Unique Workflow Problem: HDV from iMovie HD to Compressor at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 28th, 2009, 09:59 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 31
Unique Workflow Problem: HDV from iMovie HD to Compressor

As I'm sure many have found out, editing HDV footage with a mac is really easy. But getting decent DVD output using iMovie and FCE (which both rely on iDVD) is not. I tried different workflows, but iDVD kept ruining the quality. And, yes, I tried all 3 settings in iDVD.

So I eventually broke down and got Final Cut Studio 2. The problem is that I have 15 short (20 min) videos that have been edited in iMovie HD. I need to get them to DVD, so here's my workflow so far.

My movies are shot in HDV 1080i with a Sony HC1 and captured into iMovie HD. After editing, I export out of iMovie HD using ProRes 422 (HQ), which appeared as a option once I got FCS2. I then import into Compressor, use the standard SD DVD settings (Best 90 min), and then burn with DVD Studio Pro.

That works pretty well, but the video is still interlaced. I know that I can deinterlace in Compressor using Frame Controls, but I'm not sure about what the ProRes 422 format did to my video. What I mean is, my video was shot and edited as interlaced footage. When I saved in iMovie HD to ProRes, there was a box labeled "Interlaced". It was unchecked, so I left it alone. But when I clicked OK and went back to the Movie Settings page, it showed my output as Progressive. If I check the "Interlaced" box, I have to choose top or bottom field first. Only then will it show my output file as interlaced.

I don't know which options to choose. I would prefer to have my ProRes file to remain interlaced and let Compressor deinterlace for me. What settings should I make for the ProRes compression? Is this workflow logical?
BJ Elliott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2009, 02:02 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 1,124
You're right on track with this.

In your ProRes settings, check Interlaced and choose Upper Field first (HD is always upper field first, and SD is always lower field first). Then use these Compressor settings:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/1146682-post4.html (courtesy Robert Lane)

to deinterlace the footage and compress to MPEG-2.
__________________
Sony EX3, Canon 5D MkII, Chrosziel Matte Box, Sachtler tripod, Steadicam Flyer, Mac Pro, Apple/Adobe software - 20 years as a local videographer/editor
Mitchell Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2009, 10:09 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 31
Thanks Mitchell,

I started to use "Best" Resize Filter and "Best" Deinterlacer, but the estimated render time on my 20 min clip using a new iMac was over 300 hours. I'll try it with a short clip and see how it looks.

One thing to note: When I compared the picture quality of my video using (1) ProRes without setting the Interlaced options to Compressor SD DVD BEst 90 min presets, vs (2) ProRes with Interlaced options checked to Compressor with custom Frame Controls of "Better" Resize Filter and "Better" Deinterlacer, the version based on using the Compressor presets came out better.

At first, I thought it was the ProRes Interlace settings. But that didn't change much. It was the Adaptive Details setting being checked in the preset. I had read somewhere that this was mainly used for upscaling SD to HD, but I found that it added an hour to my render of a 20 min clip and produced superior picture quality. Any idea why?

Also, on another thread it was suggested that I do my downscaling from 1080 to 480 during the ProRes step, and just do deinterlacing in Compressor. The thread suggested that Quicktime Conversion was better as downscaling than Compressor. Any thoughts on that?
BJ Elliott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2009, 10:42 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 1,124
Yes, turning on Frame controls will take a lot more time to render. It's very frustrating. But you've got the right idea. Do some tests with a short piece of footage too see what is the best compromise for you.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand the part about you testing picture quality.

I also heard that it's better to downscale using Quicktime conversion, but in my experience I cant' see the difference. I like the convenience of doing it all in one step using Compressor. But I must confess, I'm still not happy with the quality of the DVD's I've produced (going from XDCAM EX 1080 30p to SD DVD) So like you, I'm still learning. :)
__________________
Sony EX3, Canon 5D MkII, Chrosziel Matte Box, Sachtler tripod, Steadicam Flyer, Mac Pro, Apple/Adobe software - 20 years as a local videographer/editor
Mitchell Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2009, 11:02 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 31
Thanks Mitchell. As for the picture quality, it just boils down to the fact that Adaptive Details being checked made a big difference in the quality of my DVD picture.

But like you, I'm still not happy with the quality of my DVDs. What's more frustrating is that when you do the tutorials on Apple website or do a lesson at the Apple store, everything looks amazing. I'm doing a one-to-one class on Tuesday. I'm going to ask them to run there own footage through Compressor and DVD SP and look at the DVD.

Here's an idea for a new thread. What is the best HD camcorder (or format) for editing on the Mac? I would seriously consider buying a new camcorder if my DVDs would come out better with less post production.
BJ Elliott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2009, 12:35 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 1,124
If you want the best quality DVD's, just start with SD footage! hehehehehe

I have "heard", but never actually tested it, that 720 60p works best when transferring to SD DVD's.

I've also heard that there is better software than Compressor for making SD MPEG-2 files. I've heard BitVice is good, so is Telestream Encoder. I need to make some time and demo some of them.

The problem is, there are so many variables. One person will have good results and another won't. Variables can be:

progressive or interlaced?
1080 or 720?
30p or 60p?
graphics or just video?

You get the idea.

I ordered Brian Gary's book on Compressor, so hopefully that will enlighten me. I've also considered the CRAM Compressor settings. But I've been too cheap to buy them just yet.

Honestly, I've been recommending all my clients to not deliver on DVD. I've been giving them WMV files instead and they seem to be very happy. I can make the files a much higher resolution than 720x480 DVD's. This improves the quality for projection use as well.

Finally, I've actually delivered my first project on Blu-Ray the other day. I've been able to make Blu-Ray's since January, but none of our clients had Blu-Ray players. That's slowly starting to change. Did you know you don't need a blu-ray recorder or blu-ray media to make blu-ray discs? I just use Toast 10 and it works pretty darn well. I need to try using Adobe Encore next, so I can make custom menus instead of using the preset menus your restricted to using Toast.
__________________
Sony EX3, Canon 5D MkII, Chrosziel Matte Box, Sachtler tripod, Steadicam Flyer, Mac Pro, Apple/Adobe software - 20 years as a local videographer/editor
Mitchell Lewis is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:43 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network