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Old December 1st, 2006, 04:19 PM   #1
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HDV1 in FCP -> iDVD

I have read the threads about using Compressor to get 720p30 to SD DVD (NTSC). But I have a different challenge; my DVD Studio Pro and Compressor programs are corrupt on my G5 and I cannot use them right now. I will have to re-install the whole OS, etc.

So, in the meantime, I have a 67-minute project in 720p30 in FCP that I need to get to DVD using iDVD. Could someone suggest a solution, please? I tried a self-contained QT but that degraded quality dramatically. It's a theatre show and therefore there are lots of blacks and they all suffer badly with the compression.

Thanks.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 07:14 PM   #2
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I don't have Final Cut Studio, so I have no idea if this will solve your DVD Studio problem, but did you:

1) try deleting your preferences
2) create a new user and try running DVD Studio from that user

I feel your pain if you really need a full re-install.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 02:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiri Bakala
I have a 67-minute project in 720p30 in FCP that I need to get to DVD using iDVD. Could someone suggest a solution, please? I tried a self-contained QT but that degraded quality dramatically. It's a theatre show and therefore there are lots of blacks and they all suffer badly with the compression.

Thanks.
Was the self-contained Quicktime also in the HDV720p30 codec? If you export the Quicktime in Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC) you will avoid the extra MPEG-2 compression on exporting. (Otherwise you are putting your footage through three separate bouts of MPEG-2 compression - one from the camera when recording, one from FCP when exporting and then one from iDVD when encoding.)

AIC is supposed to be visually lossless plus it is tailor-made to work with iDVD and encodes very quickly.

One thing to watch for though (I have iDVD 5, so it might be fixed in later versions) is that it might not letterbox the footage properly for playback on all types of DVD players. Apparently the solution for this is to make the Quicktime movie anamorphic (although I just use Compressor and DVD Studio Pro and so haven't really tried this). But it's a possible "gotcha" to be on the alert for.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 03:19 PM   #4
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Thanks David, I will try that. Yeah, I think I must have used the HDV 720p30 codec because the blacks and even solid low level colours looked very bad.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 06:15 PM   #5
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Update: yes, AIC looks much better. A question: if I have to also deliver a letterboxed version, do I still use the AIC 720p30 codec? Will this not try to make the video 16x9 wide?
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 07:25 PM   #6
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Yes, I would use AIC 720p30 codec. I'm a great believer in keeping the movie at the highest resolution possible before encoding it into an SD DVD. I was just looking on the Apple website for info about iDVD 6. Apparently iDVD 6 will give you an info box when you begin each project, asking you to check either 4:3 or 16:9. This means that (if you check 16:9) that iDVD will burn the DVD so that it will automatically add the letterbox "black bars" at the top and bottom when you play it on a 4:3 screen. So, if you've got iDVD 6, you should be home-free.

iDVD 5 (which I've got) does not allow you to choose between 16:9 or 4:3. The result (I've found) is that the 16:9 movie will play on the Apple DVD player correctly with the letterbox black bars, but when I put it in my DVD player in the living room and watch it on a 4:3 TV set it doesn't give any black bars and stretches the picture from top to bottom of the screen. (And that was the exact point when I decided to stick with DVD Studio Pro.) If you have to work with iDVD 5, I believe it will letterbox the movie correctly on all players if you make the movie anamorphic. However, HDV and AIC sequences are not actually anamorphic (if you look at the sequence settings in FCP you will see that the "anamorphic 16:9" box is always unchecked. So, making the AIC movie anamorphic is the problem you'd have to solve. Alternatively, you could go straight to SD and export the Quicktime in the "DV50 NTSC 48 kHz Anamorphic" codec. DVCPRO50 is a pretty nice codec.

But I'm just really hoping that you've got iDVD 6.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 10:22 AM   #7
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David,

thanks for your help, it all worked fine. My iDVD is version 6 but since I was using the "OneStep DVD from Movie..." I didn't have the 'anamorphic' option. I did letterboxing in FCP for that version and encoded it that way.

So, thanks again.
Jiri
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