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Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD

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Greg Ball
Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 10, 2009 at 12:25:10 am

I just still don't get this. I have a video shot on EX1 1080i60. Ken stone and many folks here say to edit this in FCP on an EX1 timeline then create a DV sequence and drop the EX1 sequence into it to output to compressor and DVDSP.

My end use is for a client to show it on a 50" plasma at a trade show. They are using an upconverting DVD player. Why would I use a DV sequence? Why not just go from the EX1 timeline right to compressor? Why not an 8 bit or 10 bit uncompressed timeline?

The second question I have is when I try to just export the EX1 sequence (2 minutes) by reference it takes forever. Why? It's just a reference file!

Lastly once I've got the QT file, Compressor tells me it will take 49 hours to batch export as a m2v file!
Again we're talking a 2 minute video clip here. Any help would be appreciated




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Terry Mikkelsen
Re: Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 10, 2009 at 1:26:51 am

I've done some comparison shots on my own in regards to HDV (not EX1), but I think that it still may apply. My shots are mostly sports related, so this is high action footage. When going from an HDV timeline to DV and then to Compressor for DVD, I dislike the overall effect (softness). This is a personal point of view and other may find it more pleasing. However, the other big reason I stick with HDV only is TIME. If I change timelines, I need to render/compress to DV and then I need to compress to DVD. I don't have time to do two compressions, especially for such a small difference in the two methods. I also need to output for web (2 different versions).

So, if you stay in the native timeline when you export out a "reference movie", cuts only portions of the timeline will not need rendered. Any part with composites and effects will require rendering, even for a reference movie.

If your QT to DVD is taking a long time it is the frame controls which are usually the culprit. Setting them to best is a sure fire way to get long, long compression times. If you have a DV timeline, your frame controls should be off. You are already at size and frame rate that is needed.

Tech-T Productions
http://www.technical-t.com


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Greg Ball
Re: Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 10, 2009 at 3:44:16 pm

Terry, do frame controls matter when going from my EX1 timeline to m2v?



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Terry Mikkelsen
Re: Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 10, 2009 at 4:09:54 pm

"Terry, do frame controls matter when going from my EX1 timeline to m2v?"

Yes, because I believe your EX1 timeline is 1440 x 1080 or 1920 x 1080 and your m2v is 720 x 540. Also, if you don't have your interlacing set to same as source, frame controls are going to kick in. I'm not bashing frame controls though. They are VERY good when used correctly. Usually, I find it best to use the "fastest" settings first and see if it produces acceptable quality. Then you can push it further if needed, with the penalty of increased render times. Of course, do this with small samples, not your entire video. You don't want to have to wait 3 days to find out it looks like crap.

Tech-T Productions
http://www.technical-t.com


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Chris Babbitt
Re: Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 10, 2009 at 2:57:11 am

Greg,

If this were my client, here's what I would do:

I would convince him to invest $100 in a Western Digital WDTV & a portable USB hard drive. That way, they can show it in full HD. The WDTV also allows them to loop the video. All you need to do is take your reference movie into Compressor and make an M2t file (Mp2-transport stream) and drop that onto the hard drive. I use this unit for trade shows myself. It's a dream, and it will look 100x better than SD on that 50" screen.



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Noah Kadner
Re: Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 10, 2009 at 6:22:32 am

I wouldn't ever bring DV into the equation, but for whatever reason some folks like to do that and/or go to H.264 first. Your instinct is correct- going directly to Compressor is the best way to preserve your image quality. I actually go to Uncompressed or to ProRes first. That way you spend a little less time tying up FCP by doing a transcode *and* a downconvert at the same time. You can do one or both in FCP going out the door and then complete the MPEG-2 encode only in Compressor.

Noah

Check out My My FCP Blog and my new RED Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook,
DVD Studio Pro and How to Light Interviews.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Greg Ball
Re: Noah Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 10, 2009 at 4:17:19 pm

Noah, I created a self contained uncompressed QT of my 17 minute program. However when I drop this into compressor, compressor tells me it's going to take 49 hours to compress this file!

Can you walk me through the settings I should be using in FCP and compressor to make this DVD?

I'm editing in an EX1 timeline and rendering in prores 422.

My quicktime file indicates that the file is 1920 X 1080
Codec: XDCAM EX 1080i 60

Thanks very much for your help Noah.



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Noah Kadner
Re: Noah Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 10, 2009 at 7:10:53 pm

Export from your timeline into ProRes HQ at 720x480 16:9. Then drop that into Compressor for an SD DVD. Do the downconvert and transcode first in FCP and then Compressor just has to make the SD MPEG-2 file. Compression time depends on your system proc speed too btw. But 49 hours sounds way off. 17 minutes should take no more than an hour or less all in.

Noah

Check out My My FCP Blog and my new RED Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook,
DVD Studio Pro and How to Light Interviews.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Greg Ball
Re: Noah Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 10, 2009 at 8:24:59 pm

Noah,

I'm not quite sure what you mean by exporting into Pro Res. Are you saying to create a new sequence with these settings?

Frame Size: 720 X 480 NTSC DV(3:2
pixel Aspect ratio : NTSC-CCIR 601 /DV (720X480)
Field Dominance (none) or should it be top or bottom?

QT Settings:
Compressor Apple ProRes 422 HQ

Also would the advanced settings be Interlaced? Bottom field first or top field first?

Lastly when you bring this file into compressor and do 90 minute best quality, do you use frame controls?

What do you set field dominance to? What do you set output fields to?

I really appreciate your help here. Thanks much.






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Terry Mikkelsen
Re: Noah Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 10, 2009 at 8:57:03 pm

Setup some 30 second shots and see what floats your boat. Plus you can extrapolate your time invested to your entire piece and see if its worth the image you are getting.

Tech-T Productions
http://www.technical-t.com


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Greg Ball
Re:Terry
on Feb 10, 2009 at 11:56:14 pm

I've been doing this for a month with no optimum set-up. Where ever I post I get different answers. It's not a matter of what "floats my boat", there must be a specific workflow SOMEBODY uses to get good results. Lots of people are shooting on EX1 and outputting Standard DVDs.

While I appreciate your response and respect your opinion, I'm hoping for more precise and complete advice. Thanks Terry


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Sverker Hahn
Re: Noah Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 14, 2009 at 1:07:32 pm

Hi, Noah,

After using many other workflows, I used yours: export to ProRes HQ DV-PAL 16:9 -> Compressor DVD Best Quality 90 min.

Fast and a good result - I will stick to this workflow.

But ...

... earlier I have used "Sharpen edges" filter in Compessor with improved result. So I tested that filter here too, and could find a slightly sharper result at settings 5 and 8. Noise was also more pronounced, but changes were really subtle, probaby not possible to detect when clips are not compared in a sequence..

Do you ever use this filter?



Sverker Hahn, Stockholm

Slower is better!

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


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Chris Babbitt
Re: Noah Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 14, 2009 at 7:38:23 pm

If your project is under an hour in length, there is no need to use "Best Quality" which is a 2-pass variable bit-rate. In this instance, you will save both time and quality by choosing "Fastest" and selecting "Single-Pass with a high constant bit-rate. I choose 7.5. This way, the entire piece is encoded at the highest bit-rate instead of dipping to a lower bit-rate for certain passages, and it takes about half the time.



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Greg Ball
Re:Chris Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 10, 2009 at 3:46:29 pm

Thanks Chris,

I've seen a unit advertised that does this, but the client wants to send out DVDs as well as play it in trade shows, so I'm trying to create the best DVD for both purposes.



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Mick Haensler
Re: Re:Chris Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 10, 2009 at 8:34:59 pm

Noah

If you could go through the EXACT workflow I think it might be more helpful. For instance, you don't say whether to export using Quicktime or Quicktime Conversion. Also, there is no Prores 422 HQ 720X480 16:9 codec listed anywhere. You can use Quicktime Conversion and set the size to 720X480 and choose Prores 422 HQ 16:9, but this is more than just choosing a codec. This also opens up a whole new world of possibilities which were not explained in your post. Such as Frame Rate, should I check the Interlace box and if so, Upper or Lower, Should I check Deinterlace Source in the Size window. As a lot of us have found out, one little mistake in the workflow can mean a great looking SD DVD or trash. Thanks in advance.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


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Greg Ball
Re: Mike Thanks
on Feb 10, 2009 at 8:56:37 pm

Hi Mike, I seem to remember you were working on a similar project. How did it turn out? What settings did you use?

I think it would be great of Noah would create a tutorial video to walk through the steps.



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Mick Haensler
Re: Mike Thanks
on Feb 10, 2009 at 9:10:34 pm

The project turned out good, but I was using the aforementioned DV sequence workflow that Noah doesn't like. I think it could have been better. Bottom line, the client was happy. Once I have a handle on Noah's workflow I'm going to do a side by side and see if there is a difference.




Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


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Noah Kadner
Re: Re:Chris Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 11, 2009 at 4:45:36 am

[Mick Haensler] "Noah

If you could go through the EXACT workflow I think it might be more helpful. For instance, you don't say whether to export using Quicktime or Quicktime Conversion. Also, there is no Prores 422 HQ 720X480 16:9 codec listed anywhere. You can use Quicktime Conversion and set the size to 720X480 and choose Prores 422 HQ 16:9, but this is more than just choosing a codec. This also opens up a whole new world of possibilities which were not explained in your post. Such as Frame Rate, should I check the Interlace box and if so, Upper or Lower, Should I check Deinterlace Source in the Size window. As a lot of us have found out, one little mistake in the workflow can mean a great looking SD DVD or trash. Thanks in advance.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media"


You don't need to make a new sequence at all- in fact this will add extra work resizing and stuff. Just export with QuickTime Conversion to ProRes HQ, 16:9 24p, none fields(it shouldn't even be an option- and I'm assuming you edited 24p timeline from the camera).

That's pretty much it. When that's done drop that clip into Compressor and go to 16:9/24p MPEG-2 at the highest bitrate for the length of program (below 7.9 Mbps).

Or you could just grab my DVD and I show you how to do it step by step. :)

-Noah

Check out My My FCP Blog and my new RED Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook,
DVD Studio Pro and How to Light Interviews.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Mick Haensler
Re: Re:Chris Logic of exporting to DV for output to DVD
on Feb 11, 2009 at 1:51:11 pm

Hey Noah

I figured it out. I just did a side by side comparison with a project I did using "the other" method and I have to say it looks better. Not mind blowing better, but noticeably so. I think I do need to get your DVD. I've been limping along for a year now and really need to start diving deeper. BTW, thanks for all the free help here on the Cow.



Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


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Greg Ball
Re: Mike-Workflow.
on Feb 11, 2009 at 7:08:10 pm

Mike,

What did you figure out? What did you do? I'm assuming you used Noah's quicktime conversion suggestion Did you use check interlaced or not? What compressor settings did you use? Can you at least detail your work flow? What's the end use of your video? Wide screen Plasma?


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Mick Haensler
Re: Mike-Workflow.
on Feb 11, 2009 at 8:08:35 pm

Workflow was actually pretty simple but did take a while. My project was 1080 30P so I didn't de interlace. I made a Prorez HQ 780X420 MOV file. A nine minute piece took about an hour to render. In Compressor a used the 90 minute DVD best quality preset. After that rendered out I dropped that into DVDSP and made a SD DVD. The end user on this one is across the board. I compared both DVD's on an old tube TV, my theory on that is, if it looks good there, it will look good anywhere. Hope that helps. Let me know if you need more info, or you can order Noah's DVD.




Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


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Greg Ball
Finally!!!!!
on Feb 12, 2009 at 1:35:28 am

Thanks to all of you I finally have a good looking SD DVD from the EX1!
Special Thanks to Noah, Chris and Mike.
Noah, I don't own the camera but I'm starting to edit the footage. If I buy the camera, I will definately buy your DVD! Thanks again.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Finally!!!!!
on Feb 12, 2009 at 3:01:26 pm

Yeah sorry about that- I should have clarified- you never, ever use the deinterlace filter. Wish they would take that out of FCP entirely as it's a source of so many problems.

Noah

Check out My My FCP Blog and my new RED Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook,
DVD Studio Pro and How to Light Interviews.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Tom Parke
Re: Finally!!!!!
on Feb 12, 2009 at 4:44:32 pm

This is an excellent thread! I am one that does have your disc, Noah, but I want to add one more question: I am editing a show that has some footage captured on an Z1, for backup and different angles. What would be the recommend place to bring this in? I am thinking I can bring in the 1080i60 HDV footage to the 1080p30 timeline, but not sure if this would work the best, i.e., be the most efficient and provide the best quality.

Tom Parke
ProScan DP

Tom Parke
ProScan DP


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Noah Kadner
Re: Finally!!!!!
on Feb 12, 2009 at 10:18:02 pm

I'd start a new thread for that one...

Noah

Check out My My FCP Blog and my new RED Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook,
DVD Studio Pro and How to Light Interviews.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Chris Babbitt
Re: Finally!!!!!
on Feb 12, 2009 at 5:19:19 pm

If I have an XDCAM project that needs to go to SD-DVD now, but I want to archive the project for later Blu-Ray or other HD application, is there any benefit to exporting to Prores, or should I just export a self-contained native XDCAM Quicktime file?



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Noah Kadner
Re: Finally!!!!!
on Feb 12, 2009 at 10:17:25 pm

[Chris Babbitt] "If I have an XDCAM project that needs to go to SD-DVD now, but I want to archive the project for later Blu-Ray or other HD application, is there any benefit to exporting to Prores, or should I just export a self-contained native XDCAM Quicktime file?"

I'd go to ProRes- otherwise you're compressing the image down twice- once in camera, once in FCP. Quality would take a major hit vs. having a nice ProRes master. That's as close as you can get to uncompressed while still being relatively small file size.

Noah

Check out My My FCP Blog and my new RED Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook,
DVD Studio Pro and How to Light Interviews.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Rafael Amador
Re: Finally!!!!!
on Feb 15, 2009 at 3:41:08 am

As usual I'm late but I want to say,
- To go to DV is almost a crime. Go to DV only when you will print to DV. Even the original DV footage should be rendered with a better codec.

- Many people believe that DV and MPEG-2 are basically the same because both are 420, but the way those two formats sample the Chroma (co-sited/interstitial) make them completely different.

- Greg asked if is important the "Frame control". The Frame Control is critical in any process where you have to deal with resizing, fields order or Time Base changes. You don't need to set it for a simple transcode, but the FC manual states that Compressor only works in 10b when the Frame Control is ON.
Happy Sunday:-)
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Kevyn Bashore
Re: Finally!!!!!
on Dec 25, 2010 at 2:43:18 am

Great post. I've been having problems for years with exporting and never really understood why my footage that looked great in the original--looked so degraded by the end. This thread, and others, are helping me understand how blind I've been to my workflow deficits. I'll be purchasing your DVDs...

Kevyn


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