Having problems burning/transfering my film file to an acceptable format. Please Help

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by rockstarbd82, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. rockstarbd82 macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2014
    Ok, I'm going to try and explain this as best I can.

    I run on Imac 10.5.8. I use final cut express 4 for my film editing and iDVD for my dvd burning (though I would like to eventually use Adobe Encore 5.5 to make a custom menu dvd for my film but we'll get into that later).

    I've just finished completing a film that has literally taken me 4 years to make. Its a quicktime mov file exported out of final cut express 4 in 640x480 resolution (the first footage we filmed started out that way as yea we didn't quite know what we were doing. I got a new HD cam and still used that footage but downsized those clips for my fx program visionlab studios, did my fx, exported those as raw animation files, then threw those into my final cut timeline so i'd keep as much quality in that format as possible.)

    Now that the film is completed, digitally in its mov format now (despite the fact that yea i could've started this project differently and had better results than now)

    At 92 minutes long and 12.5 gb of memory on the file, I usually have no problem burning on dvd-r (with 4.7gb space). However I've been trying to find better memory/playback options for a presentation I have in 3 weeks.

    I'm quite happy with out it looks on the playback on my mac. It looks "ok" on regular dvd-r's (dvd+r's apparantly never work through my mac). But at times, objects that are red in my film will either appear a bit pix-elated or have vertical lines through it. But when I play the mov file back on my computer, it looks all clean and crisp . . .

    I've tried flashdrives (even as a back up device) only to find that multiple sandisk 64gb flashdrives all gave me an "error code 0" and later discovered that files over 4gb won't load onto the flash drive unless you change whatever format it says you have to and even after you do that, you limit its playback capability. Is there a high memory mac flash drive that won't do that to me and won't require me to "jump through hoops" to make it work??

    I also tried getting external bluray drives and software considering that blurays hold 25gb which theoretically would be more than enough and probably show the same playback quality i'm seeing on my mac here. Unfortunately there are a TON of hoops to jump through and other extra softwares you have to purchase after you get all that stuff as "unfriendly with blu ray that mac is." Eventually I just lost patience and returned all that stuff after I spoke with a blu ray authoring company and then they explained that not only would I have to back to Final Cut and re export it in a whole nother codec but also that my simple 480 file won't burn onto a blu ray either. So I guess that's out unless someone can provide me with a step by step process for an old OS X 10.5.8 mac to accomplish that since everything is now apparantly 10.6 and up now.

    Also DVD-R Dual Layers were suggested to me. I tried DVD+R DL's (as no retailer around me had the -R versions) just to see and i-Dvd was giving me "multiplexing errors" everytime I tried burning. Will the same thing happen with DVD-R DL's if I try or will they work??

    Also if I were to go the Adobe Encore Dvd menu route for dvd copies to pass out, will my 12GB file burn onto either type of DVD-R/(DL) or will it not burn it the same way as IDVD and I'm basically stuck with iDVD and regular DVD-R's.

    Everyones telling me I should go back and just do a regular export of my whole film in FCE without quicktime conversion (but i'm afraid if I do that, everything will look wrong or pixelated as everytime I render my effects clips for playback the red objects look bad and unless I eliminate that render, the export brings out the clip to look that same way and I don't want that.)

    Either that or they tell me to make an iso file for Disk Utility or a VOB file which I'll be honest, I know NOTHING about as I've been going the IDVD route this whole time.

    I'm a guy that really needs things explained step by step as I don't understand alot of file types that well.

    So my big question (with all these circumstances is this). What options with my present equipment do I have to make a better presentation of my mov file film than regular dvd-r with iDVD burning????

    Any help seriously appreciated.
  2. Chad3eleven macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2012
    Do you have to play it from a disc?

    Do you have a laptop, or even an ipad?

    You can make a file and play it off a laptop, which would be hooked up (via DVI/HDMI) to the projector or TV.

    As for file limits, a MAC formatted hard drive or flash drive would not lock you to the under 4 gb limits.

    as for burning a dual layer DVD, you must make sure you have a dual layer burner.

    And are you mixing formats in your timeline? some SD and some HD?
  3. pinholestars macrumors member


    Oct 20, 2011
    The red issue sounds like it may be a broadcast safe problem. In FCE you should be able to add a broadcast safe filter to your footage to keep your reds in check.


    And reading through your post, I don't quite understand the problem. Is it that it won't burn anymore? Or that it doesn't playback well on your Mac.

    If it's the former, check in iDVD to see how much space you're lacking on a normal DVD, and move to a dual layer DVD if there's not enough room.

    If it's the latter, the playback issue is probably related to how much info is streaming at a time, i.e. your data rate. If you take your exported movie (or even reexport from FCP) and run it through quicktime and save it as an h.264, you should have no problems. It shouldn't change the quality that much, and you'll end up with a much smaller file size. You can also control the data rate to find what your Mac can handle playback wise.

    I don't have access to 10.5 any more, otherwise I'd give you the steps. You may be able to google 'export custom settings out of final cut express' or something like that and get some decent answers.

    Hope that helps.
  4. Chad3eleven macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2012
    As I read this again, you mention having to un render in FCE to make it look better.. as in the reds... and yes that could be a color issue as reads arent friendly with tvs..

    Also, did you edit this entire film at 640x480? if you check the sequence settings in FCE what does it say?

    It sounds like your sequence settings may dont match your footage.. meaning if I am editing clips that are 1920x1080 apple pro res. and the sequence is set to 720x486 DV NTSC codec, when I render the clips practically get turned into a DV NTSC file (lower quality), which introduces artifacts.

    But we are well beyond that lesson... But what you need to figure out is getting this out of FCE at the best possible quality (I hope its larger then 640x480, which is smaller then DVD resolution which is really 720x480 @D1 pixel ratio of .91)

    Which computer are using? And do you only have FCE? do you have compressor or DVD studio pro?
  5. rockstarbd82 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2014
    -I can't afford a laptop at this time. I have an ipad but I'd have to videowrap it which is obviously going to downgrade the quality.

    I did export in h.264. Is there a way I can change data rate? It plays on my mac fine and it burns fine through I dvd. I'm just trying to get as much quality out of a presentation as possible.

    I do have premier now (unfortunately too late when I finished the film) and encore. So if there's a way to use my file and somehow save some quality for a dvd with Mpeg2 like one friend is telling me, I guess I dunno whats left.

    If all else fails, I'll just stick with dvd-r cuz at least it plays everywhere.

    I'm using OS X 10.5.8. Our beginning footage was either 640x480 or that 720x480 like you said. The final cut express file says 720x480. I've been exporting in 640x480 cuz the final playback (even with the downsized HD files within) look the most crisp on mac playback.

    It doens't look bad on dvd, but I do notice little red flaws here and there but it depends on the tv. On my Plasma I barely noticed it. On LCD I kinda did.

    I was thinking it was an issue of the dvd not holding all the memory but apparantly thats not it.

    I guess I could see if a friend could lend me his laptop for a projection connection viewing. If not, its either a dvd-r or dual if I can manage. Sorry its just been a 4 year long road and I'll admit ya, very educational but also very confusing with trying to learn how everything worked and all the different file options.

    Thanks for your advice thou. I'll see what I can do.
  6. rockstarbd82 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2014
    i guess after thinking about it, if I went back and re-exported my file as 720x486 or 720x480 (which would you recommend for exporting for a dvd burn?) would that help my case any??
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The problem is not the storage media. It is the data. Your colors are outside of the range that cane reproduced on a normal TV set. The color needs to be "squashed" into what they call "broadcast safe"

    This process is the same kind of thing they do when they "master" audio recording. They make it "fit", so to speak" on common playback equipment.

    I don't know if the old versions of FCP had it but look in the help foil for "broadcast safe" and there might be a way. It might be user the color grading options. You can also Google the term "broadcast safe color"

    The root problem is that it requires more bandwidth to transmit the wider color range so long ago they made limits and most TVs and DVD players are designed to those limits. Computers are not and have a wider range.
  8. Chad3eleven macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2012
    720x480 is the standard defintion pixel size for DVD (4x3 aspect ratio)

    note that when you view this on a computer (sometimes) the image may appear to be stretched width wise.. once burned to a DVD and viewed on a TV it is back to normal.

    Now.. you dont have to clipwrap anything to play off an ipad, it just has to be compressed to an ipad friendly file (.mp4) and you can add it to the movie list via itunes. (you must then have the correct cables to play off of the ipad to the projector/TV)

    Now for the DVD, the version of your OS doesnt matter, but the computer you are using does.. see below:


    Your computer more than likely supports a dual-layer DVD-R...

    Your workflow should simply be to export the edit at max quality (matching the sequence, which in this case is 720x480 at whatever codec/sequence setting it is) then taking that file into encore and burning the disc..

    Encore should auto transcode the file to mpeg-2, which is what a video DVD needs to play..

    Now if you compress the file out of FCPE first (say at 640x480 h.264) then take that file and burn it, it will again have to be transcoded to an mpeg-2 video file (and separate .aiff or .ac3 audio file) so your 2 generations away from the original, instead of just 1.

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