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Mpeg settings

Daniel Hagglund

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I'm pretty new to working with watchout and this question has probably been asked before but I don't seem to find the right answer here...


I'm doing a 13224x500 animation, pre-splited from AE, rendered out as QT (animation) then my plan is to encode the QT into Mpeg2 using Adobe Media Encoder.


My question is; what is the best settings for Mpeg2 in this case?

And is QT-animation the best format to render out from AE considering time/quality for the end result?


I'm on a mac if that make any difference...


Thanks in advance /// Daniel

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Hi Daniel,

I would recommend you to NOT use Adobe Encoder.
Instead use a separate encoding program as it gives you many more options
and yields a better result for WATCHOUT use.

Some suggestions:

- Telestream Episode 6 (MacOSX/Windows)

- Grass Valley Procoder 3 (Windows only), a bit old now, but generate good results still

- TMPEnc (Windows only), freeware/commercial versions available

Please also see the enclosed document for some guidelines on settings and codec choices.



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I agree with Jonas 100% (nice PDF by the Way) - with the correct MPEG settings pre splits are a dream. The wrong encoding of an MPEG and its a nightmare.


I have used Procoder and TMPGENC and am a big fan of the getting the MPEG encoding correct at the beginning of a job. QT is possible with edgeblending but despite the better colour reproduction with QT I would stick with MPEG as this format puts less strain on the Display PC and sound syncing was more accurate.


Last year i had a huge learning curve with clients wrongly encoding MPEGs that wouldn't run on my Display PC & I STRONGLY recommend test test 'n' re test as QT playback seemed OK on a single run through but on a loop we had real audio syncing issues which were not apparent when using the MPEG pre splits.


The old Watchout forum had masses of good ENCODING settings but Jonas has distilled that all down into one nice PDF for you.





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  • 7 months later...

Thought I would add a footnote to the lengthy discussions on encoding we have had on here over the years.

I have always used Mpeg2 for pre splits and QT Animation codec for alpha channels. I have also used H264 more frequently over the last year,but still returned to Mpeg2 for large pre splits.The reason for this was firstly the fact they have always worked for me, but also others have stated they give better results in terms of sync.They also look very good.

However on my last project which required a 3 way split acros 3 1920 x 1080 heads, I had a problem with my Mpeg2 encoding.The background of the video was white(all graphical) and there was some very subtle gradients from white to grey.In mpeg2 I could not get these to reproduce in any encoding software, no matter what settings I used. And I tried a lot! The greys became whites.

So in the end I tried a QT H264 pre-split render which I used in my proxy and it worked a treat.Sync was spot on and the colour reproduction was near perfect.

Thought I'd share in case any one else feels compelled to stick to Mpeg2.I will still return to Mpeg2 but if I have a similar problem again I know I have a back up solution.

Neil S

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Another case where I've chosen H.264 over MPEG-2 is when applying a green background in the video for using the color keyer in WATCHOUT. This is sometimes a great alternative to using the Animation codec with an alpha channel, assuming the video content doesnt have any pure green (or blue) in it. Here, H.264 seem to produce less blocking artifacts than MPEG-2. Such artifacts (likely stemming from the macroblocks used in MPEG-2) tend to show up along the edges where the keyer kicks in.



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  • 5 months later...

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