DVD quality videos - how to question
I have been trying for the past 3 years to find a standard for my dvd exports.
As you figured out by now, i failed miserably.
I run into different types of projects, different lengths, mostly PAL and SD.
I am curios about what you use for your dvd final product.
I usually end up with nosy video on my dvds.
They are usually 1h, 2h, 2,5h.
The bigger they are, the worse they look.
Usually, the bitrate never dorps below 2,5 mbits. Still, i have a lot of noise on my video.
How can i make my videos look great on dvd, both on TV and PC???
I tried to read off the internet some aspects, but they are hard to find, and very elaborate.
I use Premiere PRO cs4, sony dvd architect, dvdit, encore. My sources are pal videos from snoy dsr 170 and panasonic hvx200 cams. In premiere pro, they look ok, but exported into mpeg2dvd, and ajusted bitrate, so they can fit in a dvd, they look noisy and home-video-like.
And if we are on the subject, for them to look ok and not flicker on tv, i should make the video progressive? (the source beeing interlanced, like the camera shoots). If i leave it the default export settings, pictures start flickering, titles too.
My last project was 2h 15min and i exported it with 3mbits with mpeg audio, dvd multiplexed (only one .mpg file) and it was around 3,6 GB file size.
Added into my architect project, along with 2 picture compilations i ended up with almost 1GB over DVD size of 4,5GB. How do they do it that they can fit a full feature film of 1,8 hors add a bunch of extras, pictures, chapter menus, etc, on one simple DVD (no HD DVD, no DL, no BlueRay, a few years ago, these didn't exist), with high quality product. What compression do they use?
I understand that maybe their source might be film and we are talking about different processes there, but what about concerts and other event products?
I know these are secrets of the trade, yet i have no other place to learn them here, in school or on the field.
I want to make my work one of quality.
[Sebastian Plamadeala] "How do they do it that they can fit a full feature film of 1,8 hors add a bunch of extras, pictures, chapter menus, etc, on one simple DVD (no HD DVD, no DL, no BlueRay, a few years ago, these didn't exist), with high quality product. What compression do they use? "
Well, 1st, they are normally on DVD-9s (8.5GB), the encoders are systems that cost 10s of thousands of dollars. The source material is of the highest quality, The last 2 things are something you will never be able to match and most peoples budgets. But that does not mean that quality is beyond our control.
First you need source material that is well light, well color corrected with blacks down to zero and dynamic rate as wide as possible. If the source video is noisy the m2v video will be worse. Then you need to test encoding with what you have. Get a bitrate calc so you know how high of a bitrate you can use for a given project. Understand 2 hours is about the limit for high quality on a DVD-5 (DVD-R) and your audio needs to be encoded as ac3 @ .192 Mbps for stereo to give the most room for the video.
If you still are not getting the quality you need (and if your source material is high quality) then you need to look into stand alone encoders. I'm on a Mac so I really don't want to suggest what you should get because I don't use PC software.
Thank you for reading through my self-steamblowing post.
Thank you for your reply and the information you provided.
Yet what i don't get, is how the event videographers (not only weddings, but conferences, private party, even small concerts) have that special look and high quality dvd video compression, when they are filmed with a sony 170 or in the best case a sony 390 camcorder. I have yet to produce a small file size that remotely resembles the DV quality i see in my video editing software.
Do you color correct all your footage while viewing on an external monitor? This is the only to judge the quality of your video.
You are right you can get good results from Prosumer DV cameras, not hollywood level but good results.
More general things
If your DV footage is noisy, your DVD encodes will be noisier, m2v encoding doesn't do well with noise at all. If you are just looking at the computer screen when editing you are not looking at the real quality of the footage.
Footage that has been color corrected, Blacks lowered, mids raised, highlights within broadcast safe, it will compress better.
Always use ac3 audio instead of wav or PCM, that gives you 1.3 Mbps to go towards the video.
While m2v while never be as high quality as any editing codec there should not be that big of a drop.
You should be really specific about your workflow and settings and maybe someone that is using the same software as you can give you specific tips.
Thank you mr Sacci for your reply.
Indeed, i color correct my edit and i check it on my preview CRT tv screen. Yet, my clients usually view it on a pc, where as always, the quality of any material is lower then on a tv screen.
Again, the raw footage is noisy sometimes, because of low light, but the parts shot with sunlight are getting pixelated on even 5mbits bitrate.
My workflow is not special. I capture my footage through a sony m15 deck, import it in premiere pro cs4, do my edit, do my color correction, add some after effects compositions, and export it for dvd with adobe media encoder with mpeg2-dvd high quality pal settings, and i multiplex it of dvd, and select mpeg2 audio encoding usually at 256 kbits.
I do believe this subject, this discussion has been going on for a long time, in general, i mean, yet i tend to be a bit annoying with persisting on finding an answer for it, because i....crave for an answer. I want to give my clients quality work and not be like the majority of the companies in my country.