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getting the best quality DVD from FCP movie - slightly urgent

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sam100
getting the best quality DVD from FCP movie - slightly urgent
on Oct 8, 2007 at 8:52:50 am

Hello, I'm an artist and using FCP for a short loop video that I intend to show on a plasm screen running from a DVD player. The piece looks great as a QT movie, but my efforts to get it onto DVD are a bit scratchy - the result is garish and fuzzy. A bit depressing really.

The piece was made initially in imovie using stills and transitions, exported to QT which was then imported into FCP for more advanced tweaking. I'm now exporting using Compressor (I have FTP 5.1), using "DVD Best Quality, 90 mins, 4:3, MPeg2. I changed my preset to 'PAL', average bit rate - 7, max 8.6m frame rate 25 (resultant movie is 196 megs). I then burnt to DVD using Toast (which I notice on this Forum is not much loved).

I'm new to time-based media, so it maybe something very obvious, or is this as good as it gets......?

My show is opening Wednesday (10th October...i.e. 2 days time), if anyone can help.

Thanks

Sam



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Craig Seeman
Re: getting the best quality DVD from FCP movie - slightly urgent
on Oct 8, 2007 at 11:09:52 am

I can only guess that you've compressed this multiple times given your workflow.

To be blunt honest I don't think you'll learn how to do this correctly in two days with a workflow like that.

My suggestion. After editing in iMovie simply send it to iDVD and set quality to Best.

You don't mention your source codec (DV, HDV, ?) but unless you export out of iMovie in the source codec, you've compressed the video. You may well have compressed it again exporting out of FCP. You've compressed it again using Compressor and then compressed it again using Toast (which is a FINE app if you know how to use it).

Solutions
1) as I mention above, after editing in iMovie export to iDVD
2) Edit your entire project in FCP only and then export self contained and compress in iDVD
3) If you compress in Compressor then design the DVD in DVDStudioPro
4) If you don't use solution 1 I suggest you hire someone who knows what they're doing to do this.

You may be able to learn how to do this correctly in a few days but not in time to get this project done IMHO.


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sam100
Re: getting the best quality DVD from FCP movie - slightly urgent
on Oct 8, 2007 at 11:42:42 am

Thank you Craig for taking the time to be so thorough and helpful. Point taken about skill versus time, and yes, there was a lot of compression going on! My source from iMovie was.dv, I exported full quality into QT, then into FCP, and back again in to QT (no sound). However on my laptop screen, and when projected large (4 foot plus) via a data projector, there seems to be no ill effect. It is only when it goes onto a DVD that I notice degradation (slight on my laptop screen), more obvious via a dvd player to TV, hence my suspicion re the DVD transfer process. I doubt you can add more to what you have already stated - I will contitnue to persevere... no sleep til Wednesday... Sam


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Craig Seeman
Re: getting the best quality DVD from FCP movie - slightly urgent
on Oct 8, 2007 at 12:14:17 pm

q[sam100] " exported full quality into QT"
Depending on how you interpret "full quality" you may have done a compression to
h.264 .mov. You want to keep it as DV .mov.

If you're encoding to DVD your best judge is TV, not laptop screen where video may be scaled up or down and hide artifacts.

If you compressed in Compressor, Toast is compressing again. Toast will handle TS folders with VOB in them without further compression but you're not going to get that out of Comressor. DVD Studio Pro can build TS folders for you but if all this is beyone you, you aren't going to learn this and get it done in two days (although you could with a good tutorial, some human help, learn the basics in not much more time).

iDVD is designed for just this situation. You can take your full size full quality edited DV .mov and drop it into iDVD and design the menu and what you'll get will look good if you set quality to Best (the settings and quality are slightly different between iDVD 06 and iDVD 08).


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sam100
Re: getting the best quality DVD from FCP movie - slightly urgent
on Oct 8, 2007 at 1:05:04 pm

thanks, yes you are right about the final viewing outcome, I am going to try running my movie straight from laptop to plasma screen using the RS232 connection. I am seeking help re Dvd Studio Pro as the next prong in my attack. I cannot use iDVD because I need the video to be put in and play straight away, and then loop continuously. I'll let you know how I get on... my resolution may help others... Sam


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Craig Seeman
Re: getting the best quality DVD from FCP movie - slightly urgent
on Oct 8, 2007 at 8:00:32 pm

You can do an auto start DVD in iDVD but I don't think you can do a loop though.

DVDStudioPro can compress the file for you. It's using the same engine as Compressor (although with less tweaks). Try importing the dv .mov file straight in DVDStudio Pro and build and encode in that.

Check the COW DVDStudioPro forum to double check how to autio and loop. I suspect that might be simple enough to do and make your deadline.


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sam100
Re: getting the best quality DVD from FCP movie - slightly urgent
on Oct 9, 2007 at 3:41:07 pm

Thanks for all your great input. It has been very useful. Today I had a quick tutorial in DVD Studio Pro (which should come with the FCP 5.1 package I'm told) and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to burn the sort of project I am doing. The quality is better and I had more control over my final outcome (I am burning as we speak). If it's of help to others that might read this thread, I used Compressor to output from FCP (MPeg2) and then formatted, built and burned in Studio Pro. I now have the discs I need for the show opening in London tomorrow. Wish me luck.... and thanks again.... Sam


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sam100
Re: getting the best quality DVD from FCP movie - slightly urgent
on Oct 9, 2007 at 3:45:08 pm

ps.... it looks great on a large plasma now. almost as good as the laptop screen.


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Craig Seeman
Re: getting the best quality DVD from FCP movie - slightly urgent
on Oct 9, 2007 at 4:02:04 pm

Good to hear. People are often intimidated by DVD Studio Pro because it's very powerful. It can also do simple things too though.


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Le Coyote
Re: getting the best quality DVD from FCP movie - slightly urgent
on Dec 13, 2007 at 4:37:06 am

[Craig Seeman] "If you compressed in Compressor, Toast is compressing again. Toast will handle TS folders with VOB in them without further compression but you're not going to get that out of Comressor."

You can feed a m2v + aiff or ac3 directly into Toast. It will not recompress, it will only multiplex it and burn.

Btw, in my experience Compressor always had horrible quality. Bitvice is quite expensive and slow but will get you the best quality out there.


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