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MXF to DVD workflow

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Marissa Gouverne
MXF to DVD workflow
on Mar 23, 2017 at 11:34:05 pm

Hey all,

I know that this question has been done to death but I'm at the end of my rope here. I have a finished film as an MXF, and I have Sorenson Squeeze, Compressor (whichever version came with FCP7), Avid MC 7, Toast 11 titanium, and the Creative Cloud suite at my disposal. This two and a half hour movie keeps coming out looking awful and I'm a little lost.

My initial plan totally failed, but here are the steps that I followed:
1. I got a QT ref out by AMA linking in avid and exporting same as source
2. Then threw that into Compressor, with the standard DVD BEST settings for 150 minute movie, and let it fly
3. When I got the mpeg-2 back, it looks pretty bad, and for some reason it came back as 29.97fps when the encoder settings on compressor were set to 23.97, which is what the original film was.

What's going on? Should I go the Sorenson Squeeze route instead? If so, then I'd need to import the finished MXF, right?

Thanks for all your help,
MG


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Shane Ross
Re: MXF to DVD workflow
on Mar 24, 2017 at 1:02:29 am

DVDs are standard definition...they will never look as good as the HD file does. And if you put the DVD into a player, and watch it on an HDTV, scaling is done to get it there...so depending on the device doing the scaling (the player or the TV), it can look good or bad.

Not sure why it's 29.97fps. And I don't think Squeeze makes the files that DVD STUDIO Pro uses to make a DVD. Or does it have a stand alone DVD creation option?

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Marissa Gouverne
Re: MXF to DVD workflow
on Mar 24, 2017 at 1:10:31 am

Oh sure, but even so it looked really terrible compared to other DVDs--noise all around the simple text and the like.

Squeeze doesn't, I don't think. Maybe I'm confused here as well, because I'm trying to use the Sorenson Squeeze option out of Avid, which I just ran a test on and apparently doesn't make an mpeg-2 file? Which means that toast would just reencode and that just puts me right back at square one...

I like toast a lot for authoring but I'm stuck at the encoding phase. Am I just out of luck here with the tools that I have?


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Shane Ross
Re: MXF to DVD workflow
on Mar 24, 2017 at 1:42:42 am

Dunno...I make decent DVDs with Compressor and DVD SP. What is your master again? MXF...but what? OP1a? XDCAM?

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Marissa Gouverne
Re: MXF to DVD workflow
on Mar 24, 2017 at 1:48:08 am

Well, when I AMA link the MXF file in Avid, the resolution says J2K 1080p 23.976--does that answer your question?

Do you just use the standard settings in compressor, or do you change the bitrate? I'm considering doing one more output and increasing the bitrate, but I'm wondering how that could blow up in my face...Do you know anything about bitrate limits or such?


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Shane Ross
Re: MXF to DVD workflow
on Mar 24, 2017 at 6:24:12 am

Hmmm... try this. Drop it onto the timeline, do a video mixdown to DNx145 or 175. Then export a ref Qt or Same as Source...and then try encoding that. Wonder if J2K is TOO high res. Not sure....just a thought.

Don't mess with the bit rate. That's a delicate thing. Mess with it without knowing what you are doing can result in an unplayable DVD. I don't touch it...I don't have a clue myself.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Pat Horridge
Re: MXF to DVD workflow
on Mar 24, 2017 at 9:39:57 am

2.5hrs of content on a single layer DVD will look awful. And conpressor isn't great for MPG encodes.
I'd sxale to SD and ensure the correct fps first. Then check that file. Then encode but I'd do it in parts over multuple disks. Don't go dual layer as compatability on the players sucks.

Pat Horridge
Broadcast & Post Consultant, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
Free online Tutorials at VET digital media academy online http://vimeo.com/channels/752951
pat@vet.co.uk



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Glenn Sakatch
Re: MXF to DVD workflow
on Mar 24, 2017 at 1:52:41 pm

Along with Pats comment...if you are putting 2.5 hours on a single layer disc, you are compressing more than twice what a "normal" dvd would do. (store bought dvds would be 1.5 to 2 hours on a dual layer disc)

I would try encoding towards a 4 gig file in one of those programs and see what it looks like first...that's basically your file restriction.
You also might want to look towards a blu ray burn instead.

Glenn


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Marissa Gouverne
Re: MXF to DVD workflow
on Mar 24, 2017 at 2:42:03 pm

You guys aren't kidding, the results haven't been getting much better. Unfortunately I'm also limited to using one DVD for the whole film--we do have 240 minute capacity DVDs, but that's a bit like adding whipped cream to a puddle of ice cream, isn't it.

I did another export with Compressor, thinking maybe that leaving the settings to the default was making it encode to 29.97fps, but changing the settings manually didn't help either, unfortunately. I have a feeling that's what's causing the noise. We're at the deadline, so the best copy I have is actually one that I made by exporting from Avid with the setting "Sorenson Squeeze-encode to DVD", and then letting Toast encode with custom settings where I increased the average bitrate to about 7mb/s (got your message after I had left the office, Shane!). It's still a not great, but it's definitely watchable.

I'm going to try more of your suggestions next time we need to burn off a DVD--thanks so much for everyone's input! I'll be sure to update if I find anything else out.


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