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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

Issue with Final Cut Express and HD video


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CactusVideoGuy

 
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Here's my situation, everyone.. I am using a combination of footage shot in 1920x1080 (AVCHD) and inserting images that are 720x480.. upon importing the footage, editing, transitions, titles (I am keeping the titles within the safe zones in LiveType), and finishing the project, I then output the file to QuickTime in 720x480, 29.97fps, then use Toast 9 to burn to DVD.. however, when I played the footage back on my DVD player (garden variety Panasonic home theater), the video seemed larger and was outside the dimensions of the screen (by what seemed to be about 10-20 pixels on all sides)...

Anyone? Anyone? My simple want is to make DVDs that are either fully viewable on 720p HDTVs or (depending on the settings) 1080 HDTVs...

What did I miss? I can't figure it out...

Cheers!

You can make some people happy some of the time, but you can never make a PC enthusiast understand the brilliance of the Macintosh OS. Until you put it in front of them.
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xstep

 
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See Overscan. The safe zones in FC roughly represent that outer space of concern. It varies from TV to TV. Play the DVD in your Mac using DVD Player.

If you want to make HD discs, your options are limited to using an add on to Toast that allows it to create DVDs and Blu-Ray discs playable on Blu-Ray players. Your garden variety DVD player cannot play HD material, only standard definition analog. Playing standard-def on HD sets requires some form of up-conversion which even the best up-converters will not get you close to HD quality.

I also noticed that you said you were using image sizes of 720x480 in your HD edit. If you are blowing those up to fit the screen, you are loosing quality, big time. When available, use an image at least 1920x1080. Think about it. You are up-resizing an image to fill the screen and then down-resizing it for your standard-def output.

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CactusVideoGuy

 
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Gotcha. So, if I'm reading this right, then I should import the highest-resolution images I can get (usually 1600x1200 for stills) and then import video into iMovie at full 1920x1080 for best results... then once everything is in FCE, edit as usual, output to a 720x480 QT movie, and burn that to DVD using Toast..

My goal is this: shoot and import the highest quality footage I can, then output to a standard DVD.. not worried about authoring HD (yet)... just SD, for general use...

Thanks! I'll give it a go...

Cheers!

You can make some people happy some of the time, but you can never make a PC enthusiast understand the brilliance of the Macintosh OS. Until you put it in front of them.
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xstep

 
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In your second post you mention iMovie. Why?

If you are going to do some zooming or panning, then bringing in a image larger than you HD footage makes sense. Don't over do it though. My opinion is that still image software often gives a better result when resizing, so if your image is 7MP in size, do your reduction in your graphics software up front to the size you'll need for manipulation in your video editor.

If you have played with iMovie, you may have noticed it exports for iDVD at 540 vertical pixels. Oddly the NTSC spec says only 486 lines are used for the vertical size display, while the remaining of the 525 lines of the spec are used for other things. So I find this confusing myself. Especially when you consider capture cards capture and import at 480 vertical pixels. iMovie exports using the AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) codec at either 720x540 for 4:3 material, or 960x540 for 16:9 material. Going back to the NTSC spec, you would think 864x486 would be the right setting.

When manually choosing a DV Stream for an export, the result for wide screen is 720x480 (the same as SD 4:3) which plays back at 853x480. The 720x480 size is what gets placed in your NTSC DVD MPEG2 file. An internal flag tells the DVD player what the aspect ratio should be.

So what have we learned? Well, except for the DV Stream, all exports are done in real sizes that keep the appropriate aspect ratio. Also, if needed, resizing work is done in the DVD authoring software to meet the spec for DVDs.

If you have chapter markers, I think you are best off using the AIC format with PCM audio. The DV Stream for instance doesn't handle chapter markers.

Luckily you can experiment with some short project. Both Toast and iDVD can create a disc image that you can then playback using DVD Player on your Mac. You'll get to preview the result without wasting a DVD disc. If I had the time, I'd do all three wide screen and SD exports and put them all on one disc to see the playback results.

Lastly, you could export at full 1920x1080 resolution and let the DVD authoring tool resize for your DVD. The question becomes, which tool does a better job at resizing your video.

CameraTime - Time lapse photography for novice and advanced users.

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Please post your results to the thread as it is good feedback.
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CactusVideoGuy

 
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Thanks so much for the info..

(edit to address iMovie) I mention iMovie because my Panasonic HDC-SD9 doesn't play well with FCE.. therefore, I have to bulk import my HD cam clips into iMovie, select the footage raw, and then export via XML to FCE... if, on the other hand, the camcorder *did* play nice with FCE, I'd just log and transfer, at all times... now then...

what I am going to do (and then report the results) is a test-bed (about 2-3 min in length) video.. I'm going to use the Anamorphic setting in FCE, and then export to QT Movie, and then let Toast do the resizing... in addition, I'll shoot some basic footage with my HD camcorder and use that as well, aside from using basic still images (the final video project type I am looking at is doing still images at 1600x1200, adding LiveType titling over them, and putting ambient music under, for a meditation type effect to the projects..) will report more when this is done...

Cheers!

You can make some people happy some of the time, but you can never make a PC enthusiast understand the brilliance of the Macintosh OS. Until you put it in front of them.
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xstep

 
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First the obvious. Make sure your FCE and QuickTime are up to date, along with any other updates that may apply in the Software Update window.

Check out this thread here. A Google search, "site:mac-forums.com Panasonic HDC-SD9" gives many results here.

I look forward to hearing your results.

CameraTime - Time lapse photography for novice and advanced users.

When asking questions, post the version of your software. You'll receive better answers.

Please post your results to the thread as it is good feedback.
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CactusVideoGuy

 
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I'm happy to report that I have some fantastic footage... I was able to use the NTSC DV-NTSC Anamorphic mode in Easy Setup, so that whenever I added anything into FCE, regardless of resolution (most of what I added was 1600x1200 or larger), came out fantastic. With the footage, Boris Title 3D effects and titling, and the LiveType overlays, it was wonderful. Final output was 720x480 anamorphic, so it looks great on 720p HDTVs with just minimal letterboxing... =) =) So I'm a happy clam.

Thanks so much for the pointers!

Cheers!

You can make some people happy some of the time, but you can never make a PC enthusiast understand the brilliance of the Macintosh OS. Until you put it in front of them.
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xstep

 
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If it is working for your intended destination, then great. I would have thought one of the HD setups would have been best for the Final Cut side and then just export to NTSC DV-NTSC Anamorphic for DVD use.

Glad to here you are getting satisfactory results.

CameraTime - Time lapse photography for novice and advanced users.

When asking questions, post the version of your software. You'll receive better answers.

Please post your results to the thread as it is good feedback.
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