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Old June 22nd, 2007, 01:45 PM   #1
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FCP to DVD studio Pro - deadline approaching!

Hi folks,

Having just followed Tim's workflow in an older post I decided this would be ideal for what I need to do over the next few days/week.
I'm filming a series of theatre plays at the moment (see post in JVC threads for all the fun I've been having there!).
I need to deliver a finished DVD for each performance (5 in total) which requires a fast turnaround (I've started editing the first performance).
So today I've stuck my head in DVD Studio Pro via it's electronic manual and the program itself (usually find trial and error works best when starting out).
Having never used this program before and never having produced a complete DVD it's a joy to see all the other elements finally come together.

All I required was a simple 1 button Menu - Play Movie.
What I have created is as follows:

Menu Screen (or so I thought) with a Play button linked to the main film itself (a short clip of the production). I have an excerpt from the performance playing in a 'box' and have brought in an audio clip of the performance to play in the background. Not entirely sure how to fine tune this looped clip i.e. having cross fades on the audio & video...all I can see is duration time?
I have set a smoking image which reveals another part of the play which is part of the PLAY button.
Other than that, just the text/titles.

Having burned this to DVD I've noticed a couple of things:
First tried this on a 4:3 set...went into the DVD menu and switched to 4:3 letterbox and indeed a letterbox is what I got (and the aspect ratio is spot on...no vertical squeezing etc), but it's cut off a the left and right of the image. In 16:9 it, as it should, fills the screen and cuts off even more.
Next tried this on the main widescreen television - fits well in the screen and again aspect is spot on but once more it cuts off the edges (the text is pushed almost off the screen).
Under simulate everything appears correct - though...actually whilst typing this I've noticed under the 'settings' that there are options for title safe and action safe - I guess I should've checked these first off (but I'm now a little worried that my footage may be lost at the edges also??)

Second thing where I've gone off track a little: The main menu screen starts as I play the DVD - I can then hit play and the movie will start, however I cannot get back to this screen?? I'm thinking I haven't in fact created a menu screen but a title screen?? (in 'simulate' menu doesn't work - but 'title' reveals what I thought was the menu screen.

Sorry if this is a little longwinded...my heads been buried in this for the best part of the day and I'm starting to frazzle at the finish line!

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 03:01 PM   #2
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For the "Main Menu" problem, click on your video track, and set "End Jump" to Menu 1 (or whatever the title is.) There is also a place to set what the remote buttons do. You can set the "Menu" button to go to anything you want (although you probably want it to go to the main menu.) If you can't find these settings I can open DVDSP, but I'm too lazy right now.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 03:25 PM   #3
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I'm not 100% sure that I'm following everything, but I'll answer what I can.

In your "Graphical" tab, there should be a blue "Menu1" and a green "Track1".

If "what you think is the menu" is coloured blue, then it is a menu. If not, just click the "Add Menu" icon and delete the "old one" (non-menu).

A simple way to add a button to this new menu (there is more than one way, I'm just showing a simple one) is to go to the Palette and select the tabs Styles>Apple>Buttons, then scroll down and select a button type (I used "Mosaic Square Blue" on a recent job and it worked really well) and then drag it to the menu window (go from Graphical view to Menu view beforehand by clicking the Menu tab). Then change the wording from "Button" to "Play".

Also, to make a simple menu background, go to the Palette and click either the Stills or Video tab, import whatever you want and drag it into the menu window.

To make a simple title for the menu (and remember to activate the Title Safe function), go to the Palette and select Styles>Apple>Text, then scroll down and drag whichever you like into the Menu window. Then put in your wording and position it.

Import your .m2v and .ac3 (or aiff) assets (click the Import Assets icon), then drag them into the green "Track1" in the Graphical view. Note that both of your assets should have the same name, e.g. "Concert.m2v" and "Concert.ac3" so that DVD SP (DVD Studio Pro) will link them both together properly. If you have files called (for example) "Concert16:9_2-pass6Mbps.m2v" and "ConcertDolby2.ac3" (or whatever) change them both before you import.

(You can get your .m2v and .ac3 assets in the first place by exporting to Compressor directly from your FCP sequence.)

Now you just have to link everything up. In the Graphical view, click the grey background, then go to the Inspector window, which should now be titled "Disc" and check the drop-down menu for "First Play". It should already say "Menu1", but if it doesn't, go to the First Play drop-down menu and select Menus>Menu1>[Menu].

Now, activate the Menu view and click your button to activate it. The Inspector window should now be headed "Button". In the Inspector, activate the drop-down menu next to "Target" and select "Tracks and Stories">Track1>[Track].

The finished DVD will now bring up the Menu as the first thing after inserting the DVD, and when you press the "Play" button it will play your movie (Track1).

Now you have to tell your DVD player what to do after it finishes your movie.

In the Graphical view, click "Track1" to activate it, then go to the Inspector and activate the drop-down menu next to "End Jump". Select Menus>Menu1>[Menu] if you want to go back to the Main Menu. Or select something else, like "Tracks and Stories">Track1>[Track] if you want it to loop.

While still in the Inspector (with Track1 still active) check Display Mode drop-down menu and select "16:9 Letterbox" if your footage was shot in 16:9 (or "4:3" if you shot it in 4:3).

Also, just click the grey background in the Graphical view and check in the Inspector that your DVD Standard is SD DVD and your Video Standard is PAL.

I've got to dash off for the day, but hopefully you can check your workflow against this and it might help.

I know that you're under a time crunch, so remember, you can always fall back on iDVD if you need to.
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 05:46 AM   #4
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Thanks folks.
I feel I was almost there...it may have been the 'end jump' I was missing off.
I basically had a finished (albeit very short test) DVD:
The only issues I had were:

* On Simulate if I cliced 'Menu' I wouldn't be taken to the menu...I had to click on Title. This translated to a burned disk whereby clicking on disk menu (as you would with any other DVD) should ordinarily take you back to the Menu (play movie - extra features - scene select etc) - however it didn't - it would just resume the movie??

I've altered the title safe now so that should look better.
I originally exported the FCP project as a quicktime mov straight to DVD studio Pro, although I could obviously import any finished projects directly from FCP documents. The quality seems fine without getting too critical but if I get time I may export from FCP to compressor as you suggest David (I have the info from the threads on here about compression dilemmas etc).
I'll let you know how I get on with the latest tests although I have to edit a performance and film another today...

Quote:
Import your .m2v and .ac3 (or aiff) assets.
I'm I correct in thinking that the video and audio are split into two different file formats (and having the option for audio of either .ac3 or aiff?).

Once again I'm eternally grateful for this support, time contrainsts have left me reeling for breath so I haven't had time to fully absorb the muletitude of methods involved in these programs!
Cheers.
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 05:58 AM   #5
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Update...not sure why TITLE button the remote in simulate took me back to the main menu (I don't think I've seen Title buttons on standard DVD remotes?). However (and thanks Edward) I must've missed the remote section of DVDSP but I've now set the 'Menu' on remote control to find 'Menu 1' on the disc which is the main screen. This works on simulate so I guess it should work on a burned disc (which I shall now try).

Just a quick screen shot of the simulated screen main menu (can't think of anything I've missed - I've been told not to worry about chapters...):

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g1...aversStory.jpg

I have a looped section of the film playing in the image you can see with audio of the audience - the smoke effect play button also reveals parts of the movie - works quite well).

Cheers.

EDIT - during burning I get the following warnings in the log files - any idea's?:

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g1...ingwarning.jpg
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 02:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood View Post
I'm I correct in thinking that the video and audio are split into two different file formats (and having the option for audio of either .ac3 or aiff?).
Correct. You can either create them with Compressor, or import your Quicktime into DVD SP and get DVD SP to demux and encode the Quicktime into an .m2v and an audio file.

On the red warning messages, they do sometimes occur. The best thing is to test your DVD first before you burn it (and therefore not waste a DVD-R disc) to make sure it is all working properly.

To do that, simply click the "Build" icon (and not the "Build/Format" icon) and take the resultant VIDEO_TS folder and drag it into your Mac's DVD Player (which should be on your dock). Then you can play it and test it with the DVD Player's "remote". If it all holds up, then go ahead and format it and burn it to an actual disc, where you can then test it on some regular DVD players before you ship.
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Old June 24th, 2007, 06:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by David Knaggs View Post
Correct. You can either create them with Compressor, or import your Quicktime into DVD SP and get DVD SP to demux and encode the Quicktime into an .m2v and an audio file.
Forgive me if I'm incorrect David but wouldn't creating a quicktime file then converting them again to .m2v & the the audio file (is there much if any difference between AIFF files and .ac3 files?) add another level of compression? And in your experience, although it adds very slightly to your workaround would you advise converting to individual files via compressor over quicktime mov i.e. are you left with a better quality product?

Quote:
On the red warning messages, they do sometimes occur. The best thing is to test your DVD first before you burn it (and therefore not waste a DVD-R disc) to make sure it is all working properly.

To do that, simply click the "Build" icon (and not the "Build/Format" icon) and take the resultant VIDEO_TS folder and drag it into your Mac's DVD Player (which should be on your dock). Then you can play it and test it with the DVD Player's "remote". If it all holds up, then go ahead and format it and burn it to an actual disc, where you can then test it on some regular DVD players before you ship.
Thanks David - I though it might be my mac acting up (not that it ever has...they are glorious machines). I'm using DVD-R (over plus R's) - I was told (when new to mac) that you can only use this type of Disc, although that may have changed with the intel based machines?
Far more confident with DVDSP now and I'm glad I carried on with this rather than using iDVD just so I can push myself further with it's pro touches down the line.

Many thanks.
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Old June 24th, 2007, 04:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood View Post
Forgive me if I'm incorrect David but wouldn't creating a quicktime file then converting them again to .m2v & the the audio file (is there much if any difference between AIFF files and .ac3 files?) add another level of compression? And in your experience, although it adds very slightly to your workaround would you advise converting to individual files via compressor over quicktime mov i.e. are you left with a better quality product?
I wasn't recommending that you use DVD SP to do the encoding, I was only saying that you can if you wanted to (in case things were getting too complex).

I always recommend (for best quality results when working in native HDV) to export directly from the timeline to Compressor and get Compressor to create your .m2v and .ac3 files. You then import the .m2v and .ac3 into DVD SP. Note that DVD SP will NOT do any further compression on the .m2v and.ac3 files. It will just accept and use them as they are. So your Build/Format times in DVD SP are actually very rapid.

The AIFF file is uncompressed. The .ac3 file (Dolby) is compressed, but the quality is superlative and I always use it.

If you use the larger AIFF file for your DVD, that will give you less bitrate to play around with for your visual quality and menu structure. If you've got an extremely short movie on your DVD then it wouldn't matter much, but the more (longer) the movie is, the more critical the allocation of your bitrate is and that's why I think Dolby (.ac3) is such a winner.

I've also given lots of tips in other threads on how to maximize the visual quality of your DVD using Compressor. The only thing I would modify from my earlier posts is concerning the max. bitrate. In the Inspector tab of Compressor version 2.3 (after you have selected your MPEG-2 for "DVD: Best Quality 90 minutes - 16:9" or whatever) under the "encoder" tab and then under the "Quality" tab, I now only set the max. bitrate to 8.3 Mbps and the average bitrate to 7.0 Mbps for movies which are less than an hour long. (I used to recommend a max. of 8.9 but have now modified my approach following a post by Nate Weaver.)

By the way, are you shooting in HDV 720p now?
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Old June 25th, 2007, 05:18 AM   #9
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Thanks David - I'll give all your tips some practice before I deliver the results.
These DVD's will probably run around 70 mins (the hour long plays taking up the bulk). For other projects I'd be mostly running in around the 10 min marks (short films/promo's etc).

Do you know what though David...I've yet to play around with HDV. I've just purchased an ext HD for music files (and photo's etc) and I'm very soon to pick up a dedicated HD for HDV...I wasn't entirely sure what my best options for this was - I've kind of settled on a graid 1TB FW800 drive (which I may mirror, if that's wiser?) I can pick one up for around 400. I'll use this solely for video editing - and yes HDV material (finally). I still have printouts of your workaround (just in case!) for HDV.
btw - did you happen to hear if the recent MAC sw upgrade may have ironed out these bugs (there was a post about it in here recently)?

Cheers David.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 04:39 PM   #10
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Forgot to ask...

...I've all but finished editing...no in fact I have now finished editing and I'm sending the movies to DVD SP (via compressor...at least I'll give it a go).
Around 6 hours of footage have been imported into my computer, memory now being in skant supply.
So - is it possible to still use the compressor workaround and not use a great deal of memory i.e. if I'm exporting via quicktime I wouldn't on this occasion make the movie self contained?
These have to be delivered for mastering tomorrow so if anyone's around reading this...cheers in advance!
Thanks.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 04:25 AM   #11
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So - is it possible to still use the compressor workaround and not use a great deal of memory i.e. if I'm exporting via quicktime I wouldn't on this occasion make the movie self contained?
Sorry, if this is too late for your deadline, but to answer your question:

Exporting as a Quicktime movie will use the most hard drive space.
Exporting as a Quicktime reference movie (not self-contained) will use far, far less space.

Therefore, a reference movie would be the way to go (out of the two).

And exporting directly through Compressor will use no extra space, other than your final .m2v and .ac3 files.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 04:56 AM   #12
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Sorry, if this is too late for your deadline, but to answer your question:

Exporting as a Quicktime movie will use the most hard drive space.
Exporting as a Quicktime reference movie (not self-contained) will use far, far less space.

Therefore, a reference movie would be the way to go (out of the two).

And exporting directly through Compressor will use no extra space, other than your final .m2v and .ac3 files.
Cheers David - not too late - I have today to hand them over.
Wasn't entirely sure of the workflow for FCP- Compressor. With the QT ref file I merely created 'i' and 'o' points on the locked FCP timeline and exported it that way. Tried this with Compressor which threw a couple of things up.
It appears to select 3 files - .m2v, .ac3 and .aiff...do I therefore highlight one audio and the one video file? I somehow recieved the yellow exclamation mark at this point and couldn't fully export.
Closed down compressor and came back to it a while later.
When I now try and export to compressor (and this is the same for the 5 timeline/sequences) it states " Selection contains no media"???
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 05:34 AM   #13
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Cheers David - not too late - I have today to hand them over.
Wasn't entirely sure of the workflow for FCP- Compressor. With the QT ref file I merely created 'i' and 'o' points on the locked FCP timeline and exported it that way. Tried this with Compressor which threw a couple of things up.
It appears to select 3 files - .m2v, .ac3 and .aiff...do I therefore highlight one audio and the one video file? I somehow recieved the yellow exclamation mark at this point and couldn't fully export.
Closed down compressor and came back to it a while later.
When I now try and export to compressor (and this is the same for the 5 timeline/sequences) it states " Selection contains no media"???
In Compressor, if you select "All", it will give you all three options (.m2v, .ac3 and .aiff). To get rid of the .aiff, simply highlight it and press "delete".

If you are still getting a yellow exclamation mark, try this:
Go to the "Output Filename" in the "Batch" window and double-click the .ac3 and give it a simple name, such as "Clip1.ac3". Then do the same with the .m2v file ("Clip1.m2v"). It's important that they have exactly the same name when you get into DVD SP later on. And this may also get rid of the yellow mark. (And with the other clips, use "Clip2", "Clip3", etc.)

On the "selection contains no media" problem, are you getting this while in FCP?

Have you newly selected your in and out points on the sequence and made sure that the timeline is active (rather than the Viewer window or something else)?
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 05:47 AM   #14
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In Compressor, if you select "All", it will give you all three options (.m2v, .ac3 and .aiff). To get rid of the .aiff, simply highlight it and press "delete".

If you are still getting a yellow exclamation mark, try this:
Go to the "Output Filename" in the "Batch" window and double-click the .ac3 and give it a simple name, such as "Clip1.ac3". Then do the same with the .m2v file ("Clip1.m2v"). It's important that they have exactly the same name when you get into DVD SP later on. And this may also get rid of the yellow mark. (And with the other clips, use "Clip2", "Clip3", etc.)

On the "selection contains no media" problem, are you getting this while in FCP?

Have you newly selected your in and out points on the sequence and made sure that the timeline is active (rather than the Viewer window or something else)?
Managed to delete the Aiff file and have given the two files the same name (aside from the extension) but I'm still getting the yellow exclamation...priority set to High in batch - click on submit and it tells me Destination is invalid or write protected...?
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