Making animation look crisp on a television screen

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Making animation look crisp on a television screen

Postby Willow » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:02 pm

I am creating animation for DVD. It looks great on the computer but the animated parts are pixelated when I transfer it to DVD and view it on tv. Is it the frame rate or could it be the colors I'm using?

Thanks
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Re: Making animation look crisp on a television screen

Postby slowtiger » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:59 pm

Have a look at the specifications: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD-Video#Video_data. Of course it looks pixellated because DVD-Video is the worst format available. It's especially visible since everybody is used to HD content.
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Re: Making animation look crisp on a television screen

Postby Maestral » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:04 pm

... or just the resolution?
What kind of settings have you used for exporting (or even final editing) and on what kind of screen you`re previewing this dvd? The same image on a huge tv screen with a low resolution would not look the same when shown on a high-res monitor ,)
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Re: Making animation look crisp on a television screen

Postby Willow » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:26 pm

I'm creating promotional animations that organizations can pass out to children at events. Is there any other inexpensive ways to make physical copies other than DVD?
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Re: Making animation look crisp on a television screen

Postby Willow » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:27 pm

Maestral wrote:... or just the resolution?
What kind of settings have you used for exporting (or even final editing) and on what kind of screen you`re previewing this dvd? The same image on a huge tv screen with a low resolution would not look the same when shown on a high-res monitor ,)


I am using the default settings on MOHO and piecing it together in imovie.
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Re: Making animation look crisp on a television screen

Postby Greenlaw » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:26 pm

Hi,

I don't have a lot of time to write this morning but here are a few tips:

'Crispness' mostly has to do with resolution and framerate. Render at the final resolution size and 30fps/29.97 for sharpest DVD quality. (This is for NTSC; PAL standards are different but specs are easy to find.)

DVD is fairly lo-res by today's standard and it's never going to look as good as HD if that's what you're comparing it to. I would set up the project for at least 720p, this way. This way you have the option to display it for better venues/platforms. 1080p would be even better but it's also a lot harder to work with unless you have a beefy computer system.

IMO, for best quality from Moho on any platform, you should output PNG image sequences and compile the footage in a compositor or video editor. If you have to export video from Moho, use a lossless codec and then let your DVD program handle the conversion to DVD.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Making animation look crisp on a television screen

Postby DK » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:57 pm

Hi Willow.
I know people that are giving away cheap USB sticks with their reels on them. The sticks are branded in their case and not sure what sort of "anti delete" lock they would be using to prevent people from re-using the stick, even so you would have your brand on it anyways.

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Re: Making animation look crisp on a television screen

Postby Greenlaw » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:57 pm

If the pixelation occurs when playing back from a DVD, I suspect poor compression settings.

Is the movie file being re-compressed by your DVD software? If so, make sure your source video uses a codec with lossless compression or very high-quality compression, and that your DVD software is also using the highest quality settngs when it's converting the video.

If you're saving the video in a DVD-ready format yourself, make sure your DVD editing/burning software isn't re-compressing it. In short, you want to avoid re-compressing compressed video if you want to avoid artifacts.

If it's unavoidable, use the highest possible quality settings at every step. It will take longer but it will be worth the time.

I haven't bothered to make a DVD in ages but my video output workflow is:

1. Moho output: PNG sequence to Fusion or AE for compositing. PNG has lossless compression so there will be no artifacts.

2. Fusion or After Effects to video editor: .avi or .mp4 using a lossless codec like MagicYUV or Lagarith; if you're on a Mac, use a high-quality ProRes setting. If you use a lossless codec, there will be no artifacts. If you use a good high-quality compression format, the artifacts will be imperceptible and safely re-compressable. If you can use ProRes and you're concerned about file size, 422 is actually quite good.

3. Video editing: Output to the format needed.
- For YouTube/Vimeo uploads, I use h264/mp4 with Computer RGB to Studio RGB levels settings (to correct black levels.)
- For DVD, I use h264/mpeg-2 with appropriate settings (your video editor may have a preset for this.)

Some video editors can output a DVD compatible file without recompressing the footage, assuming you're using the same output format and you're not scaling or otherwise altering the video within the edit.

I like to use Vegas Pro for this, which has a companion program called DVD Architect. I used these to create demo reels and other video productions. But there are a lot of programs out there that can do this decently.

Hope this helps.

Edit: As mentioned by SlowTiger, DVD isn't a great standard if you want sharpness and are trying to avoid compression artifacts. If possible, you might consider a different way to distribute your video, like YouTube or Vimeo for online streaming or Blu-ray disc. USB sticks, mentioned by DK, works too...I've distributed a few things this way myself. Some people may be hesitant to attach a USB stick from a stranger to their computer though
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