[ This article was first published in the February, 2011, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]
[ This works in Final Cut Pro 7 and all earlier versions. ]
Spencer Lasky asks:
Larry how do I go about signing up for your help on this. I think it’s time to understand the proper work flow. I have an a project that I shot on HD using the HVX 200 and the 5D canon.
I need to give the client a DVD for Juliard pre-screen audition for entrance.
[After the] first round using the encoder in DVD pro I received a very interlaced or artifacts version. I Pulled this still from my screen off the iphone due to screen capture disabled. you can see some iphone issues but the bigger one’s are the upper left you can see the interlace and on his bow.
So I’m now trying a compression in compressor using some anti-aliasing and in the past that has helped greatly, but one of my question to work flow is where do I let it convert to standard def? Should I output from final cut in standard def and then into compressor?
Larry replies: Spencer, first you need to remember that DVDs are ALWAYS SD – so even though you shot HD, you can’t put HD on a DVD. Only a Blu-ray Disc, which is an entirely different kettle of fish, supports HD media. (Well, OK, an AVCHD disc also support HD media, but both are in the Blu-ray format.)
That will yield the best workflow.
All DVDs are interlaced, which means they look better on a TV set than on a computer.
DVDs will be with us for a while longer. Even though the world is slowly going HD, the DVD market using standard-def video is still far too large to ignore.
UPDATE – March 4, 2011
Kyle Gilman adds:
Hi Larry, in your latest newsletter you told Spencer Lasky that all DVDs are interlaced. That’s not really true. If you have 24p material, you can make a 24p DVD which has 2:3 pulldown applied on the fly by the player if it’s necessary to display on the output device. Playing it on a computer or through a progressive-scan DVD player (there’s a reason those exist!) through component or HDMI cables will display a progressive video image on a progressive display.
Larry replies: Thanks, Kyle.
UPDATE – MARCH 9, 2011
Uli Plank adds:
Regarding the question from Spencer Lasky you wrote “All DVDs are interlaced, which means they look better on a TV set than on a computer.”
Sorry, not true. Most DVDs from the film industry aren’t, since they originated on film. You can have 24 fps progressive on a NTSC-DVD just fine. The player will take care of generating 3:2 pull-down (thereby saving space) if the screening device needs interlaced. It will even save quality, if the screening device is capable of showing true progressive and the player is being told so in it’s setup.
Since Spencer didn’t say if the HVX 200 footage was progressive (the 5D stuff surely was), we can’t easily advise him on this. But if the 5D footage is a significant share of a project, I’d rather use 24 fps progressive on both cameras. In this case Compressor won’t need to de-interlace, scale and re-interlace (or make fake interlace for the progressive parts), it will be faster and the quality will be better.
Larry replies: Sigh… Remind me to never write in haste again.
OK, I was wrong. I will correct my error-filled ways in the future. Sorry.
5 Responses to FCP 7: Compression and DVD and High-Def
I think 1080p 60Hz the top format in is days
thank you for your useful post
Re: Interlacing on DVDs
I’m sending off DVDs to far flung corners of the digital landscape and I’d like to make sure that:
1) They play as high res and beautifully as possible.
2) They are compatible with as many DVD players (old and new) as possible.
In this scenario, where I don’t have any control of those who own and operate the DVD players, should I compress an mpeg2 that is progressive? Will all players take care of generating the 3:2 pulldown? Does the operator have to tell it to do that? I’m scared that my DVD that’s going to a film festival will be played on a player that doesn’t account for this.
Another issue…I recently had a doc screened for an auditorium full of people. In spite of telling DVD Studio Pro to play it 16×9 in all the appropriate places (I think!) their DVD Player or their projector decided to play it in beautiful 4×3. Having never owned a projector or a DVD player I’m unsure how to make sure this doesn’t happen without being there to fiddle with the player/projector. It played fine on all the computers I put it through…
Any thoughts on those two conundrums? Thanks for any thoughts you have!
Compressing progressive video for DVD is no problem. This is what we do wiith film all the time.
Compatibility is a crap-shoot. Burned DVDs are about 65% compaitble. Replicated DVDs are about 95% compatible.
If you shot 24 fps, compress at 24 fps. the DVD player will handle the pulldown, if it is necessary. And, no, the operator doesnt need to tell the DVD anything.
If the DVD was mastered in 16:9 the only reason it would play in 4:3 was if the projector was set wrong. Make a BIG note on your DVD label that this should play in 16:9.
Thank you Larry Jordan!
all DVDs are interlaced. That’s not really true. If you have 24p material, you can make a 24p DVD which has 2:3 pulldown applied on the fly by the player if it’s necessary to display on the output device. Playing it on a computer or through a progressive-scan DVD player (there’s a reason those exist!) through component or HDMI cables will display a progressive video image on a progressive display.