Terrible DVD Photo Quality

mjroddy wrote on 9/27/2005, 11:05 AM
I MUST be doing somethign wrong.
I'll start off by saying that because everyone seems to love Vegas as a slide-show editor (etc). However, I'm finding HORRIBLE moraying (how do you spell that, by the way?) on all of my photos. This shows up in both my WMVs and, more importantly, on my NTSC output monitor.
All phots with horizontal lines are trashed in any kind of movement - and it's really vexing me.
Now... one might think it's simply the DV codec, but I did a few experiments to show otherwise. First, I rendered Uncompressed. Still nasty moraying. Then I rendered in HDV 1080i Intermediate and got very similar results. I asked Vegas (6.0c, by the way) to Print To Tape and checked out that render and it's still really bad news.
The reason I believe it's NOT to format is that I did the same moves in Boris Red and got beautiful results. Looked best when I used the DeFlicker filter, but even without it the resulting renders and totally acceptable.
Oh, I also rendered the same sequence back in Vegas using the Reduce Interlace Flicker feature and even Force Resample, but the results were still, in my opinion, unusable. Even increasing the Video Super Sampling (set to 2) didn't help me.
Only Boris had the smooth look I would expect to see.
Am I doing something wrong, or is this just the way of Vegas using Pan Crop? Since everyone seems to like P/C, I have to think it's me.
Edit: Where I say "Moray," it may be appropriate to say Stair Stepping.


Jimmy_W wrote on 9/27/2005, 11:50 AM
Try a touch of blur . This has fixed mine in the past. Whats the rez of the photos and what are they png's or jpegs. Hope this is what your after.
johnmeyer wrote on 9/27/2005, 12:04 PM
I can't compare results to those you are getting with other programs. However, I have slowly begun to believe that perhaps the still photo rendering could use some work. This forum is full of dozens -- perhaps hundreds -- of posts wanting to know how to get rid of the shimmering, or moire, or other artifacts. You can search those posts and find all the solutions given (over and over and over again). They include various forms of blur, and some even talk about mixing an offset of the picture with itself.

The one thing that works the best is to down-res your pictures prior to importing them into Vegas. If you don't zoom then the pictures should be at 720x480. If you do zoom, they need to be higher res, increased by the zoom factor.

The fact that this resolution change always works makes me believe that perhaps the way Sony handles still photos needs to change. Perhaps their algorithm should down-res the pictures prior to resampling? Sure would save a lot of posts on this forum if they could fix it. One thing for certain: Good results are possible with workarounds and with other programs, and therefore Sony could develop an upgrade that would incorporate these better ways of doing things and save all of us a tremendous amount of time.
John_Cline wrote on 9/27/2005, 1:14 PM
"If you don't zoom then the pictures should be at 720x480"

Actually, if you don't want to zoom and you do want to get them to fit the screen exactly, then they should be cropped to a 1.36:1 ratio, not a 1.5:1 ratio, as is the case with 720x480.

You could either crop/resize them to 655x480, or perhapes better, crop them to 720x528. At any rate, they should be at a 1.36:1 ratio using square pixels.

epirb wrote on 9/27/2005, 1:16 PM
I can tell you that I have found using the HDV project properties, then rendering out to the HDV cineform .avi -post effects and pans etc.(I have used still at both 300dpi and 600dpi).
then render the render the final cineform complete movie to 24p widescreen mpg that the pictures come out perfect with no jaggies like I had when rendering from a standard DV timeline.
As a amtter of fact the first one I did with a combination of both HDV footage and stills . The last project I did was strictly stills with the exception of a couple of HDV clips as backrounds. And it came out great even with big zooms on the stills.
Granted its a little harder working with widescreen, but thats the way Im delivering all my stuff now.
If you want a sample I will try and figure out a way to post or to send you a copy if you want.
winrockpost wrote on 9/27/2005, 1:16 PM
are you setting render to best ? I have had my share of shimmering on high res pics ,usually fixed with reduce interlace , but never a "stairstepping issue" . Vegas works great with photos for me, no worse than boris.
mjroddy wrote on 9/27/2005, 1:39 PM
I have tried the blur trick. Sorry I didn't mention it when I was listing my experiments. And, thanks for the link. It's not a significant help in the case of the few shots I'm using. That does indeed help me be more comfortable in that I am not alone in my pain.
John, thanks for that as well. I hadn't heard about off-setting a photo. I agree that this shouldn't be necessary. I'd like to see Vegas handle these higher res photos better. I never leave a photo still. There is almost always some kind of movement on it, so it looks like i'm stuck in Boris, even though that makes it more difficult to cut to a VO and music.
It's pointed out many times that Vegas is a great editor and can't be all things to all people. I hope that Sony does put some more effort into how Vegas handles high-res stills.
Eric, I'll see if I can match your settings and loose the jaggies. Thanks. My spots are for the local cable company, so HDV doesn't do me a lot of good as a delivery format, but I do like editing in it.
Winrock, man, we have some VERY different results. I don't typically use "Best," but usually stick to Good. I'll try Best to see if that makes a difference. I've been using Good for so long, using Best didn't occure to me. Thanks.
Jøran Toresen wrote on 9/27/2005, 1:54 PM

These are the settings I use when cropping video or for still photos:

Project settings:
* Full resolution rendering quality: Best
* Motion blur type: Gaussian
* Deinterlace method: Blend fields

Event switches:
* Maintain Aspect Ratio
* Reduce interlace flicker
* Smart resample or Force resample


farss wrote on 9/27/2005, 2:52 PM
Fundamentally the issue is that Vegas doesn't do a terribly good job of filtering out frequencies close to the Nyquist frequency. To make it better means longer render times and / or softer images. Vegas is not alone in this, as more and more content is shot in HiDef I'm seeing many of these issues in broadcast content that's been downsampled from HD to SD.
With a bit of careful thinking and hard work I can get video from stills that looks every bit as good as video shot on $100K + video cameras starting from 14M pixel stills. Just dumping the hi res stills onto the T/L I've been able to produce some spectacularly aweful results, one still had almost the entire frame winking at around 1 Hz!
To be honest I doubt there's any way Sony can get around this problem without affecting final quality, there's plenty of quick and easy ways to get a good result, getting an excellent result as viewed on a broadcast monitor takes using different methods based on the content of the image and your delivery format.
winrockpost wrote on 9/27/2005, 2:58 PM
Nyquist frequency

Huh ? what, Bob you are way over my head as usual, can you translate for those of us technically challenged ?
mjroddy wrote on 9/27/2005, 3:06 PM
Jordan - thanks for the settings. I'll go try them now.
Bob... Thanks much for the explanation. It helps - but...
winrock - I'm with you! When I came to that part, i just pronounced it, "Nicky iss tick" because my poor brain didn't know what to do with that word. I just figured, "It's over my head, don't even try. The bottom line is that it just don't work." I'm sort of a simpleton that way.
Thanks for all the help guys! Much appreciated.
mjroddy wrote on 9/27/2005, 5:29 PM
Jordan! You Da MAN!
Ok... it's still not QUITE as good as Boris Red's renders, but that is MUCH better (MUCH slower, but still...). Those renders are perfectly acceptable and sharp. Setting things to Best made quite the difference. I'm embarrassed that I didn't think of that sooner. Thanks very much.
Jøran Toresen wrote on 9/27/2005, 5:39 PM

I’m glad I could help. But I think that ALL the settings I mentioned are necessary to get a good result, not only the “Best” rendering option!’

Best wishes
rmack350 wrote on 9/27/2005, 5:52 PM
Oh Boy...

This is exactly what "Best" is for. Best does bicubic interpolation and should be used whenever you are moving or scaling images. "Good" does bilinear interpolation and is usually perfectly fine unless you are moving or scaling images.

Rob Mack
RexA wrote on 9/28/2005, 1:17 AM
>> Nyquist frequency

Huh ? what, Bob you are way over my head as usual, can you translate for those of us technically challenged ?

How about Google "Nyquist frequency"? That should keep you entertained as long as you want. Information theory.
winrockpost wrote on 9/28/2005, 2:01 PM
mjroddy,, I stand corrected. I put in Boris a high res shot that was giving me the shimmers in Vegas. Made ny move in boris rendered out uncompressed. Put that file in vegas rendered to dv and no shimmers.Hmmmmm , rendered way faster too, now i can get rid of the shimmers in vegas by adding some blur, or lowering the quality of the pic, but hmmmmmmmm.
clearvu wrote on 9/28/2005, 4:16 PM
I got, sad to say, fed up with Vegas for stills. Instead, I've been using Canopus' Imaginate. Been very pleased with the program as it elliminates the problems you describe.

The only part that vegas excels at is that "markers" can be placed on beats, which is quite helpful, but I've been managing with Imaginate.

I simply render as AVI and drop it into Vegas. By the way, rendering the file to AVI is amazingly fast as well.
johnmeyer wrote on 9/28/2005, 4:40 PM
I bet if Sony did a poll of their users they would find that a very large percentage (80% or more?) use still photos in at least 20% of their videos. Seems to me to be a pretty basic feature, not some "once in awhile" and only-for-a-few-users feature.

If Imaginate and Boris can create far better quality -- and apparently in less time -- then that proves that technically it can be done. Therefore, all that is required is for Sony to understand the need, and then find the will to act.