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Old July 11th, 2007, 12:31 PM   #1
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Detailed HDV to SD Export for DVDSP using Comp 3.....With Images

Even though I made a text based walk through for using HD material to go to an SD DVD SP Project, I had some requests to do a more in depth walk through with pictures to help you guys out more.
So, I took some time this morning and created a simple project to do so.
The following walk through is so you can take HDV material that you are editing, and export it to a Standard Def project in DVDSP.
To start off this tutorial you need to know what I was working with.

Final Cut Studio 2

Footage shot with a JVC HD110U in a 720P 30 format
Now this will work with any HDV Footage from any camera. I have footage from a SOny V1U shot at 1080i, and this works the same.

Start by creating a new project in the format you will be working with. I choose easy Setup for importing and editing with FCS2, I choose HDV 720P 30 as this matches my camera the best. I dont use AIC, I dont up-convert, I use the native format as this is going to a SD DVD and no matter what, it will still look better than if I had shot it in SD 60i.

Here is an example of a typical project of mine that is being edited in 720P 30. Note the very annoying seperate clips in my bin. I wish Apple and JVC would fix that, I would prefer 1 clip.

http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...os_files/1.jpg

Once you are done editing, and you are ready for export, it is time to prep your project for Compressor.

Set your in/out points and select "file/export/quicktime movie"
Do not select "make movie self contained". What happens is, Compressor will read the render files for your project with this reference file, the same thing that FCP would send the Comp if you selected from the timeline. If you leave the settings alone, this QT file will have the same settings as your timeline.

http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...os_files/2.jpg
Next choose your destination for that file
http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...os_files/3.jpg

Now open Compressor 3

http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...os_files/4.jpg

Drag your QT file into compressor from the finder. If you have more than 1 file, do this to all of them right now.

*Note*
At any given time I will add around 6 files to Compressor. If you are using an Intel 24" iMac like I am, depending on the file size, the level of compression, this might take up to 24 hours. For 6 pieces and each being roughly 1-1/2 to 2 hours each, I see results in 8 hours or less.

http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...os_files/5.jpg

Next thing to do is choose your format.

Obviously if you want to go to DVD there is only 1 option. Though this will work for iPod files, You Tube, etc, we are only working with DVD stuff today.

Under your setting bin you will see DVD
http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...os_files/6.jpg

In that DVD Bin you will see more options.
http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...os_files/7.jpg

Each one has a purpose.

Fastest encode is a Single pass VBR. VBR means Variable Bit Rate.
Single pass is just that, Compressor make 1 pass at compressing this and any and all frame issues, blocking, or quality will be dealt with on 1 pass.
Yes it is fast, it is however not my personal choice.

Best Quality is a 2 Pass encoding in Compressor. It does not take any more space to do this, your file will not be bigger, it will however go through Compressor twice. But not in the sense you think. I use 2 pass, or Best Quality for everything I can. I can see the difference everytime, side by side.
http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...os_files/7.jpg

Each setting reflects the length of your project.

90, 120, 150 minutes. Is your project 2 hours and 15 minutes? either use the 120, or the 150. The higher you go, the smaller bit rate you get, keep that in mind. However, if you need to put more than 1 file on a DVD like I do, then you need to say choose a 150, and for something smaller like a 15 minute clip, choose a 120 for that.

http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...os_files/7.jpg

Drag your setting that you choose to the file you brought into Compressor.
http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...os_files/8.jpg

You will see 2 settings show up, the Mpeg 2, and the AC3 file. it will show "Source" and output file name. You will change the destination (default is Source) and you can change the output file name if you like. However keep the file ext the same.

If you select the Mpeg 2 file you will notice alot of information shows up in the inspector
http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/10.jpg
File name
Description is what you have choosen to cram your material into
Estimated file size. This is important, the one thing you want to keep an eye on. Just because you have a 4.7 GB DVD does not mean you can have the file size be 4.6 GB in size. You have to account for DVD Header information, the size of the audio file, DVD menus, etc. Try to keep your file to under 3.5 GB if you are using Single layer DVD's.

Width and Height is Automatic now. In Compressor 2 You had the choice of either 16:9 or 4:3 when choosing your format. Now you get 1 choice and you need not panic. It will still export your 16:9 file as a 16:9 file.

The next tab on your inspector lets you make adjustments
http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/11.jpg

Notice it is SD, that the aspect ratio is 16:9, and of course since I shot Progressive, my footage is progressive.

Your Quality tab
http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/12.jpg

This allows you to change the quality of your compression to fit the file to your disc. Anything over 8.9 Maximum Bit Rate and you have a HD DVD. You can go as low as 3.2 on the Average BR if you need to cram alot onto a disc.


Once you are done it is time to tell this where to go.
Click your destinations tab.
http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/13.jpg

And choose a new local destination.
http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/14.jpg

I prefer to have a folder inside my project folder for the DVD Files I am exporting, that way when I backup my project, everything is in one spot.

http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/15.jpg

http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/16.jpg

This will now show up, and stay in Comp 3 until you remove it.
http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/17.jpg

Drag that Icon to each of your files in Comp, and it will set the source.
http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/18.jpg

Here you will see everything is set, ready to go, you can proof your compression before you export it.

http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/19.jpg

Hit Submit and you are prompted with this drop down box.

http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/20.jpg

I have a few Macs here and as of right now, I have no idea how to Distribute Processing for Compressor, and Apple QMaster. I am working on it, and might have something for you guys as soon as possible, but right now, this is all new to me as well.

Leave your Cluster as This Computer, do not check that box, and go ahead and hit Submit.

With this new Comp and Batch monitor, my Batch monitor does not show up Automatically, so You will have to click the Batch Monitor button to get it to open.
You will see this.
http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/21.jpg

Now, I just submitted something, but it is not showing up, what the Duece?

Click "This COmputer" and your export will show.
http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/22.jpg

Let it do it's job.

Remember, depending on your system, memory, drive speed, angle of the moon, how fresh the coffee is,or most important, if the client is waiting in the lobby, or this is due yesterday, this might take some time. If it is due next month, it will no doubt blaze through very fast....I am sure.


Now it is done, and the bif moment, DVD SP.


Open it up.

http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/23.jpg

Nothing big here, as you can see a bone stock DVDSP. No changes made. Notice it is on SD DVD, for me it is NTSC, my regions are set for, well who knows I dont mess with that.

Import your freshly converted HDV to SD 16:9 Footage to your bin.

http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/24.jpg

Drag that file to your timeline, set up your DVD, and test it out with Simulator.

http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/25.jpg

You now have a "letterbox" SD DVD from your HDV raw material. Burn and go.


*Note*

This is pretty much the first time I have done a Walk Through. I know I did a text version a few weeks ago, but people were asking me about details. It is alot easier to understand when you can see what they are talking about.

When I started out 2 years ago, I did not touch Comp at all, I was botching up projects, screwing up DVD's, quality was lacking, big mess. But I took the time to screw with Comp and found that it is a very very useful tool that I can not live without. Compressor is the only reason I had not switched to another Editing software when I was frustrated with FCP last year. I tested out Adobe, Canopus, and was on the way to trying Avid when I did not find anything close to Compressor with those programs. Once you master this software, you will feel the same.


I hope this helps alot of you out, I can only offer what I know to help make your project go by easier.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #2
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Wow -- that was a lot of work, thanks!
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Old July 11th, 2007, 05:58 PM   #3
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Thanks Jim, that's really useful. I played around with qmaster recently and found that it's fairly straightforward to set up for a single machine, although I'm not really sure how it works with multiple macs.

Once running when you submit the job in compressor you just select the cluster instead of 'this computer' and compressor pushes the cpu cores to the max rather than having them work at a gentle 50%.

I've attached a grab of my qmaster settings, I'm using a four core Mac Pro and in the advanced setting I have 4 processes selected, I'm not sure if this is optimal but it seems to work well.

Once everything is set you just choose 'start sharing' and then the cluster should be available when submitting jobs in compressor.

One word of caution though, if I try to submit to compressor and the cluster directly from FCP the export fails and FCP hangs. It seems this is a common problem so it's best to export to QT and submit manually as you have suggested.

Hope this helps,

Paul.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 06:05 PM   #4
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I just spoke with Ken Stone from The Ken Stone final cut pro page, it seems this walkthrough will be making it to his website so you can now have it with full res images and it will be hosted indefinitely like everything else there.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 04:59 AM   #5
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Thank you so much for posting all that....I have one problem though...if you follow your process, you have to do all titling in hdv resolution, then you are using compressor to scale them down along with your movie. In my experience this is a major no, no. You will get extremely bad edge enhancement as the lines become razor thin and brutal flickering when the titles are downscaled that way. the process I've found that works best has been to..

1. Export the clips or movies as hdv self contained or reference (i use self contained) leaving room (slugs so to speak) for titling.
2. Drop these movies back into fcp into SD anamorphic sequences...
3. Add titling
4. Export as SD anamorphic self contained (again my preference)..
5. Drop into compressor and the rest is the same as you outlined.

In my experience, self contained movies have less problems. That's just me though, I'm not claiming it's gospel. I also recompress all frames when I export. I don't like to sit thru rendering and then sit thru exporting.

Cheers,
Scott
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Old July 12th, 2007, 05:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Shama View Post
I also recompress all frames when I export. I don't like to sit thru rendering and then sit thru exporting.

Cheers,
Scott
Sorry Scott - not quite sure what you mean by your last comment? Does this relate to the titling having to be rendered?
Also - if you had a porject which required subtitles would you again use your method of dropping the near complete HDV sequence into a SD sequence then finishing with your subtitles?

Cheers (and thanks to Jim for that thorough post).
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Old July 12th, 2007, 05:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Drag that file to your timeline, set up your DVD, and test it out with Simulator.

http://web.mac.com/blackmugmedia/iWe...s_files/25.jpg

You now have a "letterbox" SD DVD from your HDV raw material. Burn and go.
Jim - any reason why you set this to 4:3 pan and scan? I delivered some completed DVD's recently, shot in 16:9. On widescreen sets this will fit out the screen and on 4:3 sets they will appear letterboxed (should the DVD players be set to view them that way).

Quote:
Estimated file size. This is important, the one thing you want to keep an eye on. Just because you have a 4.7 GB DVD does not mean you can have the file size be 4.6 GB in size. You have to account for DVD Header information, the size of the audio file, DVD menus, etc. Try to keep your file to under 3.5 GB if you are using Single layer DVD's.
Is there any way of making your file smaller at this stage i.e. once you've locked your movie and sent it to compressor - how would you get around a file which is say 5gb (and you're using single layer)?

Quote:
Notice it is SD, that the aspect ratio is 16:9, and of course since I shot Progressive, my footage is progressive.
I noticed that compressor defaulted to lower field dominance when I imported my mpeg4 files - even though they were shot progressively. I changed this to automatic because I wasn't sure. Perhaps I should change this to progressive from now on.
I'm using Compressor 2 (and don't envisage upgrading for some time yet) but after a few play arounds (and huge amount of help on these boards - thanks to David Knaggs also) found it a great tool (same applies to DVD SP).
I've tended to export directly to compressor (deleting the AIFF file - I may use that over ac3 for more audio specfic projects though) - purely because that's the first option I was advised on and it worked very well. I guess if I needed to continue using FCP they I should export as none selft contained QT file).

I'm going to shoot a small amount of HDV footage (still waiting on new HD as I have very limited space left) then go through your workaround until it's second nature.
Thanks for your time posting this up.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 06:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Shama View Post
Thank you so much for posting all that....I have one problem though...if you follow your process, you have to do all titling in hdv resolution, then you are using compressor to scale them down along with your movie. In my experience this is a major no, no. You will get extremely bad edge enhancement as the lines become razor thin and brutal flickering when the titles are downscaled that way. the process I've found that works best has been to..

1. Export the clips or movies as hdv self contained or reference (i use self contained) leaving room (slugs so to speak) for titling.
2. Drop these movies back into fcp into SD anamorphic sequences...
3. Add titling
4. Export as SD anamorphic self contained (again my preference)..
5. Drop into compressor and the rest is the same as you outlined.

In my experience, self contained movies have less problems. That's just me though, I'm not claiming it's gospel. I also recompress all frames when I export. I don't like to sit thru rendering and then sit thru exporting.

Cheers,
Scott
Scott -- have you tried using the antiflicker filter on titles?
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Old July 12th, 2007, 06:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood View Post
Sorry Scott - not quite sure what you mean by your last comment? Does this relate to the titling having to be rendered?
No. I don't typically render out the entire sequence prior to exporting. I let recomprss all frames handle it. Has nothing to do with titles. Has to do with that orange bar along the top of my sequence.


Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood View Post
Also - if you had a porject which required subtitles would you again use your method of dropping the near complete HDV sequence into a SD sequence then finishing with your subtitles?
I don't nest the hdv sequnces in sd sequences anymore. I've seen to many juddery problems. Exporting as a self contained movie and then bringing back into fcp and dropping into an sd sequence cures these issues and, so far as I've seen, provides the best looking output.

Cheers,
Scott
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Old July 12th, 2007, 06:51 AM   #10
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The reason I mentioned titles is that with my title credits (scrolling at least) I have to render these each time any adjustments are made (speed of scroll etc).

Quote:
I don't nest the hdv sequnces in sd sequences anymore. I've seen to many juddery problems. Exporting as a self contained movie and then bringing back into fcp and dropping into an sd sequence cures these issues and, so far as I've seen, provides the best looking output.
That's very interesting Scott. So basically you're importing a HDV QT file into a SD timeline...wonder why the first method caused you problems?
I've barely any current memory left to make self contained movies (which eat up even more space) and if I don't select this I cannot recompress all frames (if I were to render that way).
As I currently at least, export directly to compressor I don't suppose I could import HDV files (mpeg4 and audio) back into a SD timeline as you are doing?
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Old July 12th, 2007, 07:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood View Post
The reason I mentioned titles is that with my title credits (scrolling at least) I have to render these each time any adjustments are made (speed of scroll etc).



That's very interesting Scott. So basically you're importing a HDV QT file into a SD timeline...wonder why the first method caused you problems?
I've barely any current memory left to make self contained movies (which eat up even more space) and if I don't select this I cannot recompress all frames (if I were to render that way).
As I currently at least, export directly to compressor I don't suppose I could import HDV files (mpeg4 and audio) back into a SD timeline as you are doing?
The other way causes problems when the hdv sequence is unrendered or if you render it after you drop it into the sd seq. If youmake changes it never seems to update. I dunno, I just always saw a problem with the output doing it that way.

Are drives not cheap in the UK like they are here? You need to buy some 500gb drives and not worry so much about space. :) I wouldn't work with mpeg4 files....that's just my take though, no science involved on why. I just gotta believe it's more compressed and a bigger hassle to work with.

Cheers,
Scott
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Old July 12th, 2007, 07:48 AM   #12
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It's probably best if I give all these different workarounds a go myself.
I'll also probably render them first in the HDV timeline before exporting...however I'm not entirely sure if this is the best method.
Sorry I meant to say .m2v not mpeg4 files.

Yes - drives are pretty cheap but these are usually the USB drives which are slow. Currently looking for a FW 500gb/1Tb drive - a decent on tends to be fairly pricy (graid etc).
Thanks Scott.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 12:30 PM   #13
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I have got to run out today, will be back in a few hours. I want to answer your questions about file size, and make a few points, but I cant right now. I promise I will get back to you today and post.

Jim
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Old July 12th, 2007, 03:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lammey View Post
Scott -- have you tried using the antiflicker filter on titles?
You shouldn't need the anti flicker if you are building your titles in the proper resolution.

It kinda sounds like some of you maybe aren't familiar with actually making titles at HD resolution and then downscaling. Please try it and view it on your production monitor and all will become clear. You will see the inherent problems with this process.

Cheers,
Scott
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Old July 13th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #15
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Im a bit confused with resolutions and aspect ratios...
Right now I've been doing some test exports and I select PAL because I'm in EU.
My footage is coming out at 720x404, then I drop them in DSP and they are letterboxed. Shouldn't the PAL be higher resolution ? 720x576 is the standard isn't it but that is not 16:9 so I would have to select non square pixels, and what if I compress it to 1024x576 and then it would letterbox it down to 4:3... like this it would not be streching the image when going 16:9 ? is this possible or it won't work on DVD players?
My footage is HDV 720p24 from HD101

Ah nevermind about that 720x404... for some reason quicktimes "show movie info" is showing me the wrong resolution, I checked it in VLC and it is 720x576.
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