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Old November 14th, 2005, 02:49 AM   #1
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Please Help... Newbie with a FCP movie file too large for DVD

Hi there,
I have just finished editing my first wedding. I shot on an XL2 and an Optura 50 and edited on FCP 5. I've been getting my feet wet in the DV world for less than a year. I shot the wedding for a friend at no charge for the experience. Shooting went very smooth and the edit, though it has taken a bit longer than I planed, has turned out quite nice. I can't wait to show it to the newlyweds. There in lies the problem. I exported to quick time movie like I always do with my home movies before dropping them into an idvd project and burning them to dvd. But they are usually 10 minutes or so. This project runs almost 90 minutes. I know that shouldn't be a problem. The thing is... I have a FCP movie file (the icon looks like a slate with a Q on it) and it is almost 18gigs in size!!! That’s the format I've been using all along but I've never noticed how big these FCP movie files were until I tried to burn this wedding. I have placed that file into a new FCP project (to add the wide screen matte to the few scenes that didn't already have it). Any tips on how to export to a usable size/format/quality would be greatly appreciated. Sorry this question is so long winded. Thanks again for any help.

Paul Picklesimer
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Old November 14th, 2005, 09:19 AM   #2
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I don't use iDVD but I think I know what's going on. If your movie is 90 minutes long and your file is 18GB then it's still compressed as DV, which is the format that FCP uses for editing. You need to compress the file as MPEG2 to burn as a DVD. Your 10 minute movies would fit on a DVD with standard DV compression, but the maximum size you could use in that format would be about 20 minutes.

However DVD's made this way are not going to play in a standard DVD player which expects an MPEG2 file. I suspect that if you read the manual for Compressor and iDVD it will tell you how to put the files in the correct format.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 02:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response. Oddly enough... MPEG 2 is not one of the many compression options offered in any of the dropdown menus I can find when trying to export. There's MPEG IMAX, MPEG 4 and a bunch more, but no simple MPEG 2. Ugh. I've tried using Compressor and it seemed so simple, except that every time I try to submit, it starts working for about 2 seconds then shows that my projected is completed, but failed. Ugh again. I'm digging trough all my books and manuals and so far nothing I've found has been quite specific enough. Can anyone tell me exactly the settings they use to export a file? Should I be making this thing self contained or not? If any FCP users could let me know what settings they use I would appriciate it so much. Thanks again everyone.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 02:24 PM   #4
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Hey Paul, I haven't used iDVD in a while but if I remember correctly iDVD does the mpeg 2 encoding for you, so I think that you should be able to just import your quicktime movie into iDVD go from there. I'm not sure if it should be self-contained or not to author but if you want to archive it and delete all the raw footage from your computer than it should be self-contained. Hope this helps!
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Old November 14th, 2005, 03:12 PM   #5
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Thanks Nate... When I try to drop it into idvd, it tells me that the file is too large and it asks me to insert a double layer disk. But I thought that becuase the file is 18gig, a double layer would be a waste of time too. I wasn't thinking it would encode it for me, so maybe that would work. But I shouldn't need a double layer for a 90 minute movie right? What I am trying now is to take my 18gig FCP movie file and use compressor on it. I have it set at 90 minutes-best quality DVD. In about an hour and a half I will see if this works. Also... I don't have to use idvd. I've never learned dvdpro, but maybe its time I did. What steps would you go through to export if you were going that route. Once again, thanks so much for the help.

Paul Picklesimer
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Old November 14th, 2005, 03:24 PM   #6
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Paul,

18 gigs is right on target for a DV movie file of 90 min. If you plan to use iDVD, do not encode to MPEG2 first. It will not be usable in iDVD. iDVD does the encoding to MPEG2. If you decide to learn DVDSP, then I would advise that you encode to MPEG2 and .ac3 audio.

I think what's happening is iDVD is saying it's too large of a file because iDVD does not encode audio to .ac3 (Dolby Digital). AC3 files are much smaller and the standard audio format for commercial DVDs. iDVD uses PCM audio which is uncompressed and takes up more space plus it's not part of the DVD standard so iDVD discs won't play on some DVD players.

If you still want to use iDVD, you might have to change your Quality setting in iDVD preferences to Faster or whatever it's called. It'll give you a faster burn at a lower bit rate, and usually lower quality.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 03:32 PM   #7
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Thanks Dave,
I think I'm going to try using DVD studio Pro. I'm going to jump into the mannual right now and give it a go. Thanks for your help.

Paul Picklesimer
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Old November 14th, 2005, 05:50 PM   #8
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DVDSP is the way to go. When DVDSP is installed on your Mac you get the extra option under File, Export using QT conversion, then select MPEG2 and tweak setttings. 90 minutes should fit fine on a single layer DVD-R.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 10:18 PM   #9
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Got it!!! :) Thanks a ton for all your help. DVi is such a resouce to someone like me. Browsing the forums has been like a college education and asking specific questions helps great in a jam. Keep up the good work everyone!

Paul Picklesimer
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Old November 15th, 2005, 06:54 AM   #10
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You'll benefit by learning about iDVD some. GO to Preferences->General. Under Encoder settings, there's "Best Quality" and "Best Performance". The latter has a limit of 60 minutes so that is probably what iDVD is complaining about. "Best Quality" does it's best to fit your video onto the DVD. I believ e that goes up to 90 minutes
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Old November 27th, 2005, 09:55 AM   #11
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Paul, I think Earnest has the answer to your problem. Change your settings in preferences for iDVD as he states. You will be able to burn your 90 minutes with very little loss in quality.

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Old November 27th, 2005, 09:40 PM   #12
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What version of iDVD are you using? It was my understanding that iDVD implemented the 90 min. limit beginning with iDVD 3 - but by the time they released iDVD 4 with iLife '04 and also iDVD 5 with iLife '05, the current limit is now 120 minutes (minus whatever room the additional elements like transitions and dropzones might add.)

If you are still using iDVD 3, then you might not want to spend the cash to upgrade if you are in the process of learning DVDSP. SP will give you much more control over the whole process, even though it is not as easy to use.

I still use iDVD for alot of DVD burning because I have alot of custom menus that I started using some time ago. They are very classy, stylish, and effective. I also am learning my way around DVDSP, but when I need a quick- no hassle- nice looking DVD with no extra channels of audio, I still turn to iDVD - a few months ago, I made a few projects back to back, each of which was just a few minutes shy of 2 hours and I had no problems with them in iDVD 4.

-Jon
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 12:57 PM   #13
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. I ended up going with DVDStudioPro, but I will check my iDVD settings out of curiosity. I'm using the latest versions of each application.

Thanks,
Paul Picklesimer
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