View Full Version : DVD output, and disk space devouring...

04-02-2004, 02:22 AM
Hi Guys,
I am now successfully producing video that I can output to DVD. (At the moment Mini-DVD, but thats great for testing and watching my stuff on TV. I'm assuming it will be trivial to write to full DVD once I have this sussed). Thanks for the help so far - the Legalise Image filter worked a treat on the saturated reds.

But I'm devouring disk space like there is no tomorrow!

I write out to an uncompressed AVI at DVD resolution, but a single minute of footage takes bout 3 Gg! At this rate even filling a mini DVD will get daft, and become impractical. This seems a huge amount of storage for something that ends up occupying a few dozen megabytes. (To be more precise, twenty minutes = 60 Gb, and it ends up fitting on one CD!).

How do other people manage this?

The obvious way out that occurs to me is to write from Lightwave directly to DVD format, but when I tried this, the software I am using, (Nero), re-encoded everything, and recompressing is clearly not a good idea. Or maybe I got the format wrong?

Do the rest of you write directly to DVD format video?

Alternatively I am tempted to render compressed, but at a higher resolution in the hope that this would look good after Nero resized it.

I experimented with some codecs, to see if very low levels of compression would be OK, but I wasn't happy with the result. This is perhaps because of the subject matter - I am making simple sequences where a planet slowly turns in the centre of the screen. The change between frames is very slight, and the compression seems to remove entire frames which makes it jerky! (Not when I do the uncompressed AVI then write to DVD).

All clues very gratefull received!

04-02-2004, 03:24 AM
Well, the best way really is to stick to uncompressed quality no matter what. Just get yourself another hard drive for storage - they are cheap anyway. The only useful CoDec is the Matrox DigiSuite MPEG-I-Frame. Since it is a MPEG-II derivative, it will reduce your file sizes noticably but it's a bit quirky in a way that

a) not all programs will work with it (it won't run from within LW for instance but most compositing apps and Virtual Bub can use it without trouble - go figure)

b) it will not work with resolutions other than D1 PAL and NTSC

c) it can produce some artifacts on rare occasions

You can download the CoDec for free on the Matrox website (the standalone software version is required, not the one tied to the DigiSuite hardware!!!).

It would also help if you got yourself a conversion tool other than Nero. It's not very sophisticated and flexible.


04-02-2004, 11:27 AM
Thanks Mylenium,
I like the way Nero handles audio writing, which was the main reson I bought it.

Any recommendations for better DVD authoring tools?


04-02-2004, 01:11 PM
I wasn't so much referring to authoring - if you really only have one clip, no menus and no other fancies, Nero will do just fine in putting them together on the disc. I was more thinking in preparing the M2V file externally. Tools such as ProCoder, MainConcept Encoder or Cinema Craft give you more control especially once you go down the multipass VBR road. The MainConcept solution would probably be best choice on a tight budget. It costs something around 129 Euros if I recall correctly. All other tools are much more expensive. If you really need "real" authoring, the only recommendable tool on the PC is still ReelDVD. Adobe Encore DVD just doesn't cut it - it's unstable as hell and full of bugs.


Tom Wood
04-02-2004, 01:36 PM
Hey starbase,

I create content in LightWave, composite/effects in Mirage, then edit/render in VT3. Although I have a healthy sized SCSI RAID, one of the best additions I made to the system was a 250G firewire external HD for about $250. It not only provides additional storage, but any time I have a process where I need to read information -from- disk at the same time I need to write -to- disk, this drive provides the place so that the RAID isn't trying to read and write to itself at the same time. I cringe at the sound of the disk thrashing I caused before - not good.


04-02-2004, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by starbase1
...I write out to an uncompressed AVI ...
better is to write an image-sequence, if LW crashes you loose your avi.^^

Mylenium, whats a good codec for animations displayed on computer monitors? Whats about that Windows wmf coming with mediaplayer9?

04-02-2004, 02:04 PM
More good ideas...

Tom, I have a 120Gb external drive, but it's filled with my CD collection converted to MP3's! I know what you mean about disk contention though.

Thing is, my end objective is to write out DVD's with my collected work on, and at these sizes, I can't fit one DVD disk full onto a 250 Gb drive uncompressed!!!

And I'm an amateur at this!

Digimassa, I am savng the uncompressed images out as well, for exatly hat reason. But I don't know of a DVD authoring tool that will write disk from a sequence of image files!

Also these are in some cases repepetitive sequences, for example planets that spin very slowly through several cycles, so I have one set of images, and an uncompressed avi that loops through it several times.

There's got to be an easier way of doing this!


04-02-2004, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by Mylenium
..The only useful CoDec is the Matrox DigiSuite MPEG-I-Frame...

It took one hour to find the link (http://www.matrox.com/video/support/ds/software/home.cfm) ^^

04-02-2004, 10:11 PM
But I don't know of a DVD authoring tool that will write disk from a sequence of image files!

Both Adobe premier and Pinnicle Studio will load sequences which you can then render as a MPEG2 file. Both programs will allow some authoring features like creating menus, etc. I recommend dowloading their demos and see for your self if either program or one of the other programs that Adobe or Pinnicle offer can help.

04-03-2004, 07:14 PM
If you are looking for a quick and dirty way to put together images. Try buying a firewire card, they usually ship with Pinnacle LE or something like that. So you can toss those large AVI's and keep the image sequence.

04-04-2004, 09:47 PM
One of the problems that I found with Pinnicle Studio 8 was that it had difficuly with High quality images. What I mean is if you had several image to load say from a 4 MP digital camera, and you had a large collection of images. It was possible for Studio to crash. However by reducing the resolution down to 720x480 and or reducing the quanity of pictures then the program ran fine.
I am sure version 9 has fixed this problem, but I thought you should be aware of this if you are planning on doing high definition quality work. Also exporting from Studio has a maximum resolution of 720x480.