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Old August 16th, 2004, 09:15 PM   #1
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Vegas users, whats the best DVD settings?

I am interested in shooting everything in HD setting as well as rendering all timelines to HD to start with and making master tapes , can I take the 720P timeline and change the settings to MPEG2 or AVI and then render the best quality DVD from this or do I need to start the project over with a 480p/i timeline or do I need to capture the HD master tape as convert to 480P/i?

What are your best results and have you ended up doing progressive or interlaced, what are your settings in project and render?

Someone suggested ( in another forum) to render everything to AVI and let the DVD software transcode for best results , is this true? All of my experimenting is resulting in a mixed bag but AVI - DVD Encore seems to give best results since DVD Architect does not work with my dual layer DVD burner.

Has anyone used Cineforms ConnectHD program with Vegas and does it do anything worthwhile for $500 ? thats alot of clams for a blind purchase
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Old August 17th, 2004, 08:33 AM   #2
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Mark,

I've seen the 2-layer burners around, but no disks. Are you getting disks - where - how much?

I have found a wide variance in the quality of MPG encoders. I have been using TMPGEnc since before HDV. It is high quality, and inexpensive. It has many tweaks, but once you learn to use it, you can easily get two hours on a single layer at quite high quality.

Over time, I have read several reviews of various MPG encoders, and TMPGEnc was always at the top of the list - even beating out some expensive encoders. There IS a difference!
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Old August 17th, 2004, 10:26 AM   #3
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Mark,

I use Premiere rather than Vegas, but I think I can answer part of your question.

Let's assume you are starting with a bunch of original HDV clips on your timeline. You then add your transitions, effects, color correction etc.

At this point you have 3 options: 1) render the timeline out to an HDV master, and then create your MPEGs and AVIs from that; 2) render out to a high-quality avi codec (e.g. cineform or picvideo or huffyuv) or perhaps eeven an uncompressed master; or 3) render out directly to MPEG2 for your DVDs from the Vegas timeline.

Each of these have pros and cons. Option 1 produces HDV footage that can be exported back to your camcorder or a DVHS deck. However, you are doing heavy recompression of all of the parts of the timeline that have had transitions or effects applied - and then you recompress yet again when you go MPEG. Also, only some of the available MPEG encoders will accept HDV transport streams.

Option 2 will produce the best quality master for creating subsequent mpegs and standard definition avis. The problem is that these files will be very large and potentially problematic to archive!

Option 3 will produce excellent mpeg2, because the transitions and effects only get rendered once, directly to mpeg. The downside is that rendering will be slow, you can only use the mpeg encoding options accessible directly from the Vegas timeline, and if you think you may want to re-render a fresh mpeg at a later date you'll need to archive the entire Vegas project. (And you probably WILL want to rerender, once dvdplayers capable of playing WM9 or H263 HD footage become available in 2005).

Personally, I usually go for Option 1: render out to HDV, and then encode mpeg2 for DVD, or WM9, or standard-def DV, by pulling the HDV master into TMPGXpress.
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Old August 17th, 2004, 08:08 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for the quick responses!

David,
I have not yet tried dual layer disc burning but I have seen several websites selling them from $6 - $10 a piece (yikes) honestly , I have not even attempted a dual layer burn but when I find the best way to encode to DVD from the HD10 and have a project that runs over an hour I will jump into the uncharted and certainly time consuming venture of headaches of early adopter crud. This should be very soon and I will report back.

Graham,
Thanks for taking the time to lay that out so well, If not for you and Mark Duckworth I would spend every night till the wee hours trying to figure this stuff out. I am going to check into TMPGXpress after I push the submit reply button, I hope its not to complicated as I see your a Preimere user and I found that program slightly aggrevating at times but I am sure once you do a successful project its a great program ( I never figured out how to do a dissolve transition and spent 15 minutes trying before frustration set in, ( I wish I wasnt so "who needs a map or instructions?")

I downloaded Womble and gave up after an hour of going NOWHERE, my problem is I am "settings" illiterate and don't know what all the hundreds of differant settings are . I Know I own a HDTV its 1080i some are 720P, both up and down convert, I know I own a progressive DVD player which is 480p I don't know if I am screwing up by selecting 9000 bit rate when encoding but I know when I start reading instructions I realize how dumb I am and yet I have people wanting me to film their weddings and music videos and an assortment of things which I can get to look spectacular in Vegas Video but from there its quality seems to degrade when transcoded and burnt to DVD.

I probably should not be the owner of the HD10 and CU VH1 but with help from guys/gals like you its much easier!

Thanks again
Mark
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Old August 17th, 2004, 10:56 PM   #5
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Mark, from my experience with writing DVDs from various HD sources (Visionplus HDTV PCI-DVB-t and HD10) Vegas has been the most effective NLE for HD editing/encoding. It proved easier to come to grips with for me than Premiere (which I'd been using on and off for a couple of years), as well as giving excellent custom encoding options for MPEG2.
The custom options are important in being able to refine your output, as you can tweak the quality settings for better visual quality versus motion smoothness and improved bit-rate (high level CBR versus VBR).
I've also found TMPGEnc Xpress 3 to be the best WMV9 encoder available for HD WMV encoding.....again, because of the customising options available. An added bonus in TMPGEnc is the noise reduction filters, which do a fine job with the chroma noise that can be evident in some lower lit HD10 footage. Where TMPGEnc falls down a little is in not being able to encode back to HD resolution MPEG2.
If you ever do HD10 stuff for broadcast, then I'd reckon 720p MPEG2 files, regardless of whether they're on tape or disk would be the easiest for a TV station to handle.
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Old August 17th, 2004, 10:56 PM   #6
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>I can get to look spectacular in Vegas Video but from there its quality seems to degrade when transcoded and burnt to DVD

Mark, unless your clients have DVHS tapedecks, none of them will at present be able to properly appreciate the 720p HD resolution your camera provides because, as you say, their DVD players are limited to 480p at best.

However, there's a market opportunity here. Offer them - at extra price of course! - the opportunity to come back in a year or so once they have bought themselves a hi-def disk player of some flavor (Blueray?) and get a replacement HD disk from you.

And meanwhile, with some experimenting and practice, you'll certainly be able to provide them with VERY nice widescreen standard-def DVDs from your HDV footage.
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Old August 18th, 2004, 12:52 AM   #7
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Steve,

So in Vegas do you setup a project as 720p timeline, add all transitions, Effects, chroma filters and such, render back to tape or HD and archive?

Then say you want to turn this into a DVD (480p), do you leave the properties the Same (720P 16x9) but just render in Vegas as a MPEG2?

If so what are your most important settings for highest quality? or do you re-capture your "master tape" ( project completed and rendered back to tape) into Vegas but change initial project properties to 480p Widescreen? and then render to 480p widescreen in the rendering menues?


this TMPGXpress everyone is talking about I downloaded but when I installed it said my trial was up???????? but the major thing I saw that perked me up was it is able to burn to a dual layer R+W and this is very important to me since Vegas will NOT burn to my DVD player at all (Vegas 4 and DVDA1 seemed less buggy then Vegas 5 and DVDA2), but the Adobe Encore Free Trial will flawessly as long as I render a project as uncompressed AVI. and let Encore transcode it.

Regardless DVD Architect has me scatching my head with my burner and their menu themes seem weak, Adobes DVDEncore seems to work good but is just like Premiere ( slower learning curve, not very user friendly for dummies like me) So I am ready to jump into TMPGXpress's Bundle package for $130 but their DVD program makes me nervous as it seems rather plain and boring like DVD Architect 2 and their weak menu themes.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Graham,

I agree with all you said and I am shooting a wedding this weekend and several of the "participants" have HDTVs but no DVHS decks, that will soon change when they see the final HD master as compared to the DVD counterpart
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Old August 18th, 2004, 01:01 AM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Steve Crisdale : Mark, from my If you ever do HD10 stuff for broadcast, then I'd reckon 720p MPEG2 files, regardless of whether they're on tape or disk would be the easiest for a TV station to handle. -->>>

I can do a 720p MPEG2 and burn it to disc?

Also does the Noise filter in TMPGXpress handle the chroma noise thats highly visable in reds? I was shooting some practice shots at the place the wedding is at this weekend and it is surrounded by a lush rose garden and the million red roses look spectacular other than the fact they look like transparent ants are crawling all over them
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Old August 18th, 2004, 08:04 PM   #9
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I really don't understand what you're implying by asking whether you can do a 720p MPEG2 and burn it to disc..... I wasn't meaning that you could write a 720p DVD for playing in a consumer DVD player. There aren't any available just yet that can play 720 or 1080 (unless one considers the Roku HD1000 as a possibility). But, an MPEG2 of any resolution or frame/bit-rate is just digital data, and can be written to any media large enough to accept it, and played back by any system capable of displaying it....

TMPGEnc's Noise Reduction filters do a fine job of handling the HD10's chroma noise. Just be prepared to experiment a little with the settings (on a short clip) to achieve the best results. Over-doing the reduction filters can detract from the HD quality that sets HD10 footage apart from SD video.

Remember that because TMPGEnc can't output HD level MPEG2, you should leave using it to the last step before DVD production. In other words, do all your editing in Vegas/Premiere, output uncompressed AVI or Mainconcept HD 720p MPEG2 from either app, then process for either PAL/NTSC DVD widescreen in TMPGEnc (or WMV9 HD if you want to distribute to the web..) before using Nero/DVD Architect/etc, for a burn that doesn't involve re-encoding.
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Old August 18th, 2004, 08:56 PM   #10
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Mark,

In Premiere, there is an option to export to mpeg from the timeline. If I choose to do it that way (rather than using a separate encoder like TMPGEnc) then I use my original 720p timeline, but in the 'export settings' I specify that I want a 480p mpeg created.

I assume Vegas can work in a similar manner.
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Old August 18th, 2004, 09:39 PM   #11
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When I render a 720P timeline as a MPEG2 i get strange little horizontal lines at all edges in motion or pan, kindof like a edge enhancement gone bad, I am guessing this is a framerate / resolution issue or something, when I change the timeline to 480p this goes away but quality of video seems to drop drastically
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Old August 18th, 2004, 10:30 PM   #12
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1) "i get strange little horizontal lines at all edges in motion"

That sounds suspiciously like a 'reversed field order' problem, which can arise with interlaced footage. You don't by chance have 'interlacing' specified somewhere in your workflow?

2) More generally, what's your motivation for encoding to 720p mpeg? After all, your HDV footage from the JVC is a type of mpeg already...

3) When I encode HDV to 480p mpeg I just specify the following setting, which is nothing out of the ordinary, and it produces very nice DVD-compliant mpeg2 from my HDV footage:

NTSC 720 x 480 DVD-compliant MPEG2
Output to frames (not fields!)
16:9 aspect ratio
Constant Bit Rate, 8000kbps video rate
48KHz PCM 2 channel audio
VBV Buffer 224
Max GOP 15
Intra DC precision 9 (sometimes 10)

Hope that helps....
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Old August 19th, 2004, 08:23 AM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Steve Crisdale : ....Where TMPGEnc falls down a little is in not being able to encode back to HD resolution MPEG2...... -->>>

Hmm just skimming throught his post and noticed this... TMPGEnc does and can encode to high defintion. It doesnt have any pre selectable profiles for teh standard program streams but its all there otherwise...
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Old August 19th, 2004, 09:31 AM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Daymon Hoffman : <<<-- Originally posted by Steve Crisdale : ....Where TMPGEnc falls down a little is in not being able to encode back to HD resolution MPEG2...... -->>>

Hmm just skimming throught his post and noticed this... TMPGEnc does and can encode to high defintion. It doesnt have any pre selectable profiles for teh standard program streams but its all there otherwise... -->>>

When I've attempted this in TMPGEnc an error message is generated stating that the selected resolution is beyond the DVD standard...and forces me back to the encode selection window, until I select a DVD compliant resolution.

Where TMPGEnc shines for me is with it's WMV9 renderer...

The simple fact is, that the lack of HDV editing capabilities that everyone was complaining about a few months back is being turned around, and more and more appz are starting to support HD/HDV standards. I'm sure we'll all start finding favourite choices for our HD editing/authoring and distribution needs, along with better chroma noise filters etc.

I can see that there may be a need for greater ease in maximising quality from renderers, without complicated selections needing to be made. The choices available when encoding HD material can be bewildering if not confusing to anyone expecting just to shoot, edit and render....but I'm sure this situation will also change.

Mark, it appears the TMPGEnc XPress you downloaded was the DVD authoring version rather than the encoder.

In Vegas, I leave the Project settings as 720p 29.97fps, edit (transitions, colour correction, noise reduce using Avisynth plug-ins) then save the project. For DVD, I then Render As > Save as Type > Mainconcept MPEG2 - Template > DVD Architect NTSC Widescreen > select custom option > video render quality set to Best > under Video tab check video quality slider is set to high and Constant bit rate is checked and 8,000,000 is the bit-rate.
Audio settings are as per those mentioned by Graham in his post.

The lines you mention could be from interlacing of progressive video....but just a thought - have you maximised your player window to full-screen when playing back the resulting MPEG2? I've also noticed aberations in the video when attempting to play back at smaller screen sizes. This is caused by the video card downsampling the 1280x720 image to fit in a window of smaller resolution.
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Old August 19th, 2004, 03:27 PM   #15
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The lines you mention could be from interlacing of progressive video....but just a thought - have you maximised your player window to full-screen when playing back the resulting MPEG2? I've also noticed aberations in the video when attempting to play back at smaller screen sizes. This is caused by the video card downsampling the 1280x720 image to fit in a window of smaller resolution. -->>>


Steve, They are there on the final burn to DVD and then on my HDTV as well, Its a settings thing I am sure or it maybe that Im boosting the bitrates up to 9000? In any event I am sure your advise was exactly what I was looking for ( everybodys advise) This thread just became printed and taped to my wall untill I make some presets.

Is Avisynth plug-ins a downloadable, pay for, or part of Vegas, I am not at my studio computer right now so I cant check

Again thanks , you guys are saving me tons of hours of reading and testing I am sure, now if I could just figure out what on camera light is the best bang for the buck I may be set
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