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DJI P3P Compression artifacts - Grass
6571 26 2015-5-18
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ainsworthwillia
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United Kingdom
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This is my first drone, think its really great for what you get, however its rather annoying that the grass looks really weird, especially once exported (using premiere pro cc)
has anyone else got this issue and any methods on how to rectify it?  also it would be great to hear your sequence and export settings for 4k footage after post work as im sure this might be the reason behind this...  its mainly greens/grass which in england is pretty much a huge part of what you can shoot when keeping to the guidelines of not shooting in a built up area....  it really does distract you when viewing

thanks
2015-5-18
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ainsworthwillia
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also just to say, i start working in premiere with the red 4k 25fps sequence settings and allow premeire to auto switch it to the settings it recommends for the imported video content
2015-5-18
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ainsworthwillia
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anyone else have this problem?
2015-5-18
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apocnz
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Flight distance : 106588 ft
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Have you tried switching between MOV and MP4 to see if there's a noticeable difference?

I haven't yet, but that's the first thing I'd try.  I have heard other people mentioning that grass in particular seems to be a bit blocky ..
2015-5-18
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ainsworthwillia
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Nah only used mov but I'm pretty sure it's an update required as I've heard about it with the inspire too??
2015-5-19
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CapitAn
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l almost sent mine back due to this, it was a disappointment. Now l shoot higher over grass, seems to help (since it IS everywhere) and l switched to MP4.
2015-5-19
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ainsworthwillia
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Did the MP4 change much?
2015-5-19
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ainsworthwillia
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There should surely be a update for this issue can someone from dji explain this and let us know if there will be a work around?!
2015-5-19
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chrisrye
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Same here. The image can really fall apart over very complex imagery. Looks like it's a compression issue.
2015-5-19
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imdjay
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high motion plus low bit-rate equals blocking/breaking up of the codec

the only way to improve it is to up the bitrate. which is only 60mbit, if they bumped to 100mbit it would improve a good amount
2015-5-19
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ainsworthwillia
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guessing that's something they won't do tho
2015-5-19
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droneflyers.com
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Right - it's simply asking too much from a consumer level camera to fly over grass and have a crisp detail. Even if you were able to do it, the online compression (vimeo, youtube, etc.) would likely ruin it.

An ND filter and proper video settings would probably help some. But in the end this is asking a $400 camera to do the job of a $2K+ model.
2015-5-20
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Ulysse
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Any piece of glass (ND filter or anything other) in front of any lens will certainly not magically add any captured detail. Maybe it will add an illusion of sharpness.
2015-5-20
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Fulgerite
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It's the compression setting & bandwidth.  It probably looks better on the 1080 settings right?

Hey... if you want your footage to look like a Red Epic... Buy a Red Epic.  You get what you pay for.  ;-)

2015-5-20
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ainsworthwillia
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-5-20 21:41
Right - it's simply asking too much from a consumer level camera to fly over grass and have a crisp  ...

i dont think its actually too much to ask for. Ive heard that the inspire had this issue too but they worked something out in a firmware update. why they wouldnt start off from that point with the footage for the p3p i dont know...  
2015-5-21
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memelivorno
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-5-20 21:41
Right - it's simply asking too much from a consumer level camera to fly over grass and have a crisp  ...

That's not completely true because GoPRO cam don't cost 2k and don't have these issues...
2015-5-21
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droneflyers.com
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memelivorno@gma Posted at 2015-5-21 19:54
That's not completely true because GoPRO cam don't cost 2k and don't have these issues...

Phantom Cameras cost much less than a GoPro! Also, a GoPro is focused for very close-in photography while a Phantom is designed for aerials.

The Phantom 3 advanced is:
a $300 camera
on a $200 gimbal
on a $300 quadcopter
controlled by a $200 remote.

Your 1,000 is not buying a $1,000 camera.
That said, most users agree that the P3 camera is as good or better than a GoPro in terms of overall possibilities. But you probably have a point - if you are going to be within 10 feet of the subject matter, the GP will probably outperform.
2015-5-21
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jbaker1286
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The blocky nastiness is compression artifacts. The Phantom 3 Pro has a low bitrate of 60Mb/s. (as does the GoPro Hero 4 Black). So, unfortunately, grass or no grass, there are going to be noticeable compression artifacts in our video clips. As an experienced video producer, I am a bit disappointed in the image quality coming out of this camera. Overall, I'm happy with the product, as we're getting a lot of bang for our buck, but I do hope DJI will address at least some of these issues (horrendous compression artifacts, and an overabundance of moire patterns) in a firmware update. Their website listed an update for the Inspire 1 that addressed the moire issue.

As far as removing these artifacts... some denoising apps (Denoiser II, Neat Video, DE:Noise, and Dark Energy) claim to reduce compression artifacts, but I can't see them fixing image degradation of this magnitude. The problem is the aggressive compression and low bitrate.  
2015-6-4
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fhagan02
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I edit in Premiere Pro CC 2014. I also just received my P3P last week so I'm been doing quite a bit of testing regarding video and best settings.

The biggest problem with the compression and artifacts (and rolling shutter. aka jello) is the shutter speed. When shooting at 25fps you're shutter really shouldn't  be much above 1/50th (or 50). This "doubling" is the rule of thumb for professional video recording. So If you're shooting at say, 60fps, your shutter speed should be set to 125. The problem is the shutter is going so fast (sometimes 500 or higher on a sunny day) the camera is trying to capture all that detail without a natural motion blur. Like a clean focused photograph. Try it. Pause a shot from your existing recently shot footage. In a scene where you're moving really fast close to the ground. On a sunny or even a bright day the paused still frame will look like a photo. Meaning no motion blur. There should be motion blur there. This detail is too much for the .MOV and MP4 codec to handle at the camera's highest bit rate of 60Mb/s.

.MOV or MP4... doesn't matter. The main problem is the limited bit rate of the camera. It's just not high enough to handle the incredible amount of detail in fast moving grass. That's in the camera so we can't change that. So here are a couple tips I use that yield decent results....
1. Use an ND filter. (Neutral Density filter) can't stress this enough. It's not an "option" ...it's a necessity for aerial shooting. If you've not used one before it's like sunglasses for your lens. It makes the image much darker therefore you can get your shutter speed down to the 50 sweet spot. (Even 100 is better that 500 or 800.)
These start shipping June 6th...  http://polarprofilters.com/shop/DJI-Phantom-3-Filter
With an ND the motion will have a natural blur to it and look more natural when played back normal speed. But most importantly...a blur has much less "detail" than an infocus still image. So the 60Mb/s bit-rate can better "keep up" and it eases the burden on the sensor.

2. Turn the sharpness down to -2. The P3 sharpness is waaaaaaay too "crispy" and unnatural looking. I dare say...it's obnoxious. You can always add a little sharpness in Premiere. But once the "over sharpness" damage is in your footage..... is there for good. AND...sharpening set  at 0 or +1 or +2 does nothing but exaggerate artifacts.

Hope this helps and makes sense. Best of luck.
2015-6-4
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suqsid.bobmail
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United States
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Just so everyone knows, the bit-rate and artifacts are limitations of the TI DM386 H264 video encoder chip on the P3.

DJI doesn't make the chip, Texas Instruments does.

These problems will always exist until better chips for the price become available and the hardware specs are upgraded.

Right now you are getting a great bang-for-your-buck with the DM386.
2015-6-5
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fhagan02
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suqsid.bobmail Posted at 2015-6-6 00:28
Just so everyone knows, the bit-rate and artifacts are limitations of the TI DM386 H264 video encode ...

Well said. One question. I thought Sony made the chip? Or am i confusing sensor and chip? Didn't know there was a difference.
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2015-6-5
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suqsid.bobmail
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fhagan02@me.com Posted at 2015-6-6 10:18
Well said. One question. I thought Sony made the chip? Or am i confusing sensor and chip? Didn't kn ...

The sensor is in the camera and gets the uncompressed raw video.

The encoder chip converts the raw video to the compressed H264 protocol for digital video recording and transmission.

I should also point out that the H264 encoder is only needed for video. Photos are frames from the raw video converted to jpeg. They don't go through the DM386. That is why they are much bigger and cleaner.



2015-6-5
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fhagan02
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suqsid.bobmail Posted at 2015-6-6 10:36
The sensor is in the camera and gets the uncompressed raw video.

The encoder chip converts the raw ...

Roger that. Thanks for the clarification.
2015-6-5
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ilkercanikligil
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compression artifact

This is not acceptable in my humble opinion. It seems like an obvious error in compression algorithm. I can send the original untouched file in necessary
2015-9-17
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Phuglie
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fhagan02@me.com Posted at 2015-6-5 05:23
I edit in Premiere Pro CC 2014. I also just received my P3P last week so I'm been doing quite a bit  ...

Good advice, even though it has been repeatedly peppered throughout this forum. Thanks
2015-9-17
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boltupright
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fhagan02@me.com Posted at 2015-6-5 12:23
I edit in Premiere Pro CC 2014. I also just received my P3P last week so I'm been doing quite a bit  ...

Greetings,

Your answer is helpful to me.  After having and using a Phantom 3 Pro (my first drone) for the past few months, I just bought a Phantom 4.  I consider myself to be a reasonably skilled armature photographer.  I usually shoot 3840X2160 4k 30fps and I never had any complaints with the video produced by my p3p, however with my new p4, there are some pretty awful artifacts mostly in the low lights of highly detailed imagery like grass when there is fast movement near the ground and much worse when tilting up and down than when panning.  What you describe sounds almost exactly like what I am seeing on my p4, but I never saw those compression artifacts with my p3p.  There is a setting called 3d noise reduction which can be turned off and when I tried turning it off, the footage looked much better as the artifacts were greatly reduced.  This  is disappointing because I never got those awful artifacts on my p3p.  Why would it be happening on the p4?  One other thing I have noticed is  that the auto exposure is course and sort of changes in steps that are to big and therefore much more noticeable and objectionable than with the p3p which was much smoother and more subtle in automatically riding the exposure.  Any additional info or ideas would be appreciated.  Hopefully  there will be some firmware updates to improve these issues soon.
2016-3-21
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boltupright
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United States
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fhagan02@me.com Posted at 2015-6-5 12:23
I edit in Premiere Pro CC 2014. I also just received my P3P last week so I'm been doing quite a bit  ...

Greetings,

Your answer is helpful to me.  After having and using a Phantom 3 Pro (my first drone) for the past few months, I just bought a Phantom 4.  I consider myself to be a reasonably skilled armature photographer.  I usually shoot 3840X2160 4k 30fps and I never had any complaints with the video produced by my p3p, however with my new p4, there are some pretty awful artifacts mostly in the low lights of highly detailed imagery like grass when there is fast movement near the ground and much worse when tilting up and down than when panning.  What you describe sounds almost exactly like what I am seeing on my p4, but I never saw those compression artifacts with my p3p.  There is a setting called 3d noise reduction which can be turned off and when I tried turning it off, the footage looked much better as the artifacts were greatly reduced.  This  is disappointing because I never got those awful artifacts on my p3p.  Why would it be happening on the p4?  One other thing I have noticed is  that the auto exposure is course and sort of changes in steps that are to big and therefore much more noticeable and objectionable than with the p3p which was much smoother and more subtle in automatically riding the exposure.  Any additional info or ideas would be appreciated.  Hopefully  there will be some firmware updates to improve these issues soon.
2016-3-21
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