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Old August 30th, 2005, 09:43 PM   #1
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Encoding a Feature for DVD?

So, I've been digging and struggling for about a week now. I can't seem to come up with functional Compresso settings for exporting my project. I've got a 2hr 20min feature in FCP that I need to encode and transfer to DVD in DVD Studio Pro. Can anyone tell me what my MPEG-2 compression settings should be? Why am I getting bit rate errors in DVDSP? Basically, I'm looking for a ball park group of settings for feature-length, high quality film festival submissions. I've been teaching myself on the fly since day one in FCP, and I think my brain's just done for.

Thanks in advance,

Chris
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Old August 30th, 2005, 10:59 PM   #2
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Try this Droplet and see how it works for you.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 11:28 PM   #3
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Chris,
You have to answer two questions to get an effective answer. Are you compressing for single or dual layer DVD? Do you have stereo or 5.1 channel audio?

If you have stereo sound compressed to AC-3 at a reasonable bitrate (e.g. 192 kbps, which is what I use) and you are using a dual layer DVD then you should be able to encode your video in 2-pass VBR mode with an average rate of 6.5 or 7 mbps and a max of 7.5 or 8. This will be a high quality encode. If you have multichannel audio or you are using uncompressed PCM audio then your video data rate will probably need to be lower. If you are using a single layer disc then you will have to use much lower data rates; I don't think Compressor is well-suited to this. You can look at this site: http://www.customflix.com/Special/Au.../BitBudget.jsp to give you a ballpark range, but it won't do you any good if you're using 5.1 channel audio or a higher data rate for AC-3.

Or maybe Dave's droplet already did the trick for you. If not, post which type of disc you're using and what's on your soundtrack and you can get better answers.
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Old August 31st, 2005, 06:24 AM   #4
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A brief and incomplete thanks.

It's 6:17am and I've been sitting and polishing the edits for what seems like three months. I happened across your responses while trying my best to pass out for a few hours, and I just wanted to say thanks a ton. I'll be trying both of your suggestions for sure, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate you weighing in so quickly.

For the record, I'm only running a stereo soundtrack. Also, my knowledge of DVD technolody is fledgling at best. The discs are around 4.7gb capacity if memory serves, so I'm guessing they're single-layer? Sounds like it would benefit me greatly to move to dual-layer, but does that affect my compatibility with players? Not to sidetrack, but, well, it's hard not to sidetrack.

If you have it in your heart to update your responses based on that info, I'd owe you all big.

BTW, if it affects anything: Dual 2.5ghz G5, 4.5GB RAM, source video on FW800 LaCie Bigger Disk Extreme 1TB. FCP 4.5HD suite (Compressor 1.2.1). QT7pro, overall lack of sleep/excess of nicotine.

Thanks again,

Chris.
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Old August 31st, 2005, 06:46 AM   #5
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Hello Chris,

If a disc is 4.7 gigabyte, it's single layer. Dual layer is 8.5 gigabyte, if I'm not mistaken.
I don't think it's a problem running a dual layer disc in a dvd player, the 'problem' is the price of an empty dual layer dvd. I heard prices here in Belgium of 15 euros, so it's kind of expensive.
Best regards,
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Old August 31st, 2005, 11:29 AM   #6
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Chris,
You're using single layer, so Dave's droplet should be great for you. If you have the time, try short samples with each droplet and see if the chroma noise reduction in the one improves your quality at all. There's a good chance it will. Make sure you compress the audio with the AC-3 codec. In your case, that means using A.Pack. This article should help if you're not familiar with the application: http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage..._warmouth.html.

Dual-layer discs are expensive compared to single layer, but you could greatly increase your data rate if you used dual layer, which in my experience is usually a good idea when using Compressor or any lower-end MPEG-2 encoder. It shouldn't affect compatibility at all.

Also, you don't owe us anything except an update on how well the encode worked for you.
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Old September 1st, 2005, 12:51 AM   #7
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low-end encoders

Zach,

You infer that compressor is a low end product. So far I'm finding it tricky to use for HDV 1080i to DVD. What would be a high end compressor?

Thanks

Lewis

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Old September 1st, 2005, 01:52 AM   #8
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Lewis,
First, full disclosure: I have no experience with editing or transcoding any kind of HD/HDV. But I can say that Compressor is not anywhere near the high end of MPEG-2 encoders. BitVice and the MainConcept encoder will supposedly do better on the Mac, but I didn't have enough success with either of their demos to pay for them, and neither of them is truly high end. CinemaCraft is supposed to be the best software-based encoder, but it only runs on windows. It also costs quite a bit more than, say, the entire Final Cut Studio.

The other high-end encoders are, I think, hardware based. This thread will give you an idea: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...=sonic+toshiba.

This article might help too, even though it's not current: http://videosystems.com/mag/video_mp...oder_shootout/. It claims that some people confuse Compressor's output with a $25,000 Sonic encoder.
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Old September 1st, 2005, 07:45 PM   #9
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I have had only good experiences using Compressor, though side-by-sides would definitely favour other software solutions.

Remember, 4.7 is what the DVD lists, but it is actually 4.27 gigs. You should definitely do your audio track as AC3 files either using compressor or A-Pack, which was included with FCP.

Good luck.

Kevin
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Old September 7th, 2005, 01:47 PM   #10
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My two pence here. I'm facing a similar problem with about three hours of event (Oxford Japan Festival) recording. I'm using a 4.7GB (actual 4.3GB) single layer DVD (my PB G4 1.5MHz with UJ-825 does not recognize 8.5 GB DVD+R DL).

What do I do? I'm not going to compromize on quality. Yes, the audio should be encoded with A-Pack (it's not advisable to leave it uncompressed). The video should be encoded to the level acceptable to the customer plus a little bit higher.

I will have to make more than one DVD. I don't see anything wrong with it. Another option would be to encode from FCP (I use QT), so that I have my .m2v and audio files and then to do the DVD authoring with a double-layer burner (perhaps even external).

All the best!
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Old September 7th, 2005, 10:03 PM   #11
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Hmm, looks like you answered your own question. :-) If you don't want to compromise the quality, you will have to go to multiple DVD's. The more compression = compromising the quality. Sometimes you won't notice the compromise, but it definitely is. To keep it very high quality, you may even have to have 3 DVD's, though you could get a decent look by doing 1.5 hr per DVD.

Good luck.

Kevin



Quote:
Originally Posted by Valery Karyakin
My two pence here. I'm facing a similar problem with about three hours of event (Oxford Japan Festival) recording. I'm using a 4.7GB (actual 4.3GB) single layer DVD (my PB G4 1.5MHz with UJ-825 does not recognize 8.5 GB DVD+R DL).

What do I do? I'm not going to compromize on quality. Yes, the audio should be encoded with A-Pack (it's not advisable to leave it uncompressed). The video should be encoded to the level acceptable to the customer plus a little bit higher.

I will have to make more than one DVD. I don't see anything wrong with it. Another option would be to encode from FCP (I use QT), so that I have my .m2v and audio files and then to do the DVD authoring with a double-layer burner (perhaps even external).

All the best!
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Old September 9th, 2005, 01:18 PM   #12
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Naive, but here goes anyway...

This may sound very naive to most of you who seem to have way more experience than I, but.....

Is it absolutely necessary to dump it to DVD? You say it's for a Film Festival.... can they only accept DVD? What about forgetting that and buying a MiniMac, drop the uncompressed (and presumably better quality? Anyone?) finished product onto that, and plug that into the big screen instead of the DVD player? Is it imporatnt that you have DVD menus, chapters etc? Or do you just want to show a film?

If it's a success and you want to go further, there must be studios around that will take the raw product and author it onto the right media at the best quality for distribution.

Then you can concentrate on film making and leave the other stuff to the techies!

Standing by to be put right.... !!
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Old September 9th, 2005, 01:44 PM   #13
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Uncompressed is certainly the best quality, but I don't think anyone is going to mail a Mac Mini to Sundance, not to mention the other 50 festivals you'll be applying for at any given moment. They mostly require DVD submission, I believe. For digital projection, that's another matter entirely, and media requirements will vary from one festival to the next. But submissions for consideration have to be sent via DVD.
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Old September 9th, 2005, 02:36 PM   #14
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Oh....

Thanks Jaime.

It's a pity that mini DV tapes can't hold more than an hour, isn't it?

(Having said that, which is better.... 1.5hrs of LP miniDV tape or 1hr of DVD?)

Could've been the new VHS.
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Old September 10th, 2005, 03:02 PM   #15
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Hello, all. I'm also in the process of encoding a feature-length film, but it's for a Dual Layer DVD. The problem is that I can't get a high-quality encoding larger than 5.1GB using Compressor, no matter what bitrate and settings I use.

Here are my system specs:

Dual 2GHz G5 (Rev A), 1.5GB RAM
LaCie D2 DVD+-RW Double Layer 2.4x w/Lightscribe External burner
FCP 4.5 HD
Compressor 1.2.1
DVD Studio Pro 3
OS X 10.3.9

Here are the video specs:

1hr, 42min MiniDV feature film
Shot w/ DVX100 @ 24pA
16x9 aspect ratio
Edited on 23.98 timeline in FCP
Audio encoded as Dolby stereo AC3

I'm trying to get the highest quality footage on the dual-layer DVD that I can. So far, I've tried the presets for 120min High Quality Encode Widescreen, and the 60min High Quality Encode Widescreen, modified to 8.3 average bitrate and 8.7 max bitrate, best motion estimation, 24p, 16x9, and the maximum file size I've gotten is only 5.1 GB.

A dual-layer DVD holds around 8GB. Why won't Compressor make an encode that't at least 7.5GB? It's less than 1 hour 45 minutes of DV footage; I should be able to get a very good quality encode for Dual-Layer, but I haven't been able to make one larger than 5.1GB. Any help or settings suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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