Movie playback video not smooth but FPS is fine

  • It's a question that I've been having in a long time. I am sure many of you have probably encounter this issue, but it's quite subtle, only people who has sharp eyes can really see the difference in the motion and frame-rate if you play back on a regular video player (quicktime, per se) and play back on Isadora, especially for higher resolution/bit-rate videos.

    I usually convert my files to Photo-Jpeg (Quality high or between medium and high) via Quicktime 7\. For this show I am running 1920 X 800 single video and using 3D Quad Projector to do the corners. I've tried to using normal Projector actor but the issue still persists, even though my frame-rate is at 29-30FPS. 
    My question is, has anyone successfully find ways to optimize this motion smoothness issue for video playback? I wonder if there's a way to really optimize it. I've even tried just playing straight from 1 movie player to 1 projector actor, it still has subtle speed stutter on the video playback (it plays back normal speed, then it would slow down and then catch up intermittently, so you get an overall stuttering/jittering kind of playback)
    I usually just leave it as it is, but tonight I am running for big dance show and the production designer really noticed the motion issue on video play back and asked me to use a different software like watchout, I was like NO! So I hope we can find a solution to this somehow...
    Some said that sometimes for playback in Izzy H.264 might be more smooth than Photo-Jpeg, anyone done more test for this kind of playback motion-smoothness tests?
    Thanks very much
  • Tech Staff

    If you are just playing back, I would really use another codec. photo-jpeg is great for many things (speed adjustments, reverse, scratching), but your video dimensions are pretty large (1920*800).
    I work mostly on PC so I am not the best guy to point you at the best codec. sorry. but you could try h.264 (just make sure you get an end trigger).

    hope that helps a little.

  • @DusX

    What would you suggest as a great playback codec for PC?



  • Hi DusX, Thanks. I'm going to try converting to H264 and compare with Photo-Jpeg really closely see if it improves playback performance. Cheers.

  • Tech Staff

    For HD I use the 'play windows native' feature and encode via Microsoft expression encoded as VC1 style .wmv
    I know there is some debate about this on the forum right now, but unless I am playing 4 or more, I have loads of room to play on my CPU (just avoid CPU based effects).
    This format allows regular speed forward playing and looping the video.

  • A show I was on recently had some issues with stuttery playback at 1920x1080. After reading some other posts on here we gave pro-res a go and the performance improved across the board, both visibly and when checking status. I don't own the macpro (or have the show-files/hard-drives with me) that ran the show so I cant check the details I'm afraid.

    Since then I've been recommending Pro-res for anything high resolution. Issy loves it.
  • Izzy Guru

    What version of Isadora are you using? What speed does your Harddisk have?


  • Opps! I'm so sorry about the late response! I was in the middle of the production and forgot to check back to this thread after.

    I totally thought apple pro-res would be such a heavy codec to playback on, so this is new for me! I can give that a try next time.

    I was using the most current core version, my hard-drive speed is only 5200RPM, could this be the reason?  But I've seem this happen quite regularly even on generative things like 3D particle and Shapes moving, there are irregular stutters every once awhile. 

    It really becomes an issue when playing on really big screens, it becomes quite noticeable. I hope this issue can be solved somehow. I'll try it on a SSD MacBook Pro next time to see if that's an hard-drive issue.