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All of my vid files on my comp suddenly became interlaced!?

Posted: Wed, 31st Dec 2008, 5:43pm

Post 1 of 8

CTFPlaya360

Force: 400 | Joined: 9th Dec 2008 | Posts: 60

EffectsLab Pro User

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MAIN PROBLEM: All of my AVI video files on my computer have almost invisible lines (horizontal) going across them. Their black bars have decreased in size also.

MAIN QUESTION: How can I correct the problem with these videos and restore the quality of the video back to its normal settings?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Lets start from the beginning: I own a Canon MiniDV camera. And it runs on tapes...not clips. So the videos are imported in one big file, composed of many clips. They are imported as AVIs.

I've had many problems in the past exporting from WMM to be capatible with FXHome FxLabPro, but I've fixed that. By changing the settings in WMM from NTSC to PAL. Which somehow worked. But there's a catch: what's important is that all of a sudden (last week or so) did all of my video files on my computer seem to appear interlaced. They also had their black bars reduced in size. Even when I imported new video clips, the lines, and bars don't look like they normally did. Could this be a problem fixable by simply going into an options tab or something?

PS: Axeman and Tarn, you probably don't remember me, but I was the one who poasted the "Exporting from WMM [Windows Movie Maker]." forum.

_______________________________________________________________________

(20 Minutes after post)
IMPORTANT NOTE: I think that I've fixed this problem; The AVI Files were only affected by the interlacing and black bars, but the video files that I've imported that are WMV do not become affected.
So from now on, the only thing that I need to do when importing a video is mark the file output format as: WMV. You can still respond to this forum if you please. But I've fixed the problem as far as I'm concerned.
Posted: Wed, 31st Dec 2008, 9:44pm

Post 2 of 8

FXhomer46784

Force: 493 | Joined: 24th Dec 2007 | Posts: 329

EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

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It doesn't seem like you've fixed the problem at all, unless I am massively misreading your post.

1) First off, ELab doesn't support wmv, so you can't import those clips into ELab (not to mention that compression of that format isn't suitable for multiple renders anyway).

2) Is the video you're shooting NTSC or PAL? That's important because you want to keep it in the same format through the entire post-production process. It needs to be exported in the correct format as well, or else viewers will not be able to watch it.
NTSC=American format
PAL=European format
So there's no reason to switch that unless you're sending copies of your video overseas. Not to mention all the additional problems it will cause you down the line.

3) No, your video cannot suddenly change from progressive to interlaced or vis versa. You need to convert it in a program for that to happen. Seeing as you're using a tape-based recording medium, I'd assume your video was interlaced all along.

4) Interlacing is not a bad thing, nor does it make a video lower quality. Interlacing is exactly what you want if you will be displaying your image on a tv screen. It looks better in that instance. Try it if you don't believe me. You want progressive only if your video will only ever be displayed on a computer monitor (youtube, etc.)

5) I think that wmv files are always progressive (or at least it seems that way to me) which seems to be the 'solution' you've found. Yet, this is less than ideal because the quality is so much worse than avi, so the very first step you are taking when you import your clips is destroying their image quality several fold. Wmv is a fine format for a final export if you will be watching the movie on a computer monitor, but it is never suitable as an editing format, because the high compression will destroy image quality every time you render.

6) Additionally, even if you ultimately want your finished project to be progressive (see #4 above), it's best to keep it interlaced (if indeed that's what you started with) throughout the post-production process, and only covert it to progressive as an additional very last step. Thus, another reason why wmv should not be used during the actual editing process.

7) I would guess that the black bars changing sizes is due to that fact you converted NTSC to PAL or something like that, but again, without knowing your exact workflow, I can't be sure.
Posted: Sat, 10th Jan 2009, 10:36pm

Post 3 of 8

CTFPlaya360

Force: 400 | Joined: 9th Dec 2008 | Posts: 60

EffectsLab Pro User

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Well, let me tell you this...
When my movie progect in WMM was published, I attempted to publish it in the "DV-AVI (NTSC)" format. Afterwards, when I clicked "select movie" in FXHomeFXLabPro, the clip goes on the timeline, but doesn't even play.

After doing that, I tried the "PAL" exporting function. This, however, worked. I live in America...but for some reason NTSC doesn't work.

_______________________________________________________

Let me tell you also that this is what I do with my movies in 7 simple steps:

1. The movie is filmed.

2. The movie is imported into the computer as a WMV (Avi's have the lines, black bars removed, and screen distortion, so WMV is the only choice that my computer seems to like)

3. The video is imported into Windows Movie Maker, where it's then fully edited an ready for FXLab.

4. The movie progect is published as DV-AVI (PAL).

5. The new published video file is now imported into FXLab. I choose the interlaced setting for the clip in the program. It's then edited with the needed effects.

6. The FXLab progect is rendered as a single, uncompressed file (Unsure which to export as in FXHome so I just picked to my heart's content).

7. After the file is rendered, the explosions have annoying lines and distracting interlacisms that are very visible, and the effects flow over the black bars, which looks plain horrible...so I import the video file into a program called "Virtual Dub," when the black bars are cropped out and the file is deinterlaced (After deinterlacism, the explosions + effects look fine). (Could the VDub program have cause all of my Avis on my comp to become lined and reduced of black bars?)

THEN THE MOVIE IS COMPLETE...but with many drawbacks such as quality.


Listed below is my video. I don't know if you happen to see anything wrong. It looks fine, but I just have an awful feeling in the back of my gut that FXHome is not being used to it's full extent as far as quality!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaFqt4pCh4g

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

PS, is there any type of number that I can call to contact the FXLab board, because talking through the computer to express technical proablems is quite frusterating.
Posted: Sun, 11th Jan 2009, 1:05am

Post 4 of 8

FXhomer46784

Force: 493 | Joined: 24th Dec 2007 | Posts: 329

EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

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FXhomer62958 wrote:

Well, let me tell you this...
When my movie progect in WMM was published, I attempted to publish it in the "DV-AVI (NTSC)" format. Afterwards, when I clicked "select movie" in FXHomeFXLabPro, the clip goes on the timeline, but doesn't even play.

After doing that, I tried the "PAL" exporting function. This, however, worked. I live in America...but for some reason NTSC doesn't work.
This is odd. When you import into WMM as WMV is the footage NTSC or PAL? Is your camcorder NTSC (if you bought it online, there's a chance that it's PAL, I suppose)?

FXhomer62958 wrote:

Let me tell you also that this is what I do with my movies in 7 simple steps:

1. The movie is filmed.

FXhomer62958 wrote:

2. The movie is imported into the computer as a WMV (Avi's have the lines, black bars removed, and screen distortion, so WMV is the only choice that my computer seems to like)
The lines aren't a problem at this point in the process; they should be removed as a last step by deinterlacing, if necessary.
As far as black bars/distortion, I assume that means that you are shooting widescreen and your computer isn't recognizing that. Is this the case?

FXhomer62958 wrote:

3. The video is imported into Windows Movie Maker, where it's then fully edited an ready for FXLab.

FXhomer62958 wrote:

4. The movie progect is published as DV-AVI (PAL).
PAL or NTSC-just keep it the same as what you end up using above.

FXhomer62958 wrote:

5. The new published video file is now imported into FXLab. I choose the interlaced setting for the clip in the program. It's then edited with the needed effects.
Also check your framerate. 25 fps for PAL, 29.97 for NTSC, depending on what you end up using.
Also make sure the pixel ratio/resolution/etc are correct.

FXhomer62958 wrote:

6. The FXLab progect is rendered as a single, uncompressed file (Unsure which to export as in FXHome so I just picked to my heart's content).
Uncompressed is the best quality, but you could also used the DV codec without (most likely) noticing any difference. This will make your file sizes much smaller.

FXhomer62958 wrote:

7. After the file is rendered, the explosions have annoying lines and distracting interlacisms that are very visible, and the effects flow over the black bars, which looks plain horrible...so I import the video file into a program called "Virtual Dub," when the black bars are cropped out and the file is deinterlaced (After deinterlacism, the explosions + effects look fine). (Could the VDub program have cause all of my Avis on my comp to become lined and reduced of black bars?)
This step seems a bit unnecessary. You could just use the deinterlace option in FxHome (under 'scan method' when you start a new project).

You shouldn't need to crop out any black bars if your computer recognizes that your footage is widescreen from the beginning (i.e.: the black bars go away, but the aspect ratio isn't changed). This seems like something that really should/could be fixed at step #2 instead.

FXhomer62958 wrote:

Listed below is my video. I don't know if you happen to see anything wrong. It looks fine, but I just have an awful feeling in the back of my gut that FXHome is not being used to it's full extent as far as quality!
It looks alright (considering it's a compressed youtube format). Although it doesn't fill the frame unless you make it fullscreen. Perhaps there was a setting for that when you uploaded (widescreen vs. fulscreen or something like that)?



To sum up, it looks like you are using FxHome correctly, but rather the root of you problem seems to be in WMM. It also seems like there is an easier/quicker way to accomplish step #7 earlier in the process.

I think in the long run, it would be best to find a way to fix those issues (regardless of whether they seems to affect quality or not) if only to streamline the process a little and save time in the long run.

If you're really looking for a quality improvement, you might want to consider a new editing system (something like an entry level version of Sony's Vegas software can easily be had for under $80), which would be a vast improvement over WMM all around. WMM is somewhat limited in what it can do and how well it works. It's basically designed as a quick and dirty solution to family vacation videos and whatnot. Not to say it can't work for what you want to do, but it's not entirely designed to be used for it either.
Posted: Sun, 11th Jan 2009, 4:30am

Post 5 of 8

CTFPlaya360

Force: 400 | Joined: 9th Dec 2008 | Posts: 60

EffectsLab Pro User

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YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED:

-(Intro Paragraph): When imported into WMM, the footage is NTSC.

-(Step 2): My computer will recognize widescreen, as long as I import the tape as a WMV.

-(Step 4): Even though I tried to import a DV-AVI (NTSC) video file into ELab, the video on the canvas doesn't play. When the play button is clicked, all that appears on the preview screen is the first frame of the video and nothing else.

-(Step 7): I tried the deinterlace scan method when importing into ELab. When rendered the video file, it plays twice as fast as the normal version, which is obviously not usable.
The black bars aren't a HUGE issue, but when the widescreen file is imported into ELab, the explosions sometimes go over the black bars, which looks bad. There actually could be way to get around that however by changing the aspect ratio from Normal to Wide in WMM; I'll really have to consider that.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Now I think that the MAIN PROBLEM is the quality of the movie's end result, which is followed by many smaller problems noted in the answers posted above.

One extra small problem with the ELab editng is almost unable to be noticed with the naked eye, unless the film is broken down frame-by-frame; the film's frames on the canvas seem to be repeating themselves every 10 or so frames.

So visualize the "|" frame on the timeline, with other "-" frames.

-------|---|-----

That's what I mean above, some frames repeat themselves every so often...There is one portion of the CTF 2 video that I sent you of which you may be able to notice it: At exactly 2:00. As in 2 min 0 seconds...the video frame repeats itself in between others as the person fires the gun.

This problem is minor, but I would just like some type of explanation as to why this happens.

Summary: Once again, thank you for replying. Keep it up because I'm going to be on this site a lot, checking this forum for replies. You really do have a point with the probelm being originally traced back to WMM...The Vista version has had so many other settings that resemble nothing to the tutorial in the FXHome support area on this website, which was filmed on Windows XP. So indeed this has become hard for me.



Having said that...I will be checking out Sony Vegas software, now that you've mentioned it.

-Reply.
Posted: Sun, 11th Jan 2009, 6:50am

Post 6 of 8

FXhomer46784

Force: 493 | Joined: 24th Dec 2007 | Posts: 329

EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

FXhomer62958 wrote:

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED:

-(Intro Paragraph): When imported into WMM, the footage is NTSC.

-(Step 2): My computer will recognize widescreen, as long as I import the tape as a WMV.

-(Step 4): Even though I tried to import a DV-AVI (NTSC) video file into ELab, the video on the canvas doesn't play. When the play button is clicked, all that appears on the preview screen is the first frame of the video and nothing else.

-(Step 7): I tried the deinterlace scan method when importing into ELab. When rendered the video file, it plays twice as fast as the normal version, which is obviously not usable.
All this seems to defy explanation at the moment. I'll let you know if I think of anything.

FXhomer62958 wrote:

The black bars aren't a HUGE issue, but when the widescreen file is imported into ELab, the explosions sometimes go over the black bars, which looks bad. There actually could be way to get around that however by changing the aspect ratio from Normal to Wide in WMM
Yeah, that's the right idea. When you import into WMM you should in theory (but apparently can't?) import as a true widescreen .avi. That is, you have no black bars anymore, but the picture isn't stretched either (which I think is the problem you're experiencing when you import as .avi - probably because what's know as the 'pixel aspect ratio' is set wrong in WMM, but I don't know that there is anyway to change it within WMM).

When you import as a wmv, you technically have a fullscreen image that is letterboxed in such a way that it appears to be widescreen (thus the problem in FxHome with the effects spilling over).

FXhomer62958 wrote:

One extra small problem with the ELab editng is almost unable to be noticed with the naked eye, unless the film is broken down frame-by-frame; the film's frames on the canvas seem to be repeating themselves every 10 or so frames.
About every five frames actually, if my math is right (I'm guessing what you think is a frame in FxHome is actually a field - that is half an interlaced frame).

FXhomer62958 wrote:

This problem is minor, but I would just like some type of explanation as to why this happens.
When you converted from NTSC (at 29.97 frame per second) to PAL (25 frames per second) the computer needed to generate/take away the difference in frames somehow. Thus, you can see the result if you go through frame by frame and some people may even notice at the full speed. That's why it would be nice to keep it all NTSC somehow.

FXhomer62958 wrote:

You really do have a point with the probelm being originally traced back to WMM...The Vista version has had so many other settings that resemble nothing to the tutorial in the FXHome support area on this website, which was filmed on Windows XP.
And I'm using XP as well, so I'm afraid I'm only being of so much help, since I don't actually have a way to replicate the exact problem.

FXhomer62958 wrote:

Having said that...I will be checking out Sony Vegas software, now that you've mentioned it.
There would certainly be a bit of a learning curve at first, but if you get a handle on it you'll never go back. Adobe Premiere is another program to look at. It's significantly more expensive, but if you are a student, there's a significant discount.

I'd recommend either. Both have free trial versions if you want to check them out. For what it's worth, I use Vegas Platinum Edition 6.0 in conjunction with EffectsLab, but also use Premiere from time-to-time at work.
Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 9:37pm

Post 7 of 8

CTFPlaya360

Force: 400 | Joined: 9th Dec 2008 | Posts: 60

EffectsLab Pro User

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Thank you very much, FXhomer46784.
When the filming season picks up during the spring for me, I will write to you and tell you how Sony Vegas/Adobe Premiere are doing. I will also check out the trials for both.

Thank you for your cooperation and support.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 5:14am

Post 8 of 8

FXhomer46784

Force: 493 | Joined: 24th Dec 2007 | Posts: 329

EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

Glad to help.