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PD now taking low quality screenshots after update
killertomato [Avatar]
Newbie Joined: Nov 28, 2018 22:23 Messages: 43 Offline
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As the title says, I rely on PD to take 4K screen grabs which I then use to crop and edit into thumbnails. However since the update it only works sometimes. The botched screen grabs seem to be sub 480P.

I always find my spot in the video, change the preview resolution to Ultra HD (otherwise it won't take it at 4K) and then grab the snapshot however some of the results lately have been absolutely putrid... yet on some videos it still works. It seems to have something to do with the video itself as restarting the program does nothing.

I never had this issue with prior versions, but now find myself annoyingly having to use Resolve just to grab a screenshot.

Is this is a known issue? Anyone else experiencing this?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Sep 21. 2021 12:41

optodata
Senior Contributor Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 8630 Offline
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Try switching from JPEG to PNG or BMP
killertomato [Avatar]
Newbie Joined: Nov 28, 2018 22:23 Messages: 43 Offline
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Quote Try switching from JPEG to PNG or BMP


No luck, it's a washed out mess on all 3 formats.

Here's the PD "4K" screen capture (I confirmed the capture resolution was 4K as well): https://imgur.com/a/w9hhgYv

And with Resolve from the same video file (that was rendered with PD): https://imgur.com/a/4KTYvS2

Look at the enourmous loss of detail in the road, it's much more apparent at full size.
[Post New]
Quote change the preview resolution to Ultra HD (otherwise it won't take it at 4K)


I can take 4K resolution snapshot with the preview quality setting.
optodata
Senior Contributor Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 8630 Offline
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I'm actually not seeing a ton of difference between the two clips,

The King, I actually get 1920x1080 screenshots if my preview mode is set to Full HD, and I have to change it to Ultra HD in order to capture 4K screenshots.

I just ran a test with the attached test clip which is designed to show whether scaling was used. I also attached .png and .jpg versions of what the new version of PD365 captured. The .BMP is 32MB and is virtually identical in quality to the PNG so I didn't upload that, and while the JPG version is a little lower in quality, it's nothing like 480p would be.
[Thumb - PD365 4K UHD Preview PNG.png]
 Filename
PD365 4K UHD Preview PNG.png
[Disk]
 Description
UHD Preview .png
 Filesize
565 Kbytes
 Downloaded:
3 time(s)
 Filename
4ktest_red_border_loop.mkv
[Disk]
 Description
place this on the timeline
 Filesize
2490 Kbytes
 Downloaded:
133 time(s)
[Thumb - PD365 4K UHD Preview JPEG.jpg]
 Filename
PD365 4K UHD Preview JPEG.jpg
[Disk]
 Description
UHD Preview .jpg
 Filesize
3610 Kbytes
 Downloaded:
3 time(s)

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at Sep 21. 2021 22:09

killertomato [Avatar]
Newbie Joined: Nov 28, 2018 22:23 Messages: 43 Offline
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Quote I'm actually not seeing a ton of difference between the two clips,

The King, I actually get 1920x1080 screenshots if my preview mode is set to Full HD, and I have to change it to Ultra HD in order to capture 4K screenshots.

I just ran a test with the attached test clip which is designed to show whether scaling was used. I also attached .png and .jpg versions of what the new version of PD365 captured. The .BMP is 32MB and is virtually identical in quality to the PNG so I didn't upload that, and while the JPG version is a little lower in quality, it's nothing like 480p would be.


It's only the case on some of my files which is weird, but it is 100% taking significantly lower quality screenshots (the examples I attached more thans how how poor of a job it's doing).

I guess I need to contact Cyberlink.
optodata
Senior Contributor Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 8630 Offline
[Post New]
Quote I guess I need to contact Cyberlink.

They're the only people that can make any changes if something is going on.

In my experience, the best thing you can do is to try and find something 100% repeatable, like I tried to do here with the shared test video, and then send that along in your support request. You should also include a link to this discussion so they can see what's happened so far.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Sep 22. 2021 16:18

JL_JL [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Location: Arizona, USA Joined: Oct 01, 2006 20:01 Messages: 6091 Offline
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killertomato, it's unclear to me from OP if you are doing snapshot from timeline or media library. It almost sounds like timeline, if so, CL has previously stated that's not 100% supported for high res snapshots. You might try from media library only and see if results are any better.

Jeff
killertomato [Avatar]
Newbie Joined: Nov 28, 2018 22:23 Messages: 43 Offline
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Quote killertomato, it's unclear to me from OP if you are doing snapshot from timeline or media library. It almost sounds like timeline, if so, CL has previously stated that's not 100% supported for high res snapshots. You might try from media library only and see if results are any better.

Jeff


I do it from the timeline like I always have (after adjusting the preview to 4K) and in prior versions it has always taken a perfect quality screen grab. In the new one it's sometimes doing that, often taking garbage ones.

How do I grab screens via the other method?
Warry [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Location: The Netherlands Joined: Oct 13, 2014 11:42 Messages: 853 Offline
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Please check this out:
The preview display setting has influence on the size of the snapshot file (hence the quality?)
Obviously snapshots taken form the timeline....
I have used the PD sample clip Skateboard 02 for this test.

For JPG files is see:
1) The size of High preview and HD preview are the same
2) the size of the full HD is lower
3) the size of the UDH is more than 2x larger the size of 1)

for PNG files applies (my tests)
1) the size of High preview, HD and FHD are the same
2) the size of UHD is 3x larger than the others.

It is not possible to set set the preview quaility for clips in the media room.
However, the size of snapshot in jpg files taken from the (same) clip) in the media room and on the timeline are about the same, but still smaller than the once taken from the time line with UHD.

Given the way JPG and PNG files are build I am sure that the results might differ for clips of another content.

My conclusion would be for now, and only based on the size of the files: Take a snapshot from the time line with the preview setting to UHD.
Other conclusion could be, that the way PD takes snapshots differs and depends on settings. Would it not be a good idea that PD always takes the highest possible quality settings for any and all shapshots?
(I will share that suggestion with CL)

I am looking forward to see other results.
killertomato [Avatar]
Newbie Joined: Nov 28, 2018 22:23 Messages: 43 Offline
[Post New]
Quote Please check this out:
The preview display setting has influence on the size of the snapshot file (hence the quality?)
Obviously snapshots taken form the timeline....
I have used the PD sample clip Skateboard 02 for this test.

For JPG files is see:
1) The size of High preview and HD preview are the same
2) the size of the full HD is lower
3) the size of the UDH is more than 2x larger the size of 1)

for PNG files applies (my tests)
1) the size of High preview, HD and FHD are the same
2) the size of UHD is 3x larger than the others.

It is not possible to set set the preview quaility for clips in the media room.
However, the size of snapshot in jpg files taken from the (same) clip) in the media room and on the timeline are about the same, but still smaller than the once taken from the time line with UHD.

Given the way JPG and PNG files are build I am sure that the results might differ for clips of another content.

My conclusion would be for now, and only based on the size of the files: Take a snapshot from the time line with the preview setting to UHD.
Other conclusion could be, that the way PD takes snapshots differs and depends on settings. Would it not be a good idea that PD always takes the highest possible quality settings for any and all shapshots?
(I will share that suggestion with CL)

I am looking forward to see other results.


Your conclusion is exactly what I've been doing... and on PD20 I'm getting horrid quality screen shots compared to PD19.

I even fired up my laptop which has the older version and did the same screen grab from the same part of the same file using exactly the same method and... PD19's result was pristine, PD20's was washed and much lower res (despiting being outputted at 4K).

My conclusion, something is very clearly broken in PD20 for me in this respect.
JL_JL [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Location: Arizona, USA Joined: Oct 01, 2006 20:01 Messages: 6091 Offline
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Quote I do it from the timeline like I always have (after adjusting the preview to 4K) and in prior versions it has always taken a perfect quality screen grab. In the new one it's sometimes doing that, often taking garbage ones.

How do I grab screens via the other method?

Left mouse click on 4K source video in media library, use preview window slider to get to desired frame for capture, Ctrl P to capture pic at source video resolution.

Jeff
Warry [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Location: The Netherlands Joined: Oct 13, 2014 11:42 Messages: 853 Offline
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I think that you right Jeff. Taking a snapshot from the clip in the media room gives larger files.
And in case one would want to make a screen shot from the result of editing (FX etc.) I definitely see that the file size (if not the quality) of the snapshots taken from the timeline is different depending on the quality of the preview.
The Freeze frame however, seems to be independent from the preview quality settings and its file size is equal to that of a snapshot taken with UHD quality but often still lower than the size of a snapshot taken from the same, unedited frame from the media room.
JL_JL [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Location: Arizona, USA Joined: Oct 01, 2006 20:01 Messages: 6091 Offline
[Post New]
Quote I think that you right Jeff. Taking a snapshot from the clip in the media room gives larger files.
And in case one would want to make a screen shot from the result of editing (FX etc.) I definitely see that the file size (if not the quality) of the snapshots taken from the timeline is different depending on the quality of the preview.
The Freeze frame however, seems to be independent from the preview quality settings and its file size is equal to that of a snapshot taken with UHD quality but often still lower than the size of a snapshot taken from the same, unedited frame from the media room.

Warry, I documented what I thought would be desired with snapshot yrs ago here: https://forum.cyberlink.com/forum/posts/list/50730.page#post_box_267348 However, one still needs to edit within the very poor implementation that CL did with snapshot and find what works as they don't appear to be too responsive for changes. The Freeze Frame behavior you quote was stated as a bug by PDM, RD, and PM, so...may change too.

Obvious work around for FX, Titles, so on, is to produce that section and then take snapshot from produced file in the media library.

Jeff
Warry [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Location: The Netherlands Joined: Oct 13, 2014 11:42 Messages: 853 Offline
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Quote

Warry, I documented what I thought would be desired with snapshot yrs ago here: https://forum.cyberlink.com/forum/posts/list/50730.page#post_box_267348 However, one still needs to edit within the very poor implementation that CL did with snapshot and find what works as they don't appear to be too responsive for changes. The Freeze Frame behavior you quote was stated as a bug by PDM, RD, and PM, so...may change too.

Obvious work around for FX, Titles, so on, is to produce that section and then take snapshot from produced file in the media library.

Jeff

Those are excellent specs Jeff! Today, I would have the following additions:
- snapshot for all tracks (end-result) or single track and combinations of tracks
- JPG not 75% but higher like 90-99%
- type PNG still a must; others like GIF and BMP are only nice to have
- result of freeze frame should follow the snapshot specs.
The work around is noted of course.
I don’t know whether PowerDirector product managers and/or their managers are looking at the forum communications (if they take their job seriously, they should consider the forum their number one priority and main source), but the specs were readily available since version 14, and to my feeling not too difficult to implement since most of it is there already.
An addition tip to them: In a previous life when involved in product management, I kept a file called: whatever happend to.... (specs, discussions, wishes, bugs, implementations of the competition etc.)
Somewhere on PD20 forum I recently suggested: pay attention to the steadiness, and flawless operation (also requires better testing), speed, high quality of the results and it will pay off.
PowerDirector Moderator [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan Joined: Oct 18, 2016 00:25 Messages: 2104 Offline
[Post New]
Quote


Your conclusion is exactly what I've been doing... and on PD20 I'm getting horrid quality screen shots compared to PD19.

I even fired up my laptop which has the older version and did the same screen grab from the same part of the same file using exactly the same method and... PD19's result was pristine, PD20's was washed and much lower res (despiting being outputted at 4K).

My conclusion, something is very clearly broken in PD20 for me in this respect.


Hello killertomato,

Please then submit your video clip and detailed step instructions to CyberLink Customer Service so they can check and confirm this:

https://membership.cyberlink.com/support/service/technical-support.do

Cheers
PowerDirector Moderator
Wavepilot [Avatar]
Newbie Joined: Jan 14, 2019 11:07 Messages: 3 Offline
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After noticing the problem and being unable to resolve it and finding this thread and trying everyone's suggestions, I can confirm that it is definately a bug on my recently updated PD v20.

Another new bug is that the "produce range" function doesn't work when selected from the timeline, but there is another thread for that.
PowerDirector Moderator [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan Joined: Oct 18, 2016 00:25 Messages: 2104 Offline
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Quote After noticing the problem and being unable to resolve it and finding this thread and trying everyone's suggestions, I can confirm that it is definately a bug on my recently updated PD v20.

Another new bug is that the "produce range" function doesn't work when selected from the timeline, but there is another thread for that.


Hello,

Then, as I said above, please submit a ticket with CyberLink Customer Service. So far none of our regular members have duplicated this issue, and as far as I am aware, neither has CyberLink QA.

Submitting your video as an example that illustrates what you see is the only way to help get this fixed, if it is indeed an issue.

https://membership.cyberlink.com/support/service/technical-support.do

Cheers
PowerDirector Moderator
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