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Preparing old DVD PAL footage for import into 1080i50 Avid MC project timeline

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Lennart Meyfeld
Preparing old DVD PAL footage for import into 1080i50 Avid MC project timeline
on May 3, 2018 at 1:35:43 pm
Last Edited By Lennart Meyfeld on May 3, 2018 at 4:22:38 pm

One of the top job requirements of my new position as a film editing assistent here is to always prevent any additional unnessecary transcoding steps in the chain as much as possible to keep the workflow as discret and close to original footage pixel order as possible. But I have still issues with understanding AVID terms and what it does in the background when it comes to getting footage on the timeline.

Now I am scared to prepare DVD extracted VOB files (only source sadly) for implementation as historical footage in a documentary edited on AVID (1080i50) because I would like to minimize the transcoding to only 1 step. The holy question is how? Importing? In this case the VOB files need to be preprared in a way that AVID accepts them for import or linking. This could cause 2 transcoding steps in summary, which I would like to prevent.

VOB files can be renamed to .mpeg files and then can be put in new containers via ffmpeg or raw2bmx (BBC dnxhd tool) but I still had no luck to prevent AVID transcoding them (importing ,linking and transcoding). And importing always transcodes them, even if I try to match the footage to the project format and codecs settings in the first step.

Since I saw some real archive footage experts (like Shane) here a lot of times when reading Creative Cow, I thought it would be a good idea to ask here around if someone has some thoughts or ideas for me to try out.

Thanks in advance and greetings from Berlin, Germany.


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Shane Ross
Re: Preparing old DVD PAL footage for import into 1080i50 Avid MC project timeline
on May 3, 2018 at 4:41:23 pm

My advice...because you are converting an SD DVD to HD (both interlaced, so that's good)...and you want it to look GOOD....then you need to have it upconverted to HD before bringing it into Avid. Run it through a Terranex to scale it up (out of the DVD player, into the Terranex, then into the Avid)...that way you only convert once. Or, if you can't do it, go to a post facility that can upscale and capture as DNxHD 1080i50. Via Terranex or Alchemist.

Any scaling or transcoding using Avid will offer less appealing results.

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


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Dennis Kutchera
Re: Preparing old DVD PAL footage for import into 1080i50 Avid MC project timeline
on May 5, 2018 at 2:43:06 am

Another possibility for you is to copy the VOB files into a folder named the same as the DVD and (brace yourself), open those VOBs in an Adobe Premiere project. Premiere will play the files natively. I don't know any other editor that can do this. You can combined them into the entire DVD and edit them as required. Then export from there with Media Encoder to DNxHD or HR for Avid MC.

You can also use the free MPEG Streamclip app to convert the DVD to your choice of codec. I found that some DVDs created by DVD recorders are better processed in MPEG Streamclip. Get it here: http://www.squared5.com/

Dennis Kutchera
Online Editor / Colourist
Halifax - Toronto


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Shane Ross
Re: Preparing old DVD PAL footage for import into 1080i50 Avid MC project timeline
on May 5, 2018 at 5:03:18 am

[Dennis Kutchera] "Then export from there with Media Encoder to DNxHD or HR for Avid MC. "

The scaling engine in Premiere is decent, but not optimal. After Effects is better. Hardware upconverting even better. This solution is only one I'd use if I didn't have the budget for hardware, and didn't have After Effects.

[Dennis Kutchera] "You can also use the free MPEG Streamclip app to convert the DVD to your choice of codec."

Sorry, but this is one of the worse options for scaling footage to HD. It does a very bad job of scaling. Converting to other formats, fine...DVD to DV or other SD format...fine, but scaling to HD? No...it rated the worse on all of my tests.

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


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