Archive for the ‘Premiere’ Category

RE:Vision’s FieldsKit ReInterlacer

Friday, May 16th, 2014

In Summary:

Purpose of FieldsKit ReInterlacer:

  • Transforms progressive video (e.g. HDp25 frames/sec) into spatio-temporal interlaced video (e.g. SDi50 fields/sec).  It achieves this by estimating the fields that would have been shot (had the original video itself been shot as interlaced) between each frame of the progressive video, via a process of motion estimation.
    •  Most NLEs do not use this “perfectionist” method, instead they at best simply combine (ghost-blur) successive frames, with no compensation for time/motion.
    • On an interlaced display, such as an old analog TV or projector,
      • The “NLE-simple” approach may lead to dynamic (changing e.g. moving) scenes and objects appearing flickery.
      • The “perfectionist” approach will instead typically avoid such flicker.

Configuration of  FieldsKit ReInterlacer:

  • Field Order: [Lower First]
  • Output Type: [= Create motion estimated fields]
    • This is not the default (oddly).  But it is the only proper way to get the expected “perfectionist” reinterlacing to happen!
  • Source Layer: [Video 1]

Supplier’s website:


Adobe Premiere: H264 Markers: Work in Quicktime but not MP4

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

(Updated as of 2014-03-20)

  • H264 supports chapter markers (in some form) in principle, but Adobe Premiere is unable to utilise this (at least as of 2012, and I can’t see a way of doing it in February 2014).
    • If the H264 is encoded into a QuickTime [.mov] wrapper/file (as opposed to a [.mp4] one), and that [.mov] file is played in a QuickTime player, then those chapter markers will appear in (the bottom-right corner) of that player.
  • Apparently FCP (both 7 and X ) can also do this.
    • Presumably


Premiere >AAF> Avid: Failed (though reverse works ok)

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Given a simple 3-minute dramatic scene with footage from BMCC (as DNxHD 185 of HD 1920×1080 at 25fps) and a Windows-7 system:

From Adobe Premiere CC (latest version) I exported AAF.  Then in AVid I imported that AAF.  Result: Bin created, containing what appeared to be (from brief glance) all relevant Media and Sequence objects (now in Avid’s representation), but the Media objects were offline/unlinked and various “cryptic” popup error messages appeared from Avid.

I had naively assumed that the Media objects would have been AMA-linked to the source footage, which by the way included DNxHD recorded by BlackMagic Cinema Camera.  However, not only were they not linked, but Avid’s Relink function failed to recognize them.

I had previously succeeded in exporting AAF from Avid to Adobe.

A forum post says Adobe can read Avid but not vice-versa – confirming my (limited) experience.  One can only guess at which company is at fault here, but one poster blames Adobe.  Regardless, I wasn’t impressed by Avid’s programmer-level “cryptic” error messages.

I tried Bin:[Select Clip > RightClick] but the [Relink to AMA File)s)] option was greyed-out.   So I tried the next-best (RightClick) option, namely [Import].  The Import process took significant time, because (as I later confirmed) it was doing a transcode (to DNxHD 120) rather than a re-wrap.  Surprising, given it was already DNxHD in the right format and better quality…  And this import didn’t replace the right-clicked clip, it just added the import to the bin as an additional clip.

Not an urgent project, so I give up for now…


Adobe Premiere: Unable to Export: “Reading XMP”

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

An existing project, just a 3-minute multi-angle (single camera) dramatic scene, used to export without problems, but following just the addition of some audio clips (as “patches” on additional tracks), export stalled on “Reading XMP”.

Previously in this project, when it still exported ok, there was an audio glitch which only happened when a crossfade transition was applied to the beginning of an isolated audio clip (to make it fade-in).  In this case the clip was for a short sound effect.  The glitch sounded like a woodpecker.  Removing the transition removed the “woodpecker”.  The reason I attempted that was that I had encountered transition-triggered audio issues in the past (on other projects, Adobe versions and machines).  It seems that Premiere gets confused/over-complicated over audio especially in the context of nested sequences.  That is a real pain, because nested sequences are really useful and I structure most of my projects that way.

Adobe Premiere seems to have some vulnerabilities with respect to audio and/or nested sequences, and these vulnerabilities seem to have been around for years.   Others have encountered similar or related issues, as listed below:

  • Google:[“reading xmp”]
      • Unable to Export a very important project.. “Reading XMP”
      • This has also happened to me but for a :60 spot. My workaround is just exporting right out of Premiere Pro and not going to AME. It worked fine for me.

Sequence Transfer from Avid (7.0.2) to Premiere (6.0.5)

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

I took an Avid Media Composer (7.0.2) Sequence built from AMA-linked XDCAM-EX footage and transferred that Sequence via AAF to Adobe Premiere (CC 7.2.1)

It worked, even for my AMA-linked footage (Sony XDCAM EX  / BPAV) – though  it wasn’t as straightforward as I expected – due to “a known issue with AAF in Premiere Pro CC (7.2.1)”.  It did succeed with Premiere CS6 (6.0.5), though even then some clunky wrangling was found necessary.  Thereafter I opened an existing Premiere CC project and Imported the CS6 sequence successfully.  Again I had to double-check the Sequence (this time in Premiere) matched the footage (clips).


Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Suppose you have timecoded footage etc. from an intermittent shoot of a long event.  Perhaps there were also multiple cameras, but for whatever reason (e.g. huge outdoor site) there is no common audio with which to synchronize them.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the NLE (or whatever) could auto-populate a Sequence with clips placed appropriately in (timecode-) time on it?

As noted in an earlier post, Adobe Premiere can’t do this, but Avid and Edius can.  I already use Avid, so that will be my auto-arranging tool of choice.

In Avid (Media Composer 7.0.2):

  • Set Project Settings for media type as per source footage
    • Unlike Premiere, Avid doesn’t have such Sequence-specific settings.
  • Import the footage
    • I found it ok to use AMA – no need to Ingest to MXF etc.
    • And yes, at the end of all this, it transferred (by AAF) from Avid to Premiere ok.
  • Menu:[Windows > Workspaces > Source/Record Editing]
    • To reinstate the Timeline – after it closed when I deleted the bad seq
  • Bin:
    • Sort the clips into order by Timecod
      • Shouldn’t matter in principle but it did appear to in practice…
    • Select all required clips
    • Do [Bin > AutoSequence]
    • A new sequence gets created, with the clips placed in time.
      • The sequence gets auto-named as per the last clip in the selection.
      • The sequence’s starting-timecode is auto-set to that of the earliest clip in timecode-time (among the selection)
  • Tip:
    • Timeline Zoom in/out = Ctrl-] / Ctrl-[ respectively.

I will post separately on how to Export from Avid and Import to Premiere via AAF (Advanced Authoring Format).  It worked, even for my AMA-linked footage (Sony XDCAM EX  / BPAV) – though  it wasn’t as straightforward as I expected – due to “a known issue with AAF in Premiere Pro CC (7.2.1)“.  It did succeed with Premiere CS6 (6.0.5), though even then some clunky wrangling was found necessary.  Thereafter I opened an existing Premiere CC project and Imported the CS6 sequence successfully.  Again I had to double-check the Sequence (this time in Premiere) matched the footage (clips).

Adobe CC: Speech-to-Text: Language Modules

Sunday, February 9th, 2014


Adobe Premiere has a speech-to-text translator, as part of its content-analysis capability.  At best it is 80% or so correct in its interpretations, though in my experience only 20-30% reliable.  But to optimize its chances, one must select the (spoken) language appropriate to the media (content) being analyzed.  But by default, only one language, US-English is available.  So how do you get further options?


  • By default, the only language model (sic) installed is that for US-English.
  • Optionally, one can download (free) Installers for other language modules.
  • One can download the installer for International English language models (sic), from
    • These English-language models include: Australian, British, Canadian.
  • Run the Installer
    • Although intended for both CCand CS6,  it only installs to [C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\SpeechAnalysisModels\CS6]
  • Manually copy content from [C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\SpeechAnalysisModels\CS6]
    to [C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\SpeechAnalysisModels\4.0]

    • (sic)
  • Likewise, for Mac OS:
    • Copy all content of [/Library/Application Support/Adobe/SpeechAnalysisModels/CS6
    • to [/Library/Application Support/Adobe/SpeechAnalysisModels/4.0]
  • Incidentally, it is possible to inject (eg via C++ code) a text script directly into XMP metadata
    • See Details for a link and example code.


Adobe Premiere CC: No Way to Arrange by Timecode (even with PluralEyes). Use Avid/Edius as pre-processor?

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

In principle, it is possible to auto-arrange multiple clips on a timeline according to their timecode, e.g. from a camera that was recording time-of-day timecode automatically.

For example, if so-arranged, a timeline might look something like this:

  • [clip1]  [ clip2 ]                 [clip3]      [    clip4    ] [clip5]              [clip6]

I haven’t used FCP7 all that much, but I have a faint recollection that it did this somehow – though some other people say not.  Regardless, Avid does it, and also Edius reportedly does it, and these could be used as preprocessors in advance of Premiere, just to align the clips in tracks and time.

But (as far as I can tell) Premiere can’t do this, there are currently no add-ons for it to accomplish this conceptually simple task.  Not even PluralEyes 3, that can only sync based on audio, which is impractical in some situations e.g. large scale industrial area with different sounds in every corner…  People do it manually, e.g. by typing timecode into timeline and adding markers then placing each clip at its associated marker…


The nearest one can get, apparently, is to “pre-process” in an NLE that can arrange-by-timecode, such as Avid or Edius, then export an AAF for import to Premiere.   Edius also (reportedly) auto assigns each camera to its own track(s).

Edius price:

  • In the UK, I see for example that DVC have a crossgrade offer for (just under) £240 or (just under) £450 for standard purchase.
  • If it works as expected, then the crossgrade would be worthwhile (in terms of time saved) even if only ever used as a preprocessor…
    • And it’s worth checking out for general usability/productivity.
  • A demo can be downloaded from

Worth a try-out, when I get time, via Avid and via Edius, also to see whether Edius could be more generally useful.


Adobe Premiere CC: [Undo]: Ideas for Improvement

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

As I previously blogged, Premiere CC’s [Undo] does not undo media-replacement in Project pane.  This was discussed on an Adobe Premiere forum thread.  As part of that discussion, the “can’t please everyone” principle was apparent: one view was in favor of that Undo behaviour, another was against it.

Maybe-ideally, both viewpoints would be satisfied if, say, the History window would have a column of checkboxes for “Locked”, meaning all changes are recorded but [Undo] will skip over those having a check-mark (when they could also be greyed-out).  The “Media Replace” action could have a default of “Locked”, so it behaves as at present, for those people who like it that way.

I wish such a change-lock feature existed in any case, e.g. if I have made a string of color corrections etc. to various clips on timeline and then afterwards realise there is some “obscure show-stopping issue most productively solved by undo-ing”.  One could lock the simple color correction effects etc. prior to undoing as far back as necessary to fix the issue (such as some media link or interpretation or sync issue).  I realise it is possible to achieve this by work-arounds, e.g. save to a Project copy then Import that copy and copy/paste attributes each effect across, or one could save Effect Presets and re-apply these after undoing.  But such workaround would be cumbersome if there were a number of different effect tweaks  on a variety of clips, and one would have to remember/note which clips these were (or else go through all clips).  And then there are non-effect changes, like “ripple trim” cut-timing tweaks.

It would also be helpful if the History-window said more specific things than just “Apply Effect” (like which effect) and if the History-window automatically came to the fore when applying an Undo.  Those things together would reduce the likelihood of unintended undo’s of any kind.

Adobe Premiere CC: [Undo]: Media non-Unreplace (& Work-around)

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

I discovered by accident that, although one can do ProjectPane:[aClip >RtClk> Replace Footage…], a subsequent Undo will not un-replace (restore previous) footage.  I raised this topic at, and subsequent discussions resulted in a confirmation that indeed this is Premiere’s normal behavior but that there is a reasonable work-around.

So what was the work-around?

  • My footage happened to be XDCAM-EX, denying me the possibility of simply doing a further [Replace Footage…]. This is because the browser associated with [Replace Footage…] was only a File-Browser, not a Media Browser.  Consequently it would list individual component files of the XDCAM-EX folder-structure, but not the single overall high-level sense of “Clip” represented by that structure.
    • XDCAM-EX footage needs special treatment because it is file-structure based and spanned, broadly like AVCHD.  To get such footage properly into Premiere, it is necessary to use the Media Browser, and not simply to drag in the [.mp4] “essence” files within that file-structure.  It is ok to drag from Media Browser to Project pane, because that operation recognizes all relevant information in the file-structure, displaying it as a single clip at the highest level, possibly spanning over more than one [.mp4] file.  The Media Browser hides such detail from the user.
  • My next (unsuccessful) workaround-attempt did work but was clunky.  This was to re-import the original footage via Media Browser, so it appeared in the Project pane, then select it, then go down to each relevant clip on the timeline and in each case do a [Replace with clip] using [From bin], i.e. the original footage in the Project pane.  However, while any metadata (e.g. “Log Notes”) on the original item (prior to replacement) got transferred to the replacement footage, that metadata was not “inherited” by the fresh import of the same original footage, so it had to be copied across manually.
    • Ugh!
  • The best work-around was explained (by Jim Simon, in a thread on the Adobe Premiere forum) as follows:
    • In Project pane, do an offline-and-relink, e.g. via [aClip >RightClick> Make Offline] followed by [aClip >RightClick> Link Media…], which does give the option of using Media Browser.
      • NB: When I initially tried that, the Locate Media Browser (a fresh instance of Media Browser, in a pop-up window) opened in File mode.  However, by clicking that browser’s “eye” button, it was possible to select XDCAM-EX mode (among others). This behavior is unlike that of the main Media Browser, which selects the camera-specific mode automatically.

Adobe Premiere: Disable All Effects: How (can’t except via workaround)

Thursday, October 10th, 2013


  • Ideally, it should be possible to globally disable all effects, or maybe all those effects (in a list of all effects used anywhere in a project) that a user has marked as being “disableable” (e.g. the cpu-heaviest ones such as Neat Video, which either reduce responsiveness or else ( to avoid this) require rendering.


  • Put all FX on an adjustment layer, that can itself be enabled/disabled.
  • Duplicate sequence then select all clips and [theClips >RtClk> Remove Effects]
  • Edit or process the project XML file to disable all effects (and conversely, eventually, to enable them).
    • This one sounds the most promising, apart from need to make special allowance for effects that were initially disabled.


Adobe Premiere CC: Weird Audio-Repeat from Nested Multicam Sequence with Audio Transition (Crossfade)

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Following-up from my earlier post,


  • In a nested sequence situation, I’m getting short audio repeats from a clip element just prior to a cut.
  • Solution: for the nested sequence, do menu:[Sequence > Render Audio].
    • That’s just the audio, not the clip/effects etc.  It’s an extremely fast process.


  • Premiere Pro CC, latest version at time of writing (7.0.1 (105), under Windows 7 (64-bit).
  • Structure: I have a sync-sequence (multicam source sequence) consisting of XDCAM-EX (file structure broadly along the lines of AVCHD) and Z1 (plain m2t files).  Derived from / dependent on that is a multicam edit sequence, where I cut between camera angles.  Then that sequence is itself nested in a master sequence (showing selected extracts of the performance).
  • For reference purposes: Multicam edit sequence consists (among other things) of a rock band’s “big finish” followed by some applause.  I made a cut in the audio part (only) of the nested sequence clip, to enable the audio for the applause to be normalized independently of the band performance.  To smooth the join I added a crossfade transition over the cut.  Nicer in principle than using volume envelopes.
  • When I play the original recording or the multicam sync-sequence or the multicam edit-sequence, all looks and sounds fine.


  • When the Master sequence is played back (in preview or an exported/encoded clip) I hear the big finish, then applause starts, then after 2 seconds the “big finish” is heard once again, but at lower audio level.
  • This effect happens wherever I have used the same cut/normalize/crossfade technique in the (nested) multicam edit sequence.  I have also encountered it in previous projects in Premiere CS6.
  • If I delete the crossfade then the problem disappears…  Doesn’t matter what type of audio crossfade is used.


  • Open (in timeline) the Cut-Sequence (where one cuts between various multicam angles etc)
  • Menu:[Sequence > Render Audio]


Adobe Premiere CC: Weird Audio-Repeat from Nested Multicam Sequence with Audio Transition (Crossfade)

Thursday, October 10th, 2013



  • I’m producing a video of a progressive rock band (Panic Room) playing at a party on-board a lightship…
  • The video has been edited in Adobe Premiere, initially in version CS6 and then in CC7.0 (105), the latter via opening the CS6 project-file.
  • The Premiere project structure is: [ Master_Sequence > Multicam_Sequence  > Sync_Sequence > Raw_Footage (XDCAM-EX) ].


  • While previewing a complete draft of the video, that had been Exported from Premiere CC, I noticed a repeat, after 2 seconds, of the “big finish” of one of the band’s songs.  The repeat is quieter than the “real” (wanted) one.


  • The problem occurs when editing, but only at the Master_Sequence level.  It does not occur at the Multicam_Sequence level.
  • In the Multicam_Sequence, near to the problem part of the audio. is a Crossfade transition.  If I delete that Crossfade (leaving the audio transition to be a plain Cut) then the problem (at Master_Sequence level) no longer occurs.
  • The repeated element of audio is not that within the Crossfade transition, it is instead from a (short) clip (resulting from multicam editing) almost immediately preceding the transition.
    • This is suggestive of a memory issue, such as cache (RAM or file) or buffer (presumably RAM).
  • It feels to me like this is a bug in Premiere CC, broadly similar to something I once encountered (in a different project) in Premiere CS6.
  • I often encounter bugs when I go “off-piste” as compared to most people’s editing procedure, presumably due to programmers/testers not having thought similarly “off-piste”.
  • The only potentially (?) unusual thing I did in the edit of the Multicam Sequence was at certain places to cut just the audio track (via [C-Razor] tool, having selected only the audio part via [Alt-LeftClick].
    • The reason I did that was to separate the end of a song from the following applause etc., which was much quieter, to allow Clip:[Audio Gain > Normalize] to be carried out separately on that applause.  Then I added [Crossfade > Constant Power] in order to smooth the join to the applause.
    • I used this approach rather than Volume envelope because:
      • Audio Gain can increase gain by any amount, whereas Volume Envelope’s maximum gain appears to be 6dB.
        • Possibly the 6dB limit might be configurable in Preferences (I just saw a setting suggestive of that but haven’t tried it),
      • It is very convenient and less “messy” than fiddling about with Envelopes and Track Width etc.
  • Experiments:
    • As stated earlier, if I delete that [Crossfade > Constant Power] (leaving the audio transition to be a plain Cut) then the problem (at Master_Sequence level) no longer occurs.
    • If I replace the crossfade with [Crossfade > Constant Gain] then it makes no difference (the problem remains).
    • If I delete the multicam sequence element (audio & video) penultimately preceding the transition, i.e. the element containing the “big finish”, leaving a gap (black silence) then when I play the Master Sequence, the gap faithfully appears as expected but then the “repeat” (of the “big finish”) nevertheless happens.
      • By “penultimately” I mean not the clip that is the left-hand part of the transition, but the clip before that (which is not therefore any part of the transition).
    • If instead I delete only the audio part and then drag the previous audio (only) part forwards (in time) to fill the gap, then when I play Master Sequence, the “repeat” now comes from the end of what is now a different “previous clip” (the one that was prior to the one I just deleted).
    • This tells us the repeat comes from whatever clip is penultimate to the Crossfade audio transition, it does not happen only for one clip in particular.
    • …to be continued… (sadly)


  • e.g. Google:[adobe premiere audio repeating], [adobe forum]
      • (nothing relevant found, and today {and next few days} was unable to sign-in, presumably due to Adobe web system maintenance)
      • {BUT see my later post on this:}
        • Solution that worked:
          • Open the Cut-Sequence, i.e. the one where I cut between various multicam angles etc.
          • Menu:[Sequence > Render Audio]
            • This was extremely fast, almost instantaneous, worth doing on a regular basis in future…
      • Covers a number of issues but not mine.
      • Recommends sufficiently powerful CPU and in the case of spanned file-structure footage (like AVCHD or presumably XDCAM-EX), transcoding to a straight format like DNxHD or UT.
      • Strange audio problem in Premiere Pro CS6 (Aug 10, 2012)
      • Problem: All material has been shot on the Sony FS 100 camera – imported into PP with the Media Browser. In one interview the last part of a clip has corrupted audio. At one point on the timeline the audio stops playing, and it sounds like a scratch on a vinyl record – two words repeating themselves to the end of the clip (See screenshot of timeline). The images are as they should.
        • Sounds very similar to my problem.
      • Solution: (Delete) everything within both the /Media Cache and /Media Cache Files folders…
        • BUT when I tried that, in my case it made no difference…
      • Problem-Solving in Adobe Premiere: Audio Glitches and Sync (Apr 7, 2012)
      • Problem:
        • I imported a few camera cards full of AVCAM / AVCHD footage from my HMC-150 and edited for a few days.  Then I clicked on one imported clip and found that the audio was wrong.  Glitches, skips, out of sync, weird things happening – all nice sounding, but not in the right places.  I checked the original MTS files on my HD using VLC player.  Sound was fine, everything was in sync.
      • Solution:
        • For each imported clip in .mts format, Premiere adds a file with the same name with .xmp as the extension in the same folder.  Feeling bold, I quit Premiere then deleted all these the .xmp files for that card – though i didn’t empty my trash yet.  I re-opened Premiere and double-clicked that file.  It was dead silent, as clips often are when first imported to Premiere.  It does some meta-data-ing… and then the sound was all back in proper order, problem solved.
        • The XMP files had been re-produced in that folder, although this time, apparently, without glitches.
        • {The poster of this solution appeared slightly concerned, at least initially, about the addition of [.xmp] (sidecar) files into the file-structure, as indeed I had reported e.g. at, but (like me) didn’t do anything about it, just bore the fact in mind}
      • {Doubts:
        • In my case, the file itself plays fine in Premiere, it’s only when nested that the problem arises, hence I doubt the same solution would fix my problem
    • ??

Adobe Premiere CC: Incredibly Slow Response to Timeline Commands

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

I have had similar problems in Adobe Premiere CS5.5, CS6, now also in CC…   And on several types of machine.  For example as I reported at

Response in timeline to mouse-clicking or play button is often several seconds, sometimes minutes.

It is difficult to imagine how this can be, on such a widely and professionally used NLE.

Top suggestions from websearch are to do either one of the following:

  • Simply reboot the system (not just Premiere)
  • Exit Premiere, exit CC (system tray), kill all Adobe processes (e.g. via Task Manager), restart CC, restart Premiere.

…But that made no significant difference in my experience…


NLE Adulteration of Source Media: Potential Workflow-Issues

Friday, September 13th, 2013

I highlighted in (10 months ago) that Adobe Premiere etc. can adulterate media files, in terms of metadata and/or sidecar-files (depending on user-configurations of these applications.  I indicated that, regardless of the reasonableness of at least some of these actions, this could potentially cause problems to other applications.

Validating that concern, I note a post (2012-06-12) by Matt Davis on Philip Bloom’s website, stating (my italics):

  • …if sharing assets with FCPX and Adobe Premiere, Adobe ‘touches’ (resets the modification date) of each file without doing anything else to it, but also sprinkles sidecar files into directories of transcodable files for metadata, thus sending any returning FCPX activity into a tailspin, requiring a re-linking session. It’s oddities like these which haunt the implementation of FCPX in a wider system and make system managers wonder if FCPX is actually worth implementing in its current state.

That was over a year ago, and so the issue may or may not exist for the current version of FCPX.

As users, whether or not the actions of one application adhere to standards and another don’t, what we as users ultimately care about is workflow, which in this case translates to “does it connect up with my other tools/processes?”.  So we have to maintain a “situational awareness” of potential interoperability pitfalls.

Incidentally, I recall that FCPX’s predecessor (in history at least, if not development-line) FCP7 could adulterate source directories with its own sidecar files, produced by its SmoothCam effect.  Not knowing anything further for sure, I nevertheless wondered (at that time) what it might be doing “under the hood” of the QuickTime [.mov] wrapper.

YouTube Upload Formats: “That Old Chestnut”

Friday, September 6th, 2013


When uploading to  YouTube (or Vimeo or indeed most online video services), the uploaded video need not be in the format that will ultimately be served to the audience. Instead, it is essentially in an an archive role, and based on this archive, the services will (now and/or in the future) encode their own copies at various resolutions.   The uploaded “archive” should therefore be of the best quality, and is not constrained to be in a format that plays well on most target devices.

YouTube defines two upload-formats: Standard (for typical enthusiast videos) and Enterprise (for serious matter such as movies or corporate productions).  A 5-minute video in Standard format may be about 350 MB while in Enterprise format it may be around 2GB.  So for practical purposes, Enterprise format requires an Enterprise internet-connection.

  • Standard-Level Encoding:
    • YouTube gave good results when the video was uploaded in H264 at 8 mean 16 max Mbps.
      • I (currently) believe this is a good practical upload-format to use in most cases.
        • It has given good results for general scenes (in the experience of others as well as myself).
      • My maximum bitrate (16Mbps) exceeds Adobe’s YouTube 1080 preset, which defines 8Mbps mean=max.
      • However it is way below YouTube’s official (and YouTube-expert-confirmed) advice of 50Mbps (mean=max) for Enterprise-class (productions and internet connections).
        • I wonder whether such high bandwidth is only really of advantage to fast-changing scenes e.g. foamy sea-spray or to future derivation of 4K from it etc.
        • It could presumably be regarded as a useful format for archiving in general, at least where no subsequent significant levels/color manipulation was intended.
    • Poor results were obtained when uploaded (mistakenly) at 720p25 at 5 Mbps (mean=max), especially when played (from YouTube) at lower resolutions, when blocking was apparent.
    • I am not too sure about Adobe Media Encoder’s YouTube 1080 preset, maybe it is slightly under-specified, the audio bitrate as well as the video bitrate.
  • Enterprise-Level Encoding via custom settings in Adobe Media Encoder (version CC of August 2013)
    • These are essentially “BluRay-like” / “Gold Standard” formats, from which YouTube’s servers can derive multiple present-day play-formats.  Their use should also result in good-quality archive material from which, in future, to derive further (as yet uninvented or not-yet-popular) formats.  To “stand the test of time”…
    • Audio 320Kbps
    • Video:
      • Bitrate:
        • 50 Mbps for 1080p (25 fps)
        • 30 Mbps for 720p (25 and 50 fps?)
      • Level:
        • 4.2
          • General H264 advice is use lowest Level that permits (includes as an option) your required bitrate.
          • Level 4.2 additionally has a reasonable number (hence density) of macro-blocks.
      • Mode
        • Mode should be [High] (as opposed to [Baseline] or [Main] ).
          • [High] implies CABAC encoding (which is computationally-intensive but gives superior-quality results) and two B-frames.
            • These are both requirements for Enterprise-class YouTube uploads.
        • We are essentially uploading an archive format as opposed to playable, so we don’t care how computationally intensive it is.
  • Key Frames Distance
    • Same thing as GOP size or length (I assume).
    • YouTube’s official spec says it should be half the frame-rate…
      • e.g. 12 in the case of 25 fps ?
      • As opposed to a general rule of thumb (elsewhere) of three times the fps.
        • e.g. 75 frames in the case of 25 fps or 150 frames for 50 fps.
          • Scary numbers…
          • Various people report less smooth motion when shorter keyframe distances are used.  But maybe that only applies to lower bitrates?
  • B-Frames:
    • This is the number of bi-directional (B) frames between I and P frames, e.g. a value of 3 would give: [IBBBPBBBPBBBPBBBP]
    • The recommended number is 2 for YouTube-Enterprise context (as opposed to 3 in some other contexts).


I had shot two videos on my trusty Sony EX3 camera, one at 1080p25 the other at 720p50.

Reason?  The first one was a standard live entertainment event, demanding some run&gun, hence I shot it at highest definition.  However the other event was a sporting one, and 50 fps provides more potential for handling fast action in various ways (smoother action or slow motion).  On this camera, 50fps was only possible in 720p, not 1080p (the camera can also record 1080i50 (fields/second), from which one can generate motion-estimated full-frame 1080p50, but that is extra work, not conducive to productivity, hence best avoided).

On my Adobe CC editing system, I completed the 720p50 video first, then encoded that to 720p25 (Adobe Premiere CC’s YouTube preset, of 5Mbps, mean=max) for checking and eventual upload to YouTube.  A day or two later I completed the (longer) 1080p50 video, then similarly encoded that to 720p25 for smaller file and faster upload for the draft/check process.

Then came time to upload the 1080p25 video to YouTube, initially with distribution set to Private.  It was late and I forgot to change the encoder setting to 1080.   Mistakes can happen, that’s why it was initially made Private and why a test-play or two at various resolutions was in order.   When played (from YouTube), not only did this reveal the reduced resolution, unexpectedly there was also some very obvious blocking on fast action, especially when the YouTube video was played at lower resolutions.

…Which of course illustrates the exact purpose of Quality-Checking is for, in the workflow…

Naturally the first thing to so was re-encode at 1080 (duh!).  Adobe’s YouTube-preset for this used a VBR bitrate 8 Mbps (mean=max).    Then also I also increased the maximum bitrate to 16.  I hadn’t time for experimenting, so I just made a best-guess.  Result: Success!  Following upload of the result to YouTube, test-plays of this looked far better in all respects at the various play-resolutions.

So I did some further web-research … which led me down a (finite) “rabbit-hole” wherein I discovered the existence of two kinds of upload-format standards: Standard (a few Mbps) and Enterprise (BluRay-ish, tens of Mbps).  Aghast at the latter, I did further web-searching, which confirmed it.


Adobe CC Suite (Premiere etc.): Migrating the Effects Plug-ins

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

I installed the new Adobe CC (which I had expected to be called “CS6.5” or “CS7”) suite of video production applications, primarily Premiere and After Effects.

However when I opened an existing project in Premiere, it gave error messages about missing effects, expected by that project. Ah yes, “that old chestnut…”.


  • From [C:\Program Files\Adobe\Common\Plug-ins\CS6\MediaCore]
  • Copy missing files to [C:\Program Files\Adobe\Common\Plug-ins\7.0\MediaCore]
    • (Incidentally, the FieldsKit3 plugin effect was already there)

Tried opening the project once more, and yes there were fewer error messages, but one remained: SpiceMASTER.

  • Search for [SpiceMASTER] in [C:\Program Files\Adobe]
    • Found in [Adobe Premiere Pro CS6\Plug-ins\en_US]
  • Look in CC’s equivalent folder
    • Note the files already there
    • From CS6 folder, copy over the missing files.

Yes that seems to have worked: The project now opens with no error messages and the expected effects are now all present in the Effects list in Premiere.


LightWorks: Will it Coexist with Adobe & Avid?

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

I expect so…


Premiere CS6 on Windows 7 makes QT 10-bit crazy in “Max Bit Depth”

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

 Problem: 10-bit QuickTime (QT) Cineform footage in Premiere CS6 on Windows 7 looked ok with Sequence in 8-bit mode but crazy (mostly noise) when same Sequence was in “Maximum bit depth” mode.

Solution: Re-wrap the footage as AVI-Cineform (or else use Premiere CS5.5 or a different NLE).

I posted this on the Adobe Premiere forum at

Adobe Premiere Pro CC …is the version after CS6, *should* co-exist with it

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013


Today my Adobe updater reported that a bunch of new Apps, all with a “CC” suffix, were available.  This naming confused me: was this the new version after CS6?  Or was it some kind of  collaborative bloatware I didn’t need right now?    Such confusion arose because I had expected the new version to be called something like CS6.5 or CS7.

  • Premiere Pro CC is the new version after CS6, Adobe have chosen not to name it numerically e.g. CS7.

OK but then the recurring (every version) question: if I install this new version, will it coexist with the old one or will it wipe it out?

  • According to a websearch (as below), they should coexist.  But I haven’t tried it yet.


Adobe CS6: Premiere: MultiCam

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

Some links about Multicam in Premiere of CS6:

Tools/Workflow Philosophy: Best-of-Breed rather than Already-Integrated Suite ?

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

I am becoming less enthusiastic about the “Integrated Suite” philosophy or perhaps actuality of Adobe CS6, in favour of a “Best of Breed” approach, where I cherry-pick the best tool for each kind of job and then design or discover my own workflow for integrating them.

I reached this conclusion from the following experiences:

  • As regards editing itself:
    • For general A & B Roll” editing, I find Premiere is ok, though for improved usability, I’d prefer a Tag-based system (as in FCPX) to the traditional Bin-based one (as in Adobe & Avid).
    • For MultiCam editing, even in Adobe CS6, I find Premiere does the job but I find it clunky, frustrating and limited at times, like it has not yet been fully “baked” (though “getting there”)…
      • e.g. In the two such projects I have so far worked on, there has been an annoying 2-second delay from pressing the spacebar to actual playing.  Maybe some kind of buffering?
        • I found a setting for “Pre-roll” in the Preferences but altering it made no difference.
        • The following suggested that the embedded audio (in video file) could be the issue, the solution to which was to relink to a WAV file.
      • e.g. It brings up a separate MultiCam Monitor instead of using the Source Monitor.  You have to remember to activate this each time before playing.  I find that a nuisance (and time-waster when I forget) especially because I tend to alternate multicam editing as such with tweaking the cut timings until they feel right, and sometimes that can only be done in retrospect.
      • e.g. When you stop playing in multicam mode, it places a cut (that you probably didn’t want) wherever the playhead happens to be at the time.
        • I see I am not the only one complaining about this: “ExactImage, Sep 15, 2012″at
          • A workaround given at that link: Before to stop the playback press the key 0 (zero) of the keyboard and then you can stop the play (with the Space bar) without the cut in the timeline.” Duh!
      • e.g Markers are really useful in multicam, but while Premiere’s are steadily improving with product version, they are way clunkier and more limited than those in Sony Vegas:
        • e.g. I put a marker at the start of an interesting section (of timeline), I select it and define its duration to be non-zero, so I can stretch it out to mark a region, then I drag the playhead to the find the end of that interest, I try to drag the marker’s right-hand end up to the playhead, but instead the playhead gets reset to the start of marker.  Duh!
        • e.g. Markers cannot be promoted from clip (media or nested Sequence) to current Sequence.
        • e.g. waveform displays (assuming you can get them to appear in the first place) go blank when sliding clips around.  Really annoying when trying to synchronise to music etc.
    • …so I will explore other options for multicam:
      • In the past (as will be apparent from the above) I have had more joy, as regards Multicam, with Sony Vegas.
      • I will check out what people think of other NLEs as potential “Best of Breed” for multicam editing.  Thus far I have heard (from web-search) good things about FCPX and LightWorks.
  • For audio enhancement, such as denoising, I find iZotope’s RX2 far superior to the one in Adobe Audition.
  • For making a DVD:
    • I find Encore to be handy in some ways but limited and clunky in others.
      • e.g. can’t replace an asset with one of a different type (e.g. [.avi] and [.mpg]).
    • The advantage of using an integrated DVD-Maker such as Encore might be limited:
      • e.g. many people are not using the direct link, but exporting from Premiere/AME, in which case any third-party DVD Builder could be used.
      • The only significant advantage I am aware of is the ability to define Scene/Chapter points in Premiere and have them recognised/used by Encore.
        • But maybe some third-party DVD Builder applications can also recognise these?  Or can be configured/helped to do so?  Worth finding out.
    • ?

Best Workflow for High-resolution Master (e.g. HD or HDV) to Multi-Format Including SD-DVD

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

What is the best workflow for going from a high-resolution footage, potentially either progressive or interlaced,  possibly through an intermediate Master (definitely in progressive format) to a variety of target/deliverable/product formats, from the maximum down to lower resolution and/or interlaced formats such as SD-DVD ?

Here’s one big fundamental: Naively one might have hoped that long-established professional NLEs such as Premiere might provide high-quality optical processing based downscaling from HD to SD, but my less optimistic intuition, about the un-likelihood of that, proved correct.  In my post I note the BBC Technical standards for SD Programmes state: <<Most non linear editing packages do not produce acceptable down conversion and should not be used without the broadcaster’s permission>>.

Having only ever used Adobe (CS5.5 & CS6) for web-based video production, early experiences in attempting to produce a number of target/deliverable (product) formats proved more difficult and uncertain than I had imagined…  For a current project, given historical footage shot in HDV (1440×1080, fat pixels), I wanted to generate various products from various flavors of HD (e.g. 1920x1080i50,  1280x720p50) down to SD-DVD (720×576).  So I embarked on a combination of web-research and experimentation.

Ultimately, this is the workflow that worked (and satisfied my demands):

  • Master: Produce a 50 fps (if PAL) progressive Master at the highest resolution consistent with original footage/material.
    • Resolution: The original footage/material could e.g. be HD or HDV resolution.  What resolution should the Master be?
      • One argument, possibly the best one if only making a single format deliverable or if time is no object, might be to retain the original resolution, to avoid any loss of information through scaling.
      • However I took the view that HDV’s non-standard pixel shape (aspect ratio) was “tempting fate” when it came to reliability and possibly even quality in subsequent (downstream in the workflow) stages of scaling (down) to the various required formats (mostly square-pixel, apart from SD-Wide so-called “16:9” pixels, of 1.4568 aspect ratio (or other, depending where you read it).
      • So the Master resolution would be [1920×1080].
    • Progressive: The original footage/material could e.g. be interlaced or progressive, but the Master (derived from this) must be progressive.
      • If original footage was interlaced then the master should be derived so as to have one full progressive frame for each interlaced field (hence double the original frame-rate).
        • The concept of “doubling” the framerate is a moot point, since interlaced footage doesn’t really have a frame rate, only a field rate, because the fields are each shot at different moments in time.  However among the various film/video industry/application conventions, some people refer to 50 fields/second interlaced as 50i (or i50) wile others refer to it as 25i (or i25).  Context is all-important!
    • Quality-Deinterlacing: The best way to convert from interlaced fields-to-frames is via motion/pixel/optical -based tools/techniques:
      • I have observed the quality advantage in practice on numerous projects in the distant past, e.g. when going from HDV or SD (both 50i) to a variety of (lower) corporate web-resolutions.
      • This kind of computation is extremely slow and heavy, hence (for my current machines at least) more an overnight job than a real-time effect… In fact for processing continuously recorded live events of one or two hours, I have found 8 cores (fully utilised) to take a couple of 24-hour days or so – for [AviSynth-MultiThread + TDeint plugin] running on a [Mac Pro > Boot Camp > Windows 7].
      • But (as stated) this general technique observably results in the best quality, through least loss of information.
      • There are a number of easily-available software tools with features for achieving this, Adobe and otherwise:
        • e.g. AviSynth+TDeint, (free) After-Effects, Boris.
        • e.g. FieldsKit is a nice convenient deinterlacing plugin for Adobe (Premiere & After Effects), and is very friendly and useful should you want to convert to a standard progressive video (e.g. 25fps), but (at this time) it can only convert from field-pairs to frames, not from fields to frames.
          • I submitted a Feature Request to FieldsKit’s developers.
    • Intermediate-File Format: A good format for an Intermediate file or a Master file is the “visually lossless” wavelet-based 10-bit 422 (or more) codec GoPro-Cineform (CFHD) Neo
      • Visually lossless (such as CFHD) codecs save considerable amounts of space as compared to uncompressed or mathematically lossless codecs like HuffYUV and Lagarith.
      • I like Cineform in particular because:
        • It is application-agnostic.
        • It is available in both VFW [.avi] and QuickTime [.mov] varieties (which is good because I have found that it can be “tempting fate” to give [.mov] files to certain Windows apps, and indeed not to give it to others).  The Windows version of CFHD comes with a [.avi] <-> [.mov] rewrapper (called HDLink).
        • Another advantage is that CFHD can encode/decode not only the standard broadcast formats (and not only HD) but also specialized “off-piste” formats.  I have found that great for corporate work. It’s as if it always had “GoPro spirit”!
        • CHFD Encoder Settings from within Sony Vegas 10:
          • These settings worked for me in the context of this “Sony-Vegas-10-Initially-then-Adobe-CS6-centric” workflow:
    • Technical Production History of a Master for an Actual Project:
      • This is merely for my own reference purposes, to document some “project forensics” (while I still remember them and/or where they’re documented):
      • This was a “Shake-Down” experience, not exactly straightforward, due to an unexpected “hiccup” between Sony Vegas 10 and AviSynth-WAVSource.  Hiccups are definitely worth documenting too…
      • The stages:
        • Sony Vegas Project: An initial HDV 50i (to match the footage) Intermediate file, containing the finished edit, was produced by Sony Vegas 10 Project:
          • [Master 021a (Proj HDV for Render HDV)  (veg10).veg] date:[Created:[2013-07-01 15:30], Modified:[2013-07-03 20:07]]
          • Movie duration was about 12 minutes.
        • Audio & Video Settings:
          • Project Settings:
            • HDV 1440×1080 50i UFF 44.1KHz
              • The audio was 44.1KHz, both for Project and Render, since most of the audio (music purchased from Vimeo shop) was of that nature.
          • Render Settings:
            • I believe I will have used the following Sony Vegas Render preset: [CFHD ProjectSize 50i 44KHz CFHD (by esp)] .
              • Though I think there may have been a bug in Vegas 10, whereby the Preset did not properly set the audio sampling frequency, so it had to be checked & done manually)
            • The CFHD Codec settings panel only offered two parameters, which I set as follows: Encoded format:[YUV 4:2:2], Encoding quality:[High]
          • The result of Rendering from this Project was the file:
            • [Master 021a (Proj HDV for Render HDV)  (veg10).avi] date:[Created:[2013-07-01 15:30], Modified:[2013-07-01 18:58]]
              • Modified date minus creation date is about 3.5 hours, which I guess accounts for the render-time (on a 2-core MacBook Pro of 2009 vintage winning Windows 7 under Boot Camp).
        • The next stage of processing was to be by AviSynth.
          • However AviSynth had problems reading the audio out of this file (it sounded like crazy buzzes).
          • To expedite the project, and guessing that Vegas 10 had produced a slightly malformed result (maybe related to the audio setting bug?), and hoping that it was just a container-level “audio framing” issue, I “Mended” it by passing it through VirtualDub, in [Direct Stream Copy] mode, so that it was merely rewrapping the data as opposed to decompressing and recompressing it.  The resulting file was:
            • [Master 021a HDV Mended (VDub).avi], date:[Created:[2013-07-08 18:22], Modified:[2013-07-08 18:30]]
          • Since that time, I have discovered the existence of the Cineform tool CFRepair, from forum post at DVInfo: which itself provided a download link as
            • Worth trying it out sometime, on this same “broken” file…
        • This was processed into full HD progressive (one frame per field, “double-framerate”) by an AViSynth script as follows, its results being drawn through VirtualDub into a further AVI-CFHD file, constituting the required Master.
          • AviSynth Script:[HDV to HD 1920×1080.avs] date:[Created:[2013-07-04 18:13], Modified:[2013-07-08 22:05]]
            • I used AvsP to develop the script.  It provides helpful help of various kinds and can immediately show the result in its preview-pane.
            • Multi-threaded:
              • To make best use of the multiple cores in my machine, I used the AviSynth-MT variant of AviSynth.  It’s a (much larger) version of the [avisynth.dll] file.  For a system where AviSynth (ordinaire) is already installed, you simply replace the [avisynth.dll] file in the system folder with this one.  Of course its sensible to keep the old one as a backup (e.g. rename it as [avisynth.dll.original]).
            • Audio Issue:
              • This particular script, using function [AVISource] to get the video and and [WavSource] to get the audio, only gave audio for about the first half of the movie, with silence thereafter.
              • Initially, as a workaround, I went back to VirtualDub and rendered-out the audio as a separate WAV file, then changed the script to read its [WAVSource] from this.
              • That worked fine, “good enough for the job” (that I wanted to expedite)
              • However afterwards I found a cleaner solution: Instead of functions [AVISource] and [WAVSource], use the single function [DirectShowSource].  No audio issues.  So use that in future.  And maybe avoid Vegas 10?
          • The script was processed by “pulling” its output video stream through VirtualDub which saved it as a video file, again AVI-CFHD.  Since no filters (video processing) was to be performed in VirtualDub, I used it in [Fast Recompress] mode.  In this mode, it leaves the video data in YUV (doesn’t convert it into RGB), making it both fast and information-preserving.  Possibly (not tested) I could have simply have rendered straight from AvsP:[Tools > Save to AVI].  When I first tried that, I got audio issues, as reported above, hence I switched to rendering via VirtualDub, but in retrospect (having identified a source, perhaps the only source,  of those audio issues) that (switch) might have been unnecessary.
      • The resulting Master file was [Master 021a HDV 50i to HD 50p 1920×1080 (Avs-VDub).avi] date:[Created:[2013-07-08 21:55], Modified:[2013-07-08 22:47]]
        • “Modified minus created” implies a render-time of just under an hour.  This was on a [MacBook Pro (2009) > Boot Camp > Windows 7] having two cores, fully uitilised.
  • Quality inspection of Master:
    • Check image quality, e.g. deinterlacing, via VirtualDub.
      • VirtualDub is great in a close-inspection role because its Preview can zoom well beyond 100% and, vitally, it displays the video as-is, with no deinterlacing etc. of its own.
        • e.g. zoom to 200% to make any interlacing comb-teeth easily visible.  There should not be any, since this Master is meant to be progressive.
  • Premiere Project: Make a Premiere project consistent with the Master, and add chapter markers here.
    • Make Premiere Project consistent with the Master, not the Target.
      • …especially when there is more than one target…
    • Don’t directly encode the master (by Adobe Media Encoder), but instead go via Premiere.
      • I have read expert postings on Adobe forums stating that as of Adobe CS6, this is the best route.
      • This appears to be the main kind of workflow the software designers had in mind, hence a CS6 user is well-advised to follow it.
        • It represents a “well-trodden path” (of attention in CS6’s overall development and testing).
        • Consequently, (it is only in this mode that) high-quality (and demanding, hence CUDA-based) algorithms get used for any required scaling.
        • Not knowing the application in detail, hence having to adopt the speculative approach to decision-making, it feels likely that this workflow would have a greater chance of reliability and quality than other, relatively off-piste ones.
    • Premiere is the best stage at which to add Chapter Markers etc.
      • Chapter markers etc. get stored as ??XMP?? and are thereby visible to Encore (Adobe’s DVD-Builder)
      • Better to place such markers in Premiere rather than in Encore, since:
        • In Encore, Chapter markers act as if they are properties of Assets, not Timelines.
          • If you delete an asset from a timeline, the chapter markers disappear also.
        • Encore (CS6) Replace Asset has some foibles.
          • In Encore, if you were to put an [.avi] file asset on a timeline, then add markers then try to replace that asset with a [.mpg] file, you would be in for a disappointment; if the file extension differs then the markers disappear. If required, then the markers would have to be re-created from scratch. Same again if you subsequently replaced back to a new [.avi] file.
          • The Foibles of Encore (CS6)’s Replace Asset function, in more detail:
            • Good news: If the new asset has the same file extension then any existing markers are retained.
              • This possibly suggests that they are transferred from the old asset to the new one.
            • Bad news: If the new asset file extension differs from the old one, then:
              • You get an error (popup): ???
                • e.g. it refused my attempt to replace an [.avi] file by a [.m2v] file).
              • Partial-workaround:
                • You can instead delete the existing asset from the timeline, prior to dragging another asset there..
                • ..BUT as a side-effect that deletes any of the old asset’s markers also…
                • …and furthermore Encore has no way to copy a set of markers from one asset to another
                  • …which would otherwise have been a nice work-around for the above side-effect.
  • Premiere Export: Export / Render to Target Format.
    • You may wish to render to a number of formats, e.g. SD-Wide DVD, Blu-Ray Disk (BD), YouTube upload format, mobile phone or tablet.
      • The most efficient strategy is to Queue a number of jobs from Premiere onto Adobe Media Encoder (AME.
        • AME can run some things in parallel (I think).
        • AME has a [Pause] button, very useful for overnight silence or prior to travel (Windows Sleep/Hibernate).
    • Menu:[File > Export > Media]
    • Export Settings:
      • For targets of differing aspect ratio (e.g. SD-Wide derived from HD master):
        • Source Scaling:
          • e.g. for HD -> SD, use [Scale to Fill] since this avoids “pillarboxing” i.e. black bars either side.
      • For DVD Target, use inbuilt preset MPEG2-DVD
        • Ensure [Pixel Aspect Ratio] and interlace sense etc. are as required.
        • The [MPEG2-DVD] preset generates two files:
          • [.m2v] for the video
          • [Dolby Digital] or [MPEG] or [PCM]
            • [PCM] option results in a [.wav] file of 16 bits, 48 KHz (there is no 44.1 KHz option).
      • Maximum Render Quality
        • Use this if scaling, e.g. down from HD Master to SD Target.
      • File Path & Name.
        • Where you want the export/encode result to go.
    • Click the [Queue] button, to send the job to the Adobe Media Encoder (AME)
  • Quality Inspection of Result (intermediate or target file):
    • Check the quality of the encodes via VirtualDub, e.g. for DVD-compatible video media, the correctness of interlacing and for progressive media the quality of deinterlacing.
      • For interlaced downscaled material derived from higher resolution interlaced, the combs should be fine-toothed (one pixel in height).  A poor quality result (as expected for straight downscaling by any typical NLE such as Premiere, from HD interlaced to SD interlaced) would instead exhibit combing with thick blurry teeth.
      • VirtualDub is great tool for a a close-inspection role because its Preview can zoom well beyond 100% and, vitally, it displays the video as-is, with no deinterlacing etc. of its own.
        • In the past I have searched for and experimented with a number of candidate tools to be effective and convenient in this role.  VirtualDub was the best I could find.
        • e.g. zoom to 200% to make the teeth easily visible.
      • Plain VirtualDub is unable to read MPEG2 video, but a plugin is available to add that ability:
        • The [mpeg2.vdplugin] plugin by FCCHandler, from
          • It reads straight MPEG2 files, including [.m2v], but not Transport Stream files such as [.m2t] from the Sony Z1.
          • For [.m2v] files, VirtualDub may throw up an audio-related error, since such files contain no audio.  Fix: In VirtualDub, disable audio.
        • Its ReadMe file contains installation instructions.  Don’t just put it in VirtualDub’s existing [plugins] folder.
  • DVD Construction via Adobe Encore.
    • Name the Project according to the disk-label (data) you would like to see for the final product.
      • If you use Encore to actually burn the disk, this is what gets used for that label.
      • Alternative options exist for just burning the disk, e.g. the popular ImgBurn, and this allows you to define your own disk-label (data).
    • Import the following as Assets:
      • Video file, e.g. [.m2v]
      • If Video File was an [.m2v] then also import its associated Audio file – it does not get automatically loaded along with the [.m2v] file.
    • Create required DVD structure
      • This is too big a topic to cover here.
    • Quality Inspection: [Play From Here]
      • Menu:[File > Check Project]
        • Click [Start] button
        • Typical errors are actions [Not Set] on [Remote] or [End Action]
          • I plan to write a separate blog entry on how to fix these.
        • When everything is ok (within the scope of this check), it says (in status bar, not as a message): “No items found”.
          • A worrying choice of phrase, but all it means is “no error-items found”.
    • Menu:[File > Build > Folder]
      • Don’t select [Disk], since:
        • May want to find and fix any remaining problems prior to burning to disk.
        • May want to use an alternative disk burning application, such as ImgBurn.
          • From forums, I see that many Adobe users opt for ImgBurn.
      • Set the destination (path and filename) for the folder in which the DVD structure will be created.
        • At that location it creates a project-named folder and within that the VIDEO_TS folder (but no dummy/empty AUDIO_TS folder).
          • I once came across an ancient DVD player that insisted on both AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS folder being present and also they had to be named in upper-case, not lower.
      • Under [Disk Info] there is a colored bar, representing the disk capacity
        • Although the Output is to a folder, the Format is DVD, single-sided, which Encore realizes can hold up to 4.7 GB.
      • The [DVD ROM] option allows you to include non-DVD files, e.g. straight computer-playable files e.g. ([.mp4])
        • These go to the root of the drive, alongside the VIDEO_TS folder.
      • Finally, click the [Build] button.
        • On one occasion, it failed at this stage, with a “Encode Failed” or “Transcode Failed” (depending where I looked) error.  Solution: Shorten the file name.
          • Ok it was long-ish but I didn’t realize Encore would be so intolerant to that.  The suggestion of it only struck me later (the appearance of this guess was thanks to years of experience with computing etc.).
  • Quality Inspection of the DVD
    • I have found Corel WInDVD to show results representative of a standard TV with a DVD Player.
    • I have found popular media player such as VLC and Windows Media Player (WMP) to behave differently to this, hence not useful for quality-checking.   Problems I found included:
      • False Alarm: Playing went straight to the main video, didn’t stop at the Main Menu (as had been intended).  However it worked fine on a standard physical DVD player.
      • Hidden Problem: In one case I deinterlaced improperly, resulting in “judder” on movements when played on TV (via physical DVD player).  However it appeared fine on both VLC and WMP.
  • Metadata
    • In the case of WMV files, just use Windows Explorer:[aFile >RtClk> Properties > Details] and edit the main items of metadata directly.
    • For DVD generated by Adobe Encore, the Disk label (data) is the same as the Project name.
      • ImgBurn, a popular alternative to Encore as regards actually burning a disk, provides a way of changing this disk-label.

Adobe Premiere (CS6): Maximum Bit Depth & Rendering

Monday, July 8th, 2013

I knew basically what these were about:

  • Max bid depth to make use of all the information in a more-than-8-bit video file, such as a 10-bit recording.
  • Max render quality to employ higher-quality but slower scaling algorithms – only relevant when scaling of course.

However, there are options to set them in the Sequence and also in the Render.  Like others, I wanted to know firmly (not just by guesswork) how/when to use these.

The answers appear to be:

  • Their values in the Sequence settings only affect the preview, not the render.
  • Their values in the Render dialog override their values in the Sequence.


  • In the Sequence, one would tend to leave them disabled, other than temporarily for quality check or comparison.
  • In Render dialog, one might tend to have them initially disabled, for render-speed, then enable them later on for final quality-check and production.