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Old April 16th, 2008, 08:27 PM   #1
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Why does my HDV footage look so crap when mastered to DVD?

Hi

I have a canon XH-A1, I edit on FCP and master my dvds using idvd.
My footage looks great on my computer screen and through the camera. Everything is shot well (ie correct exposure)

Yet when I master a dvd, the footage appears very dark and movement in shots is not smooth.

I have mastered dvd's using idvd and 16:9 SD footage, and it appears fine.

I am aware HDV is a compressed format, but surely I can expect better quality than 16:9 SD

What can I do, can anyone suggest any tweaks?
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Old April 16th, 2008, 09:49 PM   #2
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How and with what software are you compressing your projects? The compression program settings can make all the difference. For instance, if your motion shots are not smooth you may have the wrong field dominance chosen. FCP allows you to export directly through Compressor, but you can still adjust Compressor's settings to make the image darker or lighter, among other things. Take a good look at those areas.

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Old April 17th, 2008, 01:07 AM   #3
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i noticed last week that idvd has terrible compression. you'll find a much nicer result burning with Toast, although the menu's can't be fully customized, it burns fast and looks great. You dont even have to compress your clip to SD, i've been dropping my HDV clips in and Toast will encode it to an SD (or HD dvd if you have that capability) for you. Until i get DVD studio up and running it seems to be the best option.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 05:12 AM   #4
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thanks Brian

Even a HDV project mastered to 16:9 SD looks crap in idvd.

Time to learn dvdsp i think!
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Old April 17th, 2008, 07:33 AM   #5
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Mark,

Be sure to export a QuickTime movie (not Quicktime Conversion) to an external drive. When you import the movie into iDVD make sure that in Preferences/Projects that Professional Quality is selected. Also, obviously if your putting more than 1 hr of footage on the disk the quality is going to suffer.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #6
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"time to learn dvdsp I think"

Yes!

To use a XH-A1 and FCP and then iDVD seems
a touch counter-productive.

You will love DVDSP, jump in...


David
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Old April 17th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #7
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What editing program are you using? Final Cut for example does a horrible job converting HDV to SD! SD interlacing is lower fields and HDV is upper, final cut shifts fields automatically (look in filters) and it looks awful. There are a lot of factors involved, for example HDV gets MORE compressed when you render it, or cut, or add transitions. You avoid this by changing your render settings to pro res or animation (when you are done with the project) and re-render your final before you export.
I could go on and on, but maybe if you were a little more specific (what program you use, and are you editing in HDV or SD?) I could recommend a solution.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 02:42 PM   #8
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Here's what works very well for me with HDV footage from the Canon A1 (24F):

1. in FCP: render everything (I'm using native HDV codec)
2. export as quicktime movie (self-contained, no resizing! - 1440x1080).
3. Preview this raw quicktime movie using QuickTime Player. Should look nice. (at least it does in my case).
4. (Drag-and-) Drop this into compressor. Select one of the default NTSC DVD templates. I forget which one I used - use the one with the least compression (determined by the total length of your footage).
5. Let compressor do the down-sampling (resizing).
6. Dump the output into DVD Studio Pro and burn.

For me this produces perfect, very high quality DVDs.
Best,
Dino
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Old April 18th, 2008, 05:02 AM   #9
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thanks guys

I am using FCP. What I was trying to do was export the HDV sequence as a DV PAL anamorphic quicktime movie, and then trying to use that in idvd.

I will try doing it in compressor, and tell you how I go.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 11:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Shea View Post
thanks guys

I am using FCP. What I was trying to do was export the HDV sequence as a DV PAL anamorphic quicktime movie, and then trying to use that in idvd.

I will try doing it in compressor, and tell you how I go.
Mark,
don't export HDV from FCP as DV SD!
Sure recipe for quality problems. Export directly to compressor, and do the resizing (HD > PAL 16:9) and compression there. Use the setting appropriate for the length of your piece. IF it is over 2 hours, use only the dolby audio - not the aif. A 2 hour dvd should look fine if everything else is good.

DVDSP has a simple mode which is nearly as easy as imovie. Easier if you are trying to do anything beyond a templated basic author.

Import the separate audio and video files generated by compressor. Making the first disc will take only a few minutes to begin burning in most cases. The time-consuming area is in compressor, where a high quality job can take several times as long as the project itself, depending on your machine.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 01:40 PM   #11
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I'm not following one part of this thread that I need to - I'm assuming "Compressor" is software?
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Old April 25th, 2008, 03:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce Erwin View Post
I'm assuming "Compressor" is software?
Yes, that's right. Compressor is an application that comes with Apple's Final Cut Studio. It's a collection of codecs and a user interface to run/configure them.

Compressor can be launched from the Finder/dock, or it can be launched from inside Final Cut Pro ("File -> Export -> using Compressor").

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Old April 29th, 2008, 03:35 PM   #13
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My Canon XHA1 1080 30p timelines exported from FCP using Compressor, than dragging the m2v file into DVDSP makes Gorgeous SD DVD. But I also installed the recent Pro App Updates. I hadn't tried a SD DVD with HDV prior to the updates, so I couldn't report if the Updates were the cause of such gorgeous DVDs or not... But right now FCP Studio 2 kicks serious ass!

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Old April 29th, 2008, 08:24 PM   #14
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thanks for everyone's help

I have had success!

I exported directly from fcp to compressor, using one of compressors dvd templates.

I then dragged audio and video files into dvdsp and (very easily) produced a menued dvd

No motion artifacts in the finished dvd BUT the images are darker on the tv than they appeared on my computer

maybe time to learn color now, he he
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Old April 30th, 2008, 12:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Shea View Post
thanks for everyone's help

I have had success!

I exported directly from fcp to compressor, using one of compressors dvd templates.

I then dragged audio and video files into dvdsp and (very easily) produced a menued dvd

No motion artifacts in the finished dvd BUT the images are darker on the tv than they appeared on my computer

maybe time to learn color now, he he
It might also be time to calibrate your monitor. This is probably just a case that your computer monitor is not set up correctly.
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