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Old March 13th, 2007, 09:54 PM   #1
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Advice on converting HDV to DVCPro

I am hearing and reading that one way to output HDV in a high quality for a DVD
is to do the basic edit in HDV and then convert (transcode?), the footage to DVCPro, and apply the filtering, transitions etc. there before outputting to compressor on the way to DVD Studio Pro.

First, is that a good way to go?

If so, would someone be willing to outline the process?
Especially the conversion from HDV to DVCPro part, I am not clear how to do it.

Thanks for the patience,

David

Last edited by David McGiffert; March 13th, 2007 at 09:59 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old March 13th, 2007, 11:16 PM   #2
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I don't think I'd recommend doing it that way. If you can, I'd do the entire edit in HDV. Re-encoding just introduces more quality loss. After you're done with the edit, encode as the highest quality anamorphic MPEG-2 for DVD.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 12:40 PM   #3
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Chris,

It's funny, there seem to be a few different strategies on how to edit HDV.
One way is to capture and make the basic cuts in HDV and then
transcode to DVCPro as described above. Supposedly the quality
stays very good doing it that way.
(I'm still trying to learn how to do that).

I understand what you are saying too.

I suppose it's a choice, as so many of these decisions are,
just trying to learn the possibilities.

Thanks for jumping in...

David
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Old March 14th, 2007, 06:16 PM   #4
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Having not done the process myself, but having read a lot about the potential issues, the run down seems to be this:

If you are mainly doing simple cuts, and you are having not troubles ingesting your HDV (no erroneous breaks in shots during capture etc caused by FCP.) you should stick to HDV to preserve quality.

If you are getting breaks in shots during capture, like drop outs, you should use a different program than FCP to ingest and convert the footage, and edit in that.

If you are doing a lot of effects work/heavy rendering type work, likely to want to output to other programs, etc, then converting the whole lot to a less 'complicated' format (like DVCPRO-HD) is likely to save you render time and headaches, but that may just be dependent on your system specs/what software you need to use.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 12:50 AM   #5
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Thanks Craig,
I converted some HDV ftg in a new DVCProHD sequence tonight and
was alittle disappointed. But I am not totally clear if I am checking
all the right things in the new sequence settings.

It's interesting learning though. I plan on using FCP full time,
no AE, maybe some Motion and a lot of Soundtrack Pro.

thanks,

David
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Old March 15th, 2007, 02:38 AM   #6
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Hi David.

If you want the highest quality DVD out of your HDV footage, then follow Chris's advice and edit natively in HDV. You didn't mention if you are using HDV1(720p) or HDV2. I find that most people who don't mention it are using HDV2 (1080i).

1/ Capture and edit in native HDV (just use the Easy Setup for the type of HDV you are working with).
2/ Export directly to Compressor from your timeline and make your .m2v and .ac3 files for later use in DVD Studio Pro. Compressor gives you a lot of control over your final image quality for your DVD. I've made quite a few posts in this forum with tips for tweaking the Compressor settings (you could do a search if you are interested).

The only drawback with directly exporting to Compressor is that you won't be able to use FCP again until your DVD assets are fully encoded.

I work with HDV1 footage (progressive scan) and the results using this method are stunning. If you are working with interlaced footage (HDV2) and find it's not working well (direct to Compressor), you can always fall back on the DVCPRO HD idea.
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Old March 16th, 2007, 12:24 AM   #7
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David K.

That all makes alot of sense, including the supposition that I am using
1080i.
And I did read your post where you pointed out the drawback of not
being able to access FCP while Compressor was doing it's work.
I'll do the search for your other discussions on tweaking Comressor.
I appreciate your input, thanks.

David
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Old March 16th, 2007, 01:54 AM   #8
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Another alternative is to capture your HDV to an intermediate codec like Cineform or Sheer Video.

I have not used Sheer Video but I have used the Cineform Codec on the PC and the results are much better than using the DVCProHD codec.

Cineform now has a public beta for FCP.
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Old March 16th, 2007, 12:17 PM   #9
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Hi Chuck,

Two days ago I emailed back and forth with Andreas at BitJazz (SheerVideo).
He said he was willing to come up with an HDV 1080i Easy set-up for
FCP if I was interested in it.
I, of course, said please to it.

I will let you know when I hear from him.
They are very responsive and helpful.

All the best,

David
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Old March 17th, 2007, 06:20 AM   #10
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Why DVCProHD instead of AIC

Assuming the video is HDV 1080 something and for some reason you don't want to edit part or all of in in HDV, why would you choose DVCProHD rather than the Apple Intermediate Codec? The horizontal resolution of theDVCProHD is only about 1200 versus 1440 for AIC. Meaning, not only keeping the same resolution and pixel aspect angle, but you probably avoid some additional filtering to reinterpoate the HDV pixels to the lower resolution.

Is there a quality problem with AIC? Why DVCProHD if you didn't start with a Panasonic video?

Rick
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Old March 17th, 2007, 10:40 AM   #11
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see below please
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Old March 17th, 2007, 10:45 AM   #12
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Rick,

It is 1080i footage, and
I had read it was a good way to go, but after seeing what you
guys have to say, I am planning to stay in HDV for my editing.
Thank you for pointing out that AIC has better horizontal resolution.

All my experience up to this point has been with
DV and DVCam footage in FCP.
After buying an XHA-1 and seeing the astonishing quality
jump, I am trying to find the best way to maintain that quality
all the way through the workflow to a DVD.

I, obviously, have things to learn. : )

Thanks for the help.

David
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Old March 17th, 2007, 06:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Llewellyn View Post
Assuming the video is HDV 1080 something and for some reason you don't want to edit part or all of in in HDV, why would you choose DVCProHD rather than the Apple Intermediate Codec? The horizontal resolution of theDVCProHD is only about 1200 versus 1440 for AIC. Meaning, not only keeping the same resolution and pixel aspect angle, but you probably avoid some additional filtering to reinterpoate the HDV pixels to the lower resolution.

Is there a quality problem with AIC? Why DVCProHD if you didn't start with a Panasonic video?

Rick
I'm not fan of the DVCProHD codec, that's why I'm looking for an alternative. However, although AIC is 1440 its only 4:2:0. I realize you'll never make the image better then the original HDV [technically] but converting it to an 8bit 4:2:2 gives you a bit more headroom to work with [10bit 4:2:2 is even better].
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Old March 17th, 2007, 06:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David McGiffert View Post
Rick,

It is 1080i footage, and
I had read it was a good way to go, but after seeing what you
guys have to say, I am planning to stay in HDV for my editing.
Thank you for pointing out that AIC has better horizontal resolution.

All my experience up to this point has been with
DV and DVCam footage in FCP.
After buying an XHA-1 and seeing the astonishing quality
jump, I am trying to find the best way to maintain that quality
all the way through the workflow to a DVD.

I, obviously, have things to learn. : )

Thanks for the help.

David
I don't think I recommended editing in HDV, did I? I wouldn't wish that n anyone. Do a test and edit a 10 minute HDV project with transitions and filters etc and see how ling it take to render it into a format that you can use on a standard definition DVD.

How do you like your A-1?
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Old March 19th, 2007, 10:19 PM   #15
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The best setting for exporting HD is by far h.264. You can play it back on a progessive scan dvd player, too.
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