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Problems with "Author once" workflow, can't transcode HDV to BD and DVD

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Problems with "Author once" workflow, can't transcode HDV to BD and DVD
on Oct 18, 2007 at 11:55:18 pm

Adobe claims that with Encore CS3 you can "author once, deliver to three formats" -- Blu-ray, DVD and Flash. I have been doing some research and testing, but have not been able to get it to work.

It seems as though Encore is not capable of taking HDV 1080i60 footage and transcoding it for both Blu-ray and DVD. The Blu-ray looks great, but the downconverted transcode for DVD is completely unusable.

Link to screen shot of HDV to DVD transcode. (Note: this is a frame at 100%, so the "comb teeth" really are that big.)

I have seen some pretty pathetic downconversions from HDV to DV resolution, but this is the most creatively useless one I've come across so far.

I have been able to use Dynamic Link to get an almost acceptable "author once" workflow from HDV footage. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a way to get Encore or After Effects to render fields for the DVD transcode, so fast-moving graphic elements and text have jerky/strobing motion.

FYI, I got Dynamic Link working well for non-fast clips by doing the following:
Make sure that "Separate Fields" was set to "Upper" in "Interpret Footage" for the HDV clip.
Set the clip's frame blending mode to "Frame Mix" ("Pixel Motion" works, just take longer).
Enable Frame Blending for the comp.
(Enable Motion Blur for the comp if any layers are using Motion Blur).

If only there were a button to enable field rendering for the comp along with Frame Blending and Motion Blur, as both of those options directly affect how the Dynamic Link renders/transcodes in Encore.

I noticed that without Frame Blending enabled for both the clip and the comp, the motion in the transcode was very jerky, even though the clip had not been time stretched/remapped.

Does anyone know of some way to get the mythical "author once" workflow to work? Perhaps it's only for progressive workflows and not interlaced? Could this be a Mac-related problem (I have not been able to test on Windows)?

I know I can downconvert first, then import into Encore, and that does work fine, but that completely negates the wonderful concept of "author once".

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

-Joel Granholm

Encore CS3
After Effects CS3
Premiere Pro CS3 3.0.1
Final Cut Studio 2
Mac OS X 10.4.10
Mac Pro 8-core, 8 GB RAM / MacBook Pro 17" 2-core, 4 GB RAM
Shooting/editing in HDV 1080i60

Trying to create:
BD: NTSC, 1440x1080, 29.97i (upper field first), H.264.
DVD: NTSC, 16:9 Aspect Ratio, 29.97i (lower field first), MPEG2

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Kevin Monahan
Re: Problems with "Author once" workflow, can't transcode HDV to BD and DVD
on Mar 11, 2008 at 5:19:23 pm

I am trying to figure out why Encore needs to transcode the HDV file to begin with for BluRay.
My mov file should not requre re transcoding since HDV is already MPEG 2 to begin with but
I have not been able to figure out why it wants to transcode or what files I can bring in to Encore so that it will not transcode.

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