Stuttering with SD

Ulodesk wrote on 2/18/2013, 5:33 PM
Greetings. Just getting into the learning curve with Vegas Studio, v12 Platinum. Until I get started next week with a Vixia camera, I'm shooting with a Canon GL-1. My computer is running W7 64 on an i5 2400, 8G RAM, ATI HD 6450 1G card.
I spent the last couple of days solving some physical issues with homemade mini-dollies to get minimal friction and perfectly smooth dollying. For some footage, I'm using a 9V battery-powered slow motor to pull the dolly. It's as smooth as can be.
Among my tests this morning, I dollied parallel to a piano keyboard. The video looks fine in camera, but I see slight stuttering in Vegas and in an mov file made from the segment as a check. I can't imagine this SD video is overtaxing my system (yes, all other applications are shut down). The video was captured by Firewire; then prerendered; audio track deleted.
I'm out of my league in understanding all the settings variables; I realize it's complex. Looking at Preferences for the settings Vegas created as default set-up, I see Dynamic RAM preview max set to 200 MB; max rendering threads 16; GPU acceleration off (no option). I wonder if any of these might be an issue, or what else I might look at.
Of course, I'm concerned, looking ahead to HD, though I would expect to use proxy files for editing.
Thanks for any ideas. I'm sure I'll be back as I wade further into the software, which is far richer than the consumer program I have been using till now.


musicvid10 wrote on 2/18/2013, 7:06 PM
Well, there's a lot of territory to cover.
Project settings? Did you match media?
Render settings (be precise!)
Were you playing interlaced video on a monitor (sounds like it)?
Player used.

That's for starters.
mike_in_ky wrote on 2/18/2013, 10:26 PM

I recently bought a Canon Vixia HF 30R and I really like the video it produces. I think you'll like it, too.

Ulodesk wrote on 2/19/2013, 9:41 PM
Thanks for your guidance.
I tried again just now, capturing the same ~10 seconds and loading the clip into the timeline. In Project properties, when I changed Field order to None (progressive scan), the dark lines (spaces) between the piano keys became wavy, even with the cursor stopped, so I changed it back to Lower field first. Rendering quality in that same tab I set to Good. Setting the deinterlace method to either blend or interpolate seemed the same. The check box for Adjust source media to better match project settings is checked.

Player used for mov file on previous try was Windows Media Player. I haven't made a new mov file, because I see the same problem in the preview window with the re-captured clip and varied settings. I'm surely missing something(s).

I looked up the monitor/interlace issue you mentioned and learned something; I'm afraid I didn't ever realize the issue existed. I really am trying to learn all of this. (My background is still photography from film days, though I have been concentrating my limited time on video for a good while. The wealth of technical considerations makes me exceedingly grateful for folks like you.)

musicvid10 wrote on 2/19/2013, 9:46 PM
"Match Media Settings" is a specific procedure. Search the term and follow the directions. Now your preview should look fine.
If preview issues persist, uncheck that "change media" box. It's about as useful as t*ts on a boar hog.

You still haven't told us a thing about your output. MediaInfo is a free download. But set rendering quality to "Best" and choose a deinterlace method in your Project at the very least.

If you want more help, post all of the information asked for above (crystal ball is at the cleaners).
Ulodesk wrote on 2/19/2013, 9:51 PM
Thanks for your patience.
I'll do the research, but I just noted that if I just double-click the avi clip to open it in Windows Media Player, it plays completely smoothly.

Okay, I'll get busy with the look-up now.
musicvid10 wrote on 2/19/2013, 9:53 PM
What is your intended use for your video?
Computer playback, web server, Youtube, DVD, BluRay?
AVI is not a delivery container for any of those uses.
Former user wrote on 2/19/2013, 9:55 PM
Musicvid, I think the OP is referring to the original capture AVI which is from a firewire SD camera, so it is probably a DV AVI.

Dave T2
musicvid10 wrote on 2/19/2013, 9:58 PM
Ok, I'll wait for the rendered file properties. I thought he might be rendering uncompressed.
musicvid10 wrote on 2/19/2013, 10:16 PM
Ulodesk wrote on 2/19/2013, 10:19 PM
I apologize for the confusion. I am looking in online Help and after searching the GUI for 10 minutes can't even find the Match Media Settings button illustrated there -- the one with a filmstrip, curved down-arrow and rectangle with horizontal lines. Perhaps I need to spend a month groping my way through this first, or get out a book on it, since the Quick Start manual is not enough and working through the online help isn't going so well.

I had thought I 'd be able to get a decent preview from a mini-DV tape without issue, but the number of variables seems to have blossomed like going from MS Paint to Photoshop. Either my previous editor was not so demanding or somehow accommodated my footage without complaint. I don't yet have a particular plan for the footage I'm testing. I'm making it for folks who use Vegas and generally create videos for a website; I'm just trying to create some illustration footage they can use.
musicvid10 wrote on 2/19/2013, 10:24 PM
All versions of Vegas have the Match Media Settings icon in Project Properties afaik - that's how it looks in Movie Studio 12 Platinum. What version do you have?

There are also really good interactive tutorials at the top of your program, I'm sure you won't find the learning curve too steep, once you get through your first project.
Ulodesk wrote on 2/20/2013, 10:10 AM
Thanks; I found the icon with the help of your posted png. I tried the settings you indicated but was still getting some problem. I ran out of time, however. I'll get back it, perhaps with other footage, to make sure I'm not "seeing things," tonight or tomorrow.

I have Studio 12 Platinum.
musicvid10 wrote on 2/20/2013, 10:50 AM
With media settings matched, DV-AVI and MPEG-2 both preview fine on a single core desktop and a dual core notebook.
Ulodesk wrote on 2/22/2013, 10:29 PM
Thanks; that's certainly encouraging. I'm sure the answer to my experience is just temporarily hidden.I'm trying to make sense of this. I am going to capture some more footage tomorrow, to make sure that I have something absolutely hesitation-free, completely smooth, to start with. I have recaptured the piano keys dolly clip twice more for good measure, have been reading online help, looking for other references on the web. Tonight, I brought the clip onto the timeline, matched settings, and pre-rendered. The preview remains as stuttery as before. I tried rendering the project to Windows video avi (NTSC DV), Quicktime mov, and mpg2. As I had confusingly reported before, the avi rendering is by far the best in every way; it has a hint of what I'll call periodic hesitation, because it's smoother than stuttering implies, and suggests that perhaps the footage is not quite as perfect as it seems on the camera's screen (see below). The mpg2 rendering plays with a very fine constant "vibration", as if an electric toothbrush or something very fast were transmitting slight vibrations to it. The mov, rendered at 3 Mbps, is the worst, with a coarser, very noticeable "vibration" artifact.

While previewing, the timecode appears to be completely even, so I remain mystified as to why the preview should not look as smooth as the best of the rendered files, even when both the file/project setting and preview are set to best.

Any way, I record a fresh tomorrow, both with DV and with my back-in-hand Canon HF200, and see if I can refine the issue any better. I apologize for lacking an adequate technical vocabulary to more adequately described what I am seeing. I remain very grateful for all your assistance.
MarkWWW wrote on 2/23/2013, 7:53 AM
Without having seen the problem footage oursleves we're all just guessing at what the cause might be.

And since we're in guessing mode, here's mine. You say this "periodic hesitation" occurs on a "dolly" shot? If this "dolly" shot has some degree of tracking (i.e. sideways motion) to it as well as the strict dolly (i.e. push in or out) and you have not disabled the camera's anti-shake mechanism then you would expect to get exactly the effect you describe. The anti-shake attempts to compensate for the tracking, reaches the limit of its capability, gives up and resets itself to central again and then tries to compensate for the tracking motion once more.

If you're dollying in or out on a piano keyboard as it is being played you're almost certainly doing it obliquely (otherwise the pianist would be in the way) so your "dolly" shot will also be a tracking shot. If so, try disabling the anti-shake and see if that solves your problem.

Ulodesk wrote on 2/23/2013, 10:17 AM
Mark, a "Thanks--I needed that" moment: all this time I should have been writing tracking, not dollying with respect to the keyboard clip, and I actually do know better. The shot is a tracking shot parallel to a keyboard. I don't see anything in FAQs about posting footage. Does one post to an FTP service such as Dropbox? I am not very familiar with them, but I know there are a bunch of free ones. (I'm very cautious about my Internet use.)

Your illuminating explanation of the anti-shake feature makes perfect sense. I do know to turn it off when using a tripod, and I know I did turn it off for at least some of my shooting on the relevant day, but I was doing a number of takes over about six hours, using two different mini-dollies, so it's quite possible that I overlooked that default setting on a few. In fact, watching the Current Location time during capture of this clip to Vegas, I notice that it seems to be periodically halting momentarily; perhaps that's the connection, although that still leaves me wondering why the rendered AVI DV file would play more smoothly than the Vegas preview. Old dog working hard to learn new tricks.

More in while, when I have gotten some fresh footage and brought it into Vegas. Cheers.

Ulodesk wrote on 2/23/2013, 4:06 PM
I recorded a simple pan across a shelf of books, both on the GL-1 and the SF200, captured the recordings with anti-shake off, imported into Vegas, put on the timeline, matched settings, and set render to best in Properties and Preview. I notice the following:
1. In capturing the DV, the periodic hesitation in the location numbering was evident again.
2. In previewing the DV clips, there is occasional stuttering, but not in the same place each time -- if I restart with the cursor in different places, for example, the stutter occurs in different places. I tried turning my antivirus off and disconnecting entirely from the Internet; I have read in some places the former can be a problem. However, this did not eliminate the problem.
3. I rendered the files to, respectively, Windows AVI DV and m2t. Both seem to play smoothly.
4. while previewing, Task Manager shows CPU usage staying below 15% and memory around 27%
5. I don't know if this indicates anything, but when opening Vegas, it's about 20 seconds before the Splash logo appears. It's a big program, so perhaps that's not unusual. It's loaded in the default programs folder; I follow software recommendation on installation.

So, the mystery remains.
musicvid10 wrote on 2/23/2013, 5:31 PM
Is your only problem a little motion stutter during preview?
MarkWWW wrote on 2/24/2013, 7:55 AM
You seem to be saying now that the "hesitation" is only evident in Preview, and not in the rendered files? If that's so then my guess is not correct (in your case at least, though it is a real phenomenon) - just ignore what I said above.

If the preview is the only problem, try doing a RAM Render (Shift-B) before you preview and see if that gets rid of the hesitation. I expect that it will, but it should tell us something either way.

Ulodesk wrote on 2/24/2013, 8:28 AM
It certainly tells us something: it's grayed out in the Tools menu. I tried both with a clip on the timeline selected and not. What next?
MarkWWW wrote on 2/24/2013, 9:19 AM
Do you have your Preview RAM set to zero, perhaps? (This is often recommended these days when people are having stability issues with Vegas.) If so, try increasing it to a small, but not zero, number - 200MB shoild be enough to see whether it makes any difference to your hesitation problem.

vkmast wrote on 2/24/2013, 9:40 AM
In addition to what MarkWWW says, did you select an area (time range) (click and drag along the marker bar) for building dynamic RAM preview before going to Tools?
Ulodesk wrote on 2/24/2013, 12:07 PM
This has gotten to be a long thread.
1. My preview RAM was been set to 200MB on installation.
2. I didn't realize that I had to select a time range first. I dragged the length of the clip (~24 secs), the shift+B function is active. However, it starts moving quickly through the clip but stops each time at 4 sec. Any ideas?

I should add, it also brings the second marker back to that 4-sec place on timeline.
vkmast wrote on 2/24/2013, 4:07 PM
pls read online Help / Index > Dynamic RAM Previews section.