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DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow

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Ken Ramsauer
DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on May 12, 2018 at 6:23:08 pm

For years I have produced video using Final Cut Pro and then when it went to ver. 10 I had to jump ship as that was just a joke. Never looking back I went to Adobe and I was ok because I had Encore CS to make so-so final dvd's.

I have been chasing the ever so elusive sharpness and maximum time fairy and never seem to catch it. So many times after long renders the DVD DL would look a bit pixelated as I dumbed down my HD to SD camera footage. I shoot with simple 1080P Panasonics to SD cards, copy it to my main drive and open up Premier Pro CC or CS6 to start the editing with Encore chapter markers and 5" fade in and out titles (these are often dance videos for kids with 30-60 dances per show plus slide show and awards).

I have noticed recently that by not changing the incoming clips to match my chosen timeline of 720p 30fps and let it keep what it likes it seems to look sharper. In the end I shoot for the final 720p export as mentioned earlier but I render that in Encore CS to a DL DVD. I realize that I am not giving the best information but I need to get to a wedding to take photos today and for me its the end of the school year and the videos are happening very soon with very short deadlines.

So to get to the point I noticed that a local guy puts out a pretty good DVD (with 3.5 hours of show on a SINGLE LAYER DVD) that was apparently burned or even created / compressed with Roxio Toast. The files are identified with this info: Roxio Video Player Document and they are .vob files like mine in the final file to DVD respect.

I am looking at Sony Vegas and DVD Architecture but I am so used to my Adobe stuff that I really didn't to change. What he gets on a single layer it takes me a double layer to do and I never push more than 1.5 hours per single layer dvd equivalent. So I do my best to give what I thought was the best and here is a guy with some trick that works that I don't know about doing things for half of the amount of DVDs needed and with good sharpness and no interpolation lines that I can see.

Any suggestions? Thanks for reading this to the end! hahaha


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Alexander Kallas
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on May 15, 2018 at 7:26:15 am

Of course you remember that DVD is SD, so how are you converting from HD?

Cheers
Alexander


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Ken Ramsauer
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 20, 2018 at 11:45:53 pm

I put it into Premiere CS6 (only because I have Encore CS6 for DVD authoring) and keep it in its RAW state from the camera. That would be a .MTS file. When I am done editing I send it to Encore and have it prepare it for a 720P 16:9 Dual Layer DVD. I don't do interlaced and with the larger flat screens so common the old 4:5 ratio is not used so its best for me to give a solid image frame instead of a intelaced one. Also, with dance and stage movement the interlace images look bad for motion with the dark backgrounds.


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Tod Hopkins
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 12, 2018 at 4:59:08 pm

With DVDs, quality at every step matters a LOT. Sart with the basics. Better original gives better compression. Your competitor may be shooting 24fps, which conserves bandwidth and forces a "progressive" workflow. If you permit interlacing at any stage, you will get an inferior result. DVDs can be 30 progressive, but a lot of software will not keep the signal progressive at 30p. You have to be careful of your workflow.

Scale once, and very well. If you start progressive, your scaling will suck. If you scale your master, and then your DVD compression, that's two scales. Bad.

Grain is a problem. Avoid gain in your original. Motion and visual complexity will kill you. If you are panning around a lot and backgrounds are complex, you're making your compression work harder! Stay tight and minimize movement to simplify your image. Use more than one camera and edit static shots, rather than chasing the action.

Finally, not all compression is equal, especially MPEG2. Historically I don't love Apple Compressor (though I use it a lot!). But then, I don't like any MPEG2 compression on the Mac. My favorite is TMPEG, now Videoworks. That said, if you improve your original, any major compression app should give you a good result.

Dance photo/video is transitioning rapidly to files. You don't have the same quality issues there. 😉

Cheers,
tod

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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Alexander Kallas
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 12, 2018 at 10:52:54 pm

Tod,
May I ask, DVD is delivered on TV which is interlaced. If that is the target what is your workflow from 24p which of course is progressive. DVDs displayed on computers have gone via algorithms, that produce progressive images. Your
workflow?

Cheers
Alexander


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Tod Hopkins
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 13, 2018 at 12:29:56 pm

Actually, while many broadcast signals are still interlaced, this is legacy, and almost everything else is not. DVD players, LCD monitors, streaming, and video files are progressive by nature and most have been capable of pure progressive signals and playback for many years. While DVDs can carry 29.97i files, all feature films on DVD are actually encoded at 24fps. This is one of the big reasons that feature films look so much better at low bitrates.

If you connect a modern DVD or Blu-ray to a 24p capable monitor (and most are now) then the signal and display will likely be 24fps, unless you've changed defaults. If you connect to a 29.97i only monitor, the player adds 3:2 pulldown prior to output to create a 29.97i signal.

Unfortunately, it gets weird with 30fps because it can be either progressive or interlaced, and equipment frequently handles this badly. Most AV equipment was 24p compatible before it was 30p compatible. In fact, while you can encode a DVD at 30fps progressive, and I always do, Blu-ray cannot contain 30 progressive, only 24p or 30i. I'm still mad at Sony for that! Actually, I'm still mad about Blu-ray in general.

In theory, a 30 fps progressive signal should look perfectly progressive on screen even when doubled for interlace. In practice, poor signal conversion will often screw this up, adding interlace artifacts. This doesn't seem to happen with 24fps, presumably because there is no such thing as 24fps interlaced.

While I produce all my programs at 30p and have for years, but this is because I work with so much 30fps legacy material. For those who produce 100% original material, like you, it's very hard to argue for anything other than 24fps progressive.

Cheers,
tod

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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Ken Ramsauer
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 20, 2018 at 11:55:18 pm

Thank you for that information. I just got a newer iMac i7 4.0ghz with SSD drive. Not enough RAM yet (only 8gb) but I will order more. I try to keep it in RAW 1080p 60fps until it goes to Encore. That is where I tell it to bring it down to SD 16:9 720P 30f with a CBS of 9.0 and when I have time I let it check it twice with a VBS of 5-9 before converting. I don't mess with the GOP and I usually leave that as Adobe sent it. I do have the maximize on (I can say more when I get there again). My issue is that I just can't jump back to the dark side .... lol my expression for Windows. I have had too many issues in the past with hacking and stuff. I realize I need a dedicated one that is offline for ever once it works well. But, I am not familiar with transferring from Mac Premiere to a Win Authoring software and hopefully keeping the chapter markers. I will look at Videoworks. I have been hemming and hawing about putting Parallels back in with Win 10. I prefer the Win 7 but its harder to go back and also find good supported software for the older OS. I hope this sheds a little light on my work flow.


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Ken Ramsauer
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 21, 2018 at 12:51:55 am

So I am starting the first of many recital DL DVDs and here is what I normally do and any suggestions would be great!

If I click on a sequence to get the info is says this: AVCHD MPEG-2 Transport Stream and the name of this one is 00000.MTS. I shot "little Mary's dance" or "John's Kindergarten Graduation" this with a Panasonic AG-AC90PJ which is not that new or high tech or high quality but it works for my limited low end work. I am not a trained high end video guy and my clients just want to remember these moments in time at a low priced DVD.

My clients do not understand the tech side of what it takes to put anything decent on a single or dual layer DVD. I believe they expect the "Hollywood" sharpness and a 10 list of rolling credits of the people who made the video .. which is mostly me.

So I usually tell Premiere to start the video as a HD 720P 30fps with Maximum Render and Maximum something else when it first asks ... then I noticed that when I imported the video clip and dropped a section into the timeline I always get presented with "Clip Mismatch Warning" where it says to "Change sequence settings" or "Keep existing settings" and now I say "change it" as it appears to look better than the old days of "keep existing settings".

Maybe that is my first mistake but if you know video then you know you can waste a lot of time thinking you got it when you really don't. My clients want these 3.5 -4 hour shows put on a single DVD. Usually I provide two DL DVDs and say that this is the best I can give for the amount of time. But as I mentioned in the first original post ... I have a competitor that seems to be able to put a 3.5 hour video of the same type on a SINGLE LAYER DVD and it really doesn't look that bad. I watched on of the videos and noticed that it seemed to be tied in with a Roxio Toast label under the information on the video and more than likely it is done on a PC over Mac but I only use Mac. So I kind of need Mac answers. I own Toast Titanium 12.1 but now they are on version 16.0. I do not have any other DVD authoring software except for the latest CS6 Encore. I have access to all of the CS6 and CC stuff with the Adobe Subscription I have.

Now from this point only ... should I keep the original clip settings or should I use the 720P 30fps settings? I realize that this is one jump from 1080p to 720p and then it would be sent to Encore and dumbed down some more. Or should I just edit in 1080p and send it to Encore to o the 720p 30fps Dual Layer DVD with chapter markers.

I have no idea what to do with Toast if it makes good DVD authoring. I guess I can send a MPEG2 from Premiere but thats a rendering step right there and then again with Toast? Just a little lost here. I just want a miracle DVD with 4 hours of high quality ultra sharp video on a single layer DVD (actually Dual layer is fine as I ordered 600 of them).

Thank you for any advice


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Ken Ramsauer
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 21, 2018 at 2:38:31 am

So I decided to change the settings to match the incoming clips and this is what it picked:

ARRI Cinema
29.97
16:9
30fps Drop-Frame Timecode
Progressive Scan
Square Pixels (1.0)

Video Previews:
Preview File Format I-Frame Only MPEG
Codec MPEG I-Frame
1920x1080

I plan on checking Max Bit Depth and Max Render Quality now and then send it to Encore to convert it to SD 720P 30fps unless someone has a better idea. I have a feeling this is going to be larger than a DL DVD 8.5gb especially with menus and links to about 30 chapter markers.


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Ken Ramsauer
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 21, 2018 at 6:40:24 pm

Thank you for the most important information. I am going over it currently and will restart my project. I believe I have the camera setup to 720P 30 as that was what I was trying to preserve to bring down to the SD level later and I do keep the video in 16:9 as shot with no cropping or enlarging of the frame.

I am not sure if the default ARRI clip sequence settings is a accurate description of what my simple camera capture is based on what Premiere thinks. I will try to use the first CODEC (Quicktime ProRes 422) you recommended to see what happens but so far I do not find it in the sequence settings choices. My sequence choices are (maybe I need to install Premiere CC for more options?):

Arri
AVC-Intra
AVCHD
Canon XF MPEG2
Digital SLR
DV-NTSC
DVCPROHD
HDV (HDV 720P30)
RED R3D
and XDCAM EX, HD and HD422

I noticed that when exporting from Premiere as a MPEG2-DVD format with the Preset at "Match Source" it would take the SOURCE: Sequence 1920x1080 (1.0), 29.97 fps, Progressive and OUTPUT: a .m2v NTSC, 720x480, 29.97, Quality 4, Progressive VBR (Max 7 but I would raise that and usually I check the Max Render Quality) but it seems that it is becoming too many transitions already and I haven't even sent it to Encoder or Encore.

I did read on COW that exporting to a PNG, HD 1080p 29.97 would appear to be an ok close to lossless but I don't know if I am wasting my time with Chapter Markers now as Encore seems to be "create a precise" Chapter marker friendly.

I didn't install Encoder with this newer iMac and I realize now that your recommendation is to do that as part of the Premiere, Encoder, Encore work flow. Lately I had been going Premiere to Encore via the link option in Premiere and there I set the rendering, created the menus, did all of the linking and then burned the DL DVD master.

You mention you don't use Encoder and I use to have Final Cut Pro but when the went to FCP X I just laughed and moved to Premiere. What were they thinking? I guess its better now and if you advise using DVD Studio Pro I can try to get it even though I do not know if it is still available?

Thank you for your support. Do you recommend using Premiere CC (latest version that does not dynamic link to Encore) and Encoder CC to output a file that could then be put into Encore CS6? My Premiere will not Dynamic Link to Encoder but it does see Encore CS6.

I will see if I can get the sequence you recommended and update as things good or bad happen.


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Tod Hopkins
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 21, 2018 at 8:06:26 pm

Let Premiere set to the clip. It appears you are shooting 1080p30 AVCHD. That makes sense. The only sequence settings which matter to your quality are the frame size and frame rate. The rest simply help with editing but don't affect your output.

Output from Premiere to a 1080p30 master. If you are adding any titles or effects, change your output format to a better codec. That is NOT AVCHD. That is not a good master format. Since you are on Mac, I suggest outputting to Quicktime Apple ProRes 422.

Now drop this into Encoder and use Encoder's "DVD" preset. Adjust your bitrate as high as you can keeping the file size under the DVD capacity. Make sure you are set to MPEG audio.

As I mentioned, you could SHOOT at 720p. That is not a DVD resolution. DVD resolution is 480p. This might improve your result and it would certainly reduce your overhead, but never convert anything to 720p. If you shoot at 720p, then your edit is 720p, and your master output is 720p.

As for how someone gets 3.5 hours on a single layer DVD video, I have no idea. Movie studios can't so that. What he might be doing is putting an MPEG4 file on a DVD disc. That's very different.

Cheers,
tod

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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Ken Ramsauer
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 21, 2018 at 9:53:18 pm

Great advice as usual. I was humored (for lack of a better not really happy expression) to see my "save to desktop" .png test ended up making over 5,000 individual files. That was fun to cleanup. I did turn anything iCloud related off.

I will let Premier keep the settings as it sees fit for the timeline. I am trying to export an 8 minute clip test but under Export Settings>Quicktime>there is no codec you mention. If I use the Export Settings>Match Sequence it says it will be a .mpeg 1920x1080, 29.97, Progressive, Quality 50, Render Max Depth and I have no adjustments over this in the video settings. It sounds like what your talking about but I am not positive.

Also, you mention Premiere to Encoder but no mention of Premiere, Encoder to Encore for the final DVD burning. Maybe I am not getting it but is Encoder strictly a final file format with better encoding and then go to Encore for the final DVD burn?

I wish I could post screenshots to make this easier with your advice. I don't want to waste your time with endless information that is not relevant. Thank you for being persistent and quick with the responses. I will now try to open Premiere CC to see if it offers me an Apple Pro Res export.


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Robert Withers
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 21, 2018 at 5:16:43 pm

Enlightening info from Todd Hopkins. I didn't know DVD could hold 480p -- I thought it was interlaced only. I understand NTSC uses rectangular pixels -- square pixels are for digital display only. But I could be wrong.
Hollywood films and some TV productions get that super-sharp, bright look with high-end large-sensor (or film) cameras, expensive lenses. elaborate lighting, and a crew of DP, camera operator, assistant camera, focus puller, and others laboring over each shot, one shot at a time. Then elaborate color correction. That's why the images hold up so well on DVD.
Most NLEs offer an option to export to a standard DVD-type source file, or they used to.
But it won't look like a commercial feature unless you shot it that way.
Good luck!

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Ken Ramsauer
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 21, 2018 at 6:47:54 pm

Your correct on the amount of people it takes to do it correctly. I used to be a stills photographer and special actor for the movie studio here. I worked lighting in theater and I am still a full time photographer who dabbles in dance and graduation videos for DVD only. In my area, no one wants to pay for USB drives, BluRay is a stranger to most and how do you really market online video and keep it from being not too difficult and overly shared. I wish I could afford copyright protection. I just got off of the phone with a of all things ... grand mother who said she would get the dvd and copy it for family ... wow the new generation of grandmothers is getting more tech savvy ... what can I say ... I am a grandfather as well. One day someone is going to get my DVD and ask ... "what do I do with this? and how does it work?" lol... I guess thats when its time to throw in the towel. Still haven't got this workflow down. Working on it right now.


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Tod Hopkins
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 21, 2018 at 7:51:48 pm

A standard DVD Video can contain only standard definition video, but the specification includes a few variations because it was the first digital standard when NTSC was still analog. The original assumption was the DVD players would only OUTPUT NTSC, but the specification allows for some variants in the digital elements. The player is required to do the conversion from digital file, to analog output.

So the question is what digital formats will a DVD player recognize, and properly convert, for output. In fact, there are two different answers. 1) what formats is it required to recognize and output according to the spec, and 2) What formats have manufacturers chosen to recognize and output voluntarily.

Because the movie industry needed the space, the DVD spec included 24fps progressive storage, requiring the player to be capable of converting the 24p to 29.97i by adding 3:2 pulldown, on the fly, prior to output. It also allowed for 30p because that conversion is so bloody simple. The output signal is interlaced, but the "input" file is not. Therefore the resulting image looks progressive, even on an interlaced TV.

Side note. I'm still mad that Sony did NOT include 30p in the Blu-ray spec. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

The movie industry required 24p because otherwise, you would not be able to put a full feature film on a single disc. This 24fps storage is the single biggest reason that DVD movies look so much better than your interlaced video. Progressive compresses MUCH better than interlaced and 24fps requires 20% less storage for the same length.

Modern DVD players in the digital era have added many capabilities not part of the spec requirements. For instance, they have added digital progressive output so that now, you can watch that 24p movie at true 24p on your 24p capable monitor. This is not a required feature of the DVD video spec but it is almost universal now.

Don't confuse any of this with the square/non-square pixel issue. Unrelated .

Cheers,
tod

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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Tod Hopkins
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 21, 2018 at 12:17:42 pm

No easy answers, but there appear to be significant problems with your workflow. To oversimply, you have two goals. First, to eliminate any interlacing from your path. The second, to eliminate any unnecessary conversion.

Start with the camera. What format are you actually shooting. "MTS" is just the "wrapper" and does not indicate quality. I would recommend 1080p29.97 at the highest quality (lowest compression) the camera shoots. Unfortunately, you may not have the storage for this in long form. As I mentioned, if your ONLY goal was the best, most efficient DVD, then 1080p24 is ideal, but for many reasons, I am not a fan of 24p, especially for active subjects.

You must pay special attention to the "p" in 1080p. Just because a camera is described as 1080p doesn't mean that's what you are shooting. In fact, it's unlikely the camera defaults to 1080p. It likely defaults to 1080i ("i" for interlaced). Also, your camera may not be "full raster" 1080p. Cheaper cameras cheat this. You get a 1080p recording, but the camera can't actually give you full 1080p quality. If your only goal is DVD or file-based playback, you may be better off shooting 720p30 (not 60) to conserve space. I hate to recommend this, but the extra storage needed for 1080p may not be helping your quality at all.

Now assuming you shoot at 1080p, (insert 720p if that's what you do) any editing you do should also be at 1080p using either the camera codec, or a higher quality codec. If you are adding titles and effects, I would argue for a higher quality edit codec, such as Quicktime ProRes 422, DNxHD, or Cineform. The codec does not actually matter until you output. If you render directly from the timeline, then there is no intermediate codec at all. I cannot recommend this though, as it is generally bad practice for professionals for a lot of reasons. Output your master to one of the professional codecs above.

Now the DVD. There is no such thing as a true 720p DVD. Only Bluray can be HD. A standard DVD is NTSC only, 480i or 480p. You want to go from 1080p master to DVD elementary streams. Output a master at 1080p. Then use Encoder to make your DVD elementary streams. There is a preset for this, but you want to control it. It's going to take a bit of negotiating to set your bitrate as high as possible without going over the DVD size limit. Your audio should be MPEG, not PCM. Frankly, I don't use Encoder because Encoder can't make an AC3 audio track which is a far better choice, but MPEG will do.

Now author these elementary streams using Encore. Make sure Encore is not recompressing. This may be tricky, especially if you've made the files too big. You'll need to review the automated settings. I can't help much here because I use DVD Studio Pro and dislike Encore.

There are many tutorials for this, but the keys are to eliminate interlacing from your workflow, and scale/compress only once, directly to your DVD elementary streams. You also need to do the math for bitrate so you use the highest bitrates possible while still fitting on the disc.

Cheers,
tod

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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Ken Ramsauer
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 21, 2018 at 7:35:36 pm

I am trying to make a export test to a .png for sending to Encoder but 8 minutes says it will take 3 hrs 20 min ... Really? Something is amiss. I only have 8gb RAM, 4.0 i7 with 2Tb fusion drive. The Activity Monitor says that 47% of the CPU is idle. This is a newly reformatted system with Adobe only on it. RAM use seems to be about 50% too. My problem is I can't tell what is now on iCloud or on the physical hard drive. It seems even my desktop is cloud based. I hate this new tech. I probably didn't understand when I set it up unless someone knows something that I don't. I may have to revert to my older iMac 2013 i7.


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Ken Ramsauer
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 22, 2018 at 1:59:26 am

So I made a MPEG2 1920x1080 and 8min long which ended up being 1.9gb and plays with Quicktime BUT ... I try to put it into Encoder and it will not work. It says "Error while decompressing the source file". Wow ... really? What next? Apparently I am having no luck going from CS6 Export to the desktop and from the desktop file to Encoder. I guess I will try something else.


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Tod Hopkins
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 22, 2018 at 12:50:54 pm

MPEG is not an appropriate mastering codec. Unfortunately, I don't know CS6. I never used it. If you give me the list of Quicktime options I can suggest one.

The reason for the suggested workflow -- Premiere > Encoder > Encore -- is control. This is workflow in CS. Adobe is hiding it from you -- automating it. Premiere is the editor. Encoder is the compression tool. Encore is the DVD authoring tool. When you output from Premiere, Premiere uses the Encoder engine to do this. When Encore compresses, it also uses the Encoder engine.

Skipping steps is convenient, but it hides the technical decision making from you. What's important is not the particular software path, but how you control the technical parameters the software uses. The qualitative difference between using Roxio or Compressor or Squeeze or Encoder for your DVD compression is minimal. Optimizing the technical steps is the key. The biggest difference between these tools is the control they do or don't provide.

It's possible you can make your DVD elementary files directly from Premiere and skip the intermediate master, if you can control the settings and get a good result. You can try exporting directly to DVD video elementary files using Premiere's export preset, assuming there is one in CS6. You can even try linking your sequence directly to Encore, if CS6 can do this.

cheers,
tod

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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Ken Ramsauer
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 22, 2018 at 9:24:48 pm

Thank you Tod. I am currently making the edits in Premiere then opening Encoder to fetch the timeline form Premiere. When I get that I uncheck the video and concentrate on making the audio file smaller. It averages about 1.1gb of audio and after I render it to a .mpa (mpeg audio) I put it into the Encore timeline and then go back to see how much wiggle room I have with the video rendering. Since the audio is usually less than 200mb I focus on the quality of the image. I realize that a CBR of 9 is not the way to go (based on internet readings) so I do a DVD MPEG2 720x480P 29.97 Quality 100 and VBR of (first was 4/7/9) and now I am doing a 7/8/9 for S&G's.

After that I will take the better M2V and put it in the Encoder timeline. As it stands the video I was told would be long ended up much less than a 4.7gb on the first go around and now I have it possibly up to 6.7gb with the higher VBR test.

My bigger worry is sharpness. I am now switching to Premiere CC 2018 and I still have Encore CS6 with the lost library files added for the final output. In the past I used to use Unsharp Mask at around 100/1.5/0 or so. I know there are many ways to fine tune the setting but I recently saw the Premiere CC 2018 had a Sharpen in the Color tab (it looked ok at about 30) Is it really a mistake to use that Sharpen? I don't know yet.

I will say that even with 8gb RAM this newer iMac is rendering fairly fast with only 56% of the CPU being used. I also ordered two 16gb RAM sticks so I will have the iMac up to 40gb of RAM and I also ordered a 500gb SSD & SATA to USB 3.0 cable to use for the scratch disk. Maybe its even faster to have two of those so one holds the original data, one is the scratch / work disk and the stock 2tb fusion drive (which I thought had a 256gb SSD and somewhere I read it was only 128gb SSD and then 2tb slow spinning drive). I didn't realize at the time the difference between USB 3.0 and 3.1 ... to quote Leonard Nemoy ... "fascinating". AND I CANT BELIEVE there is no firewire on this... only two thunder drive video outputs.

Even though I only do SD work for the moment, the render speed for the video seems to be about a 1:1 ratio or maybe less.


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Tod Hopkins
Re: DVD burn out ... I need a better work flow
on Jun 24, 2018 at 10:18:27 pm

CBR 9 is a fine way to go in theory and if you have the room. It is effectively the maximum bitrate for DVD. The problems with CBR9 are that you may not have the room and in most compressors, the VBR compressor simply works better than the CBR compressor. As a result, 5/7.5/9 sometimes looks better than 9CBR. You might guess that I use 5/7.5/9 for DVDs.

I rarely use sharpness (or unsharp) except on a "bad" shot. Frankly, it's as a photo filter that is generally inappropriate for motion.

There are many tricks people promote that have an immediate impact but are bad practice when used routinely -- sharpness, over-cranked color, crushed blacks -- these should be used sparingly if at all. The immediate impact, when compared to the original, and while you are focused on that particular characteristic, will appear to improve the picture. But the overall impact on quality and aesthetics, in the long run, is not worth it. Sharpness, for instance, is literally adding noise to your image that creates the illusion that the image is sharper. It "feels" sharper. But, you've added noise, and noise is hard to compress. You've also added a subtle "harshness" to your program which, overall, may be degrading the experience.

When going from HD to SD, everyone sees "soft," but often, it's just SD. We are so used to HD now we've forgotten how bad SD is by contrast. Frankly, even HD is not good enough for me anymore because I work with 4k. Of course, if the content is good enough, I don't really care. 😉

Most of your sharpness comes from (a) focus, and (b) contrast. Most people don't realize that contrast is the biggest factor in perceived sharpness. Try this some time. Take a hazy shot, say dancers with smoke on the stage or a fog scenic. Now just ramp up the contrast and watch the haze vanish. Looks sharper, but you didn't change focus at all.

Cheers,
tod

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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