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EX1 (and HD) to SD DVD on Mac?

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Craig Seeman
EX1 (and HD) to SD DVD on Mac?
on Mar 4, 2008 at 4:08:41 pm

I'm Mac based and I'm having issues with twitter and aliasing going from the EX1 timeline in FCP to SD DVD. I suspect the same issues may hold true for anyone using any CineAlta so jump in folks.

So far my best workflow is:
FCP 6.0.2 - Edit in EX1 native timeline (I shoot 1080p30)
Export Quicktime (reference or self contained).
Drop that into Compressor 3.0.2 and use the DVD Best Quality 90 minutes settings (or tweak a bit but the setting is designed to do a "good" job downconverting HD to SD in the process).

The problem is I'm seeing twitter on thin horizontal lines especially on slow zooms(tree branches for example) and some stair stepping on diagonals also most obvious on slow zooms.

I've tested the results playing on a DVD player component out (tried both Progressive On and Off but the player has no upconvert feature) to a Samsun 46" 1080P HDTV. I also tested on DVD player S- Video into a JVC 13" CRT monitor. Same issues on both.

There's certainly workarounds like slight gaussian blurs, etc. but there must be a better way in software.



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Don Greening
Re: EX1 (and HD) to SD DVD on Mac?
on Mar 4, 2008 at 8:39:48 pm

Craig,

At the moment I'm in the middle of an edit where the final output will be on a single layer DVD. The project was shot with our EX and XL2 (a funeral) so I'll let you know how it turns out. I started out right away with a DV NTSC Anamorphic timeline, dropped the EX footage into it and am editing that natively (XDCAM EX codec), to a point. Since part of the project involves a multiclip over 2 hours long I had to downconvert some of the EX footage to the DV NTSC codec using Compressor. I haven't seen any appreciable twitter in the resulting footage, but then this is mostly talking heads stuff so it's not a good comparison for you. Still, I'll let you know how the final DVD looks as far as the EX footage is concerned.

Oh, and the XL2 footage is 16:9 30p@1/60 shutter, EX footage is HQ 1080p 30@1/60 shutter.

What WAS nice when shooting with the EX during the service was being able to record continuously instead of having to stop and change tapes like my wife had to do with the XL2. I ended up with one clip that has a duration of 2 hours and 6 min. and spanned two 16 gig cards and one 8 gig card.

The finished DVD will be around 2 hours and 45 min. Yikes. I should also point out that when this is finished I'll be exporting a self contained QT movie and encoding with BitVice, as it seems to do a bit better job than Compressor on really long form projects like this one.

- Don



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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 (and HD) to SD DVD on Mac?
on Mar 5, 2008 at 1:32:42 am

Don, the problem I see is only when I encode to DVD (Compressor to MPEG2). At that point I see twitter. It is, in part, content related, so you may not see it at all unless you have thin horizontal lines. In my case it's tree branches during a slow zoom out.

Curious about the results with BitVice.

BTW I also have Telestream Episode (see the COW forum) so I'm going to see if that'll do a better downconvert the Compressor.



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Don Greening
Re: EX1 (and HD) to SD DVD on Mac?
on Mar 6, 2008 at 4:50:52 am

Craig,

Once I had another look at the footage I down converted to DV NTSC for multiclip use I did notice a bit of twitter in some bare tree branches and power lines when my camera moved around a bit during the shoot outside. I know you said you only noticed it when you used Compressor for MPEG2 but I also used Compressor for the down convert, so maybe it's a global thing with the program.

Once I exported my movie (2 hrs 34 min) I used BitVice on my 2.7 G5 and was quite pleased with the result overall. BitVice didn't make the line twitter any worse. I watched the DVD on my 50" plasma and you can sure see the difference between the XL2 footage and the down converted EX stuff (EX is better).

FYI the XL2 was shooting widescreen 30p and the EX was HQ 1080 30p. Burnt to DVD9. Considering the big difference in picture quality the SD version cut together pretty well. Progressive is the only way to go if the output is for LCD or plasma viewing.

- Don


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Chris Babbitt
Re: EX1 (and HD) to SD DVD on Mac?
on Mar 6, 2008 at 5:56:03 am

Since, up to this point, I have always shot with a DSR300 (DVCAM), shooting progressive is new to me. Are there any special settings in FCP or Compressor that I need to make when using prorgessive footage?



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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 (and HD) to SD DVD on Mac?
on Mar 6, 2008 at 2:21:26 pm

[Don Greening] " I know you said you only noticed it when you used Compressor for MPEG2 but I also used Compressor for the down convert, so maybe it's a global thing with the program. "

I followed up by trying with Episode Pro. Same results unfortunately so it's not specific to Compressor.

[Don Greening] "BitVice didn't make the line twitter any worse."
Which means it was the same as Compressor?

Basically the twitter is at it's worst when I do a slow zoom out on tree branches. So it's a combination of horizontal lines and zoom that exacerbates the issue.




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Don Greening
Re: EX1 (and HD) to SD DVD on Mac?
on Mar 6, 2008 at 5:07:00 pm

[Craig Seeman] "[Don Greening] "BitVice didn't make the line twitter any worse."
Which means it was the same as Compressor?
"


....which means that I used the "Compressor-down-converted-to-DV NTSC" footage as part of my exported self-contained movie that BitVice used to encode to MPEG2. BitVice didn't make the line twitter any worse than it already was.

- Don



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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 (and HD) to SD DVD on Mac?
on Mar 6, 2008 at 5:23:45 pm

Alas, I wish there were a workflow that would result in no line twitter.

So I guess we can say that amongst us we've tried Compressor, Bit Vice, Episode all with approximately similar results. Line twitter remains.



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Don Greening
Re: EX1 (and HD) to SD DVD on Mac?
on Mar 6, 2008 at 6:26:05 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Alas, I wish there were a workflow that would result in no line twitter."

......and the good Lord gazed down upon the earth and, seeing that standard def and interlacing were passing into oblivion, said: "From this day forward let it be known that I have blessed the Blu-ray workflow. Follow this shining path into the future and fear not, for this is the way to twitterless encoding." And he saw that it was good.

- Don



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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 (and HD) to SD DVD on Mac?
on Mar 6, 2008 at 7:18:23 pm

Alas, my clients are pre Messiah.

What's frustrating is that I'm keeping everything progressive and I'm seeing the twittering even on my Samsung 46" 1080p set with DVD player set to Progressive out.

It's as if one progressive scan line from SD source during zoom has issues "resolving" even on a progressive HDTV as it moves scan lines due to the zoom.



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