Re: Final Cut Pro Question

From: flick harrison (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Jul 20 2007 - 17:08:37 PDT

Unfortunately, that's not how FCP works (predicting file sizes).

(BTW, my favourite source for fcp / dvdsp help is at )

You must choose your quality based on rules of thumb. I.e. at
5.5-7.2 mbps vbr with ac3 sound, you can fit 2 hours of video on a
dvd or so.

It does vary based on the complexity of the work - i.e. if you have a
completely different image each frame, like something super
experimental, that takes up more space; if it's like a little dot
moving slowly across a blank screen, that will be a smaller file
because MPEG2 only stores the info that changes at each keyframe
(called an I-frame).

That's why FCP can't know the exact file size until you output it;
it's not predictable, only guessable once you know what you're doing.
(You wouldn't expect the film canister to tell you the proper
exposure, would you? ;-) )

You should ouput from FCP as a reference movie (ie NOT self-
contained), and then use Compressor to convert it to mpeg2 and ac3
audio, then marry them up in dvdsp.

Alternatively, if you use idvd or toast, you could set the
compression setting to automatic (toast) or best quality (idvd) and
it will fit your movie onto the disk no matter what, letting the
program choose a quality setting that will work (I think those
options are only available if you have quicktime pro enabled). IDVD
will reject your video out of hand if it's set to the automatic
settings and the video is greater than 1 hour - period.

Toot toot,

PS - aren't underlings with top-notch fcp and dvd skills available at
a dime a dozen man-hours or something? That's what the craigslist
job boards would have us believe...


For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.