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Old November 12th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #1
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Is there something wrong with my DVD workflow?

It is pretty basic so ill list it in basic terms.

Shot in SP-DV mode on my Sony V1E.
Captured with sony Vegas.
Open clips in Vegas, set properties to match output format.
Apply Studio to Computer RGB to time-line.
Begin editing.
Finish editing.
Render as Pal DV Widescreen AVI format, lower field, 25 frame rate, 720x576, all settings at bext/max (and matching vegas properties).
Run through TMPGEnc, Pal, 25 frame rate, lower field, MPEG2 DVD format (all settings matched).
Aim for highest bit-rate, for example, 8.4mbps after using calculator.
Batch encode all clips.
Create DVD Menu background in Vegas (.avi, allow DVDA to compress)
DVD Architect, all settings accurate, progressive: no, 8.4mbps bit rate, 10-20% space left on DVD.
No compression within DVDA, all done with TMPGEnc.
Burn DVD.
Play DVD on DVD player.

..... DVD looks crap. Well, not crap, just leaves much to be desired, and has 'artifacts' (small blurred anomalies in random places in clips?).

And as a side note, why does the TV crop out the edges of the film (specifically at the DVD menu), yet the computer doesn't? Do i just need to accomodate for this cropping with older/non widescreen TV's and move items like title-headers in closer?

What am i doing wrong dvinfo? Still much to learn.

Appreciate any help guys, thanks.

Last edited by Jordan Brindle; November 12th, 2010 at 11:54 AM.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 10:59 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jordan Brindle View Post
And as a side note, why does the TV crop out the edges of the film (specifically at the DVD menu), yet the computer doesn't? Do i just need to accomodate for this cropping with older/non widescreen TV's and move items like title-headers in closer?
Yes you do need to move the titles in. This is called over scanning and every consumer tube TV does this, even a lot of wide screen LCD TVs do it but to a lesser amount. You need to turn on your safe areas in Vegas to show where it is safe to place titles and to see approximately what will be cut off when shown on a TV. DVDA also can show safe areas so you can set up your menus properly.

As far as the quality of the DVD have you looked at the AVI file created from Vegas? How does that look. That's the first step. You need to determine if it is during the render in Vegas or in TMPGEnc.

-Garrett
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Old November 12th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #3
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For the cropping yes, you need to allow for this on TV. You need to consider this when you shoot.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 11:53 AM   #4
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Yes you do need to move the titles in. This is called over scanning and every consumer tube TV does this, even a lot of wide screen LCD TVs do it but to a lesser amount. You need to turn on your safe areas in Vegas to show where it is safe to place titles and to see approximately what will be cut off when shown on a TV. DVDA also can show safe areas so you can set up your menus properly.

As far as the quality of the DVD have you looked at the AVI file created from Vegas? How does that look. That's the first step. You need to determine if it is during the render in Vegas or in TMPGEnc.

-Garrett
Right, thats what i thought thanks.

The AVI looks fine as far as DV goes. It's mainly the anomalies/blurring i can't figure out, even at a bitrate of 8.4mbps they occur? I'm not expecting excellent quality, its shot in DV. Just the blurring/anomalies really affect the clarity of the picture.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 12:24 PM   #5
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Right, thats what i thought thanks.

The AVI looks fine as far as DV goes. It's mainly the anomalies/blurring i can't figure out, even at a bitrate of 8.4mbps they occur? I'm not expecting excellent quality, its shot in DV. Just the blurring/anomalies really affect the clarity of the picture.
Here is the problem:

The field order (dominance) of the MPEG-2 transcode has been reversed. All DV, whether PAL or NTSC, is lower-field first (LFF) while all PAL DVD (MPEG-2) is upper-field first (UFF). Unfortunately, the MainConcept MPEG-2 encoder in Vegas does a mediocre job at best in reversing the field dominance during encodes.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 12:45 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Jordan Brindle;1587438The AVI looks fine as far as DV goes. It's mainly the anomalies/blurring i can't figure out, even at a bitrate of 8.4mbps they occur? I'm not expecting excellent quality, its shot in DV. Just the blurring/anomalies really affect the clarity of the picture.[/QUOTE]

So it's a TMPEGnc issue. Try rendering your edit straight to a MPEG-2 DVD format in Vegas. Since you don't need to scale at all it should do a decent job. I'd say set the bitrate at a constant 8Mbps just to test it. Make sure quality is set to best and see if that is any better.

If that turns out ok you'll need to look at the settings you're using for TMPEGnc encoding.

To touch on Randall's post, are you shooting in PAL or NTSC and then converting to PAL?

-Garrett
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Old November 12th, 2010, 01:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Randall Leong View Post
Here is the problem:

The field order (dominance) of the MPEG-2 transcode has been reversed. All DV, whether PAL or NTSC, is lower-field first (LFF) while all PAL DVD (MPEG-2) is upper-field first (UFF). Unfortunately, the MainConcept MPEG-2 encoder in Vegas does a mediocre job at best in reversing the field dominance during encodes.
But im using Vegas to render it out as an AVI (lower field), while i use TMPGEnc to transcode it to MPEG2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
So it's a TMPEGnc issue. Try rendering your edit straight to a MPEG-2 DVD format in Vegas. Since you don't need to scale at all it should do a decent job. I'd say set the bitrate at a constant 8Mbps just to test it. Make sure quality is set to best and see if that is any better.

If that turns out ok you'll need to look at the settings you're using for TMPEGnc encoding.

To touch on Randall's post, are you shooting in PAL or NTSC and then converting to PAL?

-Garrett
I'm shooting in PAL (Sony V1E), all vegas properties/renders and encodes are as far as i can tell identical. The trouble with rendering out of Vegas straight to MPEG2 is that the files are too large to go on DVD and will be compressed to hell in DVDA.

Thanks guys.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #8
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The trouble with rendering out of Vegas straight to MPEG2 is that the files are too large to go on DVD and will be compressed to hell in DVDA.
I beg to differ with that statement.
It's all in the equipment (garbage in, garbage out) and the bitrate used to do the encode.
I shot a 2 1/2 hr. play earlier this year that I did in Vegas & DVDA (on a single layer disc) and it looked pretty good to my eyes (and those of everyone who watched it too).
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Old November 12th, 2010, 02:32 PM   #9
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To begin with, If mpeg 2 file is rendered to correct settings then DVDA will not recompress it.

Secondly, why render to avi then re-encode to third party software? The extra step here doesn't make sense to me. Just render out with Vegas and all should be fine.

This doesn't have to be complicated.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 02:44 PM   #10
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I beg to differ with that statement.
............
I agree. There is no reason you can't adjust the encoder settings in Vegas to achieve the same or better quality as TMPGEnc. You then author in DVDA with no additional encoding needed ..

What is the time length of your project?

Perhaps we could make some suggestions for encoder settings..

The default settings for the MainConcept encoder can turn out some pretty crappy video.. This threw me for a loop when I first started using Vegas..
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Old November 12th, 2010, 03:30 PM   #11
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What ends up biting a lot of folks in the behind is forgetting to set DVDA's project settings.

You set your maximum bit rate there, and the size of the disk you are going to write to.

If you set your bit rate in the project settings all the way up - DVDA will not recompress the video, (assuming it's already mpeg) except when the video is too large to fit on disk (which indicates that you screwed up choosing the proper bit rate when you rendered from Vegas).

However, if you leave the bit rate value in the project settings at a low value, DVDA will recompress the input video to meet this maximum rate - after all, it's only doing what you told it to.

The answer, for me, is simple - I use the standard dvd templates from within Vegas, VBR 6Mbps avg, 9.5Mbps peak. If the damn thing won't fit on a 4.7G disk, I use a dual layer disk - they're cheap enough.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 03:33 PM   #12
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I use default settings in DVDA and it never recompresses. I would never allow DVDA to recompress my work. If it's too big to fit, I lower the bit rate a tad in Vegas to make it fit, or use dual layer disc and it will always look great. Just my 2 cents.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 03:58 PM   #13
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Hmm, thanks a lot for your input guys. Perhaps ill give Vegas a re-visit in terms of encoding. I just have initial bad impressions from when i tried it before. I will try and fiddle with the settings and properties some more in Vegas/DVDA and report back should i run into any further problems!

Thanks again.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 04:53 PM   #14
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Jordan, my rule of thumb (and it's never let me down) is to encode to a CBR of 8,000,000 if the video is 70 min. or less.
If it's over that length, then I use VBR settings as determined by the bitrate encoder at http://www.johncline.com/bitcalc110.zip
If the video is of questionable quality or over 90 min. long, then I'll do it as a 2-pass encode.
This does take longer but, IMO, the wait is worth it.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 07:00 PM   #15
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Jordan, my rule of thumb (and it's never let me down) is to encode to a CBR of 8,000,000 if the video is 70 min. or less.
If it's over that length, then I use VBR settings as determined by the bitrate encoder at http://www.johncline.com/bitcalc110.zip
If the video is of questionable quality or over 90 min. long, then I'll do it as a 2-pass encode.
This does take longer but, IMO, the wait is worth it.
Many thanks, will keep this in mind when i get back to the edit suite tomorrow! :)
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