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How compliant are DVD authoring packages ?

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Stephen de Vere
How compliant are DVD authoring packages ?
on Feb 15, 2010 at 7:30:03 pm

If you were authoring a DVD or B-Ray for replication and general sale in shops and online would you use trust DVDStudioPro or equivalent, as opposed to Scenarist, to keep it within spec ?


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eric pautsch
Re: How compliant are DVD authoring packages ?
on Feb 15, 2010 at 8:24:56 pm

DVDSP is fine for this. There are thousands of DVDSP titles on store shelves. BD a different story. There are only 3 tool which allows you to author a discs for replication: Do Studio, SCenarist and Blu Print. Its highly advisable you find someone who knows what they are doing as well.



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Stephen de Vere
Re: How compliant are DVD authoring packages ?
on Feb 15, 2010 at 10:46:59 pm

Eric,

That's incredibly useful info to know thanks.

I have shot and cut (I was an asst film editor before cameraman) my doco and mixed the tracks with FCP myself. I seem to have run into trouble when I went to a post house to finish it and then another place for the encoding and authoring. Both 3rd parties produced problems. I may have been just unlucky, but I am now redoing the finishing myself and just have the DVD and encoding to re-do. Perhaps I should upgrade my FCP 4.5 and go all the way myself, using Studio Pro and Compressor.

It's only Compressor that worries me a bit now. I have to get the best quality without blowing the business model out of the water with costs.


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Andrius Simutis
Re: How compliant are DVD authoring packages ?
on Feb 17, 2010 at 2:58:27 am

Compressor can really fall apart on low bit rates, and getting a DVD9 master (that a replicator can use) out of Studio Pro can be a PITA.
If you have a little bit of money left in the budget I'd suggest getting the encode done by a professional or dropping the $695 for CCEMP aka Cinemacraft Encoder MP http://www.cinemacraftusa.com/
CCEMP works within Compressor, but gives dramatically better results, especially at low bit rates.



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Stephen de Vere
Re: How compliant are DVD authoring packages ?
on Feb 17, 2010 at 2:35:33 pm

Thanks Andrius,

Yes, I have been getting the encoding and authoring done by a pro (doing everything up to that point in FCP myself) rather than take any chances, but the place I chose, recommended by the replication house, was pretty rubbish and I'm trying to find another now, at the same time wondering if it would be less trouble in the long run to do it myself, especially now I've spent so much time reading up about it.

I looked at CCE MP but it would mean a major upgrade of OS and machine which I'm not keen to do right now.

I am looking for a place in England that can do more than just a one or two pass job - my job needs a few sections to get extra treatment. Not easy finding people with the skills these days - too many firms around that have expensive kit but not the operator who knows to use it effectively. I ring a firm and quickly discover I know more than them about it - or else they admit they would only be using Compressor or similar anyway.


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eric pautsch
Re: How compliant are DVD authoring packages ?
on Feb 17, 2010 at 5:29:42 pm

Heck Stephen

Give me a buzz. I'll be sure it's correct. Using Cinemacraft and Scenarist.

poweragemedia at yahoo



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Stephen de Vere
Re: How compliant are DVD authoring packages ?
on Feb 17, 2010 at 5:28:25 pm

Andrius,

Do you know if CCE MP can really deal effectively with a wide range of difficult sections ?

It seems not to have the segment re-encoding option (ie. a form of manual control) of a high end software (CCE SP, CineVision etc) so you would be relying entirely on it's adaptive mode to spot and fix the tricky bits without compromising the easy stuff.

I can't think of any piece of software that ever gets let loose on an entire film without a lot of hand guidance - for such a major and complex operation as removing most of the data !


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Andrius Simutis
Re: How compliant are DVD authoring packages ?
on Feb 18, 2010 at 8:36:52 pm

CCEMP and the other high end software encoders can do a multiple pass encode, up to 99 passes, so they get the opportunity to look at the footage over and over and make adjustments. A Cinemacraft rep was explaining to me that the encoder actually takes even more "looks" at the material in each pass, so a 5 pass encode is more like 20 IIRC. Once you get to know the encoder and how to run it you can get very good results with it.
I encode some particularly challenging footage on a regular basis and have been pretty impressed with the results when I've used CCEMP. Far better than anything done on the more expensive SD2000 hardware encoders, and much better than what compressor can give you with it's shabby MPEG2 engine and limit of 2 passes.
I agree that a lot of the studios aren't what they used to be. There are still some really good ones with talented and experienced people, but sadly the downward price pressure has forced a lot of them to move on.
I'm in the US, otherwise I'd offer to help you out with this. Unless you want to ship a small drive to me that is, then I could definitely take care of this for you.



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Stephen de Vere
Re: How compliant are DVD authoring packages ?
on Feb 19, 2010 at 1:38:03 pm

CCEMP does sound very cool for the price.

Andrius, Eric,

You've both been incredibly helpful - thank you. I am in contact with a studio in London now that have done some major DVD titles and it looks like I can afford them. Armed with your excellent knowledge I've been able to ask the pertinent questions and they've held up so far.

If it doesn't work out I'll get in touch - if I had a little more time and leaway with the schedule I would have taken you up on the offers, thanks. Maybe next time.


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