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janghos
04-26-2005, 10:21 PM
I've started a research/test on "the best compression method." I've been having some trouble with a minor artifacts on my video after compressing with MPEG-2 for DVD distribution.
I use either Final Cut Pro HD or Compressor for DVD's. However, I, often times, see a little interlaced look on the moving shots. I choose '60 minutes high quality encoding' on Compressor and 'Export' - 'QuickTime Conversion' - 'MPEG-2' on FCP.
Anyway, it would be nice for all of us to know how other people take care of this business, so let's share your secrets.

ElementFilm
04-27-2005, 11:31 AM
I'm with ya janghos, let's find out the best way to do it. I've done test-outs with highest quality quicktime, with various forms of mpeg-2 with compressor, divx, fcp movies, etc... and I'm never happy with the result. There always seems to be a loss of quality from when I'm playing it in Final Cut Pro out to a monitor, to when I'm watching the DVD & this simply should not be so. In fact, I understand that one needs to compress files for output but with todays technology we should actually be able to improve the image upon outputting. Well, I'm sure there's a way. I know damn well Open Water never looked as good as it did after Lions Gate got a hold of it and put it to DVD. The same with 28 days later. They looked great on DVD. Not an ounce of artifacting... Where there's a will, there's a way...

Marlon Ladd
05-04-2005, 01:31 PM
I'm fairly new to the film game and I was wondering, after you edit something on Final Cut Pro, what exactly do you need to do in order to open that file in DVD Studio Pro in order to create a DVD?? Everybody keeps talking about encoding and I'm not quite sure why that is necessary or how you do it. Do you just save the file as a QT Moive, MPEG-2?

sugahsean469
05-05-2005, 10:00 AM
First, when you are happy with what you have in your FCP timeline, before exporting, add your Chapter Markers, as its kind of a pain doing them in DVDSP, since DVDSP was made in a way that, is kinda assumes you did it already FCP, and the editing tools in DVDSP are basic to none.

Then, go to File>Export to Compressor. There are presets for various forms of compression, just make sure you pick a MPEG-2 option w/PCM audio. You can also export out thru Quicktime Conversion, but Compressor is the better of the two options.

We can write for hours on this subject, but let's see if you can get this far.

sugahsean469
05-05-2005, 10:08 AM
I've started a research/test on "the best compression method." I've been having some trouble with a minor artifacts on my video after compressing with MPEG-2 for DVD distribution.
I use either Final Cut Pro HD or Compressor for DVD's. However, I, often times, see a little interlaced look on the moving shots. I choose '60 minutes high quality encoding' on Compressor and 'Export' - 'QuickTime Conversion' - 'MPEG-2' on FCP.
Anyway, it would be nice for all of us to know how other people take care of this business, so let's share your secrets.

I did a test with 30 second clip w/High Quality settings (7-8.2MPS, 2 VBR pass), and it looked clean. Are you watching your finished product on a TV or your computer monitor? Monitor will ALWAYS expose limitations of digital video, so your real judgement should be from watching the final product on a TV set.

Marlon Ladd
05-05-2005, 10:56 AM
Thanks, Sugahsean. I'll try that tonight when I get home. I had just been editing some footage (put together a quick video for my niece's prom) and ended up having to use iDVD to copy it to DVD. Me and Studio Pro are just not getting along right now. It just seems way more complicated than it needs to be. Would you happen to know the ins and outs of getting something accomplished in Studio Pro??

sugahsean469
05-06-2005, 09:35 AM
Hmm. . .I really don't know where to start, and it took me a while to understand at least 90-something percent of the program, so there's that 10% is still don't use or dont' understand to use. When you do grasp all the concepts of DVD authoring(.m2v compression, making 4.3GB your ideal max capacity on a 4.7disc, assigning targets to YOUR custom menu buttons, etc) , with DVDSP, you can make menus like the ones the Star Wars DVD's!! It's gotten 5 star reviews in PC magazines, and they admit Apple jealousy, so that's how good it is for it's price.

janghos
05-08-2005, 11:33 AM
I did a test with 30 second clip w/High Quality settings (7-8.2MPS, 2 VBR pass), and it looked clean. Are you watching your finished product on a TV or your computer monitor? Monitor will ALWAYS expose limitations of digital video, so your real judgement should be from watching the final product on a TV set.

I preview my finished product on a TV as it is where my audiences will watch them. One question to you is that "what does 1 or 2 VBR pass?" Thanks.

Also, somepeople say that Animation codec gives better quality than MPEG-2 does. Anyone has opinion or test done?

By the way, I'm still doing my research, and it will be done shortly.

Until the day we conquer video compression...

CaptainMench
05-08-2005, 12:00 PM
[QUOTE=janghos]"what does 1 or 2 VBR pass?" Thanks.

Also, somepeople say that Animation codec gives better quality than MPEG-2 does. Anyone has opinion or test done?
QUOTE]

You want to go 2 pas variable bit rate. In the past, compressors just went through and every so many frames they put a key on then junked the hell out of the next set all referencing backto that key frame until the next key frame 11 frames later.

Today with 2 pass the compressor will look forward AND back to see what really should be tossed and what shouldn't. This is far better!

As for Animation codec... you need mpeg2 book specs to play on a dvd. Animation will just end up as a file on the dvd - useless to you in your settop players.

FCP/Compressor/DVDSP. This is the best I've found. The compression markers (not chapter markers) in FCP can be placed on trouble spots to force those KEY frames (I think they're called I-frames). If you've got a transition or a fast camera move that is giving you troubles, drop a compression marker at the beginning middle and end of it. It should help.


IF you are going to the web, I really suggest you upgrade to tiger and qt7... the h.264 is a HUGE jump in web compression... check out my site if you have qt7.

Good luck,

CaptM

princigalli
05-08-2005, 06:29 PM
I think I obtain better results when I deinterlace the footage first. Not in FCP but with a proper program. Still, it's even better when the footage was created progressive in the first place. Then I seem to get better MPEG2 quality too, and it's easier if you gave to go between PAL and NTSC.

crazyczech
05-08-2005, 11:40 PM
I believe if you deinterlace you lose up to 50% resolution...probably not good...

vanguy
05-08-2005, 11:58 PM
Couple of notes:

Save your quicktimes out of FCP and deselect "make movie self-contained". Then your compression is looking at the original footage. Don't do any compression or formatting at this stage. Start with the highest quality imagery you can.

Use 2-pass VBR if you can. It's the best way, but it takes twice as long.

Use as high a bit rate as you can and still fit everything on the DVD.

Watch out for the audio. This is what makes burned dvd's incompatible with a lot of players. If you can use AC3 (comes with DVD Studio Pro), use it. It's universally compatible, but a little strange to use.

thisiswells
05-09-2005, 12:03 AM
Great advice. I only add that anything above like 8-9Mbps won't play in cheap off-brand players.
I've been advised to stick below 7.5Mbps to be on the safe side. Hope this helps.

sugahsean469
05-12-2005, 08:49 AM
You'd be surprised(or probably not) on how many big budget Hollywood DVD's are encoded with around 5-6 MAX compression (the jagged blocks usually hit you between eyes).

Cody_Jordan
05-14-2005, 08:24 PM
the way i look at the whole quality loss thing once outputting to dvd is this: We're working mostly with 720X480 resolution source files... then when we convert to dvd format it actually has to resize the image to practically fit the entire screen, hence the loss in quality. I guess with the film industry the original source resolution is much higher that way the resolution is never stretched out.. in fact it may be reduced to the dvd format never loosing quality. What we need is higher res than 720... comon HD

235 Studios
05-16-2005, 12:39 PM
There always seems to be a loss of quality from when I'm playing it in Final Cut Pro out to a monitor, to when I'm watching the DVD & this simply should not be so. In fact, I understand that one needs to compress files for output but with todays technology we should actually be able to improve the image upon outputting.

While I wish that it were possible to improve the quality of the footage, it cannot be done. The footage will only have the quality that it originally started with. The whole point of compression is to get a larger file to fit into a smaller place by removing information. You will never have a higher quality by taking away information.

With that being said, I've heard that there are tricks that you can do when compressing to make it appear better, or higher quality. While the actual file will not be higher quality, the viewer will look at it and feel that it is. And after all that is what we are looking for. As for what those tricks are, I'm not sure. I'm still figuring out how to get the most out of this whole compression thing.