Show reel formats

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ADBest
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Location: Sunderland

Show reel formats

Post by ADBest » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:54 pm

Other clubs will no doubt have experienced the same problems and I would be grateful to receive their comments on my reading of the situation.

With club members shooting in Standard Definition, HD1080p and HD1080i, (and even 4K), the club needs a policy to advise members on the format in which they should present their work for club competitions and for compilation onto Show reels.

This material will, of course, be edited in the best quality its origin allows.

The next stage is the crucial one. Exporting. For individual records the choice is not important other than if the wrong choice is selected then quality may suffer. However for a club presentation we need an agreed format.

Suggestion:-

For HD1080p export as .mp4 files.

For HD1080i and Standard Definition export as .mpeg2 files.

We also need to set up some club rules as to reproduction method, ie DVD, Blu-ray or USB media.

For Standard Definition, DVD is acceptable but DVD cannot handle High Definition, except for short movies and is thus of little use for Show Reels.

A Blu-ray disc can handle mixed files but confusion, and artefacts, may arise when processed by the player.

As the USB method simply stores the original .mpeg2 or .mp4 files as data files we may then leave the player to sort out what is projected onto the screen.

All comments gratefully received.

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ADBest
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Re: Show reel formats

Post by ADBest » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:18 pm

We are deep in discussion at my club on the general question of movie presentation and file formats. Perhaps the subject is too elementary for the audience here but we do need to get it sorted out and agree a common approach so I would appeal to those who have a better understanding of the subject to come to our assistance.

The following proposal owes a lot to the advice proffered some years ago by Col Lamb, which has served me well:-

You first need to be aware of your quality of capture to Camcorder (ie 1080p, 1080i, 720 HD or Standard Definition).
You can edit at this quality and then 'export media' at that quality or any inferior quality.
Except for Standard Definition don't use DVDs.
Export Media at highest standard but the only way to play 1080p is through something like a WD media player.
In general use USB media.
On USB media more than one movie may be included and they can be of different file formats. The player, (ie projector or TV set), will sort out the playing parameters.
Export media using the following parameters:-
In each of the following cases use a ‘Bit Rate Encoding’ setting of ‘VBR, 2Pass’.
To produce a full 1080p media file proceed as follows:-

From the Premiere timeline select FILE > EXPORT > MEDIA

Set FORMAT = H264

Choose PRESET = HDTV 1080p 25 High Quality

The file extension will be .mp4

Choose bit rates of Target = 32 Max = 40

EXPORT

This file may then be saved on USB and will play in the media player.

To Produce a 1080i media file proceed as follows:-

From the Premiere timeline select FILE > EXPORT > MEDIA

Set FORMAT to MPEG2

Choose PRESET = HDTV 1080i High Quality

Set Quality to 5 (Max)

Set bit rates to Min = 15

Target = 20

Max = 36

This will produce a High Definition MPEG2 file which may saved on USB and played in a projector or TV.

To produce a Standard Definition DVD proceed as follows:-

From the Premiere timeline select FILE > EXPORT > MEDIA

Set FORMAT to MPEG2

Choose PRESET = PAL DV High Quality

Check that Pixel Ratio is 16:9 (1.459)

Set bit rates to Min = 5

Target = 7

Max = 10

This may be saved to DVD or USB media.

Help

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John Roberts
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Re: Show reel formats

Post by John Roberts » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:07 pm

Hi Arthur,

I'm not sure exactly what the question is, but I'll add my comments and experiences below.

Regarding presenting films for club presentations or competitions, either a standard definition DVD, high definition Blu-Ray (BD) disc or a USB memory stick should be ideal, depending on the filmmaker's preference. Any decent Blu-Ray player will also play back DVDs and a number have USB ports for playback from a memory stick, simplifying the set-up. There are also a number of stand alone media players available, which can play back from USB or SDHC memory cards for example, and as long as they are kept reasonably up to date with occasional updates to software and firmware then playback of the latest CODECs should not be an issue. Likewise, a fairly powerful and up-to-date laptop with HDMI output will also play back media files of varying types via a player such as the free VLC Media Player.

If one is going to make a DVD or BD, then make one and don't mess about putting files on there that shouldn't be, or mix and match different file types, or burn AVCHD files on them and don't forget to 'close' the discs if using rewritable discs. Playback cannot be guaranteed if the specifications during the making of the disc are not adhered to. This should not be an issue if creating a DVD or BD disc from within editing software because that software will render and burn to the correct specs, as long as they are not interfered with by the user.

I can find little wrong with Col's suggestions for exporting files, which seem to be based on typical parameters for DVD and BD discs. I generally work in 1080p and render my finished files as mp4 and never had an issue playing these files at the club or sending them to competitions that accept online entries such as BIAFF and CEMRIAC, or uploading them to YouTube, Vimeo or FilmFreeway.

The only thing I would correct is the line "You can edit at this quality and then 'export media' at that quality or any inferior quality." Why? Why not upscale older films? Admittedly there may not be any noticeable quality gain but there will be no further losses incurred. When I captured my ancient analogue films from S-VHS into the computer, I added the capture to a Full HD 1920 x 1080 timeline and simply edited them as I would any other film, eventually rendering them as a 1080P mp4 using exactly the same settings as my current films. Now all my films of the last 30 years are exactly the same format, which makes adding them to a show reel or compilation disc extremely easy because I'm not mixing and matching formats and sizes.

* * *

As regards a show reel to send to other clubs, I'm not sure what to add here. We have received show reels and they are generally older films and on DVD. My personal feeling is that in 2018 we should not be using DVDs. Blu-Ray show reels should be the minimum standard, or ideally a memory stick (SDHC or USB) should be sent out. Using a memory stick allows a show reel to be 'fine-tuned' to a particular club, or updated with the latest films from the club's archive.

Whether a filmmaker chooses to present their film at a club competition on an out-dated, non-reusable, expensive and environmentally-unfriendly medium (i.e. DVD or BD) then that is their prerogative and they shouldn't be discriminated against for doing so. However, as all editing software is capable of not only burning a DVD or BD but also rendering a very high quality mp4 or mp2 media file - as per Col's suggestions - then every film entry on DVD or BD should also be accompanied by said mp4 or mp2 file in order to add to the club's archive, and from which a show reel or compilation can be made, either on BD or memory stick depending on the choice or requirements of the club the compilation is to be sent to.

Just my two-penneth :D
"My vision often exceeds my capabilities" (me, 2015)
My views are purely my own and don't necessarily reflect those of any body I might represent :P

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Dave Watterson
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Re: Show reel formats

Post by Dave Watterson » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:48 pm

If you have films on a USB stick, is there way to have a menu?

My Blu-Ray Player accepts USB sticks but presents the filename of each film complete with file extension like "xxx.mp4"
Some club presentation systems have problems selecting the required film. Often a film will start part way through ... perhaps where I stopped it on a run through.

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John Roberts
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Re: Show reel formats

Post by John Roberts » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:27 pm

I know of no way to force the creation of a traditional menu similar to that of a DVD menu system, maybe others who have more experience with media players might know otherwise. Our club media player presents each file as a small thumbnail with the file name underneath, it's just a case of navigating to the thumbnail using the cursor buttons on the remote, then pressing the play button.

That's the beauty of using individual files and they can be placed into folders, for example film genres, or be renamed for each and every use. Most folder/subfolder systems used by media players work on an alphanumeric naming system, so files could be renamed in a custom compiled order, for example using "01 My holiday in Skeggy.mp4" and "02 Buses of the past.mp4" etc, which will at least present the films in the order that is intended. Of course, any compilations are merely copies of the original mp4's from the club archives.

As for films starting part way through, this is quite normal and DVD and BD players have done exactly the same thing for decades. Press the |<< button :D
"My vision often exceeds my capabilities" (me, 2015)
My views are purely my own and don't necessarily reflect those of any body I might represent :P

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Dave Watterson
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Re: Show reel formats

Post by Dave Watterson » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:08 pm

Thanks for the tip :-)))_

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TimStannard
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Re: Show reel formats

Post by TimStannard » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:21 pm

Anyone able to recommend a media player that has:

1. A separate (ie not over HDMI) output (so we don't need to buy an AV receiver when we have a perfectly good amp/speakers)
2. Dual video output. We want to be able to cue films without them displaying on the main screen.

We've had these facilities for much longer than I've been a member and we always used to pride ourselves in presentation - at least in terms of showing only the films (no countdowns or menus) on the main screen.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Michael Slowe
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Re: Show reel formats

Post by Michael Slowe » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:24 pm

Although I am not involved in presentation, (apart from playing discs at home), I am concerned with how my films are shown by clubs or Festivals. It seems that files are now the only way to go, much as I deplore the apparent demise of discs (DVD / BD). It seems to me that discs were the perfect media but Apple decided otherwise! Properly burnt discs always played, from the start, projectionists only had to negotiate the 'black' at the start and players were cheap. However the arrival of fast drives and the new memory sticks have made it easy to send files for projection. I have sent a film to America on a 64Gb stick and it was projected from that at Ned's Docutah festival. The stick cost £15 but that price will probably reduce quite quickly. Does the team agree that files on sticks is the best method now? I export a film in the Apple ProRes 422 HQ codec and when placed on a stick it plays form a computer. I don't know how sticks play other than through a computer, someone mentioned disc players being able to do this, I've never come across this. For Vimeo, withoutabox and film freeway I convert the files to H264 mp4 and they look pretty good considering the compression, but would they look as good when projected onto a big screen?

It's all changing so fast, bring back 16mm film I say!

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ADBest
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Re: Show reel formats

Post by ADBest » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:09 pm

Thanks John for your comment. It adds grist to the mill. Your statement that you are ‘not sure what the question is’, is perhaps the most revealing and probably the result of my mixing problems and solutions in the same post. (Sorry for the delay in thanking contributors but I had given up on making progress).
Let me admit, (and it was probably patently obvious), that I am technically out of my depth, so let me try and define the question without mixing it up with solutions.
From the contributions made so far it looks as though the consensus favours, however reluctantly, saving to USB media.
Members currently capture in 1080p, 1080i, 720 HD and Standard definition. We would like to issue advice on how to present their productions to the club. (eg mp4 or mpeg2 on USB media). Making our projection work flow straight forward.
Note that we have two or three members dipping their toes in 4K but that is a problem for the future.
Facts:-
• Tom Hardwick has said that all his wedding videos are requested to be supplied as Standard Definition DVDs. (Therefore for distribution to friends Standard Definition DVD will remain the most popular medium).
• I attach the best information that I can find on the sales of DVD and Blu-ray players in the UK. It will be noted that DVD players grew in the first 11 years to a figure of 252 million per year and have subsequently decreased to 125 million per year by 2014. (There could be an element of ‘market saturation’ here). (Found that I couldn't attach the data file)
• Blu-ray players grew to 13 million players a year by 2010 and have since levelled off at 17 million players per year, in fact dropping by over 1 million per year in 2014, the last figures available.
• There may be a number of explanations for this but ‘video streaming’ could well be a significant driver. (Maybe this is the way forward).
What we need, ‘in Col Lamb’ detail, is a set of rules which say:-
• If you capture in 1080p then edit at that quality and export media as (file type ‘x’ (eg mp4). Save to USB media.
• If you capture in 1080i then edit at that quality and export media as (file type ‘y’ (eg mpeg2). Save to USB media.
• If you capture in 720 HD then edit at that quality and export media as (file type ‘z’ (eg mpeg2 ). Save to USB media.
• If you capture in standard definition then edit at that quality and export media as (file type ‘a’ (eg mpeg2). Save to USB media.
It would, of course, be very welcome if ‘a’, ‘x’, ‘y’ and ‘z’ could all be mp4.
I live in hope that the technically qualified out there will ride to the rescue of us ‘journey men’.
Sales of DVD and Blu-ray players

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