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Old September 7th, 2009, 11:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by James J. Lee View Post
The biggest issue with that is it's a major time killer on my machine. I recently had a client that wanted 9 hour long presentations burned to DVDs for duplication. You could say I substantially underestimated the time it would take to 1)Export Full Quicktime 2)Compress it to SD MPEG-2 using compressor 3)Mux with DVDSP & 4)Burn with Toast = @ 6-8 hrs. per disc.
I did a 5 min. webbie last week that the client requested a DVD for as well and that 5 min. piece took almost 2.5 hours to complete a disc! Gotta streamline this workflow.
Even if you could export it from FCP directly to DVD you would still need to encode it as a MPEG2 and Mux it. That's what takes so long. Btw Compressor encodes faster than FCP because it can utilize multiple cores. You could also export it analog to VHS but that works at real time meaning 9 hrs of footage would take 9 hrs to record.

Your best option is to export as a quicktime to an external hard drive for them to view on a laptop. I don't know what your doing but I can't imagine any client reviewing 9 hrs of footage. Encoding to DVD is not a practical process for lots of footage in a short time. Clients often ask for things that aren't realistic because they don't understand whats involved to create it.
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Old September 7th, 2009, 11:53 PM   #17
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Very True

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
Clients often ask for thinks that aren't realistic because they don't understand whats involved to create it.
There's no doubt about that! I'd be happy to deliver a hard drive any day over making DVDs. The client that wanted 9 hrs of raw footage was duplicating and delivering DVDs of speakers at a conference. But, most of my clients (product demonstrations, web videos, videojournalism & tv commercials) DO request a
DVD to play on standalone players. My last week's webbie plans to show a DVD of the product at a trade show looping in on his TV/DVD combo. My understanding is that it might be possible to get near real time SD recording to DVD through firewire, and since the customer normally wants a DVD and is "always right" that method certainly seems preferable to the Compression/DVDSP dance I've been doing.
But, maybe my workflow does need work. I'm shooting/editing 1080i HDV/ProRes Render-outputting a standalone Quicktime>dropping the full .mov into Compressor for resize & compression, then off to DVDSP where needed. Is there a faster workflow I should be aware of? 2.5 hours to produce a 5 min. DVD sure seems like a lot of time that I have difficulty charging a full rate for. If there's a faster process than the one I listed above, I'd greatly appreciate it and give up on this firewire to recorder idea.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 12:10 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by James J. Lee View Post
There's no doubt about that! I'd be happy to deliver a hard drive any day over making DVDs. The client that wanted 9 hrs of raw footage was duplicating and delivering DVDs of speakers at a conference. But, most of my clients (product demonstrations, web videos, videojournalism & tv commercials) DO request a
DVD to play on standalone players. My last week's webbie plans to show a DVD of the product at a trade show looping in on his TV/DVD combo. My understanding is that it might be possible to get near real time SD recording to DVD through firewire, and since the customer normally wants a DVD and is "always right" that method certainly seems preferable to the Compression/DVDSP dance I've been doing.
But, maybe my workflow does need work. I'm shooting/editing 1080i HDV/ProRes Render-outputting a standalone Quicktime>dropping the full .mov into Compressor for resize & compression, then off to DVDSP where needed. Is there a faster workflow I should be aware of? 2.5 hours to produce a 5 min. DVD sure seems like a lot of time that I have difficulty charging a full rate for. If there's a faster process than the one I listed above, I'd greatly appreciate it and give up on this firewire to recorder idea.
Its ok for the client to ask for a dvd to review, what you aren't doing right is giving yourself enough time to turn it around and maybe not charging the client enough for a dvd proof. The biggest time eater in your process is down converting HD to SD for DVDs, followed by encoding it. So you have the following options:

1. don't shoot in HD especially if the final output is going to be in SD.

2 if you or the client insists it be shot and edited in HD then you have charge accordingly and spend all that extra time because there is no way around it besides spending thousands on the fastest equipment available which has its limits too. I suggest you call a reputable professional video company that offers HD services and ask them how much to produce a video in HD and dvd proofs with quick turn a rounds.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 12:30 AM   #19
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Good Points

Some good points Pete. Most of my clients first priority is a 1280X720 H.264 file for HD web sharing, but when they want a DVD, I haven't tried dropping the edit in a SD timeline and coming out of that to compressor. In my mind, I was just keeping the highest quality I could up until final output. I guess I never realized that the bulk of my Compressor time was downsizing to SD.
Unfortunately, I think I'm charging as much as my market will bear for shooting/editing but if I charged a full hourly rate for the time it takes to make these DVDs, my clients would freak! On the other hand, maybe then I could avoid having to make so many DVDs. I did a print to tape (SD) tonight and then out to a DVD standalone recorder and the process was a little under 2.5X realtime including finalization. Sounds like about as good as I can expect to get.
Thanks for your input.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 01:02 AM   #20
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You really need to come up with a better way to package your editing/proofing services. For example if you look at people who do weddings, they are going to have package where they edit the video but that means the client isn't involved in the process. I sometimes have clients who want to make the editing decisions but that is a separate service. They can schedule an appointment at my studio and for $30/hr... You could also bring it to them on laptop. For those requiring a dvd proof I start it going before I go to bed but I don't do HD for the reason you are saying it takes too long for the money they are willing to pay. The encoding process for HD and H264 is so time consuming its difficult produce low budget projects and make it worth your while.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 09:46 AM   #21
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I never had a DVD recorder that was able to take the video directly out of FCP so I always make client copies of the rough footage by running the tape directly into the DVD recorder from the camera or a VTR via the S-Video analog output. The quality is excellent for the purpose. I would also turn on the on-screen timecode for the client's reference and to prevent the client from running off and editing with the DVDs. This is the most efficient use of your time.

You should look into the Elgato Turbo H.264 USB accessory. For $150 it really speeds up the H.264 process and it does an excellent job. Some don't like the fine color quality but I find it great for most jobs.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 10:14 AM   #22
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Good Options

Thanks William, that sounds like a great workflow for me. I did not know about the Elgato Turbo, but just put it on my shopping list. I'd be interested to know how much faster it encodes 720 H.264 than Compressor and if it delivers a QT .mov file or an .mpeg4?
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Old September 8th, 2009, 12:07 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
I never had a DVD recorder that was able to take the video directly out of FCP so I always make client copies of the rough footage by running the tape directly into the DVD recorder from the camera or a VTR via the S-Video analog output. The quality is excellent for the purpose. I would also turn on the on-screen timecode for the client's reference and to prevent the client from running off and editing with the DVDs. This is the most efficient use of your time.
I like your dvd method

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; September 8th, 2009 at 12:55 PM.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #24
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OK, maybe I can shed a little light on this.

Hooked up the Sony RDR-GX7 DVD recorder to my Dual 2.4ghz MacBook Pro running MacOSX 10.5.7 and Final Cut Pro 6.0.6. Works like a charm. I did not do any "in depth" testing, but I can play back the FCP timeline and monitor it with an LCD monitor connected to the component output of the DVD recorder. Audio plays back properly from the stereo output of the DVD recorder as well.

It's connected to the MBP via a 6-pin to 4-pin firewire 400 cable. The FCP files are on a 1 TB iomega Ultramax firewire 800 drive connected to the FW 800 outlet on my MPB. No crashes.

So it sounds like the problems you guys are experiencing are probably related to the DVD recorders and not FCP or the computer. I can't make any generalizations beyond this, but can tell you that it all works just the same as it used to on my old G5 with the same recorder and FCP 5.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 01:28 PM   #25
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Thanks Boyd

Thanks for testing that for me Boyd. That confirms what I suspected. It seems few (if any) of the new DVD Recorders allow direct firewire input from computers. Better hold on to the one you've got. In the mean time, I'm going with William's suggestion. Testing that now..
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Old September 8th, 2009, 01:48 PM   #26
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I paid $742 for that baby in 2003! My company ended up buying it from me at that price since it was used almost exclusively for work. So I can still use it at work if needed, but that's not likely. The main reason for its existence these days is dubbing old analog Hi-8 tapes to DVD.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 11:30 PM   #27
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OK, maybe I can shed a little light on this.

Hooked up the Sony RDR-GX7 DVD recorder to my Dual 2.4ghz MacBook Pro running MacOSX 10.5.7 and Final Cut Pro 6.0.6. Works like a charm. I did not do any "in depth" testing, but I can play back the FCP timeline and monitor it with an LCD monitor connected to the component output of the DVD recorder. Audio plays back properly from the stereo output of the DVD recorder as well.

It's connected to the MBP via a 6-pin to 4-pin firewire 400 cable. The FCP files are on a 1 TB iomega Ultramax firewire 800 drive connected to the FW 800 outlet on my MPB. No crashes.

So it sounds like the problems you guys are experiencing are probably related to the DVD recorders and not FCP or the computer. I can't make any generalizations beyond this, but can tell you that it all works just the same as it used to on my old G5 with the same recorder and FCP 5.
Indeed. It has to do with how the FireWire chip in the DVD recorder is programmed. It must put out an identifier code for FCP to recognize it as a recording device. No DVD recorder from Panasonic or JVC have ever put out this identifier (except maybe that $3000 DVD authoring recorder JVC made years ago). I have owned Panasonic DVD recorders from the first model they put out (still works great) to the most recent version. JVC recorders for the past 5 years as well. Apparently Sony programmed their DVD recorders as VTRs for a while but the only Sony DVD recorder I ever owned (broke after a year) didn't. Most DVD recorders are passive input devices except the JVCs that can control DV decks (poorly) by FireWire. Finally, I have no clue about the intricacies of FireWire programming except once as a beta tester for a video capture program I found out that JVC didn't properly write the firmware for the HD100 camera's FireWire chip. It worked but there was no device identifier for the program to know what camera it was hooked up to. Minor issue.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 11:33 PM   #28
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Thanks William, that sounds like a great workflow for me. I did not know about the Elgato Turbo, but just put it on my shopping list. I'd be interested to know how much faster it encodes 720 H.264 than Compressor and if it delivers a QT .mov file or an .mpeg4?
.mp4 that seems to be friendly to most video players, PC or Mac. The device is very fast, real time or faster with HD files! You have to have an Intel Mac although.
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