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What is the secret to achieving full screen video?

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Bill Anderson
What is the secret to achieving full screen video?
on Oct 19, 2011 at 7:12:40 pm

I have some 16:9 video files (avi) that display full-screen in Media
Player or any other player. But when I use Encore to create a menued DVD with them, the video displays with a big black space on all sides. I want the video to touch all sides of the screen, but I can't seem to
crack the code for achieving that -- at least not easily.

When I check the properties of the original files, I see that the frame
width is 624 and frame height is 352. But no kidding, these files
automatically display full screen and they look very nice.

But when I create a DVD, Encore "transcodes" the files, leaving me with
VOBs with properties of 720 x 480. An increase in size! But the
picture is now surrounded by black.

I'm guessing that the increase in video dimensions results from the addition of the black bars on all sides as part of the transcoding process? Could that be it?

So how do I prevent this from happening? All I want is to make the
picture fill the screen -- which it does before the transcoding process, and it doesn't look a bit fuzzy. Looks great, in fact.

Can somebody please explain to me what's going on, and how I might be
able to overcome the problem? Thanks.

While I'm waiting for a response, I'll continue to explore Encore
looking for a way to have it transcode to 624 x 352. I haven't found that yet, though. I HAVE found that if I open one of my original files in Premiere and drag the corners of the picture so that it fills the editing screen, the resulting file will be just what I'm looking for. Encore will create a DVD with the new, expanded video and the picture fills the 16:9 screen.

Is there a simpler way?


Bill Anderson


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Daniel Ludwig
Re: What is the secret to achieving full screen video?
on Oct 20, 2011 at 6:20:19 am

Bill,
before you do a trial and error, you should look at the DVD-specs.

it could handle:

720x576px (PAL) and 720x480px (NTSC). so you´ll be sticked to these picture-scales.

I would guess you´re trying to burn an DIVX AVI on a DVD, so your picture-scale is to small to fit the full screen.

that´s the reason why you could seen the black frames arround your video.

cheers

danny


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Bill Anderson
Re: What is the secret to achieving full screen video?
on Oct 20, 2011 at 12:57:55 pm

Thanks, Danny. I am making progress, but I'm still not quite there yet. I've discovered how to expand the image size in Premiere, and I've also discovered that I can export from Premiere directly into Encore. But so far I haven't figured out how to export multiple videos into one single Encore project. I can string the videos together in the Premiere timeline and export them as one long video in Encore, but that's not what I want. I want four individual files in Encore that I can attach to four individual links on my menu. Any ideas? I'm still plugging away at this, learning as I go. Thanks.


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Daniel Ludwig
Re: What is the secret to achieving full screen video?
on Oct 20, 2011 at 6:31:21 pm

Bill,
the (normal) way to go is to export your videos from encore as self-contained movie to your harddisc.

then you should transcode the videos using any encoder (like adobe media encoder) to H264-video and AC-3 dolby digital audio.

when the transcoding is finished you have to import these assets into encore to start authoring.

cheers

danny

NOTE: author do not use unencoded assets like MOV or AVI.

2nd NOTE: if you need to create a motion-menu for your BD, you should encode it to MPEG2HD, but this for menus only.


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Bill Anderson
Re: What is the secret to achieving full screen video?
on Oct 20, 2011 at 9:45:47 pm

Thanks, Danny. Now just to confirm: I should transcode my videos individually to H264-video and AC-3 dolby digital audio and then drop them into Encore and author from there? I'm asking for confirmation because in your second NOTE you mentioned BD. I'm authoring DVD, not BluRay.

I can see how this will work. I use Premiere to enlarge the picture in one transcoding process, and then I'll use Encore to incorporate the four video files I'm dealing with into a DVD build.

But I'm always looking for a shortcut. I'm wondering if somehow (all at once) I can open my four video files in Premiere and set them to be stretched to 720 x 480 video with H.264 video and AC-3 Dolby digital audio, and instead of creating individual files at that point, just use Adobe Dynamic Link to "send to Encore." I'm hoping my four video files can arrive in Encore either already transcoded for DVD by Premiere or ready to be transcoded by Encore. Basically I want my four videos to be prepared for Encore all in one step, and when that's done, I want to link the files to menu buttons and then build the DVD.

But in my experimenting I've found that Adobe Dynamic Link can send only one video file from Premiere to an Encore project. I can string all four of my videos together into one video on the Premiere timeline, but when I send that to Encore I don't know how to connect the four videos to their corresponding menu buttons. When they're strung together in Premiere, they show up in Encore only as a single entity.

So I guess the thing to do is to use Premiere to create four video files on my hard drive, and then separately incorporate those files into an Encore project. That will certainly work. I just fear I'll have to go through two long transcoding processes for each file.

So, you're saying that if I output my files as H.264 and AC-3, Encore won't have to go through a long transcoding process for them in order to create a DVD? I hope? Thanks.

Bill Anderson


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Daniel Ludwig
Re: What is the secret to achieving full screen video?
on Oct 21, 2011 at 4:48:35 am

Hi Bill,
oh - good you mentioned DVD instead of Blu-ray.

first of all:
if you going the DVD-way you need to transcode your video-files to MPEG2 (SD). H264 is used if your transcoding HD-clips for blu-ray.

there was a misunderstanding, I thought you would like to create a blu-ray.

anyway it doesn´t make any sence to transcode your videos to H264, because it´s not a part of the DVD-specs and they would be re-transcoded within encore a 2nd time.

the workflow that you need to do is nearly the same as you would do with blu-ray:

export your videos as self-contained movies to your harddisc, and start transcoding the clips using any transcoder (like adobe media encoder).

IMPORTANT: you need to do a bitbudgeting, that´s a calculation which bitrate you need to use to not overfill the disc with your content.

there are several free bitbudgeting-tools available (google is your friend ;) )

it doesn´t make sence to bring all your films into one single timeline and programm the disc with the 4 individual parts of it as long as you wont have a "play all"-button. in that case it would make sence, in all others it wont.

let´s start rocking....

cheers

danny


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Bill Anderson
Re: What is the secret to achieving full screen video?
on Oct 21, 2011 at 1:15:19 pm

OK, thanks for clarifying! I'll give this a try. Just fyi, I went ahead and used Premiere to transcode one of my clips while I slept last night -- to H.264, unfortunately -- and the result looks great. Premiere has given me a full 720x480 version of the clip. I'm sure it'll do the same thing with MPEG2.

Bill Anderson


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Jeff Pulera
Re: What is the secret to achieving full screen video?
on Oct 21, 2011 at 9:40:29 pm

Hi Bill,

From Premiere, use File > Export > Media to get to Adobe Media Encoder, then choose "MPEG-2 for DVD" format, and an appropriate preset, such as "NTSC High Quality", or "NTSC Widescreen High Quality".

Once you do that, don't play with all the settings - most should be left alone!

Under the VIDEO tab, Data rate is one you can adjust - don't go over 7 though, no matter how short the video. Use the formula 560/minutes=bitrate, but then round down a bit. For instance, 560/120=4.666, round to 4.5 and encode - it will fit! I prefer CBR encoding over VBR, that's up to you. For projects under 90 minutes, I see no benefit to VBR.

AME will export video as an .m2v and audio as a .wav file. Open a new DVD project in Encore, and use File > Import As > Timeline and multi-select the corresponding .m2v and .wav files.

Import each of the 4 video segments this way, as individual timelines, then you can design your menu buttons to play any of them individually, or you can create a Playlist, allowing you to create a button that will "play all". Use Help > Playlist to figure this out.

When you are ready to build your project, Encore will NOT transcode the video, since it is already the correct MPEG-2 format, but the .wav audio will be encoded to Dolby AC-3 on the disc.

Have fun

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Bill Anderson
Re: What is the secret to achieving full screen video?
on Oct 26, 2011 at 6:55:23 pm

Many thanks, Daniel and Jeff, for your very helpful advice. I needed to understand the logic of what was going on, and you've helped immeasurably with that. And in fact, I've succeeded in doing what I wanted to do. Here's what I did:

As Jeff advised, I used Premiere to encode (separately) all four videos with the picture stretched to 720x480. I chose the DVD standard for each, and the result for each was indeed a video file in .m2v format with an accompanying .wav audio file. Each transcoding process took about an hour, or slightly longer than the clip would have taken to play normally.

Then I copied an .m2v file and its .wav to Encore and attached the .m2v to the appropriate button on my pre-prepared menu. This generated a timeline in Encore, to which I dragged the .wav file. Using "preview" I determined that the audio and video were in sync, and then I did the same thing for the remaining three clips.

As Encore no longer needed to transcode the .m2v files, the entire process of generating a DVD .iso took maybe 20 minutes or less as Encore transcoded the .wav files. Very nice. Encore even warned me that the results would be too large to fit on one blank DVD-R, but unlike some authoring programs, Encore let me choose to ignore the problem and proceed.

As Encore had warned, the resulting .iso was almost 9 gigabytes in size, so I had to compress it to fit on a 4.7 gigabyte disc. Then I burned my DVD using Nero. I can't say the four videos now look as beautiful as they did before I began playing with them, but still the picture is quite acceptable. And ... finally ... they display full-screen.

This has been a great learning experience. Thanks and thanks agaom ... to both of you, Daniel and Jeff. I hope this record of my experience will be useful to others some day.


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Jeff Pulera
Re: What is the secret to achieving full screen video?
on Oct 26, 2011 at 7:38:15 pm

Hi Bill,

Glad I could assist. May I ask - how did you compress the 9GB image file?

If you would add up the total length of all video segments, and do the 560/minutes=datarate, everything should've have fit without recompression, which further degrades quality. That said, I wouldn't go much over 2 hours on a 4.7GB DVD.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Bill Anderson
Re: What is the secret to achieving full screen video?
on Oct 26, 2011 at 7:51:55 pm

Jeff, I used DVDFab to compress the DVD image. Each of my four clips is just under 48 minutes. I know I'm pushing the limits for compressing video, but the results really do look OK. Not great, but acceptable for my purposes.

Bill Anderson


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