Hey guys got a simple question I was hoping you could help me with! I’d like to ask a question before I try it myself and waste resources =) (*insert standard “I’ve searched everywhere and didn’t really find a good answer to my queries comment*)
I’ve made a simple 1 minute composition in After Effects. No footage, everything made in AE. The composition is using the 1980x1280HD Pal settings. It’s designed so it can play on a large plasma TV.
Now first of all I was wondering what export settings in After Effects do I use for DVD. There’s MPEG 2-DVD however I looked around and some people are saying you can change it to whatever. I want it to be as the best resolution as possible and when I exported as MPEG2 the comp was about 46MB where as when I exported it as a Quicktime animation it was 1.2GB.
Secondly, I know Encore is used for making DVD’s but I don’t want a menu or anything like that. Basically I just want the video file on the DVD, and as soon as you insert it into the DVD player, it’ll start playing straight away and if possible to loop. Anyone know a simple way to accomplish these things?
When it ends up on the DVD it will be mpeg2. You can either export as mpeg2 out of After Effects, or export as Quicktime MOV and then have Encore transcode it to mpeg2. Personally I prefer to export as quicktime mov, then let encore transcode. It's best to let After Effects do the downscaling, as it uses a superior algorithm than Encore. You can create a new composition with the SD resolution, then drag your HD comp into that and scale it down.
You will then need to import a blank menu into Encore, set your After Effects render as the background, and add the button highlights in Photoshop (go to 'Edit > Edit Menu in Photoshop'). Make sure you follow the instructions the the Encore help files for naming the layer groups and layers with the appropriate prefixes for Encore.
I am the Senior Designer and Owner of Precomposed, an industry leader of DVD/Blu-ray Motion Menu Template Kits designed in After Effects, and provide complete walkthrough video tutorials (for free) on how to customize everything from the AE project to the Authoring in Encore or DVD Studio Pro. Even if you don't use our products, I'm sure you would learn a great deal from watching the product tutorials, available from the Tutorial section of our website.
You have 0 choice on what resolution you will get from a DVD. I don't care if you've designed your footage at 4k film resolution so it can play in a cinema, DVDs are stuck at NTSC or PAL standard definition resolutions (720x576 in PAL's case). Both of them will look crappy on an HD screen (unless you're using an upconverting DVD player, but even then it's not going to look nearly as good as your original animation).
Besides being much smaller resolution for DVD, MPEG-2 is a compressed (lossy) format. Now, with a video as short as you've got, the compression won't do too much to it, but that much smaller file size is to be expected.
Now, if you want your video to play as you've designed it, in HD, you have two options:
1. Make a Blu-Ray disc instead of a DVD
2. Create an HD Quicktime or Windows Media file and play it off a computer that's plugged into the screen.
If, however, neither of those options are workeable for you, you're going ot have to deal with an SD
As Jon mentions, it would be better to downsize your video to standard definition in After Effects and render out the SD QT from there rather than having Encore downsize it.
Speaking of Encore, Encore can easily be used without menus. Just set your video's timeline in Encore to be the first play option and set its end action to be itself. Then it will play as soon as the DVD player reads it and it will keep looping. (Look in Encore's help for first play or end action for how to do these things if you need to.)
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