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HD Motion Menu to SD DVD (Workflow help needed - FCP-DVDSP-AE)

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Craig Mechler
HD Motion Menu to SD DVD (Workflow help needed - FCP-DVDSP-AE)
on Jan 16, 2009 at 9:34:32 pm

Hey guys,

This is my first post here, seems to be the best place to get help around the net.

I've been using After Effects with a -temporary- SD .mov that the client supplied to serve as the background for this certain menu. I created the text and layout for the menu using this file in AE, and had good results.


Now it's time to finish up the project, and the client has sent me the Full-Res Final Version of the motion background. The problem is: the file is not an SD .mov anymore, it's now an HD file, and I gotta figure out a way to compress it to SD, without losing quality, so it matches my old layout in AE.

Specs of the file supplied:
Type: Quicktime .mov
Frame size: 1440x1080
compressor: XDCam HD 1080i60 (35Mb/s VBR)

So what I have right now is the file in FCP and I'm trying to figure out where I go from there. Do I make a Animation QT? M2V? Remember I'm trying to bring this file into an SD After Effects Project..

So to summarize: I don't know if I'm degrading his HD file too much if I'm compressing it to SD for after effects, THEN compressing it for the menu AGAIN. Should I be bringing the Raw HD file into AE and re-design the text? HD to SD is the death of me.

Any ideas on how I could organize this workflow would be great, preferably without having to Re-Design my menu's text elements in After Effects.. I hope this makes sense. Please be as descriptive as possible for what file types I should use to bring into AE, and also how I should output FROM AE to DVDSP!

Quality is killing me right now!



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Jon Geddes
Re: HD Motion Menu to SD DVD (Workflow help needed - FCP-DVDSP-AE)
on Jan 17, 2009 at 6:21:32 pm

I recommend bringing the HD file directly into After Effects, and using scale to make it the same size as the SD video background. So import it, drag it into your composition right above the old video background layer, hit 's' to bring up scale, scale it down to around 45%. Then copy over any effects you had applied to the old background video, and delete the old one. After Effects does a good job of scaling, I wouldn't recommend allowing any other program to do it. You could then Render out as Quicktime Movie, maybe Animation codec (file size might be large, but its pretty close to lossless), then let DVDSP encode to mpeg2.

Jon Geddes
Motion Graphics Designer

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