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Old November 20th, 2009, 01:11 PM   #1
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Burning Blu-ray from FCP7 timeline via share

Well I've spent an entire week now trying to nail down the workflow. It's so easy and the image quality is fabulous- except for one thing that is making me tear my hair out, cuss out loud and kick the neighbor's dog.

When it comes time to insert a blank BD disc sometimes FCP asks for "single layer media" and sometimes it asks for "dual layer media". Most of the time it asks for dual layer. There is no way to specify which media you have.

It even asks for dual layer when the source files that it created are way under 25GB. The kicker is that sometimes I'm able to burn a 3 hr program onto a single layer! Then I will try the exact same process with a 1 hr program and it asks for dual layer! If I put in a single layer it just spits it back out and asks for dual layer.

Obviously I don't have a lot of dual layer BD media sitting around so the big question is...

How do you specify or just trick FCP into single layer mode?

FCP 7
Macpro octocore with Buffalo Blu-ray burner
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Old November 20th, 2009, 02:15 PM   #2
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Share is great but buggy. I have problems with nested sequences in Share getting bad compression when the same sequences work fine when outputted as a Quicktime reference file and encoded directly in Compressor .
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Old November 20th, 2009, 02:53 PM   #3
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I've gone that route (using reference files with compressor) but the result is the same- no rhyme or reason for single or dual layer.

The cool thing with compressor is that you can tweak the compression settings but even while landing way under 25GB it still asks for dual layer.

Hurumph!
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Old November 20th, 2009, 04:52 PM   #4
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Wish I could say anything beyond "use Toast", but I can't. I think you will find that burning Blu-Ray from Toast to be a better process right now. By the way, what's "way under" 25gb? If you are getting the dual layer request when the combined audio and video files are under 22gb then it a bug. I've only burned short Blu-Ray projects and have never even come halfway to the limit.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 05:05 PM   #5
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By way under I guess 21 GB (including AC3 audio)- which is not really way under but should fit. I should clarify that if I burn something like a 20 min program it only asks for single layer.

I have toast 10 with the Blu-ray plugin. It works fine but I just can't live with the dorky menu templates. They are so BAD! You can change the background image on the Toast templates using Photoshop but I can't or haven't tried hard enough to remove the thumbnail image wells. If one could find a way to make them text only I would be overjoyed. The other problem with Toast is that it can't import (or edit) chapter names. In fact I'm pretty sure it only puts up a thumbnail with no text.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:52 AM   #6
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Since your using share you must have FCS3 (or whatever they call the latest version.)

Burning Blu-ray from Compressor 3.5 works well. I was running into the same issue that you desctibed and someone suggested using Compressor.

Anyway, Render out a ProRes master, import that into Compressor, choose your favorite Blu-ray settings (I usually set the data rate @ between 17-30Mbs depending on file size) once you've chosen the settings and destination, click outside the settings onto the file thingy (the thing you click on to import the file with the arrow in it) Then in the inspector choose the "job action" tab, where it says "when job completes: choose create blu-ray disk - this brings up the same dialog that you get in the share menu in FCP where you can choose the background image etc.

Works great.

Good luck. Once you do about five or so, you'll wonder how can anyone ever watch standard definition?
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 02:12 PM   #7
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Issues Solved!

I've finally sorted out the best workflow in getting long form programs onto Blu-ray...

If you are going to do it straight out of FCP then your timeline really needs to be no more than an hour if you would like to avoid being asked for dual layer media when it comes time to burn.

I've found the best solution is to export a reference file and just use compressor to perform the operation. Under the file menu is "new batch from template". From there you can select the blu-ray option and drop in your reference file.

Once that is all loaded in you can see your h.264 video file and your Dolby audio file ready to be worked on. If you select the video file you can see the specs in the inspector window which is where I was able to solve my problems with single vs. dual layer media. You see- Apple automatically selects very high bit rate settings for you- sometimes the max possible which may then force you to use dual layer media. What you have to do is manipulate the "encoder" settings in the inspector so that your estimated file size is roughly under 21GB. You can see the "estimated file size per hour of footage" in the summary window of the inspector. Just tweak the encoder settings so that you can fit your footage. I was able to put 3 hours and 15 minutes of HDV footage on a single layer and it looked fantastic. H.264 is roughly twice as efficient as HDV so you can figure that you can safely cut your original source file size in half without much sacrifice in image quality.

Good luck!
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