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Old June 13th, 2006, 02:12 AM   #1
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Exporting and Burning to DVD

Ok, I finished a short film a while ago, but got caught up with personal stuff and left it on the back burner, but I did finally finish it. NOW< I need to brun it to DVD, using iDVD or DVD Pro, but I tried several methods of exporting the file and then importing into iDVD< but the quality ends up poor on another computer (from what I used to create it) and on the TV monitor.

Can someone be so kind as to give me the best STEP by STEP guide to export out of FCP, at what setting, to iDVD, and at what setting there to get the possible best quality. I did a search on here, but to no avail. =(

Here is some information about the original footage:

Used HD100- w/ Mini35 adapter
Shot 24p, edited in 23.97 in FCP
The film is about 17:30 min.
I used HDV 720p to export in Quicktime "export" settings and the file came out to be like 6 Gb. I then dragged that file to iDVD, and the movie still looked great in iDVD... that was until I burned it and played on other monitors.

Looks really nice on my monitor I use to edit, but as soon as I play the DVD on a tv monitor or other computer monitor it looks like the colors are way off and titles are flickering and poor quality. Almost looks like bad website stream video.

please H E L P ! =)
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Old June 14th, 2006, 10:22 AM   #2
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Dvd

Hi!
I think you should export using compressor. Make some tests and review the compressed video. I hear that Compressor 2.0 has some bugs related to the VBR encoding. Some folks think perhaps you should use CBR. The exact rate you should pick, is really not my area, but it also depends on how long is the video.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 11:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Duke
I used HDV 720p to export in Quicktime "export" settings and the file came out to be like 6 Gb. I then dragged that file to iDVD, and the movie still looked great in iDVD... that was until I burned it and played on other monitors.
DVD burning requires that you compress your footage in MPEG2. This can be a lot easier and more accurate if you use Compressor. This will also allow you to play with the DVD options without going to lengthy recompression every time you want to test a new DVD. But the best advantage is that Compressor is much more sophisticated than iDVD.
I usually export from FCP using "Export with QuickTime" using the "Current settings" option and uncheck the "Make self contained movie". This creates a "reference movie" where QT basically references the external render files. This takes very little time and uses minimal amount of disk.
Drop the movie into Compressor, select "DVD 90 Minutes, best quality" (or something like that, I'm going by memory), check the geometry settings for the screen size and you should be done. When the movie is ready drop it into DVD Studio Pro or iDVD and the result should be OK.

Hope this helps.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 11:36 AM   #4
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I second (or third) the notion of using Compressor. You can also export directly from the timeline in FCP. Just go to export and choose "use compressor".

With a 17 minute movie you don't really need variable bit rate and usually won't see a difference between VBR and "Constant" which is the fastest setting.

Choose 90 minutes, fastest, All, and set your file destinations to desktop or wherever you want. Take the resulting m2v and ac3 files into DSP and it should look great.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 12:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Shultz
I second (or third) the notion of using Compressor. You can also export directly from the timeline in FCP. Just go to export and choose "use compressor".
I used that at the beginning but there is a major downside to that method. What happens in that case is that FCP reads each frame from the footage, sends it to Compressor via a shared memory channel, Compressor read the frame, waits for all the data to be available, compresses the GOP, etc.etc.
When you export a reference file Compressor reads the file directly and this speeds up the process dramatically.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 12:46 PM   #6
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You're right--especially on longer form programs and depending on how much filtering you're doing.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 03:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Shultz
I second (or third) the notion of using Compressor. You can also export directly from the timeline in FCP. Just go to export and choose "use compressor".

With a 17 minute movie you don't really need variable bit rate and usually won't see a difference between VBR and "Constant" which is the fastest setting.

Choose 90 minutes, fastest, All, and set your file destinations to desktop or wherever you want. Take the resulting m2v and ac3 files into DSP and it should look great.
You said to select Fastest, not Best Quality?
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Old June 14th, 2006, 04:02 PM   #8
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Thanks guys.

I am not sure what bitrate I need to set it at. When I increase the bitrate it seems to get better quality and less time on the DVD, which is fine since its a short film, howeer, I have read that you should not use higher bitrate than 8- mbps.

Also, I have issues with the file being converted in to a smaller bitrate when I import to DVDSP.

Its driving me crazy.

Duke

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Shultz
I second (or third) the notion of using Compressor. You can also export directly from the timeline in FCP. Just go to export and choose "use compressor".

With a 17 minute movie you don't really need variable bit rate and usually won't see a difference between VBR and "Constant" which is the fastest setting.

Choose 90 minutes, fastest, All, and set your file destinations to desktop or wherever you want. Take the resulting m2v and ac3 files into DSP and it should look great.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 04:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone
DVD burning requires that you compress your footage in MPEG2. This can be a lot easier and more accurate if you use Compressor. This will also allow you to play with the DVD options without going to lengthy recompression every time you want to test a new DVD. But the best advantage is that Compressor is much more sophisticated than iDVD.
I usually export from FCP using "Export with QuickTime" using the "Current settings" option and uncheck the "Make self contained movie". This creates a "reference movie" where QT basically references the external render files. This takes very little time and uses minimal amount of disk.
Drop the movie into Compressor, select "DVD 90 Minutes, best quality" (or something like that, I'm going by memory), check the geometry settings for the screen size and you should be done. When the movie is ready drop it into DVD Studio Pro or iDVD and the result should be OK.

Hope this helps.
Thanks Paolo,

Can you share your "current settings"? That will help me. Since I may hav echanged my current settings a while back.

Mine are set at:

Frame Size: 1280 X 720 (HDTV 720p 16:9)
Pixel Aspect: 1280x1080)
Anamorphic is CLICKED ON
Time base: 23.98
COmpressor: Apple Intermediate Codec
Quality: 100%

Is that okay?

Also when I use DVD 90 min fastest (Not sure why I wouldnyt use best quality) what bit rate and frame sync do I set it at? i want to keep the best quality for 18 minutes.

And what about video format, multi pass etc? If someone can share settinsg it would be great for me and others.

Cheers

Thanks guys
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Old June 14th, 2006, 05:52 PM   #10
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Hi Brian,
You don't need anamorphic checked for what you've got.

More about settings:
If you use Fastest, it is constant bitrate and you shouldn't have to change any settings. It averages around 6.2 Mb and sets the max at 7.7 Mb. Use default settings unless you have problems.

Best Quality does a 2-pass variable bitrate. It is also set for average at 6.2 Mb. Again, for most jobs you aren't likely to need to change settings from the default. Variable bitrate was originally intended to "budget" your bits so you could use less on sections that required less data and "borrow" the extra bits to use in more detailed or changing areas--during dissolves, for example. It helped fit extra quality on a two-hour disk. The first pass is for analysis and the second pass encodes. For 17 minutes, it's not an issue but you might want to use it if you have troublesome dissolves or action areas that block up.

Since you're learning what looks and works best for you, why not do both settings for learning purposes and check to see if you can see differences or have problems. You don't even have to burn a DVD, just use your software player at first. (I'm assuming a Mac, but should work for PC as well.)

About your "current settings" are you talking about your timeline? You should have pixel aspect set to SQUARE and anamorphic UNchecked.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 05:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Duke
Can you share your "current settings"? That will help me. Since I may hav echanged my current settings a while back.
"Current settings" is the first option in the drop-down box and it should match the compression settings in your sequence. This guaratees that FCP will create a QT movie without recompressing/transcoding your footage again. For a 17 minute video the whole export process should take just a few seconds and generate a pretty small file. Just press "Cmd-0" in your sequence and check the compression options.

Quote:
Frame Size: 1280 X 720 (HDTV 720p 16:9)
Pixel Aspect: 1280x1080)
Anamorphic is CLICKED ON
Time base: 23.98
COmpressor: Apple Intermediate Codec
Quality: 100%
Anamorphic? That should be off. You have 16:9 native in the camera. That will cause the image to be distorted. Anamorphic is used when either using anamorphic lenses or when shooting 16:9 using a 4:3 frame (electronic cheat of some DV cameras). That flag will scale the frame along the horizontal axis in order to compensate for the distortion created by the anamorphic capture.

Quote:
Also when I use DVD 90 min fastest (Not sure why I wouldnyt use best quality) what bit rate and frame sync do I set it at? i want to keep the best quality for 18 minutes.
Choose best quality with 2 passes VBR. Keep the defaults. It should be OK.

Good luck!
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Old June 14th, 2006, 06:00 PM   #12
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Brian, another thing that can be useful if you are worried about image quality. Before doing your final render, open the sequenced options, click on the "Video Processing" tab and click on "Motion Filtering Quality. Select "Best". This can be useful or not, it depends if you worked with transparency, crop or other settings in the "Motion" tab of your clips.
Beware that this will likely cause your whole sequence to be re-rendered so it can have an impact on your delivery time :)
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Old June 14th, 2006, 07:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone
Brian, another thing that can be useful if you are worried about image quality. Before doing your final render, open the sequenced options, click on the "Video Processing" tab and click on "Motion Filtering Quality. Select "Best". This can be useful or not, it depends if you worked with transparency, crop or other settings in the "Motion" tab of your clips.
Beware that this will likely cause your whole sequence to be re-rendered so it can have an impact on your delivery time :)
THANKS.. That helped alot. At least getting better dissolves, cross fades etc, and hopefully it will give me a better picuture for titles and overlays etc. Still trying to figure out how to get a better quality picture on my DVD. Its really a BIG difference between the original movie in FCP5 and the DVD. Shouldn't be that big of a difference.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 07:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Duke
T Its really a BIG difference between the original movie in FCP5 and the DVD. Shouldn't be that big of a difference.
Well, acttually it should, otherwise we wouldn't have to shell out the big bucks for HD :). 1280x720 vs 720x480. Progressive vs Interlaced. Remember that the DVD is still NTSC resolution and frame rate. We can do the best we can to preserve the "core" of the image but you'll need Blu Ray and an HDTV to get the image you have in the HD100.
Maybe if you can post a couple of screen grabs from the original and DVD-converted video we can judge better where the image degradation happens.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 08:29 PM   #15
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Paolo,

Will try to get some images to you ASAP. On another note, why do some of the title letters look like the old school Atari computer graphics? Like the "a" and "w" has like square pixels very visible. Not sure why that is. and it bugs me. There has to be a way to have your LIVE TYPE titles which are full 720p come out loooking crisp and clear.
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