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Old June 5th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #1
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Compressor settings question

We have a project that we need to downconvert to SD. We exported the HD timeline (used Apple Prores) to Compressor and set to SD. Not happy with the quality of the footage. Anyone want to share a setting you have used that you are happy with?

Thanks
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Old June 5th, 2008, 01:31 PM   #2
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John, There are too many variables to give you one setting that works. The best way is to experiment until you get the quality you want or can live with. Usually takes me at least 3 tries to get what I want or in the ballpark of what I need.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #3
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How are you downconverting? Letterbox or anamorphic? DV or SD ProRes? Try creating a sequence in the SD format of your choice and nesting your HD sequence into it.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 01:47 PM   #4
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Rick and William...thanks.

William...not sure on how it is being exported I am away from the studio but will see how it was set up exactly.

I will try setting up another sequence and change the settings there and try that.

I do appreciate the quick responses.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #5
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John, Im having the same problem!

I filmed in HDV and instead of downconverting (as usual) on camera. I decided to work in HDV on my FCP timeline right through to the end.
I exported the sequence via the Quicktime export, not conversion, which exported as Apple HDV. I then previewed the Quicktime movie from my Mac on my HD TV and was mighty impressed, as this is the first time I have seen HD (yes I know it's not true HD) on my TV.

My problem arrived when I wanted to to make a DVD! I thought, maybe I could work in HD in DVD Studio Pro, burn onto a standard DV and watch it full size on my TV. How wrong I was! It did not even create a Video TS or Audio TS folder, It worked on my Mac but not in my DVD player.

I then decided to import the original file I exported from FCP onto a DV 720X576 anamorphic timeline, export and work in SD in DVD Studio Pro and burn a regular disk as normal. The quality was rubbish when played in my DVD player on my TV.
I then done as you did, and exported with the Quicktime conversion, except I done this direct from FCP and not compressor. This was also awful.
I then used compressor to make separate mp2 and audio files for import into DVD Studio Pro, this was also awful as-well.

I have now dragged the sequence (nested) onto a DV 720X576 anamorphic timeline,(as William mentioned) but this is going to take 3hours to render a 5.5minute short. I shall export as Quicktime from FCP, import into DVD Studio Pro, make disk, and test.

I will get back to you with the results.

While we are on this subject! exporting HDV in the H264 codec works beautifully for web purposes.

Heres a link to the movie I made It's called Battersea Park:
http://exposureroom.com/members/cybercarl.aspx/
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Old June 7th, 2008, 03:23 PM   #6
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The best way to understand Compressor and take the guess work out is get a copy of this:

http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Pro-Trai...2870146&sr=8-1
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Old June 7th, 2008, 06:06 PM   #7
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This may help. http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/hdv_to_sd_dvd.html
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Old June 20th, 2008, 10:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Adams View Post
John, Im having the same problem!

I filmed in HDV and instead of downconverting (as usual) on camera. I decided to work in HDV on my FCP timeline right through to the end.
I exported the sequence via the Quicktime export, not conversion, which exported as Apple HDV. I then previewed the Quicktime movie from my Mac on my HD TV and was mighty impressed, as this is the first time I have seen HD (yes I know it's not true HD) on my TV.

My problem arrived when I wanted to to make a DVD! I thought, maybe I could work in HD in DVD Studio Pro, burn onto a standard DV and watch it full size on my TV. How wrong I was! It did not even create a Video TS or Audio TS folder, It worked on my Mac but not in my DVD player.

I then decided to import the original file I exported from FCP onto a DV 720X576 anamorphic timeline, export and work in SD in DVD Studio Pro and burn a regular disk as normal. The quality was rubbish when played in my DVD player on my TV.
I then done as you did, and exported with the Quicktime conversion, except I done this direct from FCP and not compressor. This was also awful.
I then used compressor to make separate mp2 and audio files for import into DVD Studio Pro, this was also awful as-well.

I have now dragged the sequence (nested) onto a DV 720X576 anamorphic timeline,(as William mentioned) but this is going to take 3hours to render a 5.5minute short. I shall export as Quicktime from FCP, import into DVD Studio Pro, make disk, and test.

I will get back to you with the results.

While we are on this subject! exporting HDV in the H264 codec works beautifully for web purposes.

Heres a link to the movie I made It's called Battersea Park:
http://exposureroom.com/members/cybercarl.aspx/
Nice video Carl!
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Old June 21st, 2008, 09:03 AM   #9
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Thanks John,

With regards to all this down-conversion stuff! After some tests including Ken Stone's and a lot of research on forums etc, It appears to me that software based down-conversion does not give good results, no matter what codec or software is used.
The only way to do it with good quality, is with expensive hardware that specializes in conversions. Something like this http://www.matrox.com/video/en/products/mxo/ which is at the cheaper end.

I did think about exporting my footage back onto the camera and then re-capturing using the inbuilt down-conversion on camera, but have yet to try this. Editing to tape is a new area for me as I have never done that before and would be a good lesson for me!

My conclusion in the end is, that if the work is for my own purposes, I will probably shoot and work in hdv right through. And if the work is for a client who needs the final output on DVD, I shall shoot HDV and then down-convert on the camera before editing.

How did you get on with your footage in the end?
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