View Full Version : Quality issues with dropping to Tape

05 May 2002, 11:42 PM

I seem to find the quality of CG gets annihated when its put to tape. Now here at my school the common format is Matrox Digisuite. Now with a little Time you can nail the colors and gamma but still the image quality is in the toilet. Everything is too crisp almost like a Median filter was ran on the images. I know getting somewhat human quality is possible with video cause video game cutscenes look acceptablable and hey look at Final Fantasy. I know 3Dsmax has a video antialaising filter though I dont know how successful it is. I was wondering if anyone knows any compositing tricks or possible video rendering cards that are optimal for CG. I here Pinnacle DV 500s are good stuff. I do run remove illegall colors and all that stuff. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thanks Tyler

05 May 2002, 12:28 AM
hey man! don't compare that dv500 with digisuit! :)
digisuit is good enough for you, probably u need some
adjusment/twiking in quality/performance issue...check
the import compression ...&...can i ask what's the output
rez of your images to the matrox?...are they rendered in field
& are they saved in jpg?

remember if u r using interlaced pic u must use an uncompressed
format like tga or tif for saving/exporting.

05 May 2002, 04:31 AM
I didnt compare a DV 500 to a Digi suite.. Yes I render TGAs, All CG I see on tape looks horrid that are out put by those cards and most cards.. I rarely see CG that looks good on tape. Im trying to find out if there is a particular method to get good quality on tape except for the obvious color adjust ment stuff..

I was think maybe a Pinnacle DV 500 would be a good answer to the problem ... a friend of mine has 1 just hasnt gotten it up and running yet


05 May 2002, 11:28 PM
hmmm, so maybe the error is somewhere else!...well...
Q: is the quality bad on tape only or on TV monitor (framebuffer) too?
A1: is only on tape: so your recorder has a problem.
A2: both are bad but image quality on computer monitor is good:
so the problem exist somewhere inside the board, probably
compression issue (or maybe your TV is not tuned! :)
Uuh, another important issue: CABLES, cables must be good
(those that called GOLD)

i worked with some boards like DC 1000, PVR, PAR (father of PVR)
FAST, & ... & i think all of them have BROADCAST QUALITY.but
on analog tape formats, always we have droped quality even on BetaCam.

05 May 2002, 11:40 PM
Its not that the quality is bad on my tape.. its all cg. Every project dropped to tape ive seen has that same CG to tape look. The only stuff that doesnt are video game cutscenes, and CG movies dropped to tape.. now those are dropped to film first so thats why they look good..

Maybe its just a personal preference.

but then again most people I know are not satisfied with the CG to tape quality.


05 May 2002, 11:46 PM
game cutscenes are blury, if i guess right, your problem is
the flicker of CG shots, flicker of colours & sharplines
try to blur a little the images before export to player board.
i do not accept that "CG ISN'T GOOD @ TAPE"..what about
master VHS of toy story , a bug's life & other CG works that
originaly dropes to from the rendered sources?

05 May 2002, 12:18 AM
Actually there is no flicker. its smooth as silk. And clean too clean. Thats the problem on tape it looks more CG then ever. Bluring might help but the texturing effects still have that Median filter look. Its true that video game cutscene are ussually 320x240 and movies are taken from film and plus its ILM, pixar, square, blue sky, and PDI. Pioneers of the CG field. Im sure they know how to make CG on VHS look good. There has to be something that can be done in post to really get the CG look more like video.


05 May 2002, 12:43 AM
well, i don't know much more, anybody else?...we have a huge
amount of CG workers here!!! r u only modelers/brazil testers?!?!?

05 May 2002, 03:08 AM
I would check both the resolution that you render at and make sure it matches the tape/DV resolution you are exporting at. In addition, make sure the pixel ratio is the same. You probably already have, but I had the same problem exporting 3D from Premier to DV and that was the problem. If you render at the exact resolution and pixel ratio, it seems to work great.

05 May 2002, 03:48 AM
I rendered at 720x486, the exact pixel ration of the Matrox codec. My entire college uses this format and all the tapes have the same results. Even CG short films like F8 suffer from the same issues of CG to tape.


05 May 2002, 04:19 AM
You can do various amounts of colour correction to make it look shitty like video, there are a whole lot of tips on for FFI, but you can use the principals in most compositing apps.

The main problems I see with stuff looking too CG is over saturation, lack of atmospheric perspective, aliasing etc - the solutions to those are all to obvious.

Dont overlook diffuse levels when texturing!

In terms of realsim for the rest of it, mostly a bit of blur combined with motion blur & DOF if appropriate generally do the trick. Apart from that its all down to your texturing/modelling/animation skills...

just my $3.80

05 May 2002, 02:44 PM
I had the same problem with my student reel, the trick is to use a small amount of noise on top of your final composite, it will destroy the crisp look of your CG.

Try it and let me know.


05 May 2002, 10:42 PM
yeah, @least a few non-justrenderertesters! :)
i'm agreed with desaturation+add noise+add atmosphere+DOF

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