Rendered image is crisp, rendered video frame is blurry

PhoneyBaloneyPhoneyBaloney Posts: 0
edited December 1969 in Carrara Discussion

When I render one frame of my scene as a jpeg, the image is nice and crisp; but when I render as an MOV file, the frames are blurry.
Still image:

Carrara_8k.jpg
704 x 396 - 252K
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Comments

  • PhoneyBaloneyPhoneyBaloney Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    MOV video frame:

    Carrara_71e.pct_.jpg
    704 x 396 - 109K
  • PhoneyBaloneyPhoneyBaloney Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Here's another example. Still frame crisp:

    Carrara_8e.jpg
    704 x 396 - 290K
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,566
    edited December 1969

    You're going to have to give a little more information. When doe the render appear blurry, When the movie is in the process of being rendered? After it's rendered and you want to watch it? What are your render settings? What codec did you use? What options were set in the codec? etc. etc.

  • PhoneyBaloneyPhoneyBaloney Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Rendered frame blurry:

    Rendered_movie_frame.jpg
    704 x 396 - 135K
  • PhoneyBaloneyPhoneyBaloney Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    You're going to have to give a little more information. When doe the render appear blurry, When the movie is in the process of being rendered? After it's rendered and you want to watch it? What are your render settings? What codec did you use? What options were set in the codec? etc. etc.

    The final movie video product is blurry. What I am posting are extracted video frames. Strangely, the frames look good while they are the process of being rendered -- i.e., if I sit and watch the process in the render room of Carrara; but the finished video is still blurry! (?)

    I will post screenshots of my render settings, but the same thing happens no matter what settings I use, whether I use full raytracing, bump, or what level of object accuracy and antialiasing. The still is crisp and the video is blurry.

    Screen_shot_2012-08-05_at_4.12_.39_PM_.png
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  • PhoneyBaloneyPhoneyBaloney Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Output:

    Screen_shot_2012-08-05_at_4.12_.53_PM_.png
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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,566
    edited December 1969

    What codec? Click the options button next to where it says Quicktime Movie. It should open a window with a list of codecs. The frames you see being rendered for the movie looks fine because I believe Carrara compresses the frame either when it's done rendering the frame or the entire movie according to the codec and the settings within the codec. If you have a medium or low compression, you can get a fuzzy image.


    There's another possibility with Quicktime's player, but before I get into that I'd like to see the codec and it's settings.

  • RichardChaosRichardChaos Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Yes the CODEC is the issue here. I for one pick NONE as far as the compressor OR sometime ANIMATION! AND ALWAYS MILLIONS of color pLUS.

    You can always dumb it down later if you need to, Sort of like sending your kids to public School!

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,566
    edited December 1969

    There's also a quality slider within the codec's options that you can adjust. Depending on the codec, some default to a medium quality. Animation is a good codec to use if you're using alphas. Just make sure it's color depth is set Millions Plus. The plus is for the alpha channel from what I've read.

  • PhoneyBaloneyPhoneyBaloney Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Here are the jpeg options: "Excellent."
    These are the codec settings:

    Screen_shot_2012-08-05_at_4.39_.47_PM_.png
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  • PhoneyBaloneyPhoneyBaloney Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    This is going to be a keyed-in background for a DV short video, letterboxed, so I used the DV codec.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,566
    edited December 1969

    That helps a lot! The good news is that you don't have to re-render! The DV/DVC Pro codec will display at a lower resolution in Quicktime Player, but if you stick it in a video editor like Final Cut Pro it'll look fine. You can force Quicktime to display the video at full quality, by going to the Window Menu-> Show Movie Properties. Select the video track in the Properties window and check the High Quality option in the lower right corner of the window. Here's some screen shots to help:

    Picture_4.png
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    Picture_3.png
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    Picture_2.png
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    Picture_1.png
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  • PhoneyBaloneyPhoneyBaloney Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    1. That worked perfectly. Thank you so much!
    2. How the h*ll was I supposed to find that out ... *ever* ... without the kindness of strangers? When people have little sections on their web pages entitled "Tips and Tricks," the "trick" part is supposed to be figure of speech!

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,566
    edited December 1969

    I'm glad I could help! Good luck with your work!


    Just in case anybody else is following this thread, I want to emphasize that when asking for advice or help, there's no such thing as too much information! The subsequent posts with the descriptions of the problems and the screen shots helped narrow the issue down pretty quickly!

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,383
    edited August 2012

    2. How the h*ll was I supposed to find that out ... *ever* ... without the kindness of strangers?

    Well, the way you learn the basics is to learn the basics first, and not jump into CG software before you know what you're doing. Not trying to be a pain, but all too often people complain bitterly about the software when the fact is they don't know what they're doing in the first place.

    Every step of the process of image generation requires that you are mindful of the compression of your images, all the way thru the process. That means when you render it you know exactly what you are rendering, when you make it into a movie you know what your compression is, when you view it you have to know what the viewer is doing, when you edit you have to know what the editor is doing and how/if it's doing any compression, etc.

    Professionals generally have a plan for image compression, and start out with uncompressed renders and try to maintain as much of that quality throughout the process to the final product. That often takes a lot of planning and consideration, and you can't expect the software to do that for you. It's a function of speed vs. file size vs. quality.

    Players are often designed to play faster and use a highly compressed version of the movie so that all users can see the movie in real time independent of their hardware. And sometimes that's okay for editors because they just want a draft view of what they're doing. But sometimes people want to see the full quality of their movie, which is especially the case with editors looking at the final product. But it all depends on what YOU need. Which is why you need to decide what you want and make sure you have the software set up to do that.

    And occasionally, that means you actually have to find the user's manual and read it.

    Post edited by JoeMamma2000 on
  • PhoneyBaloneyPhoneyBaloney Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    JoeMamma:

    You are getting a little snide. I have the feeling you are bothered by something besides the specific, technical problem in this thread.

    I have the Carrara user's manual. I read it all the time. It would not, could not, does not tell me about the "High Quality" check mark in the track properties/visual settings of Apple Quicktime Pro. (Nor was there any "bitter complaint" about the Carrara software in this thread.) For that matter, the user guide of Carrara tells the user almost nothing about video compression, not that I need it to. If any users want to know about video compression aspect ratios, and pixel aspect ratios, this is an excellent page on the subject that can help you with the render output settings in Carrara:

    http://lipas.uwasa.fi/~f76998/video/

    Regarding the statement "the way you learn the basics is to learn the basics first, and not jump into CG software before you know what you're doing," I disagree with you categorically. You are not launching rockets into space. You are drawing pictures on a computer. I am not going to take a university course before drawing a picture with Carrara. No one should have to; and no one does, ever. Rather, we learn by doing. And if software happens to be crash-prone and woefully underdocumented (as Carrara is on the Apple Macintosh), then we learn by doing exactly what I have been doing: reading, experimenting, reading, searching Internet sources, reading, and finally asking for help.

    2. How the h*ll was I supposed to find that out ... *ever* ... without the kindness of strangers?

    Well, the way you learn the basics is to learn the basics first, and not jump into CG software before you know what you're doing. Not trying to be a pain, but all too often people complain bitterly about the software when the fact is they don't know what they're doing in the first place.

    Every step of the process of image generation requires that you are mindful of the compression of your images, all the way thru the process. That means when you render it you know exactly what you are rendering, when you make it into a movie you know what your compression is, when you view it you have to know what the viewer is doing, when you edit you have to know what the editor is doing and how/if it's doing any compression, etc.

    Professionals generally have a plan for image compression, and start out with uncompressed renders and try to maintain as much of that quality throughout the process to the final product. That often takes a lot of planning and consideration, and you can't expect the software to do that for you. It's a function of speed vs. file size vs. quality.

    Players are often designed to play faster and use a highly compressed version of the movie so that all users can see the movie in real time independent of their hardware. And sometimes that's okay for editors because they just want a draft view of what they're doing. But sometimes people want to see the full quality of their movie, which is especially the case with editors looking at the final product. But it all depends on what YOU need. Which is why you need to decide what you want and make sure you have the software set up to do that.

    And occasionally, that means you actually have to find the user's manual and read it.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,566
    edited December 1969

    This is going to be a keyed-in background for a DV short video, letterboxed, so I used the DV codec.


    Sorry PhonyBaloney, I just noticed this post. Is the video that's being composited over the background you rendered filmed in a 16:9 ratio, or are you applying a letterbox type mask during post? The render that you make should be the same size as the video your are comping. You can open the video with Qiuicktime and use the window I showed you earlier to find the dimensions and then set the correct dimensions in Carrara's render room. You may have to re-frame your shot. You should also note that the DVC codec has HD options as well. Just in case the video source is HD.

  • PhoneyBaloneyPhoneyBaloney Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    It is letterboxed DV (720x480), which comes to about 704x396, with a pixel aspect ratio of .91. In the trial runs with this output, the Carrara 704x396 did not fit exactly with the letterboxed live video that I shot, so I added a matte to it anyway. I know, I do not need to make it letterboxed in Carrara if I am applying a matte in Final Cut, but I am still experimenting and trying to make the Carrara output work. I have changed the output settings so many times that the PAR may have been changed inadvertently at some point.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,566
    edited December 1969

    I'll have to experiment a little, but if I'm doing a standard DV format video, that I want to composite with a render, I'll render using the animation Codec at 720X512 if I recall (it's been a while). I don't have an HD camera, but mine can film an anamorphic standard res. widescreen video which FCP has a preset for. I've never tried it for compositing yet, and I haven't used it for anything mission critical because I'd hate to be screwed if it didn't work how I wanted it to, through the whole pipeline, from editing to DVD authoring.


    I think I'll have some things to play with in the next few days....

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,383
    edited December 1969

    You are getting a little snide.

    Bummer. I guess you should dismiss everything I said then.

    I have the feeling you are bothered by something besides the specific, technical problem in this thread..

    You're right. I'm bothered by people who constantly assume the attitude that they don't need to put any effort into understanding what they're doing, or read manuals, they just need to impose upon others to use THEIR valuable to bail them out. I think that's rude and disrespectful.

    I have the Carrara user's manual. I read it all the time. It would not, could not, does not tell me about the "High Quality" check mark in the track properties/visual settings of Apple Quicktime Pro..

    Nor should it. The Carrara manual is not supposed to be the source of all knowledge on everything to do with all techniques and software that are part of the image generation process. What I was referring to was the Quicktime manual. If Quicktime isn't doing what you expect, read the Quicktime manual. Makes sense, right? You shouldn't expect the Carrara manual to explain video compression to you. It's not a Carrara-specific feature, it's a general concept used in all image generation in all software on the planet.

    Regarding the statement "the way you learn the basics is to learn the basics first, and not jump into CG software before you know what you're doing," I disagree with you categorically. You are not launching rockets into space. You are drawing pictures on a computer..

    And if all you're doing is drawing pictures on a computer, then you're right. Just play around, see what works, and ask when it doesn't do what you want. My problem is that I assume that people are interested in doing a bit more, and take this a bit more seriously, and want to do a really good job and learn the craft.

    In any case you don't need to take a university class. But IF you are serious about it, you do need to put some effort into it.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,566
    edited December 1969

    Hey Phony, don't worry about the snide-ness. Joe's just taking time off from ghost writing the Miss Manners column, and must have felt a little lonely. ;-)

  • holly wetcircuitholly wetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Yes the CODEC is the issue here. I for one pick NONE as far as the compressor OR sometime ANIMATION! AND ALWAYS MILLIONS of color pLUS.

    You can always dumb it down later if you need to, Sort of like sending your kids to public School!

    Agree with Richard. if there is further compositing to do, consider rendering to Animation codec. The file will be much larger, but the end result should be noticeably better.


    Better to render once to a (non-interlaced) master that you can re-use (and rescale) than have to re-render an entire sequence later.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,383
    edited December 1969

    Hey Phony, don't worry about the snide-ness.

    Exactly. Don't focus on that, focus on extracting useful information from what I, or anyone else post. And in this case it's something that applies to everyone: RTFM.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,566
    edited August 2012

    Hey Phony, don't worry about the snide-ness.

    Exactly. Don't focus on that, focus on extracting useful information from what I, or anyone else post. And in this case it's something that applies to everyone: RTFM.


    And here we go....

    Post edited by evilproducer on
  • ManStanManStan Posts: 0
    edited August 2012

    Hey Phony, don't worry about the snide-ness.

    Exactly. Don't focus on that, focus on extracting useful information from what I, or anyone else post. And in this case it's something that applies to everyone: RTFM.


    And here we go....

    Naa, like shooting fish in a barrel.

    PhoneyBaloney try rendering in sequenced png. Gives a sharp detailed animation for me once I have converted the png to avi in Virtualdub.

    I learned Carrara by opening it and having at it. When I got stuck I checked the manual, then did an online search, and usually end up here.
    I started with C5, printed out and read the C6 manual, still had to come on here to have some of the operations from the manual explained :red:

    The best learning tool for carrara is this forum.

    Post edited by ManStan on
  • UVDanUVDan Posts: 98
    edited December 1969

    That helps a lot! The good news is that you don't have to re-render! The DV/DVC Pro codec will display at a lower resolution in Quicktime Player, but if you stick it in a video editor like Final Cut Pro it'll look fine. You can force Quicktime to display the video at full quality, by going to the Window Menu-> Show Movie Properties. Select the video track in the Properties window and check the High Quality option in the lower right corner of the window. Here's some screen shots to help:

    Do I need the Pro version of Quicktime for this to work?

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,566
    edited December 1969

    UVDan said:
    That helps a lot! The good news is that you don't have to re-render! The DV/DVC Pro codec will display at a lower resolution in Quicktime Player, but if you stick it in a video editor like Final Cut Pro it'll look fine. You can force Quicktime to display the video at full quality, by going to the Window Menu-> Show Movie Properties. Select the video track in the Properties window and check the High Quality option in the lower right corner of the window. Here's some screen shots to help:

    Do I need the Pro version of Quicktime for this to work?


    You might. The last I checked, Quicktime Pro was about $30.00 (US). Personally, I think it's worth it. I don't know what platform or OS you're using, so since we're discussing Quicktime, I'll assume a Mac with some flavor of OS X, which means that I'll also assume you have iMovie or iDVD at the least. If you have rendered a movie to a DVCPro/DV Stream codec, import it into iMovie or iDVD and watch it. You should see it at full quality. Especially if you burn it to a DVD. iMovie tends to display the thumbnail version, but I think you can change that in the preferences.

  • UVDanUVDan Posts: 98
    edited December 1969

    Thanks I am on a PC. I cannot seem to find a codec that looks good on YouTube. When I do uv mapping tutorials for folks using Camtasia and render to Quicktime, it comes out pretty crappy. I assemble my animations in Magix Movie Maker 10 and cannot seem to find a good codec there either.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,566
    edited December 1969

    What options does it give you when saving to a Quicktime movie? Personally, when I upload a video to Youtube, I use the least amount of compression possible. You still have to keep in mind Youtube's file size restrictions of course.


    The following is a screen shot of the codecs available to me, yours may vary somewhat. h.264 has good quality and lower file size. Plus it's a Youtube friendly format. The other screen shot is a simple compressor setting available with many of the codecs. You'll want to slide the slider all the way to the right for maximum quality. The empty box on the right would display a thumbnail image from the video if I had one selected. Some of the compressor settings can be a little more involved depending on the Codec. For instance DVD codecs will usually give you options on if you want a one pass or two pass encoding, etc.

    Picture_2.png
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    Picture_1.png
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  • UVDanUVDan Posts: 98
    edited September 2012

    Thanks. I do not have QT pro so I do not have the option of selecting compressors, but I have been searching for someplace to download the H264 codec. Is that only available in Qt Pro? My other option is windows movie maker which has minimal choices. When rendering out of Bryce and Studio, I always go with full frames no compression. I recognize Cinepak as one of the codecs available to me though. and Indeo also.

    Post edited by UVDan on
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