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Building Blu-rays with custom menus Mac

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Clayton Zook
Building Blu-rays with custom menus Mac
on Jan 3, 2010 at 7:16:16 am

(If you don't need the build up feel free to skip to the end for the actual question)
__________

Been looking through the boards for an answer and cant seem to find anywhere on any board....

I see that Compressor 3.5 will encode either MPEG2 or H264 for blu-ray burning.
I also see that it will burn a BD (with the ability to add template menus and mildly customize those templates)....but wait I want more!

The set up:
My current bd solution is (using FCS (v1/?'06? ..with FCPv5) Adobe CS3 and Toast 9 ...I'm on a MacPro, I shoot JVC 110s = 720p).
To get a BD with custom menus with current software, I have to actually edit in PP, encode to EN, where I build disc menus, then burn disc image from EN, take disc image to Toast and burn the disc with Toast. whew! I've tried editing a project in FCP, export via QT movie to EN...jaggies and motion blur introduced (even exporting the "full res" file - HDV - first to PP then to EN...that gets to be a LOT of tras/en coding! I've tried all kinds of ways, frame rates etc..no avail. If you have a fix I'd love to hear it, otherwise I've given up on this option.
So with editing in FCP, I have to import the "full res" file to Toast which means I have the choice of Toast's AWFUL menu templates. (no hate, at least I get a clean burn, just'd like to customize!)

With this in mind, I HATE HATE HATE using PP (at least on Mac, at least CS3) PP older versions have been good to me on PC...so again not hating (other than the color correcting engine) ;)

...anyway, so because of this, I've been looking to upgrade to the new FCS (v3/'09 with FCP v7 and with Comp. 3.5) using Comp 3.5 to encode MPEG2 files that I will presumably be able to use in EN (with no jaggies or blur) to create menus, to burn image, to use in Toast....
__________

So now the actual question:
Has anyone done this successfully? (as in edit HDV/AIC in FCP7, Compress in 3.5 to blu-ray (preferably MPEG2 because EN CS3 on Mac likes it better...but if it works with H264 I'm game), import that Compressor file to EN CS3 to create custom menus on the disc) If that far works I know the Toast part will.

Please please if you have done anything close to this let me know and how it worked out.
I don't want any menu templates, the 3.5 temps will NOT help me any unless I can customize à la EN/DVDSP. If I'm stuck with temps, I may as well continue to burn in Toast and save my $$$ :)

Your thoughts appreciated!


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walter biscardi
Re: Building Blu-rays with custom menus Mac
on Jan 3, 2010 at 2:22:05 pm

[Clayton Zook] "I've tried editing a project in FCP, export via QT movie to EN...jaggies and motion blur introduced (even exporting the "full res" file"

You make the MPEG-2 file in Compressor before going to Encore. Don't send a QT movie to Encore.

[Clayton Zook] "Has anyone done this successfully? (as in edit HDV/AIC in FCP7, Compress in 3.5 to blu-ray (preferably MPEG2 because EN CS3 on Mac likes it better...but if it works with H264 I'm game), import that Compressor file to EN CS3 to create custom menus on the disc) If that far works I know the Toast part will."

Go look at my blog and see how successful I was in creating custom menus in Encore. Simply Play button menus only worked fine. Once I tried to do custom menus in Encore, it blew up every time. CS3 and CS4 which is funny because Adobe wrote to me to tell me they fixed all the problems from CS3. Nope.

We use NetBlender DoStudio which only runs on Windows here for our BluRay projects now. I purchased an HP Workstation specifically to run this software because unlike Encore, it actually works every time.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" now in Post.

Creative Cow Forum Host:
Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, Apple Color, AJA Kona, Business & Marketing, Maxx Digital.

Blog!

Twitter!


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Clayton Zook
Re: Building Blu-rays with custom menus Mac
on Jan 3, 2010 at 10:59:51 pm

Thanks Walter for the quick response! A couple of follow ups if I may

"You make the MPEG-2 file in Compressor before going to Encore. Don't send a QT movie to Encore."

I have tried taking the QT file to PP first letting PP encode the MPEG-2 and send it to EN from there, still the jaggy problems.
I've not actually ever imported an MPEG-2 from FCS to EN, but I take it this is possible, but where you run into menu building issues.

My one problem with doing MPEG-2 from FCS to EN, in my current version of FCS (v1), is that I can't make an MPEG-2 that is of max bit rate. My highest available setting is 29mb/s, Blu-ray allows 40, correct? So on projects where I have the space, most of the time, I want to max out that bit rate to use the space I have available to me on the disc.

So does Compressor 3.5 allow for encoding greater than 29mb/s? perhaps is what I should have asked as well.

Also to further clarify you are/were having trouble with the MPEG-2 file from FCP/Compressor in EN?
It is with the MPEG-2 that you are running into the problems with not being able to create proper menus?
Do you have problems creating (more) fully fleshed menus in EN with other files besides MPEG-2s from FCS (say what about an MPEG-2 from PP? or another file type from FCS)?
EN seems to work fine for me building disc menus (at least with MPEG-2s encoded by PP, as I said I've not tried from FCS), I just can't burn to my burner with it (need Toast for that step)...

Also now that I'm reading it again, I have actually read your blog before (on the Encore issue, through 08 post)! Adobe needs some serious Mac help.


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walter biscardi
Re: Building Blu-rays with custom menus Mac
on Jan 4, 2010 at 3:37:48 am

[Clayton Zook] "My one problem with doing MPEG-2 from FCS to EN, in my current version of FCS (v1), is that I can't make an MPEG-2 that is of max bit rate. My highest available setting is 29mb/s, Blu-ray allows 40, correct? So on projects where I have the space, most of the time, I want to max out that bit rate to use the space I have available to me on the disc."

We have been making BluRay MPEG-2 files cloes to 40mb/s almost 3 years now using Compressor. You never want to hit 40 though. You have to create custom settings to maximize the throughput.

We have never experienced "jaggies" with any of our BluRay discs created this way. All the quality appears equal to the original HD timeline.


[Clayton Zook] "
So does Compressor 3.5 allow for encoding greater than 29mb/s? perhaps is what I should have asked as well."


It's allowed greater than 29mb/s for almost three years now.



[Clayton Zook] "Also to further clarify you are/were having trouble with the MPEG-2 file from FCP/Compressor in EN?"

Nope, the files were fine. The authoring in Encore sucked.


[Clayton Zook] "It is with the MPEG-2 that you are running into the problems with not being able to create proper menus?"

Nope, tried it with H.264 too. Files didn't matter. Encore crashing during building, saying I was running Encore for Windows on a Mac and a myriad of other completely stupid issues were the problem. In a word, Encore is crap for BluRay disc in my experience.

We also used Toast for any BluRay disc created in Encore as it would never, and I mean NEVER burn a project directly to disc without crashing and burning.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" now in Post.

Creative Cow Forum Host:
Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, Apple Color, AJA Kona, Business & Marketing, Maxx Digital.

Blog!

Twitter!


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Clayton Zook
Re: Building Blu-rays with custom menus Mac
on Jan 4, 2010 at 3:58:02 am

Walter,

That clears up my original questions. Just for kicks -

"It's allowed greater than 29mb/s for almost three years now."

I'm guessing that means that they started that with Compressor 3. I have version 2 of Compressor. When I go to customize bit rate for MPEG-2 the slider for average and max are 2-29 and 5-29. That's what I get for working on old software. But glad to hear if I upgrade I'll be good.


That's cool, clears up what I was after. Appreciate the help!


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Building Blu-rays with custom menus Mac
on Jan 4, 2010 at 1:30:10 am

Best bet for you is Walter's setup for full blown BR post-production. At the cheaper levels, there simply is no elegant solution, such as DVDSP is for DVD quite yet. As Walter says, Adobe tools are not reliable. You don't appear to like the templates at all in Toast. You can check out my templates if you want more choices for templates - there are 60 of them with more coming out.

You can design your own templates. To change the font, color and sizes, you'll have to know some basics with Apple Quartz Composer. There is documentation online to do just this. The only minus is that audio is not supported on the menus for this version of Final Cut Studio.

Kevin Monahan
60 Blu-ray Templates for Final Cut Studio 2009
http://www.fcpworld.com
Author - Motion Graphics and Effects in Final Cut Pro


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Clayton Zook
Re: Building Blu-rays with custom menus Mac
on Jan 4, 2010 at 4:10:33 am

Kevin,

Thanks for the link! Unfortunately my clients need DVDs of anything I do in BD as well...to keep things uniform I need more full control than templates most of the time. Yours look good though! I'll have to check out quartz.

I don't need an entirely elegant solution, most importnant is a cheap one and one that works, right now. Walter's (from his blog) doesn't really cover cheap!

I've been happy with the BDRs I made when I edited in Premier -> Encore menu build -> Toast burn...I just can't keep editing in Premier (yuck). If I can switch PP with FCP and use my workflow otherwise I'll be happy. That's the cheapest option! I'll check out exporting MPEG-2 via Compressor and see where that leads me.

Thanks guys for the help!


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Building Blu-rays with custom menus Mac
on Jan 5, 2010 at 5:42:02 pm

Believe you can send an XML to PP. Have you looked into that?

Kevin Monahan
60 Blu-ray Templates for Final Cut Studio 2009
http://www.fcpworld.com
Author - Motion Graphics and Effects in Final Cut Pro


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Joshua Heater
Re: Building Blu-rays with custom menus Mac
on Feb 1, 2011 at 11:09:33 pm

take a look at this link to make custom blu ray template menus for final cut.


http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/AppleApplications/Con...


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Chris Alsop
Re: Building Blu-rays with custom menus Mac
on Nov 19, 2010 at 11:06:50 pm

Hey Clayton
Was looking through your post for an answer to my question and I was wondering if you might be able to help me out seeing as you went through almost the exact same problem I have
So I'm working on FCP Studio and just finished editing a project which was shot on HD 720 24pn. I now want to create a blu-ray using Encore cs4(to create custom menus like you) but Encore is on a separate system (a PC to boot)
1- what file type should I be exporting from FCP ( a regular self contained QT or an mpeg2 from compressor?
2-This is a large project, If I don't compress will Encore automatically "compress" the footage to fit on the disk?
3-should i be worried at all about the frame rate?
4- will encore recognize chapter markers set in FCP or will I have to re-create them?
If you have any better ideas etc. feel free to let me know!
Thanks for any feedback. Much appreciated!!
C


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