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Old November 5th, 2002, 01:14 PM   #1
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Best Codec for AVI to DVD

I capture to AVI via Firewire (PC) from my cam, then add a few effects in After Effects. What is the best codec to use in rendering a project in preparation for converting to MPEG2 for DVD. I've tried a few but keep getting pixelation or poor results (some worse than others). Should I just stick with uncompressed AVI and fill up my drives? I've tried DV1, MS Video, Quicktime, and variations using different codecs and settings and all seem to degrade the video prior to DVD (I understand the quality/compression tradeoff) but which one does the best in preparation for MPEG2?

Thanks,

Tom
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Old November 5th, 2002, 04:20 PM   #2
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Many After Effects users like the Animation Codec. I know several people doing work that way in preperation for MPEG2 encoding. I haven't personally used it so maybe try a short test and try it for yourself.

Jeff
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Old November 6th, 2002, 07:35 AM   #3
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I would NOT render out to a codec. You are introducing another
compression stage which gets it up to 3 or even 4:

1. DV Compression
2. (this one depends) -> output from NLE -> DV re-compression
3. AE output compression
4. MPEG2 compression

I would definitely output to uncompressed or find a codec that
is lossless (don't know if that exists for AVI).
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Old November 8th, 2002, 08:36 AM   #4
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Just for clarification:

Except for the DV compression that takes place in the camera, you should be able to process and manipulate the video, and finally export it onto tape without any additiional compression or loss, yes? Each step can be done completely uncompressed? Or are there slight degradations that take place every time you make a change?

Thanks.
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Old November 8th, 2002, 08:42 AM   #5
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If you render any scene or add data (titles, color corrections etc.) the original data is changed.

Jeff
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Old November 9th, 2002, 08:46 AM   #6
 
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I've found several very good MPEG2 transcoders. Either TMPGenc or Mainconcept will work very well. The secret to nice looking MPEG2/DVD encoding is to set a good bitrate. DVD allows up to 9000 Mb/sec...I've found at 8000MB/sec my DVD looks even better than the original AVI. Sometimes there is a small "twitter" that develops in some compressed scenes. There are some software solutions to removing this twitter during the compression process. Significant compression over DV can still be achieved with MPEG2 at 8000 MB/sec and VBR encoding. If you use the VBR choice, be sure to set the minimum bitrate to a high value...like 7000 Mb/sec...just experiment to find what works for you.

Finally, the problem with archiving in MPEG2 and DVD is that that format won't edit well if you ever need to go back and re-use the video clip. Only archiving in DV format works for that.
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