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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old August 31st, 2007, 06:14 AM   #1
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if you have PP2.0 and a sony FX1 please read!

Hi,
I have read a lot of threads (and posted a few) trying to resolve my confusion regarding how to get the best out of HDV...

I am filming a wedding this weekend with 2 FX1's which up to now I have only used in SD mode.

I am totally clueless about how to get the most out of HDV footage when burning to an SD DVD. (I wont even begin to work out how to burn HD DVD's yet...)

This is what I do know:

I can capture to mpeg using pp2.0 in HD
I can capture to m2t using HDVSplit

I can edit in PP2.0 using either of these

Then the tricky part starts... should I export as mpeg2 at full HD res using the adobe encoder? Would that be accepted straight into TMPGEnc DVD Author and would it downconvert the res to 720x576 for the final DVD...

I have been advised to author/burn straight from an edited m2t file but I dont know how to create this.. could i export the edited timeline to tape then capture using HDV split to create an m2t?

I am also a regular user of Mainconcept MPEG Encoder which Ive just spotted has some HD DVD presets at higher res, but does not accept m2t as an input type.

Basically as you can tell I am a total newbie to HDV and would appreciate a simple guide to how you get the most out of your HD footage when burning to DVD...!
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Old August 31st, 2007, 10:40 AM   #2
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First of all, my best DVD results actually come from outside the Premiere. While I have Premiere Pro 2, I find I have better success using doing any encoding inside of DVD Architect, which came with Vegas 7. I also use Cineforms NeoHDV to capture to an intermediate .avi format for editing. The assumption here is that you don't have access to those, so before I got Vegas, I used the following process in Premiere:

1. Captured using HDVSplit or the Premiere Capture Utility. I preferred HDVSplit, because it scened detected.

2. Edit project in HDV.

3. Render full edit to a deinterlaced Widescreen DV file.

4. Pull that into any DVD program you have to render to the DVD image. I have used Pinnacles Studio 10 for DVD production as well as DVD Architect.

Why render to DV Wide and not go straight to mpeg for DVD ? I don't know why, but for some reason, when I was using that process with Premiere, the results were inferior !
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Old August 31st, 2007, 07:49 PM   #3
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IMO using DV codec as an in-between is a horrible choice. It is highly compressed and has a non favorable chroma sampling (4:1:1) that will rob your footage. The only time ever to use DV is when that is the format that comes out of the cam. HUFFYUV would be a far better choice.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 01:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Hodson View Post
IMO using DV codec as an in-between is a horrible choice. It is highly compressed and has a non favorable chroma sampling (4:1:1) that will rob your footage. The only time ever to use DV is when that is the format that comes out of the cam. HUFFYUV would be a far better choice.
That's the point. I don't understand why Premiere transcode from HDV to SD mpeg comes out worse, but it sure seems to, in my experience. Are there other better ways, absolutely.... as I indicated....
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 06:14 AM   #5
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thanks guys,

first off, Ken, what is HUFFYUV?

Also Chris, I agree with HDV split (in fact I am capturing the project using that right now which saves m2t files which premiere can edit with).

Although others say its not the best way you say you have had good results rendering out to a deinterlaced widescreen DV file. By this do you mean just do, file-export move without using the adobe encoder? As I know in SD comps this exports an avi... Would this still be at the HD resolution?

I use TMPGEnc DVD Author to edit, but I think that needs to take in mpeg files for DVDs.. I Usually convert using Mainconcept mpeg encoder but although that has a HD preset for output I am always convinced that it heavily compresses the file and loses a lot of quality.

In short, I am with you with the capturing and editing side of it, but lost when it comes to the export and authoring.

Your continued help would be much appreciated.
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 12:28 PM   #6
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David:

Again, this is just my experience working inside Premiere. Yes, I would transcode or render to the deinterlaced DV wide screen standard setting. Yes this is SD. Maybe I misunderstood your original question, but yes this results in an SD resolution image. Thats all you will ever have if you are producing a standard DVD and in process I used, thats where I converted to SD, and that is maybe why I had better results, ie., Premiere converted well HDV to SD DV, and well from SD DV to SD mpeg. Although the project was shot in HDV, if it is going to standard DVD, it is going to be SD output.
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 03:33 AM   #7
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Chris,

I see.. I was under the impression that I could create a normal dvd on a single layer disc that uses full HD resolution, I just would not benefit from the same quality as if it was burned as a HD DVD.

In your experience will I see be able to see the superior quality of this HD to SD DVD, when compared to SD footage on an SD DVD?
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 01:04 PM   #8
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SD is SD. I haven't stepped into Blue Ray or HD production. Any HD I do is viewed on my cheap HD monitor, through my DVI out cable on my system. It is obvious even there, though, that there is a tremendous difference between DV SD and HD finished files

My experience is anecdotal, of course. I can't prove it by showing scientific numbers, and tests. Others have attempted to do so shooting charts and tests. In the end what you have is a DV image. We all know that the DV image out of a low end consumer cam is not as good as out of a GL 2 or VX2100-- and I think the experiece is the same here. HD and HDV are advances in imaging quality, or else, why would we be doing it.

But the question remains with the FX1, if my output is DV, should we edit in HDV, and render to DV. I think so. That may be because this camera has native 16:9 output, while the older cameras had to do some electronic manipulations to lay down a 16:9 image.

I have never shot anything other than HDV with my Sony FX1. I determined early on that getting the highest definition on tape is important, and then I would have the choice to capture HDV or SD. In the end, I felt that although I was going out to SD on a project, I still got a better result rendering to DV after editing in HDV- and now, that I have it, capturing with NeoHDV, and editing to whatever output I desire. Certainly, it put more strain on the editing system, but in the end, it just seem a bit deeper in color and feel.

I have, in rush situations, captured in DV, and certainly, the end result, which I mixed with footage from my VX2000, was still an improvement. But I have concluded that the best result come from the HDV edit.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 04:19 AM   #9
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Thanks a lot Chris. This weekend I have a shoot in DV using the FX1 so i can compare footage from last weeks HDV footage.

So what I intend to do is export 720x576 widescreen avi and convert using mainconcept mpeg encoder as I usually do. The only issue with this is that the file size of the entire DVD is below half the disc capacity. I'm not sure if there is any software out there that will render to higher quality in order to fill the space available?

Mainconcept even has HD Mpeg output options so I will play around this and see if it burns/plays back on a normal single layer disc. Then it seems a bit strange that I'd go from HDV - SD - HDV...

If only there was a simple answer......!
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Old September 4th, 2007, 05:16 AM   #10
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Hi all

Like Chris I have always shot HDV on my Z1. This I import into PPro 2.0 for editing..
For a long time I just used the camera to downrez.. as I was not at all happy with the Premiere down convertion.

More recently I have got hold of After Effects 7.0. I have lately been importing and editing HDV in PPro2 and then importing an uncompressed HDV avi file into AE.

This is easy to downscale using After Effects and I output a SD avi which can be encoded to DVD (mpeg2) in either Premiere, Tmpgenc etc... I have found this give a sharper overall result, as the footage goes from HDV to SD uncompressed avi as opposed to the normal DV codec...

I must say though that once you play back on your average TV set the difference becomes unnoticeable.

cheers
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Old September 4th, 2007, 11:32 AM   #11
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My understanding of DVD mpeg is that once you reach the maximum bitrate it operates under, you cannot push it more because it will not play on standard DVD players. In my experience, I can force up to two hours on a single layer disk, getting decent though reduced SD resolution for a standard TV, and at the highest conforming bit rates I can only get around 60 minutes. So with your shorter than one hour disks, you will have some unused space..
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Old September 4th, 2007, 01:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Payne View Post
first off, Ken, what is HUFFYUV?
HuffYUV is a lossless codec. You can download it here:

http://neuron2.net/www.math.berkeley...g/huffyuv.html.

In general, a huffYUV file will be about 1/2 the size of the equivalent uncompressed *.avi file. The advantage to using it is that there is no loss in image quality due to compression.

In PAL land, where DVD and the DV codec are both 720x576 4:2:0, you may not see a huge difference between using an intermediate HuffYUV and DV version, since you're only introducing 1 generation of DV DCT compression.

In NTSC land, DVD is 4:2:0 and DV is 4:1:1. This means when you create a DVD from the DV file, you end up with essentially a 4:1:0 colourspace. Not only would you get extra DCT compression, but also the colourspace hit. If your intermediate was HuffYUV, rather than feeding a 4:1:1 file to the compressor, you'd be feeding a 4:4:4 file (from the HDV downconvert), which has significantly more information in it.

-Steve
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Old September 4th, 2007, 01:36 PM   #13
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Steven:

Thanks for that. Thats my tech lesson for the day. I'll give that a try. Do work flow would be:

HDV edit --> huffYUV --- to DVD mpeg. Can you just import the huffyuv file into a DVD program like DVD Architect for instance, and transcode without a hitch ?
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Old September 4th, 2007, 01:46 PM   #14
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Transcoding should be hitchless provided the codec is installed properly. Obviously you'd have to test the application to find out (preferably with a small easy to export file first). If the HuffYUV file doesn't work, but you've got tons of hard drive space, you could also export to uncompressed.

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Old September 5th, 2007, 09:43 AM   #15
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Another way

David, as someone who travelled the same path, I perfectly understand your frustration. You would think that Premiere should be your one-stop solution, but unfortunately it's not. I understand that some of the issues have been fixed at least to some degree in PPRO 3 but we both have 2. After a lot of testing this is my way of doing things, you may want to give it a try.

1. Capture from camera using HDV Split.
2. Import and edit, color grade, fix audio, etc. natively in Premiere Pro 2.0.
3. Export as MPEG2 at the highest quality.
3. Resize to uncompressed 720x480 using VirtualDub MPEG2 (free) and frame serve to TMPG Enc, or Cinemacraft for MPEG2/DVD encoding (Canopus Procoder may also work with frame servers, I'm not sure). Settings in Vdub are: method Lanczos 3 and interlaced. In your encoding software you need to specify that your source footage is upper field first, but your output has to be lower field first and 16x9 wide screen.
4. Import the resulting file or files (a/v interleaved/program stream or elementary a + v streams) into your preferred DVD authoring software (I use Adobe Encore) for DVD creation.

You may want to export to a file instead of frame serving (then ecode from the file instead of using the frame server), but count on very large file sizes in excess of 100 GB per hour. This has the advantage of having the file handy in case you need/want to export to another format. If you choose this, I suggest breaking up your project in smaller pieces (say 15-20 minutes).

The extra step comes with a huge reward in terms of sharpness and rich color; from what little I understand of colors space, resizing HDV to uncompressed 720x480 comes with close to 4:4:4 color space so the MPEG2 encoder has a lot of chroma data to extract from.

I hope this helps - the best way is always your way, so give it a try and see if it works for you. Come back with questions if you need to.
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