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Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old June 4th, 2008, 09:01 AM   #1
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what workflow to get good SD DVD via FCP?

Tomorrow shooting a drama using 2 EX1s - my first EX1 shoot, having had hardly any time for EX1 testing. Client is the NHS and they'll be watching the result on DVD on CRT ands LCD TVs.

The 1080 and 25p and 50i tests I just did, editing in FCP, look fine until camera is panning. Then see a nasty juddering effect on LCD and CRT - both the progressive and interlaced footage. In the FCP sequence setting variations I tried so far I can't get a different end result.... what workflow is working for people to get good SD DVD?
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Old June 4th, 2008, 01:02 PM   #2
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It almost sounds like your shutter speed is set too low. Make sure the shutter switch on the front of the camera body under the lens is set to "on" and that your shutter speed is set to at least 1/50th sec. for both 25p and 50i PAL settings.

- Don
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Old June 4th, 2008, 02:34 PM   #3
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Cheers - but yes, shutter was on, at 1/50th
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Old June 4th, 2008, 05:05 PM   #4
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how much memory do you have in the computer?
I have the same problem with G5 2.5 Ghz but only 1g of mem.
I think it could be the memory.
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Old June 4th, 2008, 08:50 PM   #5
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There has been much discussion out here about this. I've had similar problems getting good looking SD DVDs from XDCAM footage. I'll tell you what I'm currently doing, but I must give credit to Daniel Weber for the workflow. It seems to work okay for me though I'm always looking for refinements.

First, edit the footage in a sequence set for XDCAM HD 1080i or 1080p, whatever you're footage is.

2. Export, using Quicktime compression to DVCPRO HD 720p (50 for you, 60 for us NTSC blokes). This will result in a very large file, depending on the length of your footage.

3. Drop the resulting DVCPRO file into Compressor and use the highest quality DVD setting, depending on the total length of your footage. I use the MPEG 2, 2 pass, 6.6 mbs. Daniel told me there is a bug in Compressor that doesn't render well if the motion setting is set to highest, so he sets it to medium quality. You might experiment with that.

I'll be using these settings for a DVD project I'm sending to the replicator on Monday so there's a vote of confidence. It sure beats the heck out of what I was doing before which was getting horrible results for me.

Good luck.
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Old June 4th, 2008, 11:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Willey View Post
2. Export, using Quicktime compression to DVCPRO HD 720p
Why? Why not straightforward from FCP directly to Compressor (or at least use ProRes, if there's a lot of rendering-stuff and you want to output to multiple formats)? (don't forget to select the very nice "optimal"-scaling (btw, what actually is it? Bicubic? Sinc? ...?) in Compressor, because bilinear sucks.)
If you want highest-quality-DVDs (and your movie isn't too long) use CBR@9.0MBit/s. Use the space there is on a DVD!
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Old June 5th, 2008, 03:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dominik Seibold View Post
If you want highest-quality-DVDs (and your movie isn't too long) use CBR@9.0MBit/s. Use the space there is on a DVD!
A good point in theory, the 9.0MBit/s and I have tried it several times with clients. However, there are lots of consumer DVD players that cannot/will not handle this bit rate, they choke. If you know the end user's equipment, say your own, or if it's a limited production to known equipment, then by all means use the highest bit rate. Awareness and caution is all I am saying.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 08:25 AM   #8
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Max bit rates above 7-7.5Mbps will fail in many DVD players.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 07:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dominik Seibold View Post
Why? Why not straightforward from FCP directly to Compressor
This is a good question. I am in the thick of editing several hours of music performance for DVD and broadcast. It was switched live and recorded by a Sony XDCAM deck at 1080i60. I have had a very rough time getting this footage to look good once it's output to SD DVD. If I exported from Final Cut directly to MPEG2 using Compressor there were unacceptable interlacing artifacts when viewed on everything from my in-dash, 7 inch DVD player, to my computer screen, to my 50 inch plasma. It was universally bad and not acceptable. I created test after test, changing single settings and trying various combinations, some of them recommended out here. It was only after Daniel Weber recommended that I first export to DVCPRO HD 720p, then use Compressor to create the MPEG2 that I got an acceptable result. So, I thought I should share this wisdom for this particular post.

Regarding the bit rate for DVDs, I've made the mistake of thinking that more must be better, raising the bit rate up into the 7 and 8 range. I'll never do that again. Even recent, good quality DVD players will choke and stutter. Keep in mind that you must leave some room for the audio stream. Many of my productions include higher definition, PCM audio, which takes up more of the available pipeline so I have to compensate with the video.

Oh, why hasn't Apple come out with support for BluRay?!?! I know this is off the topic, but is anyone speculating about a possible announcement this Monday? All I hear is "iPhone that and iPhone this." It's a phone people! Admittedly, it's a great phone, but it's still just a phone. Here at the grass level, we need support for the creation and distribution of high definition content, as all of these "how do I make this incredible footage look good at lower definitions" postings demonstrate.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 11:34 PM   #10
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Bass Akwards

Having just spent the last four hours reading about how to get decent quality SD DVDs out of our EX footage I just couldn't help thinking that it is a little rediculous that we have to do all these steps to make it happen.

I know, we get what we pay for and there is an amazing amount of stuff in the FCS box but still.

Is this really the way to not have horrible looking DVDs. I just cringe sometimes at what we deliver considering that I know how good the image looks on my cinema display. Keep in mind I have made many test disks in many different bit rate settings to see if I can get the best out of a direct FCP to DVD setting in compressor.

I read:

2. Export, using Quicktime compression to DVCPRO HD 720p (50 for you, 60 for us NTSC blokes). This will result in a very large file, depending on the length of your footage.

Export using QT conversion? save to the project file to .....?


3. Drop the resulting DVCPRO file into Compressor and use the highest quality DVD setting, depending on the total length of your footage. I use the MPEG 2, 2 pass, 6.6 mbs. Daniel told me there is a bug in Compressor that doesn't render well if the motion setting is set to highest, so he sets it to medium quality. You might experiment with that.




I mainly put out 20 min long DVDs. I have tried VBR 2 pass with 8.2 as highest with good results to my clients.

I am trying your method as I type. Thanks for the advice.

Oh, why hasn't Apple come out with support for BluRay?!?! I know this is off the topic, but is anyone speculating about a possible announcement this Monday? All I hear is "iPhone that and iPhone this." It's a phone people! Admittedly, it's a great phone, but it's still just a phone. Here at the grass level, we need support for the creation and distribution of high definition content, as all of these "how do I make this incredible footage look good at lower definitions" postings demonstrate.

DUUUUUUDE!!! I can't express the frustration enough! I mean what the %#$@?

Please start another thread to just let them have it! Rediculous! If we can have a $99 box from Roxio with this capability then why can't apple sell us a turnkey solution?
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Old June 13th, 2008, 12:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Having just spent the last four hours reading about how to get decent quality SD DVDs out of our EX footage I just couldn't help thinking that it is a little rediculous that we have to do all these steps to make it happen.
Mike your frustration is understandable with having to go through the suggested workflow. The key is too choose sequence settings that match your final output. HD workflows are opposite to the traditional SD workflows. This is common knowledge.

That being said, I offer a suggestion that I stumbled across by purchasing the Vortex "EX1 Workflow Test Drive DVD". It comes with a 10 page tutorial with several workflow suggestions including one for taking your EX1 footage, using FCP and compressor to author high quality SD DVD's. The tutorial has copy rights so I cannot provide the details. Vortex charges $35 for this SD training DVD and it was made using the EX1. The SD quality is excellent and hence proof that what you are trying to accomplish can be done. For my part it was money well spent, your mileage may vary.

Vortex also offers an even simpler workflow for getting EX1 footage into an SD timeline but it is provided on the more expensive "Mastering the EX1 DVD." I have this too and it provides solutions to many of the EX1 questions that continue to surface in these forums. It is of course not the definitive EX1 training source, but it does give the goods so that you can shoot with confidence. Again your mileage may vary.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 12:20 AM   #12
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I too am concerned with this HD- SD DVD horrible conversion. I have noticed that the new XDCAM EX deck due to be released soon by Sony has a downconversion facility built in. I'm just hoping that hardware down conversion yields much better results.

It does entail however that if you want the project to be delivered both in both HD and SD, one has to transfer the edited HD footage from the timeline back to the deck (recorded as HD on the SxS cards) then from the deck back to the NLE whilst being downconverted in realtime (and hopefully good quality) to SD. Then from the SD timeline a SD DVD can be produced whilst from the HD timeline a HD DVD is produced. I know that it sounds very time consuming....

Do any of you think that this workflow might work well?
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Old June 13th, 2008, 01:01 AM   #13
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I dropped this into the forum awhile back.
Maybe this will help with your problem.....


I wrote to Doug Jenson at Vortex Media,
author of the "Mastering The Sony PMW-EX1" DVD set about HD to SD conversion.
Here was his response...

Hi Kevin,

I'm glad that you liked the DVD.
Just about everything I produce gets output to DVD. I don't output to tape at all, and haven't for about three years, so I don't know if I can give you all the answers. However, here's my workflow for DVD. Maybe you can adapt it for DVCAM where necessary:


I believe it is very important to edit with Sequence settings that are as close as you can come to matching your final output. In other words, if you aren't going to author a Blu-ray disk or some other HD final product -- then don't edit in HD!! Edit in SD. Choose sequence settings that match your final output -- not the source footage. That's how I edited "Mastering the EX1" and it looks fine, right?

Here's how I edited "Mastering the EX1" and all of my other DVDs with FCP 6.

1) I shoot most of my footage 1080 30P HQ --- but I don't think that makes much difference in the final output.

2) I open a new Sequence in FCP and use the "DV NTSC 48Khz Anamorphic" preset . . . or non-anamorphic if the output will be a 4x3 DVD . . . yes, I still do those too.

3) I change the Field Dominance to "NONE"

4) I edit the entire program within that Sequence.

5) When I'm done editing, I then Export a QuickTime movie of the Sequence. I choose "Current Settings" and I do NOT choose to "Make Movie Self-Contained".

6) I then take that QuickTime movie and bring it into Compressor.

7) I then choose the Compressor preset for DVD Best Quality and modify a few of the settings (such as bitrate), but nothing major.

8) After that file is finished rendering, I bring it into DVD Studio Pro and author the DVD normally.

This is exactly how my EX1 DVD was produced, and it's the workflow I've been using with XDCAM HD for almost two years. VERY SIMPLE. No extra software, no extra rendering, nothing special at all. I do everyting EXACTLY how I demonstrate in the EX1 DVD and it looked good, right?

I hope that helps.

Doug
www.VortexMedia.com
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Old June 13th, 2008, 02:12 AM   #14
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Check this out for the EX1 :

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage...put_young.html

Step by step with pictures illustrations....
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Old June 13th, 2008, 08:42 AM   #15
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Did I read this right? Doug says to edit in DV-NTSC while Ken's site says to edit in HD and then convert to SD? I guess it's like Photoshop....there are 4 or 5 ways to do ANY operation. Thanks to everyone for sharing their favorite method of creating SD DVD's. I'm afraid that we're stuck between two worlds for the foreseeable future. Sometimes it sucks to be on the "bleeding edge".
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