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Old March 1st, 2006, 02:37 PM   #1
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Urgent: Low Picture Quality on DVD

Hello, comrades.

A couple weeks ago, I shot a ballet recital with the Canon XL-2, in 60i. Everything went very smooth for the most part, foucsing, framing, all that good stuff. I used Adobe Premiere Pro to edit the footage. I didn't really make too many adjustments to the picture... On my computer the footage looked fantastic; absolutely great. Once I put it on a dvd, though... it looked half as good. The program which I used to burn the DVD was Roxio. Because I'm using Roxio to make dvds, is that what could be causing the picture quality problem? The dvds I used were Fujifilm, dvd-r, 4.7 GB/120 Minutes. Could that be an issue? Are there any adjustments you recommend I could make in post, other than sharpening the picture?

Any help will be greatly, greatly appreciated...

Thanks,
D.C. Joseph
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Old March 1st, 2006, 02:47 PM   #2
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How did you export the footage? what file format etc.?
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Old March 1st, 2006, 02:53 PM   #3
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How long was it?
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Old March 1st, 2006, 02:56 PM   #4
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if you put 120 min on a 4.7 DVD, no surprise if quality is bad.
except if you are a seasoned encoder guy, putting more than 1 hour with good quality, requires to play a lot with the settings.
currently for such kind of picture (let's call it slow content), i would recommend VBR 2 pass with high low limit (around 4k) medium average (about 6k) and high top limit (about 8k).
or use a calculator and make a CBR at the highest rate you can to fit the DVD.
additionally, mpeg2 is far more efficient on progressive content, so would be a good idea to deinterlace if you get good tolls for that.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 03:08 PM   #5
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I don't know Premiere or Roxio at all. Who's codec is being used to encode the MPEG-2 video stream?
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Old March 1st, 2006, 03:25 PM   #6
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A fairly reliable method to get the MPEG-2 encoded well, with a minimum of fuss (if this is all pretty new to you), might be to export a DV format file from the editor (Premiere) and encode that file to an MPEG-2 file, using TMPGEnc 2.5's Wizard, telling it that you want a VBR encoding (you definitely want a 2-pass VBR encoding to get the best quality for 2hrs of content on a standard 4.7GB DVD). TMPGEnc should generate settings that will work pretty well. The one setting to change manually though, would be to set "Motion Search Precision" to "Highest Quality." TMPGEnc can be tweaked quite a bit, but the Wizard usually works well. It will take quite awhile to do the encoding.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 04:10 PM   #7
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It's probably the mpeg-2 encoding, but did you look at an NTSC monitor while editing. What you see on a computer monitor can look much different from what you might see on an ntsc monitor. Hook your XL2 up to your computer with firewire, then out of your cameras composite or s-video to a professional ntsc monitor or even a consumer television is better than nothing.

Good Luck,

Matt
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 12:09 AM   #8
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Douglas,

I'm a Mac person so can't help with the particulars but the information is either there or it isn't on the dvd. It's not likely that the fuji dvds are the problem. Are you getting good results with other smaller projects? It is probibly in your export settings or the codec you are using for the dvd. I do a lot of 120 minute ballets and in general they look pretty good with the ordinary Apple 2 pass codec. 2 hours is on the outer edge and threre is some loss but generally not enough to bother people. Make absolute sure you are using a multi pass codec. I find it helps to run a 4.1.1 color smoothing filter on the entire project. I also wire frame the entire project and shrink it about 10 percent and get a little more resolution there. I tend to shoot things a little tight and this keeps the project in the tv safe area for most sets.



Mike
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 07:49 AM   #9
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When I first got my DVD Burner, it came with Nero, so I loaded it up. I then put some video into my Nero project (video I shot with my VX2100 and edited on Premiere), set all the settings to Full Quality, Best Picture, etc. My Premiere project was exported at full DV quality (same that it was imported from camera). On the computer, I couldn't tell a difference between the original imported footage and the exported clip I was going to burn.

So.. I burned it on a disc and watched it on my TV... not half bad, but I was questioning the quality a lot. It looked very pixellated and I couldn't figure out why because I had set everything to full quality. Since I had planned for the purchase anyway, I went ahead and purchased Adobe Encore DVD. I burned the same exact project to another disc, and it was at least 3x better!!

I hope this helps, I learned that using consumer software to burn DVD movies reduces the quality so you can get the advertised "2 hours per disc." No matter what settings I chose on Nero, it looked like I was watching a low quality MPEG on a VCD. Unless I missed something, but I'm not sure.
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