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Old September 19th, 2010, 01:03 AM   #16
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Thanks everybody for all that great info! I exported to AME from Premiere CS4 using the maximum render quality button and my mpeg-2 still looks kind of cruddy. Better than before, but not great. It did take about 30 hours.

It seems that ever since I stopped using PP2 a whole new workflow called HD to SD for DVD has come about. I was unaware of this. I am going to dive right in and try and learn how to encode using Jeff Bellune’s hd2sd tutorial. All those programs and script writes though - Yowza! However, if it gives me the best render I gotta try it at this point.

I guess what truly confuses and astounds me is that if I was still using PP2, with Aspect HD, I could export this very same movie as an Cineform AVI from PP2, import into TMPGenc for encoding and then into encore for the DVD authoring and it would look AWESOME! This is precisely what I used to do just 3 years ago. I was always very happy with the results and it only took half a day or so to do. The fact that upgrading my hardware, my OS, and my software has made encoding a DVD less watchable and the encoding process much longer blows my mind!

One final thing before I go off to immerse myself in Jeff’s tutorial; Progressive vs. Interlaced frames. I used to export my PP2 AVIs as progressive frame and encode in TMPGenc as interlaced, lower field first. Upper field always had playback strobing problems on my television (27” Sony WEGA). Now people have HD flat screen televisions and I’m confused as how to export my final DVD. For those clients with HD flat screens, should I leave my film interlaced since the footage is 60i? Should it be bottom field first or upper field? Does it depend on the flat screen? Are they not all created the same in terms of frame rate/type? Just curious.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 04:37 AM   #17
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Since you have tmpgenc (I use it to in combination with premiere pro cs3) I just export (hdv files) from premiere using a mpeg2, 1440x1080i high quality preset and change the bitrate encoding to CBR 25mbs, field order upper and level high 1440, I also slide the "quality" slider on top to "5".

That file I just drag into tmpgenc 4.0, I go into "filters", click on "picture resize" and deselect "keep aspect ratio" and "output interlace with "high quality resize" and then I choose a dvd video template with a CBR of 7500kbs, dolby digital audio of 256kbs and output stream es (video +audio) and interlaced top field first.

That file goes into encore and doesn't require another transcode and my results have been very good so far.

Premiere own dvdtemplates to go out to dvd compliant files with cs3 is very poor in quality, not comparable with what tmpgenc can perform.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 04:47 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by William N Zarvis View Post
I guess what truly confuses and astounds me is that if I was still using PP2, with Aspect HD, I could export this very same movie as an Cineform AVI from PP2, import into TMPGenc for encoding and then into encore for the DVD authoring and it would look AWESOME!
That's another story, your using a very high quality avi codec as a starting point, totally not comparable with the dv avi you would export from premiere. Today I also edit with canopus edius pro and convert everything to their canopus hq avi codec (if I have to edit dslr footage since premiere cs3 cannot read this) and I get a very fast workflow (once converted) and a avi file that can be used by premiere cs3 as well if necessary.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 02:12 PM   #19
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William, I understand that you're facing deadline pressure right now so your priority is to get this project out in the best possible quality. But when all this is over I think you might want to step back and take a hard look at your hardware, your software and your workflow, because none are optimal at this point.

For now, with the HW and SW you have, following Jeff's hd2sd process with all those scripts and pieces of software may indeed be the best way for you to go. I don't know. Noa's suggestions seem really viable as well. But it seems you have a lot of concepts and processes mixed up and your workflow is certainly more complicated than it needs to be, and this is probably hurting your output quality.
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Originally Posted by William N Zarvis View Post
It seems that ever since I stopped using PP2 a whole new workflow called HD to SD for DVD has come about.
No, you've always been doing this; there's nothing new about it. It's just that there are many different ways to go about it. Your video always has to be rendered and then downconverted/encoded from HD to SD go onto a DVD as DVD-Video.
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Originally Posted by William N Zarvis View Post
I am going to dive right in and try and learn how to encode using Jeff Bellune’s hd2sd tutorial. All those programs and script writes though - Yowza! However, if it gives me the best render I gotta try it at this point.
Yes, it is most likely way more complicated than necessary and probably unneeded. But without really knowing your project and what your hardware can do, it may be your only choice, although I doubt it.
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Originally Posted by William N Zarvis View Post
I guess what truly confuses and astounds me is that if I was still using PP2, with Aspect HD, I could export this very same movie as an Cineform AVI from PP2, import into TMPGenc for encoding and then into encore for the DVD authoring and it would look AWESOME! This is precisely what I used to do just 3 years ago. I was always very happy with the results and it only took half a day or so to do.
Even this is at least one more step than was necessary. You could -- and should -- have rendered out to a CFHD-AVI at the proper SD DVD resolution (720 x 480) and then simply used the CFHD-AVI as your source file in any DVD authoring program, including Encore or Nero. This was the recommended workflow from Cineform at the time.
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Originally Posted by William N Zarvis View Post
The fact that upgrading my hardware, my OS, and my software has made encoding a DVD less watchable and the encoding process much longer blows my mind!
Newer does not mean more efficient. CS4 was regarded by many as hopeless bloatware that didn't do anything well. Unfortunately, you picked the two worst versions of Premiere in recent history -- PP2 and CS4. CS3 and now CS5 are pretty good, even great. Your hardware isn't ideal and Win7, while generally brilliant, is really best in a 64-bit environment with tons of RAM -- at least 12 GB but preferably 24. You need a faster chip (preferably Intel), lots more RAM, a 64-bit OS and way more hard disks to do video properly. Adobe specifically recommended this sort of HW/SW setup in a white paper they published when CS4 came out. Don't get me wrong -- if you're doing three-minute YouTube skateboard videos your setup is more than enough. But you're doing a feature for DVD.
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Originally Posted by William N Zarvis View Post
I used to export my PP2 AVIs as progressive frame and encode in TMPGenc as interlaced, lower field first. Upper field always had playback strobing problems on my television...
This workflow makes absolutely no sense and may explain some of your problems. If you shoot interlaced, and your destination is DVD, you should NEVER deinterlace at any point. De-interlacing and re-interlacing can do nothing but kill your picture, because it's (generally) throwing out picture data that can never be regained, and then trying to re-create it out of nothing. You had field order problems because DVD is always lower field first, while Blu-Ray is always upper field first, regardless of source footage. [Note: see Ann's correction to this below, which means that something else could have been causing this problem.]

If you shoot interlaced and your output is intended to be on an optical disc of any kind, leave it interlaced and encode to the appropriate field order for the target disc.

If you are outputting to the web, you can deinterlace if you wish.

If you're serious about video, you will want to upgrade your hardware to the specs outlined in many threads in the PC Editing and Adobe forums, upgrade to CS5, and consider Cineform (although the latter isn't strictly necessary if you do the first two, depending upon whether you need the added features Cineform offers -- see related post in the Cineform forum). Even doing only one of those three things should help immeasurably in future projects, and either one of the first two should help your current project as well.

Please let us know how your project progresses, as your experience will very likely help others in the same boat.
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Last edited by Adam Gold; September 19th, 2010 at 09:18 PM.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 06:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Adam Gold
because DVD is always lower field first, while Blu-Ray is always upper field first, regardless of source footage.
I disagree, when source is hdv and encode straight to mpeg2-dvd one sets the dvd to upper field. DV is always LFF.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 07:48 PM   #21
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Interesting. I'll have to try that. It's contrary to everything I've read and to my own experience, as well as (obviously) to William's experience as well. But you know more about this than I do. And Premiere agrees with you, as that's exactly what their presets are when going from HDV to MPEG-2 DVD.

Appreciate the correction.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 05:07 PM   #22
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I am curious to which documentation you have been reading.
A dvd with the fields set wrong looks awfull. The footage looks like a clock going 2 seconds forward and then 1 second backwards. Have you never experieced that? Or looking a dvd and seeing that something is wrong but cannot quite put your finger on it?
Always look at the source. If its upper, stick to upper all the way down to the dvd.
This applies to all footage wether its plain mpeg, HDV or HD like AVCHD or DSLR.
This is not just a CS5 preset.
If you have to render to dv avi you have no choice, its lower.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 06:08 PM   #23
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This applies to all footage wether its plain mpeg, HDV or HD like AVCHD or DSLR.
Allthough I always apply upper field for my dvd's I have done some tests with dslr 550d footage which is progressive and tried to export lower field and upper field (because I was not sure how to handle progressive footage when exported to dvd) on a small sequence that had some fast pans and tilts in and both had the same result on dvd. Nothing strange to see but I guess that's because the source footage is progressive?
With interlaced hdv footage I have not tested it before because upper field has always given me good results so why experiment :)
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Old September 20th, 2010, 10:22 PM   #24
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Always look at the source. If its upper, stick to upper all the way down to the dvd.
This is the single best, clearest and most definitive sentence I have ever read on this subject.

Thanks for the clarification, Ann.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 02:54 AM   #25
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Always look at the source. If its upper, stick to upper all the way down to the dvd.
This applies to all footage wether its plain mpeg, HDV or HD like AVCHD or DSLR.
This is not just a CS5 preset.
I agree absolutely.
DVD players will play either UFF or LFF. The notion that you must end up in LFF for DVD is a historical footnote.
Aside from that one issue, IMO Adam's advice is excellent.
There are so many ways to get from HD to DVD and everyone has their favorite workflow.
When this issue arises on the forum, the responses always encompass an enormous variety of suggestions, doubtless causing even more confusion for the original poster.
But, the bullet points are right on:
1) If you shot 60i UFF, stay in 60i UFF all the way to the DVD
2) If you are using CS5, the PPro rescaling from HD to SD is much improved- I have transcoded direct from the timeline to DVD (m2v) with CS5 AME and had good results.
3) If you are using Cineform interlaced HD.avi, you can get even better rescaling by rendering out to a Cineform interlaced (UFF) Standard Def.avi master, and transcode that to m2v with AME, or third party transcoder (I use Procoder 3)
Using #3 for Cineform HD workflow, I have made the best looking DVDs ever. On HDTV with upscaling DVD player (from well shot footage- 1920x1080- with a very good camera, of course) they approach commercial feature film DVD image quality.
It takes only one screwup somewhere in the chain (mishandling the interlace issue, poor rescaling, etc.) to give you a poor DVD. But the workflow for excellent results does not need to be complicated- it just needs to be perfect ;-)
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Old September 21st, 2010, 03:22 AM   #26
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1) If you shot 60i UFF, stay in 60i UFF all the way to the DVD
Robert, any idea's on how to handle progressive if that is your source footage? do you choose upper, lower or no fields when going out to dvd?
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Old September 21st, 2010, 12:21 PM   #27
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If you shoot and edit in true progressive (clean 30p, 24p- no pull down issues, etc.), you can transcode to progressive m2v, or you can transcode to interlaced m2v, either UFF or LFF. It will all look the same. Some DVD players may not play progressive m2v, so probably the safe bet is to interlace, but the DVD will still look like progressive footage.
The same goes for Blu Ray- if your project is 1920x1080 30p, you should transcode to Blu Ray 60i UFF. The BD playback will look the same as your 30p timeline.
If your project is Cineform HD progressive .avi, you can transcode directly to m2v without needing to go through the intermediate step of a Cineform SD master.avi. The absence of interlacing eliminates a lot of rescaling issues & the workflow is very straightforward.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 12:28 PM   #28
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Thx Robert for your answer
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Old September 30th, 2010, 01:23 AM   #29
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Success!

I want to thank everyone (especially Adam and Robert) for all the advice they gave me on how best to convert HD to SD for DVD. I tried Dan Issac's and Jeff Bellune's tutorial with a few encoders: TMPGenc and HDenc. TMPGenc worked best. Although, I was not “wowed” with the final encoded file, my clients were very satisfied! I took them to dinner for their having to wait longer for their wedding DVDs. In the end all is good! Thanks again everyone for their help! I love this forum community!!!
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Old September 30th, 2010, 09:23 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Ann Bens View Post
Always look at the source. If its upper, stick to upper all the way down to the dvd.
This applies to all footage wether its plain mpeg, HDV or HD like AVCHD or DSLR.
In fact, the only reason to intentionally reverse the field order of an interlaced clip is if you are mixing different clips with opposite field dominances in the same movie (and you are trying to reverse the field order to match the rest of the clips in the same movie). Otherwise, if one does not intentionally match the field order of all of the clips in the same movie, parts of the movie will play back with the wrong field order.

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Originally Posted by Robert Young View Post
DVD players will play either UFF or LFF. The notion that you must end up in LFF for DVD is a historical footnote.
Converting the field order of a clip to LFF for DVD is nowadays only a CYA measure if that DVD is to be played back on some very early DVD players which cannot properly play back UFF video content.
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