Poor quality mp4 rendering

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Tsongo
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by Tsongo » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:56 pm

Synthsin75 and Greenlaw... Thank you for the information I'm getting the idea now of what is required, shame I found out so late.

Interestingly I did an experiment with Anime Studio's mp4 export and it shows that it definitely could be a lot better. Here's what I did..

I rendered a scene as an avi, put it in my movie editing programme and turned it into an mp4, from what I could tell the quality remained exactly the same. I then put the same avi movie clip in Anime Studio and exported it as an mp4 and it came out in a far worst condition than the original and the same as when it comes straight from the programme and not via a movie clip.

So this shows that Anime Studio's mp4 rendering is far from as good as it could be when it can't even copy a movie file well.

Guess I'll never press that button again.

Maestral.. Seriously, why bother ? You're not helping anybody.
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Maestral
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by Maestral » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:09 pm

^ Note taken.

You just stick to your plan, mate.
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Greenlaw
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:15 pm

Tsongo wrote:I rendered a scene as an avi, put it in my movie editing programme and turned it into an mp4, from what I could tell the quality remained exactly the same....
It depends on the codec you choose and its settings. If you're rendering an AVI with a compressed codec, then naturally the quality will degrade if you're compressing it a second time as an mp4.

As mentioned earlier, from Moho you should render to a PNG image sequence* (a LOSSLESS format with no image degradation) and compile it as an mp4 in your video editor. Make sure the mp4's codec is configured for high quality.

If you don't want to do this in your video editor, you might consider a utility like Virtual Dub. Back when I made Scareplane (using ASP 9.5) I used this utility to batch process png sequences from Moho into individual movie files for video editing. At the time I had a small underpowered laptop so I used ASP's Batch Render to crank out many scenes of frames when I wasn't working on the computer (like in the times between breakfast and lunch and end of my workday,), and then used Virtual Dub to compile all those frames to movie files, again during the time I wasn't actually using the computer. This way, I could focus on the actual animation tasks when I was actually on that computer. The final edit was posted on Vimeo as an mp4, and I think the render quality is actually quite decent.

(*Alternatively, you can export a movie file using PNG as the codec--this will also give you lossless footage (this is what SlowTiger is suggesting). Personally, I find rendering to frames is more efficient because when the computer is rendering to individual frame files, it requires fewer system resources than when it's trying compile a whole movie file while also rendering and processing the animation data for every frame. This is another big reason I recommend rendering to image sequence first and compiling the frames later downstream.)
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by mrc » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:05 am

While I agree with all the answers about a professional workflow (even if you're an amateur) it is also true that the video export from Moho is severely lacking. A few more options would indeed be nice: choice of codec for AVI (eg. UtVideo 422), or bitrate settings for MP4.

But until that happens, I would do as follows if I had similar constraints on HDD space etc.
- export scene from Moho as lossless AVI
- convert scene with Handbrake to MP4 with a constant bitrate of 25Mbps
- repeat first step.

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Tsongo
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by Tsongo » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:20 am

Thank you both for your replies I have been busy experimenting and taking all advice and now sort of know what I am doing. I downloaded Virtual Dub and worked out how to make an avi from a whole heap of PNGs. I also discovered that my video editor takes PNGs directly ( you just have to set their duration ) and II've purchased an external hard drive to save my computer the hassle.

What I have discovered is that an uncompressed avi export from Anime Studio actually comes out bigger than from Virtual dub, but it's a very good tool and has earned it's place on my computer. I have lined up a png image, a Virtual dub avi file and Anime Studio uncompressed avi of the same scene in the movie editor and flipped between them to see if there was a quality difference and from what I could tell with my face right up to the screen and glasses on nothing changed.

Although I would like to put all the PNGs in the movie editor I really cannot handle dealing with something like 60,000 + PNGs all at once as it's a bit late to start that and I have issues with voice overs and gradual special effects added to whole scenes which could end in total chaos. My plan is to line up the new avi files with the old mp4s using the audio as a guide because as soon as there's no echo it's going to be where it should be and the lip movements will match. Then I'll flip from one to the other to check before making the final cut and swap.

So it's going to be... Export from Anime Studio as an uncompressed avi to an external hard drive, then bring that to the movie editor and deal with the hassle of lining up a whole load of scenes as they were, which I'm not looking forward to at all. So my film will be made up of avi files until I convert it finally to mp4, but at least then I have quality options and it seems to come out the same as the avi version.

The difference in quality makes it worthwhile and I hereby declare and solemnly promise never to press the export to mp4 button in Anime Studio again.

Many thanks, I'm off to start rendering.
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by slowtiger » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:04 pm

Tsongo wrote: I hereby declare and solemnly promise never to press the export to mp4 button in Anime Studio again.
I definitely like your style.
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Greenlaw
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by Greenlaw » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:15 pm

mrc wrote:...it is also true that the video export from Moho is severely lacking. A few more options would indeed be nice: choice of codec for AVI (eg. UtVideo 422), or bitrate settings for MP4.
I agree we need better access to MP4 settings but you can do this (sort of) with AVI--just select 'AVI for Windows' instead of 'AVI'.

I don't have UT installed but here's a screencap of how I select the third-party MagicYUV codec (which includes 422) for AVI. You can access the settings for the selected codec by clicking the Configure button:

Image

If you have other third-party codecs installed, they should appear in the list. I'm not sure all of them do though, which is why I say 'sort of'. For example, I used to use the lossless Lagarith codec as an intermediate and archival format but I don't see that listed here. I'm using a new laptop however, so it's possible I never installed it on this computer. (Can check later today.)

And even though I prefer not to use Moho for writing movie files (for all the reasons already cited,) I do agree that it should have better support for this. Hopefully, this will improve in the future.
Last edited by Greenlaw on Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:47 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by Greenlaw » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:21 pm

TBH, I much rather see the devs work on support for rendering higher bit depths and adding 'image sequence' formats that support higher bit depths like EXR, TIF, and 10-bit PNG. At the moment, Moho is limited to 24-bit color which falls behind current HD standards.
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Tsongo
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by Tsongo » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:34 pm

EXR, TIF and 10 bit PNG...I'm not even going to ask ! Maybe one day, but for now I'm happy with my avi s and it's working well.

Thanks for all the help everybody.
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by Greenlaw » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:19 am

Tsongo wrote:EXR, TIF and 10 bit PNG...I'm not even going to ask!
That's ok, I'll tell you anyway. :)

This would allow us to render a much broader range of colors from Moho and prevent banding and other problems described at the head of this topic.

At present, I avoid rendering backgrounds and other paintings from Moho, preferring to do that in compositing programs capable of handling higher bit-depths because banding can occur in wide gradient areas--like in 'blue sky' background images, for example.
Last edited by Greenlaw on Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tsongo
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by Tsongo » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:59 pm

Banding should be banned !

I couldn't resist that, but I know what you mean and I spent ages making backgrounds as PNGs with a grainy effect on them so it didn't show up so much.

It wasn't much fun so you've got my vote for EXRs, TIFs and 10 bit PNGs if it means we can get gradients looking as good as they can because I really like using them.
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by CharlieChompnChicken » Fri May 03, 2019 11:37 am

There is a lot of good information here. For people that are stubborn and lazy because they don't want to deal with the headache of all those PNG files and working with the audio outside of Moho, which lossless codec would be ideal for exporting to a video editor? Specifically, which MagicYUV codec is best suited for this task? The files will ultimately be exported as AVI for youtube.
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Maestral
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by Maestral » Fri May 03, 2019 1:50 pm

As far as I could recall, YT will encode video to mp4 so...

p.s.
I have not tried it recently but I think YT would not even "recognise" avi at all.
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by CharlieChompnChicken » Fri May 03, 2019 2:29 pm

I'm sorry, I made a mistake above. I meant that the final file will be MP4, not AVI. I was hoping I could cut down on color banding by working with higher quality video files within the video editor.

I was having an issue with choppy exports so I bought an Evo 970 plus NVME drive. The exports are no longer choppy but I'm not sure which format or codec is ideal. I would prefer the files aren't too large. Even though the drive is 1 TB, it's my understanding that they can only be written to so many times before they stop working. This particular drive can be written to capacity 600 times before that happens so it probably shouldn't be a huge concern, but these large video files (and other 4k game capture files) add up pretty quickly.
Last edited by CharlieChompnChicken on Mon May 06, 2019 6:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Poor quality mp4 rendering

Post by Greenlaw » Fri May 03, 2019 2:48 pm

YouTube accepts the following:

.MOV
.MPEG4
.MP4
.AVI
.WMV
.MPEGPS
.FLV
3GPP
WebM
DNxHR
ProRes
CineForm
HEVC (h265)
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