Re: optimum codec for CCTV vid to DVDSP

From: Flick Harrison (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Nov 21 2008 - 17:01:23 PST

There's a bit of a mystical, trial and error element to encoding.

Take a ten or fiteen-second segment that causes you the most trouble.

Try a bunch of different settings in compressor. Remember them or make
new saved settings for each attempt and keep track of which is which.

Two-pass, variable bitrate, 5.5 - 8.2 mbps is the best you could ever
do. I've heard it suggested to set motion estimation to "good" instead
of "best" so it's not using up bandwidth trying to render every twich of
a half-pixel.

If that doesn't work, put a 0.2 pixel gaussian blur on the footage
before you output it to compressor (do a 10-second test again, and
export from fcp "using compressor" and "re-render all frames").

I went through hell on colour-correcting this film:

because the first shot of the film (of course) was an extremely wide,
shaky handheld shot of a vast field of tiny pebbles of varying colours,
beneath a smoothly-shaded sky. In other words, a shot requiring more
bandwidth than I could muster with all kinds of fcp / compressor settings.

the producer eventually got a high-end hardware conversion done at a
post house (hey! they still exist for a reason!) though I haven't seen
if it actually looks as much better as he says it does (ha ha).

If all else fails, various rock and roll methods are available (test
with short clips first):

1. upres to an hd timeline and then do your export;
2. shoot the final cut off a monitor and see if that improves things
3. drop the full-quality timeline into toast and see what toast's
automatic, best-quality settings do for you (never know - idiot-proof is
sometimes the best solution!)

Of course you'll need to be aware of how much can fit on a dvd...

Allison Holt wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> I'm working with very soft, beautiful CCTV footage-- on miniDV-- in
> FCP and I'm having trouble getting a high quality mpeg2. I've
> experimented with several codecs alongside the "DV/NTSC - 90 minute -
> best quality" settings in Compressor, but all result in some aliasing,
> which this low-res footage exaggerates terribly. It's been suggested
> that I try "fastest" setting instead of "best"; any opinions? Anything
> will help at this point!
> --
> <>
> __________________________________________________________________ For
> info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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