I was wondering if any of you film/videomakers have suggestions for going from high-definition video to DVD.
I have a 1080p video in ProRes 422 (HQ) and I’m trying to make a reasonably decent DVD from it, but so far everything I’ve tried has yielded less than flattering results.
I understand that there’s an inherent loss of quality in going from high-definition video to DVD, but still, there must be a way to make a better DVD than this. (I went from ProRes 422 (HQ) to H.264 to MPEG-2. The applications I have at my disposal are FCP7, Compressor, Toast Titanium 10, and iDVD.)
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I can’t say I’m a pro at this, I tend to do these operations whenever they become necessary rather than on a regular basis, but I’m sure you should be able to get great quality downsampling from 1080p to SD in Compressor. Out of curiosity, why did you go to H.264 before going to MPEG-2?
I have some resources I can check into and I’ll try to get back to you on a good workflow for getting quality DVD compression out of an HD stream.
I only went to H.264 because I heard it was a good intermediary codec, but now I’m getting the impression that I should export the video from FCP7 in its original, 1080p format and let Compressor do the rest.
It would be nice if we could devise an optimal workflow for going from a high-definition format to DVD because surely there are plenty of others out there who would also benefit from knowing this.
Recently, I asked a friend of mine, and here’s what he had to say:
If you have to export self authored programming to DVD in order to create a screener etc., you should be able to use FCP and iDVD…. but yeah I recall the results were much less than flattering (as you yourself have found) but quite acceptable using the high-quality 2-pass preset in Compressor, set timeline for 16:9, Motion Estimation Quality/rate conversion to BEST, video format 29.97,… it’s been a while so I don’t recall. But some trial and error in Compressor should yield okay’ish results…
Any further suggestions from anyone else would be appreciated.
I’m at a loss as to why you aren’t achieving satisfying results. I’ve only limited experience when it comes to encoding material using HD sources (and that was 720p material, not 1080p), but have dealt with SD media extensively. The process should be fairly easy. The higher quality the source the higher quality the resulting DVD should be… unless you are looking for OUTSTANDING results, you should be satisfied.
There really isn’t any need to compress the material to H.264 and then once again to MPEG-2. If it’s because the programs you have at your disposal do not allow you to convert ProRes directly to MPEG-2… I suggest encoding the file with the Apple Intermediate Codec, rather then H.264. The filesize will be huge, but the quality near lossless.
Also realize that the colour range when going from high-definition material to standard-definition resolutions (in the MPEG-2 format) will also suffer. DVD technology is not only limited to resolution. If it’s a matter of blockiness, pay attention to the length of the file itself (90 minutes on a Single-Layer disc, maximum, is my rule…) Try a DLDVD instead, which holds 9GB rather then the standard 4.5.
If at all possible, could you supply us with an image of both the ProRes source, and the resulting MPEG-2 file you’ve encoded? That way we can better see what areas are suffering.
I would recommend making a reference file (not self contained) from FCP and using that in Compressor. How long is the piece?
Feel free to message me if you’d like help with this, I do it all the time.
Hey all, thanks for the responses.
I did some more trial and error and managed to get pretty good results simply exporting my video from Final Cut Pro in its original format and making a DVD of it straight from Compressor using the optimal settings.
Now I feel immensely stupid because it was easy as pie, and in retrospect I have no idea why I was fucking around with H.264 in the first place. (I guess one would only use H.264 if he was burning a BluRay disc, but Compressor would handle the conversion anyway.)
In answer to your questions, the project is (or rather will be) roughly 25 minutes. I would post a comparison between the 422 (HQ) and the MPEG-2, but it’s too early in the game for me to share screengrabs.