FCE: HD to SD export quality bad (screenshot)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by superman666, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. superman666 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #1
    Hey,
    To start off I've filmed a short with a Canon HV-10 in HD (1440x1080), and I have just finished filming/editing it. Now I have realized that there will be a problem with burning this to a DVD, because i don't have a blu-ray/HDVD burner, so I assume that when i burn it with my MBP, it will scale it down to SD or w/e.

    Now this is when it gets kind of complicated. I exported to a quicktime movie, self-contained, and I burned it to a DVD, and the quality when i put it on my computer isn't terrible but isn't what i wanted (there are lines whenever anyone moves), and the quality when i put it on the tv isn't good either - it's really stuttery. It just looks really TV-ish/Home-Movie-ish

    Now i've been kind of researching and i've set my 'field dominance' to none (it was on upper), and i'm thinking of trying to de-interlace the whole thing. What i want is to burn it to a DVD so that it will look good on TV, AND the computer. Should I export using quicktime conversion? I really don't know what to do this problem has been haunting me for awhile now.

    Thanks

    To extend, to put it into some perspective, here is the Apple Intermediate Footage (the source footage):
    [​IMG]

    And here is the footage after Export to Quicktime Movie:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Bunsen macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    #2
    Scaling while exporting to Quicktime isn't usually the best way to do this, especially when there are fields involved. I'm guessing you're just trying to convert 1080i footage to anamorphic 480i footage for DVD, correct?
    The best way, would be to use Compressor, if you have it, to convert it while making the mpeg 2.
    The next best way would be to nest your HD sequence in a sequence set to 480i anamorphic, and don't let FCE's open format timeline override your settings. (I use Final Cut Pro, but I'm pretty sure you can nest sequences in FCE as well.)
    Then you can render and export a correctly scaled DVD sized video. You probably should use Apple Intermediate codec, or better, for the 480i sequence, not DV, or you'll take another quality hit in the conversion.
     
  3. superman666 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #3
    I don't really know if i'm trying to convert it into 480i anamorphic, would that be the right thing? What i'm trying to do is just export it as a quicktime movie, and burn it with the best possible settings and it never ends up looking good.

    Now I do have compressor, but have never used it. Could you explain to me how I would convert the thing into mpeg2 (as if i were 3 lol)

    And about nesting - i'll look it up but could you explain that to me as well?

    Thanks for responding
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    I wouldn't recommend doing that to interlaced footage.
    I wouldn't recommend doing that to interlaced footage either.

    Since you have access to Compressor export your HDV seq as a non-self contained reference movie. Drag that into Compressor. Apply the DVD preset that closet matches the length of your piece (60min, 90min, 120min, etc.,). Take the export files (one is audio, and one is video) and drag them into DVD SP. Author the DVD and away you go.

    Spend an afternoon reading the tutorials that come w/Compressor and DVD SP and you'll have the basics down in no time.


    Lethal
     
  5. superman666 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #5
    Well i've been trying to use compressor for awhile now, and I think i had a screwed up installation - so I don't think compressor is an option.

    It keeps saying 'Cannot Submit Batch, Unable to connect to the backround Process' and i've looked this up and it's most likely to to a bad installation - and i don't have access to the CD's.

    Is there any other way?

    EDIT: I've seriously had NO luck with anything, This is really important - and i've tried everything. It doesn't make sense that I can record such pristine high quality HD, and it's IMPOSSIBLE to output something that looks even close to the quality.
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    I don't work outside of the Pro Apps much, but maybe if you posted exactly how you are going from FCE to DVD something might jump out at me as "red flag". For your final product, what are your timeline settings (any filters you've applied to all the footage such as de-interlacing)? What are your export settings coming out of FCE? What are you using the make the DVD MPEG2 file (and settings)? What are you using the author and burn the DVD?

    You're SD DVD shouldn't look like crap, but something to keep in mind is your footage is taking a massive quality hit from HD down to SD DVD so don't expect your final DVD to look anywhere near as good as your HD source footage.


    Lethal
     
  7. superman666 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #7
    Well thats why I showed the screenshot - is that acceptable? Should the export afterwards look like it does now?(not saying in a condescending way at all, i really want to know)

    I'll post everything i'm using to burn the DVD and such.

    I have a final cut sequence, and the settings are set as
    DV NTSC 48 kHz Anamorphic

    I have tried putting different presets in with no avail at making any quality improvements(shown on the computer anyway...)

    I have no wierd filters at all, all i do is say 'export to quicktime movie', and from their a put that into iDVD.

    Is IDVD the problem? Is there some intermediate step i should take between the final cut export and the DVD burning?

    OH and thanx for responding
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    Try doing this. Take your final HDV timeline and export it as a QT reference movie. File->Export->QT Movie (not QT conversion) and make sure "make self-contained" is UNchecked. This will make a small file that will point back to the original media. It's a great way to save time and disk space, but you can't take it to another computer and have it play back (because the other computer won't have the required media). Take that QT reference movie and drop it into iDVD. Make sure iDVD is set to "best quality" not to "best performance".

    You don't want to go HDV-DV-DVD because the "DV" step is an extra step of unnecessary compression (as Bunsen said).

    Also, iDVD isn't exactly the best at encoding footage into DVD MPEG2 but, hey, how much do you want from an app that comes free on your computer?;)

    It's sometimes hard to judge image quality from computer screen shots because computer monitors aren't designed to properly playback interlaced, SD video.


    Lethal
     
  9. superman666 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #9
    Alright i'm trying exactly how you said it, and i'll post back the results. However I do think the problem lies within final cut express and it's sequence settings or something...

    EDIT: I guess i'll just have to settle for the quality - I think i'm going to purchase Studio 2 for better encoding and all that. thanks for the help
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    Make sure you use the default seq settings generated by the Easy Setup for whatever type of media you are editing (in this case AIC). Trying to "roll your own" sequence settings is just going to screw things up 99/100.

    Lethal
     
  11. DrRock macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
  12. TheMonarch macrumors 65816

    TheMonarch

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #12
    Its probably a quicktime setting. Usually happens when exporting DV or some other low compression setting.


    Press Apple+J, then make sure "High quality" is checked on.
     

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