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starting from scratch - file format and DVD's

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Louise Macaulay
starting from scratch - file format and DVD's
on Oct 11, 2011 at 11:38:51 pm

I was thrown into a position as a video editor and am learning everything as I go - needless to say there are vast gaps in my knowledge and I'm trying to fill them in as problems arise. So forgive me for an extraordinarily pedestrian question.

Each day I make a recording, 3 hours in length, HD, in Apple Pro Res 422 LT format, to an Aja Ki Pro. When the recording is finished, I copy the mov file to a larger drive for storage.

I need to use Final Cut Pro to edit this three hours down. The final product may be anywhere from 1 hour to 2.5 hours, to be burned to a DVD (or DVD's) to be played on a standalone DVD player, connected to a television (but also playable on a computer).

What should my workflow be, and what file formats should I be using along the way? My head is spinning with Google searches turning up talk of mp2, m2v, dv, Compressor, Toast, Quicktime, iDVD... surely there is a straightforward way to accomplish this task?

Thanks in advance for your help.


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Andrew Rendell
Re: starting from scratch - file format and DVD's
on Oct 12, 2011 at 2:25:32 pm

The simplest way of doing it is to import the recording into FCP, cut it with the timeline in the same codec setting as the source (make a new sequence then on the first edit you'll probably get a message saying "For best performance..... Change sequence settings to match the clip setings" in which case click Yes).

When you're done editing, export it as a quicktime in Current Settings. Then open iDVD and select "OneStep DVD from Movie..." in the File menu, and choose the file you've just made. That will make you a DVD that'll just play the programme, no menu. It will take a very long time, so you'll have plenty of time to read up on how to turn your HD quicktime into a SD one (DVDs are always SD) that can be burnt to DVD more efficiently.


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Louise Macaulay
Re: starting from scratch - file format and DVD's
on Oct 12, 2011 at 6:23:53 pm

Thanks very much for this Andrew. I guess I hadn't thought about the fact that a DVD with an aspect ratio of 16:9 doesn't necessarily mean that it's HD...

As for turning my HD file into an SD file to make the DVD burning process more efficient, I haven't researched it yet but I assume this means using Compressor to convert it to a file with the appropriate specs, then burning a DVD. This would still be a lengthy process, yes?

(I'm getting the idea that there's not much of anything in the video production workflow that can be done quickly!)

Thanks again for your help!


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Andrew Rendell
Re: starting from scratch - file format and DVD's
on Oct 14, 2011 at 10:27:45 am

There's always going to be a time issue with that duration of programme, but Compressor is much better in terms of how it uses the computer's resources (e.g., multiple cores/processors) than FCP, so it's faster to export from FCP in Current settings then use Compressor to make a version in an appropriate size/codec than it is to export from FCP using Quicktime conversion to make the size you want.

DVDs use a version of MPEG-2 and making them the "proper" way means having separate audio and video files and matching them up when you author the disc (Compressor has presets for that kind of thing), but I like the ease of making a .mov and using the iDVD MakeMovie from file thing.


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Ted Scarlett
Re: starting from scratch - file format and DVD's
on Nov 30, 2011 at 5:43:27 am

This is great information. One more question. I run my raw footage thru compressor Apple Pro res before bringing into FCP. After editing is complete I export as a quicktime movie. From there what should I do? Do I need to run the edited footage thru compressor before dragging it to iDVD? I can just drag and drop the Quicktime movie's to iDVD with no problem, however I cannot put that much footage on the DVD as with so much video it runs 4.7GB very quickly.

I've tried taking the Quicktime movies and bringing them into compressor and change them into an MP2 file type but then the files will not drag and drop into iDVD. Is there any way I can compress these files so I can fit more data onto a DVD?

Thanks

Tedd


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