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Old April 29th, 2006, 08:24 PM   #1
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Making DVDs from HDV projects

My goal is put my project onto a DVD, which I know uses .mpeg2. I'm wondering though, is DVD inherently standard definition or is it possible to put a hi-def project onto a standard DVD? Because I've heard people talking about downconverting to SD to put onto DVD.

I worked on my project in Sony Vegas 6.0d on a HDV-1080 60i template, 1440x1080, 29.976 fps, none (progressive), deinterlace method: interpolate fields, gauasian motion blur. I rendered my original .m2t footage (which was captured using HDV Split from a Sony HVR-A1U) as Video for Windows (.avi) Cineform intermediary, the one that comes with Sony Vegas. I don't have Gearshift or Connect HD and don't plan to use them anytime soon, as my projects are simple enough right now not to need them. I edited with these intermediary clips, everything is fine.

Then I go render these intermediary clips/finished project as .mpeg2, but there seem to be many different templates. Which one should I chose? HDV 1080 60i template or NTSC DVD template? Or something else? I filmed in widescreen, so I would like the final rendering to be widescreen as well.

I rendered both and the HDV template actually seems to have a lower video quality than the original .m2t and the Cineform intermediary. Why is this? Shouldn't it be nearly identical video quality? If not, then how can I render it so that the finished rendering is the same/extremely close to the original footage's quality? It seems that HDV template rendering is true widescreen with no letterboxing.

The NTSC DVD one is still rendering now, but I expect it to be even worse quality and smaller size than the HDV template rendering. From the preview window in Vegas, it seems that it is not making it fullscreen widescreen, but letterboxing it so that my video appears widescreen. How do I get rid of the black borders and just have it truly widescreen?

Anyways, which one should I use if I plan to get my project onto a regular DVD (probably not using Sony DVD Architect, but something else). My project is 1.5 hours or so long, and the HDV .mpeg2 rendering turned out to almost 15gb, so that'll take 4 DVDs to make.

I wonder how big the NTSC DVD rendering will be and how much of a video quality hit there is.

If I need to break up my project into several segments to fit onto several DVDs, how do I do that?

Finally, what kind of DVD do I need? DVD-R plus or minus, or RW?

Last edited by Alex Thames; April 29th, 2006 at 08:58 PM.
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Old April 30th, 2006, 10:34 AM   #2
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You want to render your video using the MainConcept MPEG-2 / DVD Architect NTSC Widescreen video stream and your audio as AC3 Stereo. Thatís as good as it gets. Regular DVDís are Standard Definition so there is no Hi-Def anything about it. You footage will still look great. Better than anything youíve delivered from a SD camera. I do this all the time.

When you hear about people putting hi-def on a standard DVD they are usually talking about rendering a Windows Media Player file (wmv). This, I believe, can only be watched on a PC as no DVD players support HD (unless itís HD DVD or BlueRay player, of course). Iím not sure if some special DVD players will play wmv files and if they will downrez correctly. But this is definite not anything the average person with a DVD player can view.

~jr
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Old April 30th, 2006, 07:02 PM   #3
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Shoot, I may have to re-render two more times. Problem 1: I did the DVD NTSC Widescreen video stream, but it still seems like (from the Vegas preview window) that there are VERY VERY slight black borders on the left and right side, much less than the black borders on the top and bottom of DVD NTSC, but still slight borders on the sides. Is this because of the 1.21(something) pixel aspect ratio of DV widescreen versus the 1.3333 HDV pixel aspect ratio? How can I fix this so there are no black borders whatsoever and my video will truly fill up the entire widescreen?

I don't see an option to change PAR, only the aspect ratios: square pixels, 4:3, 16:9 (which is what I chose but it still had slight side borders), and 2:21:1.

Problem 2: I don't think I rendered with AC3 audio, so I'll have to check. Actually, the DVD Architect NTSC Widescreen Template has no audio, so I did a custom audio thing for it: I just have it in stereo and Audio: 224 Kbps, 48,000 Hz, Layer 2, Pscyhoacoustic Model 2, no emphasis. The description says, "MPEG layer 2 audio stream."

Is this incorrect to have the audio with the video? If so, how do I get a separate audio that is AC3?

Finally, I've read that NTSC and PAL DVD (or is it DVD players?) support different standard audio formats, with other optional audio formats. If I chose an audio format that NTSC supports standard, but PAL does not, then it's possible that PAL won't be able to play the sound portion of the DVD?

Also, I think I rendered my HDV 1080 60i file as only "good" quality instead of "best," so I was noticing a slight resolution hit that I don't like. I'll probably just re-render that even if HDV isn't going onto the DVD. I like to have a HDV copy for myself.

Thanks for the help, John.
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Old April 30th, 2006, 08:40 PM   #4
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what is best 60i HDV to 24p Vegas DVD "recipe?"

Hey John - you sound knowledgeable on this - what's the "best" method in going from 60i HDV down to 24p SD DVD to "as closely match as possible" the 24p look of DVX100 from Panasonic?

Thanks,
Mark
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Old April 30th, 2006, 09:18 PM   #5
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Another thing I noticed was that when I shot with the DVX-100, it would have dark grey (not black) borders on the top and bottom, letterboxing a widescreen picture in a 4:3 area. When I go to Vegas to open my DVX-100 project in a 4:3 aspect ratio template (DV), it shows these dark grey borders, but there are no side borders. When I change the properties to a 16:9 aspect ratio template (DV), then suddenly there are black borders on the side in addition to the grey borders on the top and bottom (which still remain). How do I get ride of these? I believe I shot in widescreen, yet there are borders anyway I try it. I would like to create a DVD that shows true widescreen from my DVX-100 as well as my Sony HVR-A1U widescreen HDV footage (downconverted to SD I guess).

I'm wondering why downconverted HDV to SD would be "better than anything [I've] delivered from an SD camera" though. Isn't the resolution now identical, and shouldn't it be the same then?

I'm still wondering about the whole NTSC vs. PAL audio format thing as well as the DVD R+/R-/etc. thing also.

Last edited by Alex Thames; April 30th, 2006 at 10:07 PM.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 01:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
Another thing I noticed was that when I shot with the DVX-100, it would have dark grey (not black) borders on the top and bottom, letterboxing a widescreen picture in a 4:3 area. When I go to Vegas to open my DVX-100 project in a 4:3 aspect ratio template (DV), it shows these dark grey borders, but there are no side borders. When I change the properties to a 16:9 aspect ratio template (DV), then suddenly there are black borders on the side in addition to the grey borders on the top and bottom (which still remain). How do I get ride of these? I believe I shot in widescreen, yet there are borders anyway I try it. I would like to create a DVD that shows true widescreen from my DVX-100 as well as my Sony HVR-A1U widescreen HDV footage (downconverted to SD I guess).
I've found that you will need to crop your DVX video if you shot in the letterbox mode. Use the 16:9 pan/crop preset on each clip to fix that. There maybe a batch script for that, I haven't bothered looking. The black bars on the side should not matter on a SD monitor as they will appear outside "video safe."

I may suggest shooting squeezed and then bringing the video to the DV widescreen timeline next time. I haven't tested it, but I believe it will it eliminate some of the problem. I plan on doing some testing myself with the widescreen and squeeze in the next few weeks when my schedule slows down to see what occurs in Vegas.

Just a sidenote: I'm not sure why the DVX letterbox is more of a gray tone, but it will appear gray if placed next to a "deeper" black. I have the same thing happening.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 01:24 AM   #7
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To get rid of the black sides, check "stretch video to fill ouput frame" under Render as.

Yes, definitely use Best - takes a while but it's worth it.

I guess the reason it looks better than standard SD is that you started out with almost 5 x as many pixels, so everything condenses down to really solid colurs etc.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 04:02 AM   #8
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I'm confused why my Sony HVR-A1U HDV footage is being squeezed though so that it has the very slight black side borders when rendering as DVD Architect NTSC Widescreen Video stream. HDV has 1.333 PAR while DV widescreen has 1.2121, so I think that's why, but to fix that so my HDV widescreen will be proportionally the same as DV widescreen I should just say stretch video to fill output frame?

I'm not sure if I shot in letterbox mode or not with the DVX-100. I just know that the picture filled the entire LCD and viewfinder with no borders visible, although I'm sure it wasn't showing it in all scan mode. So you're saying to get rid of the grey top and bottom borders if the actual picture portion is in widescreen is to crop? There are no black borders on the side of DVX-100 footage, but there are black borders on the side of the Sony HVR-A1U HDV widescreen footage that DOES show up on my computer monitor in fullscreen mode on any player. The picture is slightly squeezed out of proportion because of this, but not noticeable so - but the black side bars are noticeable.

I will have to wait this my other stuff finishes rendering before I can test out new settings.

I would also like to know if I should render each section individually or just the whole project as one long clip? I filmed a festival where many different groups performed, so there is a natural break between each group's performance. I want the DVD to have chapters, one chapter for each performance. So, do I have to render each chapter individually, or can I just render the whole festival as one long clip and somehow create chapters from that with the DVD authoring software later?

Finally - my R+ and R- question still remains, and I'm wondering what a good brand/model of DVDs is. I read that one of the Memorex DVDs were bad because they became unreadable within a few months or something.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 04:24 AM   #9
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Tape to DVD

The problem with sound always seems to be a problem when transfering from DV to DVD.I recently made a short film and it looked good with consistant sound watching it in Premier editing or from my camera through a TV.As soon as I coppied it to DVD the sound was inconsistant and the background music came out louder than the actors voices.I thought it was my DVD burner so I had a proffesional editer burn the disc on his machine,its better,but still not as clear or consistant as watching it direct from DV tape.Do any other members find this to be a problem?
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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
I'm confused why my Sony HVR-A1U HDV footage is being squeezed though so that it has the very slight black side borders when rendering as DVD Architect NTSC Widescreen Video stream. HDV has 1.333 PAR while DV widescreen has 1.2121, so I think that's why, but to fix that so my HDV widescreen will be proportionally the same as DV widescreen I should just say stretch video to fill output frame?
Alex, Peter beat me to the answers to your questions. Checking the Stretch video to fill output frame size will get rid of the black borders on the size. You are correct that the PAR of 1.3333 to 1.2121 is whatís causing this. Once you check the stretch option the footage will match perfectly.

As for why SD from HDV looks so much better, as Peter said you are starting from higher quality source. This is the same reason that professional musicians do all of their digital audio recording at 96Khz+/24-bit even though the final CD is only 44.1Khz/16-bit. You have more resolution so there is less anti-aliasing. Then when you downconvert, you can more accurately represent what was originally there. The same is true for video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
I would also like to know if I should render each section individually or just the whole project as one long clip? I filmed a festival where many different groups performed, so there is a natural break between each group's performance. I want the DVD to have chapters, one chapter for each performance.
No, you do not have to render individually to get chapters. Your DVD authoring software will allow you to add chapters points into the entire performance. If you are using DVD Architect, you can add your chapter points as markers on the Vegas timeline. The Render with the Save project markers in media file option on and DVD Architect will automatically see these and import them as chapter markers on your DVD.

I donít mean to sound like a commercial but if you are that new to the whole authoring process, I suggest you might want to check out our VASST Absolute Training for Vegas+DVD, Vol. 1-3. We cover all of these steps in this series. On disc 3 I cover taking an entire project (which is a school play with scenes) and show you multi ways of making play all buttons, individual scene buttons, chapter menus, scene transitions, etc. It should cover everything you want to know to make a professional looking DVD. There are some preview clips on that page for you to view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
Finally - my R+ and R- question still remains, and I'm wondering what a good brand/model of DVDs is. I read that one of the Memorex DVDs were bad because they became unreadable within a few months or something.
I stick with DVD-R because Iíve read they have slightly better compatibility with set-top players. Also stick with a good brand like Taiyo Yuden, or Ritek. You have to watch brands like Fujifilm because some are Taiyo Yuden while others are crappy ProDiscs. If they are made in Japan they are Taiyo Yuden, but if they say Made in Taiwan, they are ProDiscs and you will have problems (I bought them by mistake so I know). Avoid them like the plague. Both are sold under the Fujifilm name so you have to be sure of what you are getting. Get the free Nero DVD Speed utility and it will check the discs and tell you their true origin.

~jr
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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Kubat
Hey John - you sound knowledgeable on this - what's the "best" method in going from 60i HDV down to 24p SD DVD to "as closely match as possible" the 24p look of DVX100 from Panasonic?
I donít have a DVX100 so it would be hard for me to say. You will just have to test the various methods. If you have a Sony Z1 like I have, Iíve used CineForm ConnectHD which has an option to reverse telecine the Sony CineFrame24 format. It looks absolutely gorgeous and does a better job than Vegas at deinterlacing the footage. If I had to guess I would say this is the best way to attain the 24p look from a Z1. If youíve already shot the footage at HDV 60i then try rendering to 24p first and place that on a 24p timeline with the DVX100 footage. Then at least you will be working totally in 24p so there are no surprises when you intercut the footage.

~jr
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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Barker
The problem with sound always seems to be a problem when transfering from DV to DVD.I recently made a short film and it looked good with consistant sound watching it in Premier editing or from my camera through a TV.As soon as I coppied it to DVD the sound was inconsistant and the background music came out louder than the actors voices.I thought it was my DVD burner so I had a proffesional editer burn the disc on his machine,its better,but still not as clear or consistant as watching it direct from DV tape.Do any other members find this to be a problem?
Are you rendering a separate AC3 file yourself or are you letting your DVD authoring software so this? You should render your AC3 from Vegas and customize the profile for your needs. In the Audio Service tab try changing the Dialog normalization to -31db. Also in the Preprocessing tab change both the Line mode profile and the RF mode profile to none. Play around with these different compression profiles and see which sounds better for you project.

~jr
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Old May 1st, 2006, 10:23 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the help, John. How do I create chapter markers in Vegas though?
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 07:36 AM   #14
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Position the cursor on the timeline where you want and press "m" to create a marker.

Then as John said tick to "Save project markers in media file"

Mark
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 08:07 AM   #15
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Yup. Thatís the way. So the caveat is, you should only leave markers in your project that are chapter markers! If you have other markers they will be imported too. It would be nice if Vegas had a special marker just for chapters but they donít. Regular markers are used. Whatever you label the marker will be the default chapter name. Of course, you can change the chapter name and position of the markers (add/delete/etc.) once you are in DVD Architect.

~jr
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