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Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd

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Victor Fernando Pagan
Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 1:42:20 pm

Hello Everyone.
I will apologize in advance if this is a redundant post. I have been trying to look up answers or guidance and have really had no success. If you know a link that will serve me please post I really appreicate it.

I have a wedding that was shot on a Sony PD170. Format Mini DV. I have ingested it DV NTSC, and cut the wedding on a matching sequence in fcp7. The entire sequence is about One Hour and 48 minutes long. I have exported the seq using Compressor 3.5.3, and BitVice to Mpeg2 and AC3 audio. The video looks good in FCP, the Mpeg looks good as well. My problem is the DVD, it has all types of pixels, and has that digital look to it. Its really not clear at all. Is there a setting I am overlooking here, I have been breaking my head looking, trying and buring dvds for about a week. I am really not happy with the results. I hope you guys can help me out.
Is there another software I should be using? I am hearing using Adobe's media encoder, Telestream, and Squeeze as a better options for what i am doing. ANY advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 2:31:26 pm

If you included graphics/motion graphics, I'd duplicate the edit timeline, convert the duplicate to either ProRes 422 or DVDPro 50 and export a self-contained quicktime movie. Then use Compressor to make the mpeg2 & ac3 files using the 90 Minute best quality preset, and DVD Studio Pro for authoring.

If it doesn't look good after that, you've got other problems, or there may be a couple of things you haven't told us.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 2:46:09 pm

Dave,
Thank you for the response.
I will try that, and get back you on it. I do have motion graphics in the sequence.
So the 90 minute preset will be okay for a sequence that is over 90 minutes?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 3:12:28 pm

Oops. I didn't see that time detail. In that case, you might want to customize your own preset. Look at the differences between the 90 minute best quality preset and the 2 hour best quality preset, and judge accordingly.

Or just say, "the heck with it," and use the 2-hour best quality preset.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 3:29:28 pm

Dave, I will do that. I was not sure if there was a reciepe with the prores and mpeg compression.

Thank you again. :)


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 3:38:08 pm

The key to this whole thing is to get your graphics out of a DV edit timeline. If you re-render the graphics as DV, it's really bad because the DV codec treats carefully-crafted graphics the way a baby treats a diaper.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Alan Okey
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 2:54:47 pm

[Victor Fernando Pagan] "I have exported the seq using Compressor 3.5.3, and BitVice to Mpeg2 and AC3 audio."

As was suggested, changing your FCP sequence codec to ProRes 422 will be much kinder on any graphics or text than staying in a DV sequence.

Just to clarify - how are you exporting from FCP? Are you using "export Quicktime movie" to create either a self-contained or reference Quicktime? And you're using Compressor to create the .ac3 and BitVice to create the .m2v assets, correct? Just making sure there's no extra compression step happening between FCP and BitVice.

What are your BitVice settings (average and maximum bitrate)? What bit depth is selected for IntraDC? BitVIce is a great encoder, so it's doubtful that it's the weak link in the chain.

Can you describe in greater detail the artifacts that you're seeing from DVD playback? On what devices are you viewing the DVD?


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 3:27:13 pm

Alan,
Thank you.
I had tried the Quicktime conversion setting dv ntsc, also the Quicktime export as a self contained, and not self contained. I have also sent straight from the timeline to compressor then export the mpeg, and ac3 file. I have used BitVice after I had seen this issue with the Compressor export. Since I have the BitVice demo, I get a watermark over the default setting. Before I purchased I wanted to make sure it would solve my issue at least. I heard its a great encoder over Compressor. I have been at this for about a week. The average bit rate os 4500, the floor is set at 3.50 and the ceiling at 8.20. (i am saying the BitVice settings from memory). The intraDC is set to 8.

The artifacts are around the blacks, fast motion, and around people and clothing. I am viewing it off 2 different one is a Sony DVD player, on a Sony Bravia 42 inch connected via HDMI, the second is a Samsung DVD player, on a 32 Samsung monitor using RCA video and audio connections.

I hope I was able to get to everything you mentioned before. If not please point it out and I will answer. Thank you again, I am really greatful for any advice here.


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Alan Okey
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 4:12:01 pm

[Victor Fernando Pagan] "I had tried the Quicktime conversion setting dv ntsc, also the Quicktime export as a self contained, and not self contained."

Don't use the Quicktime conversion method, as it adds an unnecessary generation of compression. You can simply change your sequence codec to ProRes 422, then use the export Quicktime movie method, either self-contained or not.

Try bumping up the average bitrate in BitVice, keeping the maximum no higher than 8.3 or so. I'm not sure how high you'll be able to go and still manage to fit on a single layer DVD, but BitVice will show some improvement with a higher average bitrate, especially with interlaced footage. See if you can go up to 5.5 without going over your size limit. I have on occasion had to bump up the average bitrate to 6.5 on problematic footage, but you probably won't be able to set it that high and still fit on a single layer DVD. BitVice is much better than Compressor at medium to low bitrates, so you may just be encountering the limits of what can be done given the nature of your source footage.

You might also investigate Innobits' Video Purifier to see it it helps with artifacts in the blacks. There are also some noise reduction filters in BitVice that might be of use. You could always export a small sample of you sequence and do some test encodings using different filters and settings.

Good luck, and let us know how you make out.


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 5:02:25 pm

I am working on exporting now. I am testing it out on a smaller clip first like you said. then. I will take it form there. Will be back later with an update...


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 5:05:21 pm

here is the sequence preset i used. Is this okay? Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) NTSC 48 kHz


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 5:08:24 pm

Yes.
Just change your codec in the Sequence settings.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 6:17:39 pm

OK so here is what I did and please correct me at any point.

I opened my project. Took the a 6 minute section and copied it from the original DV sequence. I created an entirely new sequence with the ProRes 422 HQ setting. I then pasted my copied section into the ProRes sequence..I rendered the sequence out. I then exported the sequence using export-->quicktime (not self contained). Here are the specs of the exported file.
Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), 720 x 486 (640 x 480), Millions
16-bit Integer (Little Endian), Stereo, 48.000 kHz
16-bit Integer (Little Endian), Stereo, 48.000 kHz.

I then took the ProRes file and imported into BitVice. (Compressor is working as i type).
The setting for BitVice were
Aimed Bitrate 5500
Floor 3.50
Ceiling: 8.5
INTRAdc 8
Audio AC3
Could not adjust purifier because I have the demo.

The dvd project was made in DVD SP the encode settings were set at
two pass vbr
bit rate: 6.8
max bit 9.0
motion estimation: best

Did i miss something or do something wrong here?
Thank you


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 6:27:15 pm

You don't have to copy the media to a new sequence.
Go to Sequence settings and just change the codec.

The DVDSP encoding settings are ONLY for when you import a mov file and let DVDSP encode files to the proper formats.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 6:33:36 pm

Should I not use the Pro Res422 HQ setting?


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 6:40:13 pm

It's a bit over kill for SD material. But if you don't mind the file size, sure, can't hurt, grfx might benefit from the extra quality.

Export "current settings" after the re-render. Use that file to make your deliverable. If the edit is locked and a done deal, make it self-contained and this is your digital master to keep forever.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 7:02:47 pm

doing that now. Re-exporting and will bring back into dvd sp and make another dvd. then check the Quality


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 8:02:50 pm

I would love to say the quality was better but its was not. :(
I MUST be missing a step here or not have a correct setting.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 8:06:50 pm

Tell you what: put this DVD in a real DVD player and look at it. Don't use the DVD player on the computer. Notice any difference?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 8:11:21 pm

Dave,
All I have been using are real actual DVD players. I have tried on a Sony DVD play with a Sony Bravia 42in via hdmi input. and the second was a samsung dvd player on a 32in samsung monitor.
I had thought the same thing awhile back, and now i am just checking on my actual players. I must have something wrong...I just don't know what..very frustrating. I have been doing this for a few days.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 8:19:25 pm

You must also remember that you're playing SD video in an HD monitor. You can't expect it to look as good as it does when looking at it in Quicktime. The pixels the monitor displays are MUCH bigger.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 8:20:24 pm

The Graphics have improved, but the faces and the blacks are all pixelated and not clear.


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 8:22:41 pm

Dave,
Your absolutely right.... I think you have just made total sense to me about what i am seeing. All the monitors I am using are HD. The samsung is a small monitor off rca connectors. So that would reflect what i am seeing?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 8:28:43 pm

Indeed. That's why it's best to play HD video in HD monitors. Frame for frame, HD has five times more pixels than SD. Problem solved.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 8:37:10 pm

Thank you. I did not even realize that in my situation. I took the monitoring situation for granted. But from now on i will cut on the ProRes sequences. I don't need to use the HQ settings right, I can use the regular settings?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 8:46:10 pm

[Victor Fernando Pagan] "...from now on i will cut on the ProRes sequences. I don't need to use the HQ settings right, I can use the regular settings?"

Even if you shoot HD, you're making DVDs which is always STANDARD DEFINITION VIDEO. ProRes 422 is great, but if you are still working in SD, you won't see much of an improvement.

HD video in an HD monitor looks good. SD video in an HD monitor looks lousy in comparison.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 9:00:12 pm

Gotcha.
Thank you. You guys were a great help, glad I did not have to re-ingest and cut this whole thing over.

So if I have my graphics or animations mixed with DV i should use ProRes?

Victor


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 9:13:04 pm

[Victor Fernando Pagan] "if I have my graphics or animations mixed with DV i should use ProRes?"

Correct.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Victor Fernando Pagan
Re: Advice: FCP-->Compressor--> DVD SP= bad looking dvd
on Aug 23, 2011 at 9:29:43 pm

Cool. Thank you


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