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EX1720p-FCP-ProREZ- DVDSP QUALITY? Help!

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Peter Hitchcock
EX1720p-FCP-ProREZ- DVDSP QUALITY? Help!
on Jul 16, 2008 at 6:55:35 pm

Hi!
I've done an edit on a 43 min Opera that I shot on two EX1 cameras I edited in FCP6 using xdcam ex settings inFCP
I'm having some difficulty in get a good looking DVD, the picture looks low rez, bitty. My BetacamSP camera looks better on DVD than the EX1 HD 720p.

So I've been doing my research. In Phillips HD book page 209 it says
Producing SD DVDs from HDV Source
Direct HDV-to-SD-DVD does not produce the best results in Final Cut Pro and Compressor. Ken Stone,
of KenStone.net has a great article on a better conversion that exports the HDV to a HD
intermediate in ProRes 422. This produces great results and I have used it recently myself and been
happier with the results.

Here's the link for Phillips excellent book on HD. I wouldn't have known about this DVD issue, and there's more info on HD outputs.
http://www.proappstips.com/HDSurvivalHandbook/

I just wondered if anybody has any tips making DVDs from EX1
I've shot on 1280x720p resize to 720px480 (Set EpisodePro to low Pass ?)
I'm using DVDSP (why are the type from DVDSP bitty?)
I'm outputting from Episode pro and will let you know the results.
Meanwhile any advice in the process with EX1 in FCP with output to DVD via Episode Pro?
It seems a recipe for this work flow is needed. It's not in the manuals!
Cheers
Peter
PS Animation FCP output aprox 11 gigs
Pro Rez aprox 35 gigs


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Don Greening
Re: EX1720p-FCP-ProREZ- DVDSP QUALITY? Help!
on Jul 16, 2008 at 8:04:32 pm

Hi Peter,

I use Compressor (and Media Manager within FCP 6) all the time to do SD downconverts with EX footage and I'm pretty happy with the results. I'm shooting with the full raster 1920X1080 frame whereas you're not, so that might make a difference. We're both shooting progressive. Make sure your FCP timeline is set to progressive with rendering set to best quality.

The workflow for me is to drag the raw EX footage into a DV NTSC timeline (to match up with my SD cameras) edit everything and export a DV NTSC self-contained QT movie after rendering everything out just before the export. If I need to do multiclip editing I'll "media manage" the EX stuff right in the SD timeline. Then I use BitVice to encode to MPEG 2 for SD DVD.

One of this forum's leaders, Craig Seeman, may be able to advise you on Episode Pro workflows.

I think the trick here is to get into your delivery codec as soon as possible. Adding any intermediary compression schemes when you don't have to just contributes to quality loss.

- Don


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Peter Hitchcock
Re: EX1720p-FCP-ProREZ- DVDSP QUALITY? Help!
on Jul 16, 2008 at 10:20:27 pm

Thanks Don. I brought it in using xdcamHD. I read it was better to have best quality first. However if its for SD I think I be rethinking my input settings. Maybe SDI in DVCPRO50.
I just called AJA as I have a AJA Kona3 and a ioLA
Suggested transferring to Betacam and back into FCP to encode using Episode pro. Better than a QuickTime down convert. Bitvice is good.
Peter


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Sverker Hahn
Re: EX1720p-FCP-ProREZ- DVDSP QUALITY? Help!
on Jul 20, 2008 at 4:01:54 pm

Hi Don,

I tried to follow you in the process of creating a DVD. But how do I create a sequence for PAL?

Settings for a sequence is to complicated for me. Frame size and pixel aspect ratio - what are correct settings for them. And should QuickTime video settings be XDCAM EX?

I think that editing in XDCAM EX och exporting directly to DV PAL in Compressor is OK, but if your method is better ...

TIA


Sverker Hahn, Stockholm

Slower is better!

Sony EX1
Final Cut Studio 2
iMac Intel
MacBook Pro 15"


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Don Greening
Re: EX1720p-FCP-ProREZ- DVDSP QUALITY? Help!
on Jul 20, 2008 at 7:20:38 pm

Hi Sverker,

Workflow 1

If you're editing just EX footage then just edit with the same FCP sequence settings as the clip settings. Within FCP hit "Cmd-M" for a new sequence. In the pop up window scroll down to the bottom for a list of all the EX codecs and choose the one that matches your clips. If, for example, you shot with the HQ 35 VBR 1080p 25 setting you would choose that sequence setting.

Once your sequence is created highlight the sequence window then go to: Sequence>Settings>Video Processing. At the top of the window change to: render all YUV material to high precision YUV. Change motion filtering quality to Best. In FCP 6 you can even set the program to render effects and transitions using Pro Res within the the EX timeline to speed up rendering time later. When you're done, render and export with your delivery codec using the "Export Using Quicktime Conversion" command.

Workflow 2

If you want to edit your EX footage in your delivery codec create a new sequence and choose that setting instead of the EX setting. For example if you're going to use DV PAL as your delivery codec then just choose the DV PAL Anamorphic sequence setting. Drag your EX footage in and when FCP asks if you want to change the sequence settings to match the clip settings just say no. You will probably be able to edit your EX footage in the DV PAL sequence in real time if you've set your playback settings to "Dynamic" although the picture will look a bit soft because FCP is lowering the picture quality instead of dropping frames. If your native EX footage was progressive make sure your timeline is also set to progressive. Check the field order of your clips as well as the sequence by going to the Browser window and looking in the Field Dominance column. You can change the settings in that column by right or control clicking and choosing: "none" for progressive. When you're done, render and export a DV PAL Anamorphic self-contained QT movie.

Workflow 3?

There are many ways to accomplish what you want in FCP. Your initial editing setup is determined by how you like to edit, and when you're used to editing a in certain way it means you're faster. There shouldn't be any appreciable difference in delivery quality between the two methods described above.

- Don





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Don Greening
Re: EX1720p-FCP-ProREZ- DVDSP QUALITY? Help!
on Jul 20, 2008 at 8:03:48 pm

[Don Greening] "If you're editing just EX footage then just edit with the same FCP sequence settings as the clip settings. Within FCP hit "Cmd-M" for a new sequence."

Sorry. "Cmd-N" for new sequence.

- Don



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