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QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring

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Tom Laughlin
QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 22, 2010 at 9:56:54 pm

Ok, I know there are a ton of forums debating this back and forth, but thought I'd start just one more repeating the same question about:

Is it better to
a.) Export your video out of FCP using QT, saving it as an "8-but uncompressed 4:2:2, then letting it be dropped into DVDSP to do the encoding (or)
b.) Exporting out of FCP, using Compressor, dropping a DVD Best Quality preset onto it and hitting "Submit".

Is there a significant quality hit from either, or a noticeably better quality doing it the other way, or any other way not mentioned, such as Export as a "Self-Contained" then dropping it into DVDSP. This also means we have verified all the sized and framerates stay the same, as well as deinterlacing, anything other than that, it what I'm looking at.

Thanks,

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Michael Sacci
Re: QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 22, 2010 at 10:04:02 pm

there is zero debate about this on this forum, nobody recommends bringing in a QT movie to DVDSP.

Why 8-bit uncompressed? If you are working with ProRes you just throw away a ton of color information. If you are using ProRes, DVCProHD, DVCPro50 or other professional editing codecs, just export your timelines as self contained, current settings.

There could be a debate on the settings in Compressor, I never use presets and almost always use CBR encoding. But compressing is an art, you need to test, what looks good for well prepared source footage will not work for noisy DV footage that has no contrast.


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Tom Laughlin
Re: QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 22, 2010 at 10:35:31 pm

Larry Jordan talk about not exporting using Compressor, but using QT, as a self-contained, and letting DVDSP do the encoding, but others say it's no difference. I'm exporting EX-3 footage, and self-contained to DVDSP is better, than exporting through Compressor then?

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Tom Laughlin
Re: QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 22, 2010 at 10:39:06 pm

From a time-line exporting to 8bit uncompressed, then into DVDSP, I noticed better motion in the encoding by DVDSP, but exporting selfcontained, then to DVDSP, i noticed a ton of interlacing??

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Tom Laughlin
Re: QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 22, 2010 at 10:40:56 pm

What about batch exporting using FCP, QT to QT Custom, then using h.264 as the codec, then dropping those into DVDSP, would that cause 2 compressions to occur or would DVDSP not need to recompress the h24 .mov's.?

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Michael Sacci
Re: QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 22, 2010 at 10:57:59 pm

Search this forum on h264.

It should never be in your DVD workflow, never


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Noah Kadner
Re: H.264 never for DVDs.
on Apr 22, 2010 at 11:19:34 pm

One more time....



Noah

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eric pautsch
Re: H.264 never for DVDs.
on Apr 23, 2010 at 12:51:56 am

Who ever Larry Jordon is, he knows very little about DVD or DVDSP...LOL


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Tom Laughlin
Re: H.264 never for DVDs.
on Apr 23, 2010 at 8:32:03 pm

http://lafcpug.org/Tutorials/basic_export_files.html

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Tom Laughlin
Re: QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 23, 2010 at 8:27:21 pm

I talked to my Emmy-award winning editor friend John Crossman with Crossman Post in Sandy, Utah, and he said to output everything, everytime, as an 8-bit uncompressed QuickTime, then dropping that into DVDSP, so DVDSP will see the files, and make the compressions where needed, whereas Compressor may compress more than what quality you're looking for, so I'm making it a habit. I did some tests, and after seeing the exports from FCP to Self-Contained to DVDSP, FCP to Compressor to DVDSP, and FCP to QT-8bit to DVDSP, the best results were from FCP to QT-8bit to DVDSP in color, motion, movement, picture quality, clarity, and overall output.

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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eric pautsch
Re: QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 23, 2010 at 8:54:00 pm

Can people be stripped of their Emmys for giving out incredibly bad advice? Ha Ha

Michael gave you the correct advice a couple posts up but if you like the work dvdsp does then so be it.


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Tom Laughlin
Re: QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 23, 2010 at 9:09:23 pm

Michael said: "If you are working with ProRes you just throw away a ton of color information. If you are using ProRes, DVCProHD, DVCPro50 or other professional editing codecs, just export your timelines as self contained, current settings."

I saw the quality difference and it wasn't much, but the output to a QT uncompressed 8-bit to DVDSP was better quality, my source video on the time-line is 1440x1080 HDV 60i... ??



Do you think Larry Jordan is wrong in his tutorial as well?
http://lafcpug.org/Tutorials/basic_export_files.html

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Michael Sacci
Re: QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 23, 2010 at 9:31:15 pm

[Tom Laughlin] "1440x1080 HDV 60i..."
And is that any of the professional codecs I listed? NO

[Tom Laughlin] "Do you think Larry Jordan is wrong in his tutorial as well? "
In this case, YES, he is wrong.

BTW - I would never edit HDV, I would convert that to ProRes before I started the edit.

But if you are getting what you like that is all that matters.



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eric pautsch
Re: QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 24, 2010 at 9:22:53 am

Tom

Remember that Larry and John are not DVD authors or compressionist, they are editors. Be careful of the information you gather online and is another great reason why Creative Cow is such a great source of information.

When you drop a QT into DVDSP it uses Quicktime's MPEG 2 encoding engine (confirmed by an Apple engineer just last week). The same for iDVD. QT's encoding does a terrible job. Now this is only my opinion, but Compressor is just about the worst MPEG 2 encoder around. In fact, I would have lost several clients in the past if I hadn't made the decision to move on to something else. I've been using Cinemacraft's SP encoder ever since and wouldn't use anything else. There are over 50 encoders for DVD, use has many as you can till you find the right one that works for you. BitVice is a great Mac encoder as well. It comes with a tool called
Video Purifier which removes contaminating artifacts before the encoding pass.

I could easily pick out 3 encodes from DVDSP, Compressor and Cinemacraft - many clients could has well. I'm saying this because its important to test, test and test some more!! If you find a picky client who demands a better job then you'd better know how to get the best possible encode the first time based on your source so you can say with confidence "this is the best encode possible"

Down conversions are a big deal here as well. Since your working in HDV, the source needs to be a correctly downconverted 720x480 Anamorphic QT before you encode. Ive been using a free PC tool called AVISnyth for this kind of work and does a hell of a better job than Compressor.





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Tom Laughlin
Re: QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 26, 2010 at 2:36:47 pm

Eric, You and Michael, hands down, have given me pearls here, I'm very appreciative of all the you guys are doing in response to my questions. Just had a few more, if it's ok.

Are Cinemacraft and Bitvice both PC-based and Mac-based?

Eric wrote: Down conversions are a big deal here as well. Since your working in HDV, the source needs to be a correctly downconverted 720x480 Anamorphic QT before you encode. Ive been using a free PC tool called AVISnyth for this kind of work and does a hell of a better job than Compressor.

Eric, one of the things I've done is, when I get ready to export, if I need a QT movie of the time-line, instead of exporting "Self-Contained" (Same as Source), I make a down-conversion (the only way I know) which was shown to me by a friend, you export using "QT Conversion", and chose 720x486 (16x9), so is this a way of down-conversion that you're talking about?




Depending on the project, I export it out as either an h.264, or an Apple Pro Res, or save it out as an 8-bit uncompressed QT .mov file, with the size being 720x480 (16x9), so when Apple QT player opens it, the resolution is 853x480, so is this a proper down-conversion in the way you see it, technically-speaking? If you had this time-line, how would you preform a down-conversion to SD, maintaining the 16x9, it doesn't necessarily need to be 1920x1080p, or does it?

This is down-converting discussion before the encoding happens, in the past I've used Compressor to output the time-line straight to m2v and ac3 audio "Best Quality 90 min", then in DVDSP, I have to tell Compressor to make the video asset "Anamorphic", this is the only way I've done it in the past, so you know exactly how to answer me, I'm not saying this is the way "I" do it cause it's better, I'm just going into more of a detailed perspective for you to see what I am doing incorrectly on my end, and how I can look better alternative ways of down-converting and encoding with other work-flow suggestions you may have.

Thanks Eric,

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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eric pautsch
Re: QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 26, 2010 at 8:30:34 pm

Bitvice is Mac only and is very good. CC has always been PC in the past until last year when they released a FCP glug-in based on the same PC2/3 encoding engine. The good thing with Cinecraft is that it can do multi-pass VBR. I think it can go upwards of 99 passes. I went away for a weekend and left a 2 hour piece encoding with 20 passes...it was almost done when I returned Tuesday night and loved the result...4 days later!! Its expensive @ $1000 though. I believe the newer version on the PC side has segment based encoding which is really cool if you need to bring up the bitrates are a few sections.

No matter what I'm editing I will downconvert to a 8bit/or 10bit uncompressed 720x480 (Anamorphic if 16x9). You mentioned 720x486 - THESE ARE BROADCAST SPECS NOT DVD! DVD is always 720x480 so its important to crop 3 lines from the top and bottom to get the correct numbers if you happen to be editing for broadcast.



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Tom Laughlin
Re: QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 26, 2010 at 2:13:50 pm

Michael, thanks so much for the information, I consider myself a life-long student of media, always trying out new things, taking advice and learning from it, and always asking around. Thanks for you responses, they've been most helpful. With that, you mentioned something about converting it to Apple ProRes... When I import my EX-3 video that I've shot in SP mode, as a HDV 1440x1080p, 29.97, when I convert it using the Sony Conversion tool software, XDCAM Transfer, it converts it to HDV60i, are you suggesting to covert it to Apple Res through XDCAM Transfer or through FCP, I'm not sure I'm understanding the how to convert it to ApplePRoRess and why? Still new at all this in some ways.

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Tom Laughlin
Re: QT 8bit vs Compressor DVD preset for DVD Authoring
on Apr 26, 2010 at 4:42:04 pm

Has you tried the plug-in for Compressor for Cinema Craft? Or is it better to purchase and use a stand-alone, and if so, will it talk to FCP or how do you output it, as a QT then drag into CC? Which one would you prefer for serious DVD Mpeg-2 encoding or any SD DVD encoding for that matter?



Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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