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Old May 20th, 2012, 10:16 AM   #1
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Consensus on HD Workflow?

I've read through a lot of posts regarding getting HD to DVD while trying to retain quality. I recently taped some dance recitals and was taken aback by the resulting DVD - just horrible looking. My first video is running at around 2 hrs, but the quality is unacceptable to me. Not sure how it will matter to the client, but I'm afraid to release it as is.

All of my footage is AVCD, 60i. I edited in Vegas 11, rendered to MPEG2 and AC3, imported into DVD Architect and allowed it to re-compress and burned to DVD. From the looks of the finished product, this does not seem like the optimal way, obviously. :)

The consensus, from what I can gather, seems to be to use Vegas to edit the AVCD files, render to AVI, encoding the resulting file through TMPGenc and then authoring through DVD Architect or similar. Am I correct on this? If this is is a good workflow, are there any settings that I should be choosing specifically for this?

Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Rey
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Old May 20th, 2012, 11:42 AM   #2
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Re: Consensus on HD Workflow?

If you're rendering to MPEG-2 and DVD Architect is recompressing, then you're not using the right MPEG-2 template.

You want to use the DVD Architect NTSC Widescreen template. There will be no reason for it to recompress if you do.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 11:45 AM   #3
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Re: Consensus on HD Workflow?

You also need to adjust the bitrate accordingly.
http://www.johncline.com/bitcalc110.zip is the calculator I've been using for a very long time and it's never let me down.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 11:53 AM   #4
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Re: Consensus on HD Workflow?

Before going on to the workflows that resize external to Vegas, IMO you should work through and understand everything the Vegas/DVDA workflow has to offer. Two reasons, it might well be good enough, and therefore desirable as a more straightforward method, and, you need to learn how to use Vegas to best advantage; this will help you with TMPGenc, too.

Couple of signposts:
1) (almost) any time you've exported mpeg2 from Vegas and DVDA wants to recompress, you've made a mistake and should redo your vegas render. Usually, you've selected too high a bitrate in Vegas.

2) on any resize in a vegas render, say, HD to SD for DVD, you should go into the custom render settings and select "Best" render quality.

For step-by-step guidance on this task, I highly recommend Edward Troxel's excellent newsletters. Here you can also find a bitrate chart that will help you stay on the right side of recompression (you really don't want it!)
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Old May 20th, 2012, 12:09 PM   #5
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Re: Consensus on HD Workflow?

In addition to the above, make sure the project settings in DVDA are correct before importing your video.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 12:23 PM   #6
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Re: Consensus on HD Workflow?

Quite honestly, I've been using Vegas for 8 years and have always relied on DVD A to recompress when the file size is larger than the media will allow (4.7gb). So, am I to understand that I've been doing it wrong all this time and HD is just now making that more obvious? :)
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Old May 20th, 2012, 12:37 PM   #7
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Re: Consensus on HD Workflow?

Rey, it's not that you're doing it wrong, it's that you're making more work for yourself (rendering twice instead of just once) as well as not getting the best quality possible (choosing the best bitrate).
Follow the steps outlined and you should see a quality increase as well as a decrease in total render time.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 12:49 PM   #8
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Re: Consensus on HD Workflow?

Okay. A dumb question, but I have to ask it -
Do I use the bitrate calculator to tell me the optimal bitrate and adjust this in the Vegas render setting or is there more to it? Sorry, I've been producing high quality videos & DVDs for years, but the move to HD is making me feel like an amateur again.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 01:42 PM   #9
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Re: Consensus on HD Workflow?

Anything under 75 min. and I use a custom CBR of 8,000,000.
Anything longer and I use the bitrate calculator to determine my VBR numbers.
I always do VBR as a 2-pass render to optimize quality. It takes longer but, IMO, is worth it.
Once you get the proper settings from the bitrate calculator, you then have to create a custom MPEG-2 template in Vegas.
This can be saved for future uses. For example, I have 75 , 90, 105 and 120 min. templates saved for when I need them.

FYI, I make three adjustments to the calculator I linked to.
Click on the Settings box on the lower left of the main screen, click the "1 kilobit = 1000 bits" box, change the safety margin to 5% (I like the extra room, just to be sure) and set the "Audio encoding" box to 192 (the Vegas default).
Click OK and start entering your numbers.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 01:51 PM   #10
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Re: Consensus on HD Workflow?

Mike,

How do you determine how much space the DVD menus will take or do you "pad" the numbers to allow room? Also, using this route, where is your limit to how long your video is to keep it at an acceptable quality? I've tried never to go over 100 mins to 120 mins, but I've seen other companies in my area put three hours or more on a disc.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 03:21 PM   #11
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Re: Consensus on HD Workflow?

Rey, don't forget that you can also use dual layer DVDs from reliable sources such as Verbatim and that will extend the amount of time you can have per show without having to delve into bit rate calculators, or without having to go for a two pass variable bit rate which is likely to take considerably longer to render than a constant bit rate at 8,000.

There have been some enormous threads in the past on how to get the best results from HD to SD but in my view these methods are now largely irrelevant since Vegas 10 & 11 do a good job.

Rerendering in DVDa is to be avoided because of the potential for degradation from this second rendering plus because of the extra time involved.

Pete
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Old May 20th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #12
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Re: Consensus on HD Workflow?

Thanks, Pete. Had I not just purchased 600 TY DVD-R's, I would look at the dual-layer option. :)

I'm re-rendering the project now with recommended settings I have picked up from other threads and based on the bitrate calculator. I'll compare that 120 minute DVD to one with only 70 minutes of footage from the same project to see if there is a negligible difference. Since this is a new and very large client that we have trying to land for years, I'll split the show across two DVDs this time if it gives me that quality I'm happy with.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 03:30 PM   #13
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Re: Consensus on HD Workflow?

BTW - Still kicking myself for re-rendering in DVD A all these years. Never thought to even question it. ::smacks head::
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Old May 20th, 2012, 07:29 PM   #14
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Re: Consensus on HD Workflow?

Once again, this forum proves invaluable! Made the adjustments to the project settings & changed the bitrate according to the bitrate calculator, re-rendered and it made a 100% difference in picture quality.

Two additional questions -
~How do you adjust your bitate calculations for menus?
~Every time I have tried to use two pass, I have gotten pixelation and stuttering in the video. Is there a setting that I could be missing?
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