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James Manford February 1st, 2013 02:52 AM

Re: DVD Quality
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Knaggs (Post 1776458)
Hi Tariq.

Run, don't walk, to your computer and reset your quality mode from "One Pass CBR" to "Two pass VBR Best".

Quick!

+1

This will make a SIGNIFICANT difference.

Im not a user of MAC, I video edit on Sony Vegas and AVID.

But when it comes to converting. 2 PASS is essential. My DVDs look good as Blurays when it is upscaled on a bluray player (no exaggeration here!) and they look fine on older DVD players, with none of that blockiness you describe.

William Hohauser February 1st, 2013 07:20 AM

Re: DVD Quality
 
2-pass can make a big difference with some files but others will only get a very subtle improvement for all the additional time it might take to encode.

CBR might be your problem here as a scene with "small faces" might have too much detail to encode without a modest amount of pixelation, however 7.8 is towards the top bandwidth for the video stream already. Also setting the GOP to 6 (MPEG streams for DVDs are normally 15) will reduce the quality of the image so more keyframes can fit into the stream and it might adversely affect some DVD players. This is why I suggest using the presets as a test.

Mark Williams February 1st, 2013 09:37 AM

Re: DVD Quality
 
2 Attachment(s)
Tariq,

I don't work with FCP since I am on a PC but I do have a lot of experience with DVDs both replicated and duplicated. After going thru several months a while back experimenting with the best encode from HD to SD for DVDs I arrived at an acceptable solution. I export a lossless file from the timeline and encode with TMPgne4 (now Video Mastering Works 5). I encode to mpeg2 using pretty much the standard settings and get excellent results. I have included a screen shot of my settings. These are the settings that I use for replicated discs. For duplicated discs I lower the video bitrate to around 7600. A fully functional trial of VMW5 is available if you wish to try it.

David Dixon February 1st, 2013 10:29 AM

Re: DVD Quality
 
I don't suppose your Mac is old enough to still include a copy of iDVD... I get great results from that, with the right workflow. If that's an option, let me know and I'll pass along my workflow details. It still works great on the latest version of OSX.

Otherwise, definitely use 2-pass VBR, and usually pixellation involves a data rate set too low.

Also, is the FCPX project prores??? I just export using Current Settings. You aren't inadvertently adding in recompression here are you?

Martin Phillips February 1st, 2013 11:47 AM

Re: DVD Quality
 
I've found it best in compressor to do it in 2 stages:

1) Take your 1080p 25 ProRes master file and Downconvert it to PAL SD 720x576 (select 16:9) (should be a preset you can adjust)

Once you have a ProRes PAL (interlaced) master use this to make your MPEG2

2) I use 6.5 CBR for DVD-Rs - seems to be safe for glitchiness. Check for 'Upper field first' at both stages.

Compressor doesn't (in my opinion) like trying to downconvert and encode to MPEG2 at the same time. Even though it's 2 stages it does them pretty quickly.

William Hohauser February 1st, 2013 02:47 PM

Re: DVD Quality
 
I agree with this method for problem HD files except for the CBR. VBR works for me.

David Knaggs February 1st, 2013 05:33 PM

Re: DVD Quality
 
Just to clarify so that my original message doesn't get further diluted, I did not say just to use "2 pass".

I said to use "Two pass VBR Best".

Because there is quite a difference in quality between "Two pass VBR" and "Two pass VBR Best"

The title of this thread is called "DVD Quality".

So what does the official Compressor manual by Apple say will give you the "best possible quality that the Compressor MPEG-2 encoder has to offer"?

Here is a direct excerpt from the Compressor 4 user manual:

"Two pass VBR Best: This mode devotes more effort to its internal decision-making process than does two-pass VBR. Encoding time for “Two pass VBR Best” is slower than it is for “Two pass VBR,” but it provides the best possible quality that the Compressor MPEG-2 encoder has to offer. This mode provides outstanding quality at bit rates of 3–3.5 Mbps and above for standard definition (SD) video."

http://help.apple.com/compressor/mac...ual%20(en).pdf

There's nothing wrong with your bit rate. 7.8 is very robust. So, if you're still having problems (blocky pixels), then you need to specifically engage the "internal decision-making process" of the encoder.

If that doesn't fix it, I could then suggest another 3 or 4 settings to change which might better engage the optical flow technology available to Compressor to enable it to better position the pixels in each frame. But the "one pass CBR" was the thing that really leapt out at me when I looked over your settings. It's massive. If you don't believe it, look at what the manual says.

Everyone on this thread really wants to help you end this professional nightmare quickly (unhappy client due to last minute encoding glitch) and the fact that you've already had about 20 pieces of different advice already, shows what a great community and helpful bunch DV Info'ers really are.

Dave Partington February 1st, 2013 07:22 PM

Re: DVD Quality
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Martin Phillips (Post 1776605)
I've found it best in compressor to do it in 2 stages:

1) Take your 1080p 25 ProRes master file and Downconvert it to PAL SD 720x576 (select 16:9) (should be a preset you can adjust)

Once you have a ProRes PAL (interlaced) master use this to make your MPEG2

2) I use 6.5 CBR for DVD-Rs - seems to be safe for glitchiness. Check for 'Upper field first' at both stages.

Compressor doesn't (in my opinion) like trying to downconvert and encode to MPEG2 at the same time. Even though it's 2 stages it does them pretty quickly.

Interesting. I just tried this but saw no visible differences on the final DVD.

I'm still taking my ProRes files from FCPX in to Premiere Pro to export to MPEG2 using the CUDA card for scaling the images because I find I get far fewer alias/moire problems. It's also significantly faster too. If any one has settings for compressor that are better than this and faster, I'm all ears!

Bill Davis February 1st, 2013 10:39 PM

Re: DVD Quality
 
Just a question, you're not using Proxy files for your editing are you?

I ask because you say one of your videos is over an hour long, so it wouldn't be unusual for someone to be working in Proxy.

If so, go into your FCP-X Preferences files and switch to Original Media before you make your master.

Also, FCP-X does not use Quicktime unless you add a stage to do that. It's based entirely on AVFoundation which has none of the Quicktime issues.

The first thing I'd do is make sure you're out of Proxy and in Original Media quality - then use the internal FCP-X DVD burner to make a quick direct DVD of the short file.

I'd expect the quality there to be extremely good. If not, you have an issue with transcoding or compression. If the quality of that short run DVD is good to excellent, you know the problem is downstream with your settings.

Hope that helps.

Craig Terott February 4th, 2013 11:05 AM

Re: DVD Quality
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Williams (Post 1776573)
Tariq,

I don't work with FCP since I am on a PC but I do have a lot of experience with DVDs both replicated and duplicated. After going thru several months a while back experimenting with the best encode from HD to SD for DVDs I arrived at an acceptable solution. I export a lossless file from the timeline and encode with TMPgne4 (now Video Mastering Works 5). I encode to mpeg2 using pretty much the standard settings and get excellent results. I have included a screen shot of my settings. These are the settings that I use for replicated discs. For duplicated discs I lower the video bitrate to around 7600. A fully functional trial of VMW5 is available if you wish to try it.

The problem is specific to Mac.

John Nantz February 4th, 2013 03:25 PM

Re: DVD Quality
 
David - I just discovered I have a copy of the last iDVD application, 7.1.2 (1158), and would like to give it a try. Hadn't really paid any attention to iDVD before and just recently I copied it to my editing computer because of it's ability to do a menu.

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Dixon (Post 1776589)
I don't suppose your Mac is old enough to still include a copy of iDVD... I get great results from that, with the right workflow. If that's an option, let me know and I'll pass along my workflow details. It still works great on the latest version of OSX.

I would really like to see or get your Workflow Details.

Hopefully you read this.

David Dixon February 5th, 2013 07:24 AM

Re: DVD Quality
 
Yes, I will pass along some tips on iDVD - will have to be later today though.

David Dixon February 5th, 2013 08:54 AM

Re: DVD Quality
 
Using iDVD…

I don't do complicated conversions - just do a Current Settings export from FCP 7 or X - it can even be a reference movie.

Use that movie directly in iDVD and let iDVD do all the downsampling and conversions. I've had people tell me they can get better quality by doing all this with multiple steps and third party programs. That might be true, but I've always been so pleased with iDVD that I never explored more complicated methods. My disks look great on HDTVs, and I've always felt that since you're taking the video down to widescreen standard def on the DVD anyway, the quality of the TV upscaling is probably more important than anything.

If you are using stills, they always say you should resize them much smaller for video. That's true up to a point. If they are too small you may get jagged lines after all this resizing and conversion.

If you don't like the themes in iDVD (I do) there are some included that are pretty simple and you can use your own still or video as the background of the contents screen. There is an Inspector that lets you customize a lot of the Contents screen options - length of loop, music selection and volume, etc.

Then just go to the Project Menu and choose Project Info...

On that screen, be sure and set the Aspect Ratio to match your video (16:9, etc.) and set the Encoding to Professional Quality. This will get you 2-pass VBR. Encoding will take longer but the quality will be better and you will probably be able to fit a longer video on the disc. I never run into pixellation with this method. It defaults to Best Performance (1-pass CBR) and starts encoding in the background. When you switch to Pro Quality it will warn you that this will delete all the encoding already done - just ignore that.

Other things I've learned the hard way:
--Don't make the text for the title or buttons too long - I've seen that make burns fail. Just keep it to a single line with 2-4 words. If you need more than that, include it on the background image instead.
--I recommend exporting to a disc image (File-->Save As Disc Image...). You can then use that in Disc Utility to burn multiple copies quickly.
--You probably already know that burning at slower speeds (4-8x) helps insure that the disc will successfully play on a wider range of players.
--And, this all works even on Macs with no optical drive. You can burn to an external drive or just move the disc image file to something with a DVD drive to burn it.

Hope this helps...

Eric Olson February 5th, 2013 11:54 AM

Re: DVD Quality
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tariq Peter (Post 1776202)
I have filmed and edited a 1080p video in FCPX and now trying to supply a DVD to my client. I have tried a a wide variety of settings but the DVD looks plain old awful on a 32" plasma tv or laptop. It looks great on a 32" CRT TV. The client has complained now 5 times and I have no idea what else to do. Can anybody recommend any settings which they feel are safe?

Did you shoot the footage on the MK3 or XHA1? If on both do you notice a difference as to which downcovereted more clearly? I ask because there is sometimes a discussion of hidden aliasing that can cause artifacts in later processing.

I just noticed you are creating a 25p DVD. Are you masting this as 25 PSF in 50i or native 25p? Most TVs have the ability to detect and remove the 2:2 pulldown of 25 PSF, however, there is a good chance that older plasma TVs or DVD players don't. Check the .VOB files on the DVD using mediainfo to see if they are reported as progressive or interlaced.

MediaInfo

John Nantz February 5th, 2013 03:59 PM

Re: DVD Quality
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Dixon (Post 1777330)
Using iDVD…I don't do complicated conversions - just do a Current Settings export from FCP 7 or X - it can even be a reference movie.

That's my favorite workflow: K.I.S.S.

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Dixon (Post 1777330)
If you don't like the themes in iDVD (I do) there are some included that are pretty simple and you can use your own still or video as the background of the contents screen. There is an Inspector that lets you customize a lot of the Contents screen options - length of loop, music selection and volume, etc.

Then just go to the Project Menu and choose Project Info...

On that screen, be sure and set the Aspect Ratio to match your video (16:9, etc.) and set the Encoding to Professional Quality. This will get you 2-pass VBR. Encoding will take longer but the quality will be better and you will probably be able to fit a longer video on the disc. I never run into pixellation with this method. It defaults to Best Performance (1-pass CBR) and starts encoding in the background. When you switch to Pro Quality it will warn you that this will delete all the encoding already done - just ignore that.

This is a wealth of good information.

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Dixon (Post 1777330)
If you are using stills, they always say you should resize them much smaller for video. That's true up to a point. If they are too small you may get jagged lines after all this resizing and conversion.

I have used stills a few times in the past and there were problems but basically due to the file size being too small. I tend to take pictures with small file sizes to keep storage to a minimum. I've got some projects coming up that will benefit from stills so this is good to know.

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Dixon (Post 1777330)
Other things I've learned the hard way:
--Don't make the text for the title or buttons too long - I've seen that make burns fail. Just keep it to a single line with 2-4 words. If you need more than that, include it on the background image instead.
--I recommend exporting to a disc image (File-->Save As Disc Image...). You can then use that in Disc Utility to burn multiple copies quickly.
--You probably already know that burning at slower speeds (4-8x) helps insure that the disc will successfully play on a wider range of players.
--And, this all works even on Macs with no optical drive. You can burn to an external drive or just move the disc image file to something with a DVD drive to burn it.
Hope this helps...

All this really does help. The good part about burning slower is the lifespan is longer.

By the way, have you ever used Compressor? If so, did you use it in conjunction with iDVD? And if so again, where did you fit it in in the workflow?

Thanks again for all the good information, it is really useful.


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