default moviestorm codec then after post production in Vegas I rendered again at the same resolution using wmv. It never bothered me having to extract the audio from the movie using Audition and then adding it in.

So potentially I could be loosing quality that way couldn`t I?

Maybe I should render from moviestorm in 1920x1080?

#19 Overman

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 07:31 PM

QUOTE (kv @ Dec 1 2009, 06:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Very useful tips in here, something I was doing is rendering from moviestorm at 1280x720 using the default moviestorm codec then after post production in Vegas I rendered again at the same resolution using wmv. It never bothered me having to extract the audio from the movie using Audition and then adding it in.

So potentially I could be loosing quality that way couldn`t I?

Maybe I should render from moviestorm in 1920x1080?


You can get very good results doing what you do, kv. There are a couple reasons why I try to render out of Moviestorm at 1920x1080, though.

1) Occasionally, there's a thin dark border on the frame of parts of the movie. I think it has something to do with when depth of focus is engaged. Rendering at the larger size means that I can crop the video by a few pixels in my editor, but not lose any image quality while doing so. (Upsize = bad for that)

2) Downsizing footage from the original can have a very slight and pleasant smoothing effect on the image, especially when dealing with animation footage. In fact, if you render footage at 1920x1080 at the default Moviestorm codec, and then downsize it when you render your final video, in some cases it can clean up the slight compression artifacts present in the footage made with that default.

3) If by chance I decide I want to make more significant crops of my frame at edit time, or perhaps want to perform a pan/zoom in post, I can do that and as long as I don't crop lower than 1280x720 (my intended render size), I won't lose any quality.

Definitely worth some experimenting, maybe with a small scene. I find the difference fairly noticeable, even just doing the downsizing and not worrying about the lossless aspect. Maybe you will too.
Phil "Overman" Rice
Zarathustra Studios - http://z-studios.com
You can connect with us On Twitter, On Facebook, On YouTube, and On Vimeo.

#20 kv

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 09:08 PM

Cheers mate, I will certainly try it out, the more picture quality I can get (even if just a little) the better laugh.gif


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