Test 3: Futurama
The 3rd and last test deals with a completely different type of movie (well, actually it's not a movie but a series but let's not be picky, shall we?): animation. In animated features we often have large areas that are uniformly colored so the codecs are challenged to reproduce such areas properly. Edges between such areas also become rather important. I personally haven't seen an animated feature that I liked yet, so I settled for an animated TV series that I like (Bender's my favorite ;): Futurama. As usual with TV series, the DVDs are interlaced so I had to let Decomb return me a progressive stream. While certain codecs can handle interlaced material, my previous experience with interlaced material for DVD-R output was that interlaced encoding is always less efficient.
I reviewed the intro up to the scene in the animal clinic (frames 1 - 4965) and the scene leading up to the el chuba nebre song (frames 23517 - 24259).
Scene 1: Intro
Futurama starts with a funny ad, which has a red-violet background in this particular episode. No codec really likes this ad and I got various amounts of blocks and smearing in almost every codec.
Scene 2: Nibbler
Then we watch Nibbler (that's the little three eyed animal for those who don't know the series) waking up for a feast:
Scene 3: Animal clinic
Bender tries to kill Nibbler but Leela stops him by ripping out his arm.
I must admit I was quite disappointed with the results this time. Not because of the performance of the contestants, but because they all pretty much performed the same and except for WMV9 and VSS that had clear problems, the only way to reliably keep the codecs apart is the first few seconds until we start the flyby in the city, and that really should not be enough to judge a codec's performance for animated content. Hence, the animation part is going to be changed in the next comparison (and here I thought simply upping the resolution would to the trick).
For now, all codecs delivered a good performance and except for VSS and WMV9, you shouldn't have a lot of trouble, at least not with this source. Though if we look hard at the first few seconds, both NeroDigital codecs, along with RV10, XviD and VP6 rate on top of my list. And VP6 did improve in that area since last time.
Now proceed to the conclusion.
This document was last updated on December 28, 2004