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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old August 18th, 2009, 10:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Braeley View Post
I think exporting a self contained file is key for you, as I think exporting direct from FCP to compressor is your weakest link.
Jon, Thanks for the bit rate stuff, I appreciate it. When you say "self contained" you just mean exporting my project as a quicktime with current settings/full res from FCP correct?

DVD Studio doesn't encode or compress the quicktime when I import it right? It scares when when I can right click on the thumbnail and see an ENCODE setting with more bit rate/aspect ratio encode options. When I went from FCP to compressor then to DVD Studio when I right clicked on the thumbnail the ENCODE setting was grayed out, this made me feel better. You are saying that workflow is not as good. Is it stupid for me to be worrying about that?
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Old August 18th, 2009, 01:02 PM   #17
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Simon brings up a good point. Make sure you're burning a progressive DVD if you're shooting 24p. (or 30p for that matter). Makes a BIG difference.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 10:25 AM   #18
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Zach, I am not sure what you mean by right-clicking the thumbnail? There are no further encode/compression settings in DVDSP.

The self contained file from FCP will be a large HD file - 1020 x 1080. Import into Compressor and export using the DVD presets. Keep 24p - progressive all the way. You should copy the Compressor preset and then fine tune the settings as I said before (bitrate).

This will give you the mpeg 2 file with .m2v format. This is what you import into DVDSP. DVDSP will not recompress this file - it "muxes" the file according to your DVD menu.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 10:28 PM   #19
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Jon,

Tried out your method, everything looks great. Thanks a lot.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 09:13 PM   #20
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I think the reason some people have better success than others depends on whether they are just transferring raw footage, or a finished project with lots of graphics, etc...

Image quality issues are much more noticeable when you're trying to compress graphics along with your footage.

I'm going to try boosting up the date rate as you suggested. But if you check the DVD SP manual, you'll notice that they caution you about doing this. It seems that you can actually boost the date rate up so high that "some" dvd players can't play it. I just wonder if this is an old warning. Maybe modern dvd players can handle higher data rates. You've never had a problem with this?
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Old November 16th, 2009, 12:26 PM   #21
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I give up

i'm at such a loss but after ruining my entire weekend...10 hours saturday and 10 hours sunday!!! i have had NO SUCCESS! i tried it all and the DVDs i create look like garbage!

i shoot in HD with XH A1, edit in FCP7 with DVD studio pro.

tried exporting QT movie, hi rez settings, importing that file into compressor at the nice 90 min. setting at CBR 6.8 and 7.0, bring that into DVD studio pro...garbage DVD...all pixelated! tried exporting FC timeline right into compressor and skipping the export to QT first.... bring that into DVD studio pro...garbage pixelation! nothing works. i see some users saying all they do is export to compressor from final cut 7 and wammo!!! a great DVD! i do the same thing and mine is pixelated!

i'm going to do what works.... export as HI_REZ QT movie with H.264 and import that large H.264 into iDVD. it looks really nice. iDVD encodes the huge H.264 video really nice...DVD studio pro doesn't handle H.264 at all which is too bad.

compressor and DVD studio pro are garbage!!!
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Old November 16th, 2009, 02:46 PM   #22
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I give up

i'm at such a loss but after ruining my entire weekend...10 hours saturday and 10 hours sunday!!! i have had NO SUCCESS! i tried it all and the DVDs i create look like garbage!

i shoot in HD with XH A1, edit in FCP7 with DVD studio pro.

tried exporting QT movie, hi rez settings, importing that file into compressor at the nice 90 min. setting at CBR 6.8 and 7.0, bring that into DVD studio pro...garbage DVD...all pixelated! tried exporting FC timeline right into compressor and skipping the export to QT first.... bring that into DVD studio pro...garbage pixelation! nothing works. i see some users saying all they do is export to compressor from final cut 7 and wammo!!! a great DVD! i do the same thing and mine is pixelated!

i'm going to do what works.... export as HI_REZ QT movie with H.264 and import that large H.264 into iDVD. it looks really nice. iDVD encodes the huge H.264 video really nice...DVD studio pro doesn't handle H.264 at all which is too bad.
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Last edited by Steve Rotter; November 17th, 2009 at 01:17 PM.
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Old November 16th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #23
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For anyone new to producing DVDs from Final Cut, may I recommend the DVD Studio Pro tutorials by Larry Jordan over at Lynda.com ? I decided I'd had enough of iDVD and took the plunge to learn how to do it properly.

I am producing training videos for a client and need a workflow that...works.

The tutorials are superb and Larry is a great teacher. The thing about watching a tutorial and taking notes is that it's like being back at school - I remember things, which at nearly 50 is no easy task....

HTH

Cotty
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Old November 16th, 2009, 04:55 PM   #24
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Steve, be sure you turn on "Frame Control" in DVDSP or you WILL get garbage.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 07:15 AM   #25
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I've been struggling with this stuff for 12 months as well. I only just got an EX1 and shudder to think about burning dvd's or bluray for that matter.

I burned a test DVD of an intial edit of something shot in HDV from an FX1 yesterday and the DVD did indeed look like garbage on a HD monitor upscaled from a HD player. I assumed it was something I did wrong in the encode (went straight from FCP to compressor then into DVD SP). I didn't tweak any settings though so I'm going to experiement with things from this thread and update. My next shoot is mixing HDV and XDCAm from the EX1 and then output to SD DVD. Any tips on capture settings for the EX1 greatly appreciated. At this atge I'm thinking HDV on one cam and 720P on the EX??
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Old November 17th, 2009, 12:25 PM   #26
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I read about this problem here and was quite worried, especially because a friend was having trouble with his attempts to make SD DVD's.

However I had excellent results after only a few trials using info I gathered here - God Bless this forum.

I shot in 1080i 24P but my friend was also working in PAL hence the PAL suggestions below which I can't personally vouch for. BTW - I had virtually no graphics other than titles.

1. Edit in EX1 Native Sequence, PAL or NTSC -- Go to "Sequence Settings >Render Control>Codec>Apple ProRes 422 (HDV XDCAM HD/EX only)."

2 ADD FLICKER FILTER TO CLIPS AS DESIRED. ( My buddy tried this not me but said it added a a slight softening which he liked . I didn't use it and I believe my stuff was shot at "0" detail.)

3. Export to Compressor from FCP (I rendered first) or to Quicktime for self-contained movie if you prefer.

4. In Compressor Pick Destination and Settings

5. Select "MPEG-2" file -- Go to Inspector click "Encoder" icon and when "Quality" tab appears, choose bit rates, "Two pass VBR Best" ( I chose average 6.6 and max 7.9) At bottom of window select "Motion Estimation Better." (I read there was a glitch in setting Motion Estimator BEST that produced bad DVD's - don't know if this is still true.)

HERE IS THE TRICK

6. Still in Inspector window select "Frame Controls" icon. Select icon to turn Frame Controls "On." "Resize Filter "Best. CHANGE "Output Fields to "Progressive" Leave deinterlace to Fast (Line averaging), and "Adaptive Details" box checked. Leave other settings as is.

Be prepared for long renders.


7. Proceed to make DVD in DVDSP
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Old November 17th, 2009, 12:33 PM   #27
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Thanks to all contributors on this subject. It has been a fascinating discussion and I've learned some very important things.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 01:16 PM   #28
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Leonard is spot on with his solution. Works for me! :)
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Old November 17th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #29
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Dave Morrison and Leonard Levy - i hope you found the holy grail...i have a feeling you did with that frame controls option. if not, there will be an imac on the front lawn tonight. why would they have that option? "oh you want GOOD QUALITY?!...you have to click this secretly-embedded box." why would they do that. there are too many settings man!

what i learned, and maybe this won't help anyone...just an fyi you might be able to use. when i first got the mac this summer i edited HD in imove09 and selected share with DVD (iDVD.) man, did it look bad! pixelated! i searched forums. what i found by reading and experimenting is that, for some reason, it just doesn't work well by doing the share to DVD. my family said it was fine (but what do they know...they aren't editors...hehe.) i knew i could make it better! it had to be! so what i did was export a hi rez QT HD file from imovie. i then imported that into iDVD....iDVD did the encoding and it looks GREAT! somewhere in the SHARE option, something gets messed up.

so, from what i have seen, it is best to export to a hi-rez (i use H.264: outstanding) QT file and then bring that in to compressor (if you're going to use compressor.) this cuts down on encoding time by hours!

bringing timeline right from FCP7 into compressor 90 min. encode took about 12 hours to complete with my imac core 2, 3.06 processor, 4 gigs ram.

exporting timeline to hi - rez 1920 HD H.264 QT self-contained movie took 4 hours. then i brought that into compressor and it took about 2 hours. so a total of 6 hours compared to 12 going right from timeline. the biggest reason is that going from timeline to compressor, compressor will read EACH AND EVERY FRAME! going from QT file imported into compressor, compressor just compresses the entire movie as a whole...no difference between the 2 in quality.

here's a question, what setting do you guys set to for widescreen? obviously we're filming in HD widescreen...what option do you select for 16.9? do you leave it blank? i can't remember the options but there are 3.... something letterbox...maintain letterbox.... i guess just leave it all blank? i want to fill the flat panel widescreen tv and if someone has 4.3, i want letterbox. i did select letterbox and my final QT movie was squashed....a square. no nice widescreen. that was 4 hours encoding wasted.

hope this helps anyone.

steve
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Old November 17th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #30
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Why are you exporting to H.264?

That's an extremely compressed codec. You should be exporting to ProRes. Probably 422 I understand to be is. HQ is a much bigger file and I'm told the difference can't be seen in EX material but that's just hearsay for me.

I will try exporting first if that's faster.

RE: 16:9 in compressor I just choose "16:9"

In DVDSP2 I chose "16:9 Letterbox". I don't know what that means really. Does it mean it will choose according to the TV itself. On my LCD it went full widescreen. I didn't check on my 4:3 TV but if it doesn't letterbox there I'll post it.
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