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becky balsano
Edited in H264
on Oct 6, 2013 at 5:32:25 pm

Have a full film in FCP7 - edited - in its original H264 format. I'm an idiot.
Can I at this point just send it to compressor in this codec? Did a partial but came out as MPEG2 -
although I set the sequence for pro res 422.
The partial DVD actually was pretty good quality - but it was only a minute of the film.
My question really is - do I have to put it into pro res at this point - if all I'm going to
do is switch it back to the H264 to put onto DVD? Help.


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Shane Ross
Re: Edited in H264
on Oct 6, 2013 at 8:18:15 pm

[becky balsano] "Can I at this point just send it to compressor in this codec?"

Not reliably, no. FCP and H.264 don't mix...period. Change your sequence settings compressor to ProRes, then render, then export a self contained QT movie...and take that into Compressor

[becky balsano] "My question really is - do I have to put it into pro res at this point - if all I'm going to
do is switch it back to the H264 to put onto DVD?"


Why are you going to go back to H.264 to got onto DVD? That's not what you do. BluRay is H.264, but not the same H.264 as your source. DVDs are MPEG-2. The best thing for you to do is Convert H.264 to ProRes, edit that, then use Compressor to convert to MPEG-2 for DVD (there are DVD presets) and use DVD Studio Pro to author. BUT...you can't do that, so the second best thing is to change your sequence settings to ProRes, render that, export a QT file, take that into Compressor and use the DVD presets.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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becky balsano
Re: Edited in H264
on Oct 6, 2013 at 11:02:17 pm

Thank you Shane!
Just did a small part of the film the way you suggested. No glitches, no green bits,
no jumping, etc - played fine on the DVD player.

I set the sequence compressor for pro res 422 as you said. In the sequence settings it also
has the render tab - should I be setting that at 422 as well? Right now it is at 264 -
The clips in the timeline still read h264 as well - should that have changed with the render?

Also the quality isn't nearly as good as the piece that I did going directly from the timeline (h264) to
compressor - although perhaps because this is raw, it would produce better quality?

The quicktime, compressor version that worked on DVD is rather distorted -
looks like wide screen to fit television.
Also the colors are much rougher than in the original. I know that DVD does that -
but any suggestions?

Sorry to pick your brain so intensely - but I'm just so grateful to have help.
Feel free to bug out at any time. :) THANK YOU!


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becky balsano
Re: Edited in H264
on Oct 6, 2013 at 11:07:36 pm

Also the Quicktime movie before compressed is massive - is there any way around that? A couple of minutes is something like 1.8 gigs. Crazy big. Suppose a feature film would need to be saved on my 2 or 3 terabyte HDrive.


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Shane Ross
Re: Edited in H264
on Oct 7, 2013 at 5:09:40 am

"Also the Quicktime movie before compressed is massive - is there any way around that? A couple of minutes is something like 1.8 gigs. Crazy big. Suppose a feature film would need to be saved on my 2 or 3 terabyte HDrive."

H.264 is a highly compressed format...because of this it's difficult to edit. ProRes is an "uncompressed, compressed" format. Meaning it gives you uncompressed quality, but is slightly compressed to make it workable in FCP. The best way to work with footage shot H.264 is to convert it to ProRes before editing. Yes, this means huge file sizes, but this is the nature of video. Well, some video.

If you want to work with footage natively, look at Adobe Premiere Pro CC. It only works with video natively. And it's semi cheap...you can get a subcription for it for $30 a month. FCP doesn't work with video natively, and requires that you convert it to larger files in order to edit.

[becky balsano] "
I set the sequence compressor for pro res 422 as you said. In the sequence settings it also
has the render tab - should I be setting that at 422 as well? Right now it is at 264 -"


Yes.

[becky balsano] "The clips in the timeline still read h264 as well - should that have changed with the render?"

Well, in a perfect world, that footage should have been converted to ProRes before you started editing...but it is still H.264. The quick fix I gave still has that footage being H.264, but allows you to just change the render/sequence settings so that you can export your final. SO that you don't have to take all the time needed to convert the footage. This workaround doesn't always work, and may people have to convert their source footage. The fact that it worked for you, is a good sign.

[becky balsano] "Also the quality isn't nearly as good as the piece that I did going directly from the timeline (h264) to
compressor - although perhaps because this is raw, it would produce better quality?"


The quality between H.264 and ProRes will be minor. But the biggest damage is when you go to DVD. That converts your HD video to SD video. So whatever small change in quality you see between ProREs and H.264 is moot. It's all going out with the bathwater anyway. You won't see any different between a DVD encoded from H.264 or one encoded from ProRes.

[becky balsano] "The quicktime, compressor version that worked on DVD is rather distorted -
looks like wide screen to fit television."


Not sure what you mean here. Is it not 16:9...like your source? Or is it wider screen? or squeezed more square...so that people are taller and thinner.

[becky balsano] "Also the colors are much rougher than in the original. I know that DVD does that -
but any suggestions?"


Not much you can do. You are changing color spaces. from Rec 706 to Red 609. And you are going from HD to SD. If you want the best quality, then you need to pay for it...have the DVD pressed professionally like Hollywood does. But I'm not the best person to ask. My finals are rarely DVDs...I output for broadcast.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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becky balsano
Re: Edited in H264
on Oct 7, 2013 at 5:27:19 pm

Wow - thank you Shane, for the wealth of information and explaining so well. Really helps remove some of the
mystery and anxiety that has presented in this experience. This is my first film - and the learning curve has been off the charts.

So whatever small change in quality you see between ProREs and H.264 is moot. It's all going out with the bathwater anyway.

Damn that bathwater. :)

Not sure what you mean here. Is it not 16:9...like your source? Or is it wider screen? or squeezed more square...so that people are taller and thinner.

It looks fine in quicktime - it's when I take it into DVD pro - yes - squeezed and
square taller and thinner - which is kind of weird as it
was fine when took 264 footage into compressor then to quicktime - without the Pro Res change -
(although there were other huge issues with quicktime then - synch jumping - green screen -)
Also did not yet change the render tab to pro res when I rendered - only the sequence setting.
Though it seems I would see that issue in the quicktime as well - not just when I put it into DVD pro.
Perhaps a setting changed in DVD pro.

The pixels should be "square, yes - not rectangle? Also didn't see anywhere where it says 16:9 -
will look for that. Need to get on DVD pro tutorial to see if something is amiss I suspect.


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Shane Ross
Re: Edited in H264
on Oct 7, 2013 at 7:18:27 pm

#42 - Quick and dirty way to author a DVD

Shane's Stock Answer #42 - David Roth Weiss' Secret Quick and Dirty Way to Author a DVD:

The absolute simplest way to make a DVD using FCP and DVDSP is as follows:

1. Export a QT movie, either a reference file or self contained using current settings.

2. Open DVDSP, select the "graphical" tab and you will see two little monitors, one blue, one green.

3. Select the left blue one and hit delete.

4. Now, select the green one, right click on it and select the top option "first play".

5. Now drag your QT from the browser and drop it on top of the green monitor.

6. Now, for a DVD from an HD source, look to the right side and select the "general tab" in the track editor, and see the Display Mode, and select "16:9 pan-scan."

7. Hit the little black and yellow burn icon at the top of the page and put a a DVD in when prompted. DVDSP will encode and burn your new DVD.

THATS ALL!!!

NOW...if you want a GOOD LOOKING DVD, instead of taking your REF movie into DVD SP, instead take it into Compressor and choose the BEST QUALITY ENCODE (2 pass VBR) that matches your show timing. Then take THAT result into DVD SP and follow the rest of the steps. Except you can choose "16:9 LETTERBOX" instead of PAN & SCAN if you want to see the entire image.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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becky balsano
Re: Edited in H264
on Oct 11, 2013 at 12:03:29 am

Shane, Should I/Can I follow that last paragraph using QT self contained movie instead of REF movie - to DVD pro? Or is it best to do it QT to compressor and DVD presets? Also. mistakenly took the QT directly into pro without compressing and it looks about the same as the compressed.
Is it just that before compression the file is bigger and that's the issue or is it also to do with the quality. Sorry for the rambling. This is painful.
Great blog - Little frog in HD blog, btw.


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becky balsano
Re: Edited in H264
on Oct 6, 2013 at 11:04:13 pm

Thank you Shane!
Just did a small part of the film the way you suggested. No glitches, no green bits,
no jumping, etc - played fine on the DVD player.

I set the sequence compressor for pro res 422 as you said. In the sequence settings it also
has the render tab - should I be setting that at 422 as well? Right now it is at 264 -
The clips in the timeline still read h264 as well - should that have changed with the render?

Also the quality isn't nearly as good as the piece that I did going directly from the timeline (h264) to
compressor - although perhaps because this is raw, it would produce better quality?

The quicktime, compressor version that worked on DVD is rather distorted -
looks like wide screen to fit television.
Also the colors are much rougher than in the original. I know that DVD does that -
but any suggestions?

Sorry to pick your brain so intensely - but I'm just so grateful to have help.
Feel free to bug out any time. :) THANK YOU!

Also - the quicktime movie before I put it into DVD pro is huge - is there anything I can do about that?


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