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Mastering Video for DVD Authoring

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Mastering Video for DVD Authoring
on Mar 13, 2006 at 5:55:08 am

Hi all;

I posted this in the Vegas forum, but no replies; thought I would try my luck here...

I'm in the final phases of post and color-correction for a movie I'm editing (called "What is INDIE?") and I wanted to get some information on making sure that my video will conform to proper tech specs. I'm a total n00b at this, but am a pro audio editor, and have managed to transfer my audio skills quite well (I think) to the video editing world (check out the trailer at )

That being said, I am editing DV footage using Vegas 6. We will be authoring the DVD using DVD architect 3. Here are my questions:

1) what is the "proper" widescreen ratio? I know it's probably 16:9. but when I use that ratio, I get some bleed thru of certain tracks on the top and bottom edges. When I use the "Academy aspect" ratio (1.89:1 I think) all is well. Is this ratio ok to use?

2) what is the proper procedure for rendering a non-letterboxed widescreen version of the film? For the previews/ dailies I am just rendering a letterboxed 3:4 version. I have read some Vegas instructions that say to render it thusly as DV, then re-render to MPEG using your final ratio and telling it not to letterbox. I would rather avoid this recompression step and render directly to DVD-A compliant MPEG2 for authoring (especially since we are using red titles). Can I do this?

3) what is the proper plugin and preset to use for titles/ graphics etc to "clamp (?)" the whites and blacks? Should I use this plugin on my camera footage tracks as well? (the final medium is DVD, but it may go to theatres and tv eventually)

4) what is the proper audio range for the dialogue? For the music? Should I be normalizing all the way to 0dB? I assisted some post at Technicolor and most of thte dialog was around -9 to -12, with transition music and SFX being slightly louder.

5) what about encoding my MPEG for DVD-A at 24p? Can I burn a DVD for playback at 24 frames per sec? (the originial footage is standard 29.97)

6) If I use any "film look" plugins, such as Magic Bullet or Sony's Film Grain, are there any issues (besides render time!) I should be aware of?

7) if I want to set up my other networked computer to help with the render, do I need all the same plugins installed on both computers?


Lots of questions! Any help grrrreatly appreciated.



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David Roth Weiss
Re: Mastering Video for DVD Authoring
on Mar 13, 2006 at 6:04:10 pm


I hate to say it, but you've been reading way too much. You're turning your first simple DVD creation into a really big production. Keep in mind, this isn't your last DVD, its your first.

Encode your MPEG2 at 16x9 anamorphic. That will create a DVD that will play 16x9 on widescreen TV and 4x3 on SD TVs. Now, make your DVD and then look at on a TV. If you see something you don't like, and you don't know how to fix that, then come back and ask.


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