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Old December 20th, 2005, 01:00 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1
Hdv -> Sd Dvd... Need Some Help!

Hey all,

Im sure this is covered somewhere on these boards several times over, but an a quick answer for my conundrum would help me out a lot.

Im using a PMG5 Quad w/ Final Cut Studio.
Just finished editing a big project, my first entirely in HD. All of my sequences are in the HDV-1080i60 preset format provided by Final Cut, as are all my Motion projects.

I used compressor (even though it quits unexpectedly EVERY TIME IT RUNS, as does the batch preview monitor, although the conversions still go on in the background) and exported my 16:9 HDV using the "Best for 90min DVD 16:9" preset.

I built my DVD around these files. They looked blocky and generally pixelated in the DVD Studio Pro , But I assumed this was because it was previewing the media at a lower res, and after having spent the last month editing big pretty HDV, i thought maybe that was how SD looked on this big display.

ANY WAY. Built the DVD, burned it, watched it on my home TV.
Looked OK. Noticeable flicker and general blockyness throughout, but still watchable.

Put it back into my computer's DVD drive, opened DVD player... OH MY GOD! It looked AWFUL! I obviously did something wrong, used the wrong formats for DVD studio or something because it looks horrible, blurry, pixelated, looks like it is at a quarter of the resolution it should be at.

I really need someone who has completed a similar project, i.e. edited everything in HDV-1080i60 and then produced files for an SD DVD.

Specifically, what setting should I use for exporting from compressor? Is there something else I need to do in DVD studio to make sure the files are being handled correctly?? The aspect ratios are all right, the resolution is just awful.

If someone could give me a brief walk through of what to do to fix these files, how to re-export them from final cut pro, whatever I could try, I would GREATLY appreciate it! (I was supposed to send these DVDs off today, and have been working on this project 10-15 hours a day for the last week. i feel like I just got kicked in the head.)
Ryan Stover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 21st, 2005, 05:28 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Glendale, CA
Posts: 7

I feel your pain. This should be easier, and is - sort of. I went through the same search and came up with this solution for HDV to SD DVD:

Output the sequence by doing an Export to Quicktime. In the Export dialog check the following... Setting: Current Settings, Include: Audio and Video, Markers: Chapter (because I had set some Chapter Markers), Recompress All Frames was NOT checked, and Make Movie Self-Contained WAS checked. Since the sequence had been fully rendered the Export was not terribly long - a bit less than running time.

The big step is encoding in Compressor, and where I discovered the key to this process. I dragged the Self-Contained Quicktime movie into the Batch window and assigned the conversion Setting to DVD Best Quality 90 min 16:9. The stock setting will NOT perform well, however, because the Field Dominance defaults to Top First (standard for HDV) - which results in horrible motion displacement. The Automatic setting fails to set Field Dominance correctly as well - you must select the conversion setting and use the Video Format Tab in the Inspector to MANUALLY SET FIELD DOMINANCE TO "BOTTOM FIRST" (standard for SD). The remainder of the default settings will result in a final m2v that is visibly superior to a round-trip to the FX1 for conversion. If you have the time to spare, you can try to increase some of the default Quality settings in the Inspector, but get ready for some absurd render times (like weeks!). The hour's worth of footage I submitted to the Batch took over 22 hours to encode, but the result is a cleaner picture (fewer blocky compression artifacts) and less wear and tear on the FX1.

I have since read elsewhere that choosing a Constant Bit Rate (versus VBR) will improve things even more. If your sequence isn't too large, this option should help yield better results, and might take much less time in Compressor since 2-pass VBR is pretty processor intensive.

Now if the video industry would just settle on a HD format for DVD we could stop all this downconversion to SD nonsense.

BTW - this method was also posted by me on Larry Jordan's FCP Newsletter last month (in case it looks familiar to anyone).

Good Luck!
Bill Koepnick is offline   Reply

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