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Old February 20th, 2010, 04:47 AM   #1
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My Adventures with HDV to SD DVD production

Shot a short wedding video for a Friend (don't do wedd vids at all) as a gift and have cut it over the last 12 months. The last two months have been spent trying to work out the whole HD to SD encode to DVD malarkey.

I read hours of forum posts linking to dozens of online articles. I put the Macs to work encoding over days. Some good results, some ordinary ones.

The info here on the forum about frame controls in Compressor do seem valid but mostly if you're going to de-interlace I think.

I tried the Apple presets for DVD best quality 90 minutes, edited the settings to make frame controls on etc etc. These test encodes were OK but suffered from chromatic abberations in my high contrast scenes. Some varients on the encodes had some pixalation also. I tried Mpeg too.

I also tried the export quicktime from FCP as a self contained file, then into compressor then into DVD Studio Pro. Not bad but still not there.

My final (and successful) attempt went like this:

I exported a file from FCP as a self contained QT. I needed self contained as I was moving it from an older FCP Mac to my newer unit with FC Studio. For this file used settings I found in an online article. I moved the QT file (750MB for 3.5 minutes) and got a strange result. The file would preview OK but I couldn't get compressor to open it. Nor FCP. The machine would hang. I tried lots of variations, force quits etc.

Then as a last ditch effort I open it in Color. I adjusted a couple of little things and then made it render. I'm not the most experienced Color user so I didn't even really know what it was rendering as. I just left the defaults.

The resulting file was over 4GB. On info it showed up an Apple Prores codec. I had read this: Exporting HDV Video from the Timeline to Standard Definition DVD

and felt that was an OK option. I put the file into compressor. Fired up the 90 minute DVD preset, turned on frame controls (don't know whether I needed too) and let it go. Short render time (about 45 minutes) and then into DVD SP to burn a DVD - 225MB only.

The resulting output is great. The chromatic abberations are just about gone, pixelation is fine, overall sharpness when I need it is good, softness on my soft focus stuff is fine too. Colours are good.

I lucked into it and probably can't replicate the process :) but I'm very happy with the result.
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Old February 20th, 2010, 09:23 PM   #2
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It was the ProRes file that did it. You can also export a SD DV file from the timeline and get very good results. The mpeg to mpeg conversion in Compressor is less then optimal.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 05:13 AM   #3
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OK I have a question to similar sorts. I shoot with two cameras, one is SD the other is my vixia which shoots in HDV. Im uncertain on how to get the final DVD to be just in one aspect ratio. Ive tried many different ideas from shooting in 16:9 in my SD to, well a lot of different things. Im just wondering if Im missing some standard procedure for this?
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Old March 1st, 2010, 08:16 AM   #4
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I've got three hours of HDV that I need to export as DV, how do I get the file size down under 4gb?
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Old March 1st, 2010, 08:40 AM   #5
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I've got three hours of HDV that I need to export as DV, how do I get the file size down under 4gb?
You don't. The DV spec is ~13GB per hour. If you need it under 4GB you'll need to use something a LOT more compressed than DV.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 10:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Greg Patch
I've got three hours of HDV that I need to export as DV, how do I get the file size down under 4gb?

You don't. The DV spec is ~13GB per hour. If you need it under 4GB you'll need to use something a LOT more compressed than DV.

So what are my options other than breaking my video up into several pieces? I'm trying to encode an SD DVD from an HDV timeline from FCP7.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 11:25 AM   #7
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So what are my options other than breaking my video up into several pieces? I'm trying to encode an SD DVD from an HDV timeline from FCP7.
Well, since SD DVD *ONLY* understand Mpeg2, that's your option. So you can compress your three hours to fit on one 4.7GB disk and it will look awful. (Note Hollywood puts 2hr movies onto the 8GB DVDs in order to make them look good). Or you can split things up. Either way, you're going to be using Mpeg2.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 08:10 PM   #8
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OK here's another question. When I export an mpeg2 out of Compressor with embedded audio, the file size in Finder says it is 3.91 gb. When I import it into DVDSP, it says that it is 6.7gb. What's going on here, there are no menus on the disc either.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 08:31 PM   #9
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OK here's another question. When I export an mpeg2 out of Compressor with embedded audio, the file size in Finder says it is 3.91 gb. When I import it into DVDSP, it says that it is 6.7gb. What's going on here, there are no menus on the disc either.
I don't know anything about Macs. But what I do know is that you shouldn't be getting ANY audio out of your mpeg2 encodes for DVD. The compression schemes for DVD compliant audio use a different codec than the video, so that is messing you up no doubt.

You need to get a handle on how to do this DVD authoring. There's probably 100 guides out there on this. If I had a Mac, I'd walk you through it, but I don't.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 08:40 PM   #10
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I've got a handle on this, just never used a clip this long before.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 01:02 AM   #11
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I have never understood the workflow of why one would take the footage from the timeline and then compress to Prorez and then compress in Compressor.

This just seems one to many steps in achieving the same result or am I wrong?

Prorez, I thought can't add anymore to the footage than what is already there, meaning it wont give extra colour space, more lines of resolution etc....

Why this workflow and not straight from the timeline or a quicktime or a reference file?

Cheers
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 05:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
I have never understood the workflow of why one would take the footage from the timeline and then compress to Prorez and then compress in Compressor.

This just seems one to many steps in achieving the same result or am I wrong?

Prorez, I thought can't add anymore to the footage than what is already there, meaning it wont give extra colour space, more lines of resolution etc....

Why this workflow and not straight from the timeline or a quicktime or a reference file?

Cheers
Well you need compressor to make a file you can use in DVD SP to make a DVD. I don't know what else you'd do as you need an mpeg2 for DVD.

p.s. Perrone is right. The audio is separate. I forgot this and uploaded the file to vimeo and then wondered why the sound wasn't working, haha.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 09:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
I have never understood the workflow of why one would take the footage from the timeline and then compress to Prorez and then compress in Compressor.

This just seems one to many steps in achieving the same result or am I wrong?

Prorez, I thought can't add anymore to the footage than what is already there, meaning it wont give extra colour space, more lines of resolution etc....

Why this workflow and not straight from the timeline or a quicktime or a reference file?

Cheers
Depends on the project. Some people feel that working off a frame based codec like ProRes or DV will give you better results when going to a GOP based codecs like MPEG2 & 4. I certainly can tell you that with my old G5 Mac that it was faster to make a SD DV file from my HDV timeline and then make the MPEG2 files for DVD than trying to make the MPEGs straight from the HDV timeline. That was really slow. My newer 8-core Intel Mac I haven't tried that since all of my projects have been in ProRes since I got it. Quality wise I can't say really as I have no comparisons to judge against but I'm happy with the output.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 12:45 PM   #14
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ok, I was wrong about the audio being attached to an mpeg2. What was throwing me off was that if you click on the mpeg2 file in finder, it launches quicktime and and plays the seperate audio file along with the video.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 12:51 PM   #15
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ok, I was wrong about the audio being attached to an mpeg2.
To be "complete", there are different "flavours" of MPEG-2: program streams and elemental streams. Elemental streams seperate the video and audio (for DVD) while program streams embed the audio (for the web).
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