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Mixing SD & HD clips and ouput to Blu-Ray

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Chris Bentley
Mixing SD & HD clips and ouput to Blu-Ray
on May 6, 2010 at 2:46:42 pm

Got an odd request today that I'm not sure how to tackle as I don't have any experience authoring Blu-Ray.

I have an FCP 7 sequence that contains mostly NTSC clips captured from DVCPro at 29.97fps (using DV/DVCPro - NTSC Compressor). Mixed in with those NTSC clips are 5 HD clips, captured from DVCProHD 720p60 at 59.94fps.

One thing to note - those 5 HD clips each have their own sequence and are nested into the final SD/HD mixed sequence. These clips have a timecode burn-in FCP filter applied, and each needs their own sequence since the timecode for each is the same.

With that out of the way, here's my question:
What is the appropriate workflow and sequence settings for outputting this sequence to Blu-Ray?

Obviously I want my HD clips to be full HD on the Blu-Ray, since that's why this request was originated in the first place. But the SD clips need to be original quality, as well, as would be expected with the lower compression needed (as compared to SD DVD).

I've considered the possibility of using the Share feature in FCP to export multiple sequences and combine them into one Blu-Ray export, but given the differing timebases (29.97/59.94), it will not nest them to produce the export.

That said, how can I get all of this media on one Blu-Ray disc in the best quality possible? Should I take the 59.94 down to 29.97?

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

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Shane Ross
Re: Mixing SD & HD clips and ouput to Blu-Ray
on May 6, 2010 at 3:15:41 pm

You can't mix formats and expect both to keep their own attributes. You can't have a sequence with HD footage at HD quality, and SD footage at SD quality...unless the SD footage is really small, and surrounded by black. If you want the HD clips to be HD, then you need to work in an HD sequence, typically those matching the settings of the HD footage. The SD clips will then need to be upconverted to match.

FCP does a very poor job of upconverting compared to Compressor. But then hardware options like the AJA Kona line or Matrox cards do hardware upconverts too...when you capture. And then there is the grand-daddy of all, the Terranex (that would entail dubbing the footage from DV to another format, or capturing from DV to another format, thru the Terranex).

Don't get your expectations up...the DV footage will look DV, even when upconverted. BluRay won't make them look any better. The HD will look good.


Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def

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