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HELP! Screenflow Camera Compression HORRIBLE Artifacts!

Alright, so I recently upgraded to SF8, and have been trying to make my workflow more efficient by purchasing an elvato camlink 4k and recording directly inside screenflow.

Overall, it's been a complete disaster. For starters, there is NO way to adjust audio sync or delay so that my mic audio is lined up with the camera recording, which is very frustrating and a waste of time if I ever want to record ANYTHING with multiple takes, I have to manually sync every single frigging clip.

But the most horrible part of this has been the absolutely ridiculous compression happening to the camera recording. I know it's screenflow because I have tested the hdmi input and recording in both OBS and in the free recording tool in Quicktime.

For some reason, even with my session preferences set to lossless recording, screenflow compresses the crap out of the video feed. There are huge chunky artifacts in the background, across my skin, and on my shirt. I thought maybe it was because there was too much contrast in the scene, so I tried brightening the background. The result? Unbelievable banding.

I've tinkered with every camera setting possible - The problem is not the camera, nor the capture device - It is screenflow.

Someone please tell me I'm missing something here. Otherwise, what is the point of using screenflow when flipping Quicktime does the same thing vastly better for FREE?

Screenshots above show the same recording done simultaneously with Quicktime and Screenflow. If you can't tell you'll need to zoom in and view the full image. Screenflow is the one with the crazy blotchy artifacts.

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  • Oh and I forgot to mention - Exporting the clips makes this problem about 3X worse - For some reason screenflow feels the need to compress my already squashed video even further. The Lossless Prores option more or less exports the same quality, but a 3 second file was 333mb! Exporting "high quality" size was 2mb... but prores is 333mb? Why is there nothing in between this?

     

    Sorry for venting - I'm a little frustrated but I'm genuinely am looking for help here and hope I'm just being dumb and missing something obvioius

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view
    Ryan Breitkreutz said:
    For starters, there is NO way to adjust audio sync or delay so that my mic audio is lined up with the camera recording,

    Please do make the request for a sync offset adjustment by filling out the form. Our Wirecast program includes that so it's something we know users would be interested in in ScreenFlow.

     

    Ryan Breitkreutz said:
    I know it's screenflow

     Make sure you're not scaling the image. If you take a 1080
    HD source and scale it to a Retina sized screen that would cause upscale artifacts.

    Regarding compression, you have control over the bit rate which controls quality. We use x264 which is the same encoder used in many other programs, including OBS.

    Ideally you should set to High Profile, Bit rate depends. frame size should be same throughout if you want to avoid scaling. 

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view
    Ryan Breitkreutz said:
    Why is there nothing in between this?

     There absolutely is. You control that by setting the bit rate.

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view
    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view
    Ryan Breitkreutz said:
    but haven't been able to find any settings in relation to input compression.

     If you have frame rate options make sure you select UHD frame size.
    Otherwise, the input is digital so ScreenFlow only records what's handed to it from the Camlink. ScreenFlow isn't doing any other compression on input.

     

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  • Thanks for the export settings! As far as the input options, I already have it set to 4k both in the project and the record video settings.

    CraigS said:
    ScreenFlow only records what's handed to it from the Camlink. ScreenFlow isn't doing any other compression on input.

    I'm sorry, but this is completely impossible. Both OBS and Quicktime receive a far cleaner signal from the camlink - Screenflow is the only one with these crazy artifacts and color blocking (Which is a hallmark of compression)

    I've attached 2 screenshots zoomed in to give a better idea of how much worse screenflow is. Same frame, same zoom - Both are screenshots from WITHIN the programs, so not final exports - Just the input feed.

      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Ryan Breitkreutz Please include a screenshot of your canvas size in ScreenFlow.
      Such As:

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    • CraigS 

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Ryan Breitkreutz Thanks. Export using the Apple ProRes preset and compare that in Quicktime to a Quicktime export of the file so they are both in the same player at the same frame size.

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view
    Ryan Breitkreutz said:
    I'm sorry, but this is completely impossible. Both OBS and Quicktime receive a far cleaner signal from the camlink - Screenflow is the only one with these crazy artifacts and color blocking (Which is a hallmark of compression)

     If you're looking in ScreenFlow itself you're seeing a playback engine depicted on the monitor and not necessarily the actual recording. Players themselves may all look different. In short, playback is NOT WYSIWYG in most any player (be it NLE or file player).

    The only way to determine differences is to look at the end product in the same player.

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    • CraigS I wrote an in depth reply to this showing all the details, but then the uploader failed and I lost it. Long story short, while the quality is improved marginally after export from screenflow in terms of artifacts, they are still far worse than quicktime or OBS. Additionally, the colors are pretty significantly changed (tons of magenta cast) and everything is squashed down / softened... My video no longer looks sharp (Which I'm assuming is screenflow running denoise software on the backend to remove some of the artifacts) Additionally, OBS what you see is literally WYSIWYG. Screenflow just has something very subpar going on with video capture... Unfortunately until this is fixed I'll be switching to OBS. Screenshots attached, showing simultaneous recordings BOTH previewed inside of screenflow as well as after export compared side by side.

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Ryan Breitkreutz Please do email us those screenshots with descriptions using your case number in the subject line.

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  • I've compared a ScreenFlow ProRes export of ElGato CamLink footage to a QuickTime ProRes export many times now and I can confirm what Ryan Breitkreutz is saying. There definitely is a lot more noise in the ScreenFlow export.

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Gregor Beyerle Have you sent us the results of that comparison (with your case number)?

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  • I contacted support a while ago about this and we concluded without resolving the situation. Screenflow changes the colors of files, I don't understand why.
    In the attached image, a print with the original video and back, from the Screenflow timeline without me having touched anything.

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Elias Coutinho de Oliveira Do you have a case number? Using the case number email the above screenshots you made. Include what camera you're using.

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    • sheriffderek
    • Evil Design Educator
    • sheriffderek
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    I can't tell for sure - if this is along the same lines / but at my darker room I get all sorts of whacky stuff:

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      sheriffderek I see banding but a screenshot might exacerbate. Export codec and scaling can be an factor as well. Ideally capture size should be the same as export size and Apple ProRes would be near visually lossless whereas H.264 encoding will certainly introduce loss.

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      • sheriffderek
      • Evil Design Educator
      • sheriffderek
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      CraigS Thanks! I'll make some adjustments and see if it's me/camera etc.

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      sheriffderek You're welcome of course.

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  • I would like to request a refund for this software. 
    I purchased it and am having serious issues with it. 

    I use it with an Elgato Calming 4K and the sync is out completely and footage is ridiculously laggy. It looks horrendous and freezes after about 3 minutes in. Even in the exported video. 

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Sheldon Evans Have you tested with ScreenFlow 9.0.7? Other customers report that has fixed the sync issues. You also need to make sure there are no other USB devices on the bus and not going through any hubs or docks.

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