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James Date October 27, 2004 08:13

CFX - 5.7 Producing high quality MPEGS in CFX-Post
Hi everyone

Can anyone tell me how to produce high quality MPEGS using CFX-post (this might not be possible).

I've tried every setting and all resolutions up to 800x600 including screen capture in the CFX-post animation option form, yet all of the MPEGS produced are very grainy; unless you zoom right in close to your model.

Is this a problem that others have experienced?

Regards James

Glenn Horrocks October 27, 2004 18:47

Re: CFX - 5.7 Producing high quality MPEGS in CFX-
Hi James,

I agree that it is hard to generate good quality animations in Post. Another problem is that the minimum frame rate is much too fast for most of my animations.

You might be able to get adequate quality by using a high quality setting on the animations options/advanced tab, but I find the best way to get around this is to turn on "Keep intermediate graphics files" on the animation options/advanced tab, and generate the animation from the graphics file yourself. You then have full control over the compression settings, and can reduce the frame rate to any speed you like (by repeating frames).

Also remember that some forms of animation work much better in other formats (such as animated GIF) compared to MPEG. GIFs are very good for animations where there are only a few colours and large regions of the same colour.

Glenn Horrocks

James Date October 28, 2004 06:51

Re: CFX - 5.7 Producing high quality MPEGS in CFX-

I'm glad I'm not the only one who's found this a problem. I've tried the high quality setting, but its still not that good.

I have a few questions about producing animations from graphics files:

1) Which directory does CFX-Post save the intermediate graphics files to when you flag this option.

2) What software do i need to create animations from graphics files; both MPEG/AVI or Animated GIFS.

High quality animations are a must for any "Colour For Directors" CFD presentation!

Regards James

Glenn Horrocks October 28, 2004 18:30

Re: CFX - 5.7 Producing high quality MPEGS in CFX-
Hi James,

1) CFX-Post saves the files in a subdirectory to your home path. From memory, for me on WinXP, it saves them to C:\Docs & Settings\[username]\.cfx\ (or possibly a subdirectory from there). Do a search for .jpg or .ppm files if you can't find them.

2) You can use the mpeg_encode.exe which is by default installed in [CFX Home]\shared\CYGWIN32_NT\bin on WinXP machines. I have found this package as good as any for generating MPEGs.

I should add here that MPEGs are not always the best format. MPEGs are good for images with shading and relatively high frame rates (>8 frames per second). For images with large areas of constant colour, eg contour plots and vector plots or low frame rates (<8 frames per second) I generally recommend animated GIF. GIF reduces the images down to 256 colours but does no resolution reduction so does not generate the artifacts seen in JPG or MPEG. You can also get better animation players for GIFs, for instance I use Microsoft GIF animator which has a scroll bar on the bottom where you can manually scroll the animation forwards, backwards or stopped. MPEG players generally only work playing forwards. I use imagemagick to generate my GIF animations

Glenn Horrocks

deLuther October 29, 2004 00:31

Re: CFX - 5.7 Producing high quality MPEGS in CFX-
I usualy save png files then use some program to convert to tga and use animation sowtware to make avi... TechSmith production is very good for animation.

Glenn Horrocks October 31, 2004 18:09

Re: CFX - 5.7 Producing high quality MPEGS in CFX-
Hi deLuther,

Where can you get TechSmith from?

Glenn Horrocks

deLuther November 1, 2004 04:48

Re: CFX - 5.7 Producing high quality MPEGS in CFX-
Hi Glenn, But to use codec for compression you need Camtasia... For instance all movies on Icem demo cd made with that codec.

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