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Old May 25th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #1
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HD project to SD 16:9 from FCP 7 to Compressor to DVD SP

Is this the right workflow?

1. All shot with Canon 5d, 7d, vixia hfs10 HD native transcoded to ProRes (LT)

2. Export Quicktime self contained movies (11 movies added up to 70min) out of FCP 7

3. Drop in compressor made custom dvd best quality ac3 normalization 12db Compression preset none and mpeg-2 6.6 Mbps - 7.8Mbps 2-pass(per Ken Stone suggestions)

4. Then bring into DVD SP and change to letterbox 16:9 and continue on

The one question I have is if I should turn on Frame control in the mpeg settings in Compressor to change from HD 1920x1280 to 16:9. I did not come across a straight forward answer to this. Compressor is working and says 5:40:00 until done...wow. I just want to make sure it works before spending all day waiting. Going to watch tuturial on DVD SP so I can move on.

The other question is I went to a bit rate calculator that Ken Stone posted and I used those in compressor but I noticed when browsing through tutorial on DVD SP that there is another bit rate setting that one should establish. Is this reinventing the same thing or is this specific to fine tuning the bit rate before burning on dvd?

If I have missed anything please suggest.
thanks for input.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 02:49 PM   #2
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If your original material is progressive you may run into a problem some of us have experienced where each of the two fields for each frame in the MPEG output is identical, meaning you'll lose half your resolution. In that case, you'll need to use the frame controls. Here's what I've been using the past few weeks:

Frame Controls On:
Retiming: (Fast) Nearest Frame
Resize Filter: Statistical Prediction
Deinterlace Filter: Best (Motion Compensated)
Adaptive Details: On
Antialias: 0
Detail Level: 0
Field Output: Bottom Field First

It is most important to have "Field Output" selected, bottom field first, rather than progressive output.

Note that if you pick the wrong combination of adaptive details / antialias / detail level, compressor can crash in the middle of the job. (At least it does for me.)

Next, if you need to save on disk space, you don't need to export with "make movie self contained". Compressor seems to work just fine accepting reference movies. (However, if your render files ever go away, you'll have to reopen the whole project, and either render the missing segments and re-save, or do as you have done and export a self-contained movie).

Finally, if compressor isn't using all your CPU capacity and is taking a long time to export, look into setting up QMaster on your machine. There are a few tutorials out there online, it's not the most well-documented thing, but once it's up and running you can submit jobs to it from compressor and tailor it to use much more of your CPU capacity (up to a point of diminishing returns when your hard drive doesn't keep up).

Hope that helps.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 03:22 PM   #3
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thanks alot Bob for quick response. I called another friend on this and he mentioned not having frame controls on after I posted this....but it seems you have first hand experience so I will try. It is funny you mention qmaster because my friend mentioned doing this to speed things up. He stepped me through going through system preferences opening qmaster stop sharing select quick cluster w/ services and make 2 instances local(already had 1 instance going)...but for some reason the options for selected services was grayed out. I have an imac intel core 2 duo processor. does this limit me. Since I have 2 cores I would imagine I can use each one. Checked to see if compressor and qmaster are same version 3.5.2 and quicktime is 10.0. I found thread that said to reset background processing in compressor drop down menu and it may become ungreyed out. Have any suggestions.

I would make ref movies but I will be storing the movies and getting rid of the original footage to save on space. Don't want to become a packrat.

I need to get a macpro....money...of course.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 11:24 AM   #4
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Bob or anyone for that matter. When I used compressor to take quicktime movie (23.97fps) to compress down to mpeg2 file through best dvd 90min it changed the frame rate to 29.97. I only know this when I brought footage into dvd sp and the inspector said it was 29.97fps. The first time around in compressor I left the settings automatic to transfer the 23.97fps so I recompressed the footage with settings set manually to 23.97 in compressor. I have the same result when I brought the footage over to dvd sp. What gives? Any help would be appreciated.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 02:49 PM   #5
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NTSC DVDs are always 29.97 interlaced. 23.97 material or 24 material will get converted. This is called a "telecine" process.

Hollywood movies, originally shot and theatrically presented in 24fps, are also converted this way for DVD video.

So if you're starting with 24 (or 23.97) progressive material, there are actually two conversions going on simultaneously to get to NTSC. One is to split each frame into two fields, and the other is to vary the repetition of those fields to create a (relatively) smooth pseudo frame rate conversion.

This Wikipedia article explains it with quite a bit of detail/history:
Telecine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old May 27th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #6
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This is what the DVD Studio Pro 4 says about using 24fps

Using 24 fps Video
Often the video content for a DVD project originates from film shot at 24 frames per second (for NTSC this is actually 23.976 fps, which is more commonly referred to as 23.98 fps). The DVD specification allows you to include 24 fps MPEG-2 assets as long as they are properly flagged so the DVD player can decode them by either using a 3:2 pulldown (for NTSC DVD players) or playing them 4% faster (for PAL DVD players). The video resolution also must match those allowed for the intended video standard. See Choosing a Video Resolution for details on supported video resolutions.

This means that there are NTSC and PAL versions of 24 fps MPEG-2 assets, and you can only use NTSC 24 fps assets in NTSC projects and PAL 24 fps assets in PAL projects.

Encoding video that originates with a 24 fps rate as a 24 fps MPEG asset has two primary advantages:

Less time is spent on the encoding process.

Smaller files are produced.

These advantages are due to fewer frames being encoded, especially when compared to NTSC frame rates.

Important: MPEG-2 assets that include 23.98 frames to play at 29.97 fps show as 29.97 fps assets in QuickTime, Compressor, and DVD Studio Pro.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #7
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OK that's an eye-opener for me. I guess I need to author a few more DVDs before I step in it, giving out incorrect advice. I'll leave it to those who know a bit more about this to follow-up with you.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 08:11 PM   #8
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So from my understanding in compressor as long as you maintain 24fps all of the way through you can bring in to dvd sp and put out 23.98fps. I have tried this process and in the inspector window inside dvdsp it still says that the frame rate is 29.97. The next paragraph in the manual states:

Importing 24 fps Assets
How DVD Studio Pro handles your 24 fps assets depends on whether or not they are already MPEG-2 encoded:

If you import 24 fps MPEG-2 assets: They are handled correctly and remain 24 fps when you build the project.
Note: 24 fps assets show as their display rate setting when viewed in the Track Editor. This makes them appear as if they were at the NTSC or PAL frame rate. You can confirm they are actually 24 fps by selecting them in the Assets tab and verifying the frame rate in the Asset Inspector.

If you import 24 fps QuickTime assets: They are encoded as either 29.97 fps or 25 fps MPEG-2 files, based on your projectís video standard, and are no longer 24 fps when you build the project.
To create a 24 fps MPEG-2 asset, you need to use Compressor (included with DVD Studio Pro) or a third-party encoder that supports encoding 24 fps MPEG-2 assets.


So I am still a little confused (even though I understand that the 23.98fps will appear as if they are NTSC frame rate (i.e. 29.97fps) in the track editor) that when I look in the asset inspector that is still says 29.97 contrary to what the above dvdsp manual says. I went as far as right clicking on one of the .m2v (mpeg-2) files and opening in editor (quicktime player) and I selected command I to reveal info and sure enough it says 23.98fps. I went through the preferences in dvd sp and could not find any selections for changing frame rates. I guess just not pay attention to what it says. I just realized maybe a high end dvd player will reveal frame counts as it plays. Is that possible? Also...in my previous post the manual stated about the DVD player decoding the 24 fps MPEG-2 asset by either using a 3:2 pulldown for NTSC. Do all dvd players have that ability. Is that one of those gotcha's.....need to spend $450 on a dvd player to have the 3:2 pulldown option.

I finished my project and burned on Toast Titanium 10 and put it in my off brand dvd player (never have time to sit and relax to watch dvd hence the cheap player). My TV though is an Samsung LED and everything looked very videoish....though the TV is very high resolution so it could be TV or the player not having ability to do 3:2 pulldown. Played it on the dvd player in mac and looked good!!!

Another problem I faced was not all of the video clips would play after selecting them in 3 different menus. It was random. I watched a tutorial talking about it is better to burn 2X rather than 16X. Not an expert on that but seems to make sense to burn slow and capture everything rather than fast. I only had 16X dvd's and toast would only allow up to 8X so I picked best. Tutorial also said whatever the write speed on dvd is should equate to the burn speed....makes sense. Went to store only to find that all dvd's were 16X. I will look around. Does any of this make sense? Winded.
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