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Old February 13th, 2009, 09:37 AM   #1
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My DVDs Are Looking Crummy. Any Advice?

Can any one advise, or point me to some threads to make high quality DVD?
I'm coming out of FCP, using DVDsp.

My work flow is this:

Export a reference movie, or a self contained movie out of timeline

Import that file into DVDsp

I don't use compressor, I have it, though. Is that the answer? Thanks
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Old February 13th, 2009, 12:14 PM   #2
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I have spent weeks testing various HD to SD compression scenarios and I'd have to conclude that Compressor does come up short with EX 1080 video. Now that we have the BBC report there is independent confirmation that pretty much any SD downconversion encoder is going to have trouble with extra resolution in the EX's 1080 video. I have not tried the BBC report recommendation to use 720p for SD conversion because all of my projects must also end up on Blu-ray.

That being said, I have discovered that Episode Pro 5.x produces better results than Compressor. Episode Pro provides SD output with no line tweeter and occasionally a small amount of chroma aliasing in the detailed scenes where the encoder is taxed beyond its capabilities. Your mileage may vary, cheers!
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Old February 13th, 2009, 01:01 PM   #3
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Has anyone tried various detail settings in Compressor?

It's found under Frame Controls.

I turned Details Level up to 20 and the final result is considerably cleaner and sharper. I also did some adjusting in the anti-aliasing, but it doesn't seem to have as a dramatic effect as Details Level.

The downside is that it takes a LOT longer to process. What might take a few hours can take more than a day. With an 8-core Intel Mac, a 43-minute program takes about five hours to compress.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 01:04 PM   #4
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I haven't tried Episode yet so I can't speak to that.

But give us more details. What format is your project? Progressive or Interlaced? I've had problems going from Progressive to Interlaced. But going to a DVD you want to make sure you're NOT changing from one to the other. In other words, if your project is Progressive make your DVD progressive as well. Personally I think DVD's look better in Progressive anyway.

But yeah, we've discussed this to death in the other thread. Post your question there and you'll probably get lots of responses from the people still subscribed to it (like me).
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Old February 13th, 2009, 01:30 PM   #5
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Shoot @ 720p and set compressor to 8meg one pass. This should result in a good looking SD mpeg for SD DVD.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 03:45 PM   #6
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I just used Compressor for a 5 minute film that needed to be on DVD that was going to be presented in a theater, so I needed the quality to be as good as SD on DVD could be. I think 7 or 8 mbits/sec is good, but no more as DVD players can't handle more than that.

I gave up on the details and anti-alias setting because I just didn't have the time to wait for the results (the progress bar was not moving at all...)

I found the images to be ok, there was occasionally more judder (I shot and edited in 1080 30P) and scenes with a lot of horizontal detail and there was a tilt-up movement showed distracting artifacting. The only way I could get rid of it for those scenes was to go back to my FCP sequence and 'blur' those sections to remove some of the detail. Kind of annoying to have to reduce the resolution and clarity just to make it work for DVD, but these things happen and sometimes are probably unavoidable no matter the compressor used (no proof of that though). I'll have to go back and see if Episode Pro does a better job with similar material.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 04:03 PM   #7
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although i use compressor, you might like to try bitvice, a highly respected mpeg2 encoding software from innobits.

i come off media 100 hd and yes, downconverting from hd to sd via compressor does take some time, even from my 8 core macpro, so i usually leave the encoding to the overnight task if i have a few or a long one or 2.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 05:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Moreau View Post
I just used Compressor for a 5 minute film that needed to be on DVD that was going to be presented in a theater, so I needed the quality to be as good as SD on DVD could be. I think 7 or 8 mbits/sec is good, but no more as DVD players can't handle more than that.

I gave up on the details and anti-alias setting because I just didn't have the time to wait for the results (the progress bar was not moving at all...)

I found the images to be ok, there was occasionally more judder (I shot and edited in 1080 30P) and scenes with a lot of horizontal detail and there was a tilt-up movement showed distracting artifacting. The only way I could get rid of it for those scenes was to go back to my FCP sequence and 'blur' those sections to remove some of the detail. Kind of annoying to have to reduce the resolution and clarity just to make it work for DVD, but these things happen and sometimes are probably unavoidable no matter the compressor used (no proof of that though). I'll have to go back and see if Episode Pro does a better job with similar material.
Sounds to me like you were trying to go from 1080 P (progressive) to 720i (interlaced). You need to edit the default settings in Compressor so it creates a progressive MPEG-2 file. That will make a BIG difference. Hope that makes sense.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 09:48 PM   #9
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Is there a page anywhere on the web that takes the same footage and runs it through a variety of compressors? Episode is fairly pricey (IIRC) but I'd love to know what these various programs are capable of especially when going from HD to SD.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 10:15 PM   #10
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I wish.

The closest thing I found was this:

OneRiver Media // Codec Resource Site // v5

But it hasn't been updated in quite a while. Great effort though.
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Old February 14th, 2009, 09:09 AM   #11
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I tested Noah Kadnerīs workflow today, and I think I will use it in the future:

(Choose ProRes 422 HQ as render codec)
Export using QuickTime Conversion with ProREs 422 HQ to the frame size you want: I choosed DV-PAL 16:9.
Use Compressor to create the MPEG-2 file with DVD Best Quality for 90 min.
Excellent results in a simple and fast workflow.

Last edited by Sverker Hahn; February 14th, 2009 at 09:12 AM. Reason: Removing one (1) misplaced letter.
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Old February 14th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #12
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I have never understood why you would convert to ProRes and then compress again to mpeg. I you want a quicktime file I understand but going the other route involves longer rendering times for the same output file?
Why not set up a SD Seq in FCP in the SD delivery format? then send to compressor.

I'm no expert and i'm open to all things.
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Old February 14th, 2009, 02:30 PM   #13
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Exporting HDV Video from the Timeline to Standard Definition DVD

Moderator note: Please do not copy and paste complete work by someone else, somewhere else -- especially without acknowledging the author! Just put a link in. Text removed from this post and replaced with a link to original work:

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage...to_sd_dvd.html
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Old February 15th, 2009, 10:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Stone View Post
Why not set up a SD Seq in FCP in the SD delivery format? then send to compressor.
Because it is better ...
These codecs are compressed, ProRes less so. It is obviously less destroying. You may also use uncompressed, but that results in huge files, probably with minor improvements i quality.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #15
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SD DVDs looking terrible

Some of you who answered suggested methods I'm just not set up to do, including different software, and change my shooting settings, 720 vs 1080. And some things I just didn't understand at all. I stumbled on this 7 page PDF someone posted, forgive me I forgot who. He suggested making an SD sequence, and dragging my HD sequence into the SD. But first, I followed his instructions to the letter, rendered a piece. It looked absolutly awful.

So, my apologies to those who are fed up with this topic. Wading through pages of posts of those who have their own methods is something I'm dreading, not to mention the hundreds of potential wasted hours with trial and error.

So pleeeeese, who knows a work flow that works. Working with FCP, and DVDsp, shooting 1080i.
Below is what I had downloaded, which for me gave terrible results. Once rendered, the resolution
was very poor. I didn't think going ahead making a DVD would be any better.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf EX-XDCAM HD-to-SD Workflow.pdf (480.9 KB, 409 views)
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