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Problem downconverting HD to SD

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Laura Weinstein
Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 19, 2011 at 6:15:50 pm

I know this question is in lots of different threads but I've read so much and other peoples situations are slightly different and I can't figure out the answer. So I am sorry if people get angry for me re posting a popular question but I honestly don't know where else to turn.

Question:

I have a sequence in FCP the footage is apple pro res 422, shot on 60D in HD, the client wants the project in standard def only for DVD. I can't use compressor because of some stupid trial effects I used that expired left a glitch which makes compressor error so I have to use FCP for the export. I want to have it look the best it can for DVD so I just wanted to know which settings to use in FCP.

Thank-you anyone if you have the answer because I need to figure this out urgently.

Laura


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 19, 2011 at 7:50:49 pm

Well you should un-install compressor and re-install and get it working again. However, for your immediate problem, export from FCP using "Current Settings"

Import that file into DVDSP. FIRST, go into the preferences in DVDSP and set your settings, NTSC or PAL, The data rate to encode media, etc.

Burn disc. It will be SD.
Compressor custom settings will yield better results.

Alternatively you could nest your HD Sequence into a SD one.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Laura Weinstein
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 19, 2011 at 8:03:27 pm

Thanks for responding. The problem with compressor is a bit more complicated its actually more with compressor handling the fact that the effects are still somehow integrated... i'm not worrying about this one for now!

I don't use dvdsp I use encore but I am not very familiar with it. Can I do it all in FCP?


Laura


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 19, 2011 at 8:14:24 pm

[Laura Weinstein] " The problem with compressor is a bit more complicated its actually more with compressor handling the fact that the effects are still somehow integrated..."

Can you Laura or someone else kindly interpret the line above for me. I've read it about twenty times and have no idea what it means.

Laura, are you afraid of Compressor because you don't know it and it appears too complicated?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Producing Episodic TV with "24" Producer Michael Klick:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-1_Michael-Kl...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 19, 2011 at 8:27:56 pm

Import your mov file into encore will dop the same thing for you.

If your compressor works, use a DVD preset, can't get easier then that.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Laura Weinstein
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 19, 2011 at 8:32:28 pm

lol! okay since you asked ill try to explain, sorry its been a confusing day!

I use compressor a bunch so thats not the reason. Compressor was initially my first choice to use. Basically here's a more thorough explanation:

I used a trial a while ago of effects for FCP (stupid idea). The project was put aside for a bit and then the effects expired. You can still view the clips in FCP but if you try to export it doesn't work. So I have been one by one going through every clip and searching for the ones that had the smooth cam effect. I had a high res export of the project from when it hadn't expired so I replaced clips that way. I literally clicked on every clip and I think I got all of those stupid effects gone but when I try to export compressor still searches for those missing effects and results in error. When I export through FCP it's no problem. So that explains it I hope?


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Bret Williams
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 19, 2011 at 9:02:07 pm

Yes. It explains that you're exporting to compressor from Final Cut. When you export to compressor it always rerenders your sequence whether it's been rendered or not. That's why it's such a slow method. Plus it doesn't take advantage of multiprocessing.

Export your sequence as a self contained movie. Then take that into compressor to encode.

Now- as a side note I don't think compressor can downscale a video for squat. You have to jump through hoops with frame controls turned on and then it still comes out nasty, especially if the original was interlaced. Plus it takes forever. I prefer to take the HD QT master into After Effects and scale it down to a SD Master first. Now, I have a full quality SD and HD master. Scaling video, especially interlaced, is something After Effects excels at. And it's relatively quick. Then I take the SD master into compressor when compressor can quickly compress to mpeg2. And best of all, if you don't like a compression setting and want to try cbr or change the data rate, you aren't making compressor scale it again. Just a reencode.


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 19, 2011 at 9:16:36 pm

Using AE is nice and all to save some render time BUT, you add an extra step of compression.

We compress 1080i material for SD a lot w/ Compressor with good results.
Yes it Take a LONG time to do it.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Bret Williams
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 20, 2011 at 3:07:02 am

I'm willing to bet that AEs downscaling of HD to SD is so superior to compressor's that any minute difference from an additional compression step is imperceptible. If you were really worried about extra compression steps you'd export straight to compressor where your entire timeline is rendered from the sources directly to mpeg2, completely skipping any intermediate prores (or other) codec.


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Laura Weinstein
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 19, 2011 at 9:50:37 pm

I lost you somewhere in that last paragraph! Complicated stuff!


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William Carr
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 19, 2011 at 9:25:56 pm

Laura, just to understand better, can you see the effects doing what you want them to in your sequence? If so, render the sequence. If it looks right in the sequence, the next step is to export the sequence to a media drive using "current settings". that gives you a movie that looks the way you want it to. THEN you can bring it into Compressor or wherever else.

You say "You can still view the clips in FCP" so the part I don't understand is whether you can render the sequence you're looking at without these plug-in problems preventing the render from making you a clean movie sitting in your sequence and playing back just fine.

In summary, don't export to Compressor, just render and export a copy of the movie.


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Laura Weinstein
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 19, 2011 at 9:47:46 pm

I've already removed the effects and replaced them all (maybe missed 1?) with the same clips from the initial export done before the expiry occurred. But yes, I do have a quicktime full res version exported that plays smoothly.

So then I'll import my full res version into compressor and use the setting mpeg 2 best for 90 minutes? Is that really the best option? My project is only about 25.

Thanks! :)


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Bret Williams
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 19, 2011 at 10:13:43 pm

Yesh.


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William Carr
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 19, 2011 at 11:09:37 pm

Yes! Your clean smooth export dropped into Compressor, with the setting "DVD Best Quality 90 Minutes" applied, will give you a fine DVD.

FWIW I always export from a completed rendered FCP sequence a current settings movie of every project, and that is the file that then continues its journey into a world of conversions and formats. It's nice to have a holistic and integral final movie file of a project, all spiffy and shiny and archived away somewhere for posterity. Exporting AND converting directly from a sequence within FCP can bring about other issues.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 19, 2011 at 11:14:40 pm

[William Carr] "FWIW I always export from a completed rendered FCP sequence a current settings movie of every project, and that is the file that then continues its journey into a world of conversions and formats. It's nice to have a holistic and integral final movie file of a project, all spiffy and shiny and archived away somewhere for posterity."

Absolutely! Consider the files created using Export to Quicktime Movie as your master, and all files made from that files as sub-masters. It's not very different from the old days when we actually mastered to tape.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Producing Episodic TV with "24" Producer Michael Klick:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-1_Michael-Kl...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Laura Weinstein
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 20, 2011 at 1:22:09 am

Thanks everyone! I'll do that. I guess I just thought for some reason it would somehow take away quality to export and then compress from the export. But sounds like it doesn't!


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Michael Gissing
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 20, 2011 at 1:30:59 am

If you export with current settings there is no recompression unless you select the option to recompress frames.


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Steve Eisen
Re: Problem downconverting HD to SD
on Sep 20, 2011 at 1:47:17 am

[Laura Weinstein] "So then I'll import my full res version into compressor and use the setting mpeg 2 best for 90 minutes? Is that really the best option? My project is only about 25"

Or CBR at 7.0. A little bit faster than 2-pass VBR.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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