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noyce
05-18-2005, 12:20 AM
How would you guys suggest i put my animation onto a DVD.

I can't figure out the best way to do it without losing any quality. I usually render as jpeg images then import into premiere to produce a quicktime file for playback on a pc but how would i render it in lightwave to start with for DVD use?

Do i need some more software?

Help appreciated,very desperate : (

Lukesutherland
05-18-2005, 01:39 AM
It all depends on your DVD authoring software.

We use Adobe Encore, it acceptd avi or mpeg files.

Even if you render umcompressed avi the dvd software needs to 'transcode' it, during that process it creates a compressed file that it then writes to the disc. Usually the first disc takes a while then subsequent ones are much quicker. (times vary depending on length of clip obviously)

The software we use has a number of quality level presets, they all however are compressed and don't look quite as good as they do on the dps.

Surrealist.
05-18-2005, 02:06 AM
Start with the software as stated and work back. What DVD Authoring software will you use?

Your end goal will be Mpeg2 with settings similar to this:

Audio: 224 Kbps, 48,000 Hz, Layer 2
Video: 29.97 fps, 720x480
Use this setting to create an MPEG-2 file with an NTSC DVD-compliant video stream, and an MPEG layer 2 audio stream.

I copied this out of a template from Vegas Video.

You will see something similar in Premier. (widescreen of course would have different settings for the video size)

Now, you asked about quality and how to render from Lightwave.

First of all don't render to jpeg. It is already compressed.

Render to the highest quality stills (premiere will take bmp I know for sure, check for recent filters) and then you can expiriment from there.

The cleanest solution would be to do stills from LW import into Prmeire and use the maximum setting to render to Mpeg since - I assume - you have a short, you can get away with a minimum of compression which is expressed in the bit rate.

I grabed a screen from Vegas to give you an example of setting the advanced bitrate settings. This is something you have to experiment with for quality.

Now most DVD authoring software is very particular about what it considers "legal" footage. Even though it is rendered in Mpeg2 at the standard, it may want to re-render it anyway (transcode). Some will only trnascode the audio. A good idea in this case - depending on your software is save out to an avi from Premiere.

Unfortunately, some low end DVD software won't let you control much in the quality. Others give you more controll.

Below, higher numbers are better quality basically. For a short, you can probably get away with a fixed bit rate which will be the same all through. The variable bit rate is to save space and vary the amount of data based on how much information ( movement color etc.) is in the file. As an example something solid back would take less room than somthing with more color or movement etc.

Let us know if there ae any more questions.

noyce
05-18-2005, 02:44 AM
I can't thank you both enough for taking the time to reply. This has been VERY helpful and i hope i can return the favour some time.

Many thanks

noyce
05-18-2005, 04:17 AM
One more thing and sorry for being a nuisance. Should i be working within the safe areas in lightwave? I've never used them before but i was watching a training DVD and it said to turn on safe areas in the options, otherwise i could cut off a lot of detail when watching on a television.

I don't really understand it!!

Mylenium
05-18-2005, 04:42 AM
One more thing and sorry for being a nuisance. Should i be working within the safe areas in lightwave? I've never used them before but i was watching a training DVD and it said to turn on safe areas in the options, otherwise i could cut off a lot of detail when watching on a television.

I don't really understand it!!

Surely you should. Your average TV set does not display all pixels and depending on how your manufacturer (mis)adjusted it, those can be a lot of pixels. All of your important stuff should at least be framed by the action save area (the outer safe frame in LW), things such as texts or buttons for DVD menues should preferably be inside the title safe are (the inner frame).

Mylenium

starbase1
05-18-2005, 05:16 AM
Hi,
Bit late to the thread, but never mind...

I am in a similar position to you, I render out to Jpeg as a compromise between size and quality. But once I encode it, I really don't have any problems - the compression for video is so much stronger than LW's Jpeg settings, I can't tell the difference between that and BMP input.

This only applies if you aren't layering up, of course, as adding extra over a Jpeg and recompressing will be VERY bad.

From my numbered stills I use Adobe Premiere Elements to convert to video. I export to Mpeg using DVD settings, (but with the tweak of the sound turned off). In this manner I can go directly from image to video.

I find Premiere Elements VERY confusing for DVD authoring, and prefer Ulead Video for that - also has better menu building options. Both progs are pretty cheap. (About 50 quid each UK price)

THE KEY THING though when making your disk, is to make sure the option not to convert compliant video is set. That way you won't recompress. (And it will produce the disk a LOT faster!)

The only bits that get recompressed are any transitions between clips that you add, but they are normally not noticable.

What I'd really like is the trick of writing DVD formatted video direct from inside Lightwave...

Nick

Surrealist.
05-18-2005, 08:08 PM
One thing to keep in mind regarding recomendations about quality and this is true in any field where information is displayed, be it audio or video:

What may be true on one sytem or monitor will defininately not be so on another if you don't comply to simple basic standards.

In audio for example, studio monitors are designed to have a flat respnse meaning that they do not enhance the sound, but rather give a good representation of the sound that is being recorded and mixed.

With consumer grade speakers you can have somethintg sound great in your studio and then take it out to your car or to a freind and it sounds like ****. Usning studio monitors gives you a better middle ground and a good set will have your stuff sounding great just about anywhere.

This is the same with video. The wide range of display types and sizes are drastic and it is a rather uncomfortable feeling to see your work look like muck on a large screen when it looked fine at home or even on another type of display.

There is alot to standardizing video of course other than the cleaness of the file but with digital it is one of the keys. Artifacts from compression might look fine on one monitor or two but it will not hold up broadly in any situation.

Stick with clean uncompressed files, always and compress only as little as you can get away with. Otherwise unpredictable results will occur in the long run.

noyce
05-19-2005, 12:42 PM
Thank you all very much for the responses. I dread to think how i would get by without these forums and your help.

starbase1
05-19-2005, 01:12 PM
One other suggestion - Get a few DVD RW disks, you will get through a LOT of trial runs sometimes, the colour response on TV's is often VERY different from a monitor!

Watch it on the telly often!

Nick

PS - I hope you remembered to change the frame rate to PAL if required - I wasted a LOT of stuff before I sussed the LW default was bad for me...

noyce
05-19-2005, 01:39 PM
Am i right in saying the frame rate for PAL should be 25fps?

Garyrw
05-19-2005, 06:57 PM
Noyce,

Yes, the frame rate in PAL is 25 fps. And the screen size of JPEG's should be 720 x 576 to author on a DVD.

Safe areas are VERY important, to make sure nothing gets lost. Nothing will burn you more than taking the time to render and author a disc, only to find it's wrong!

HTH!
-Gary

badllarma
05-20-2005, 01:16 AM
Hi noyce,
Well here is our work flow

Software Lightwave, Prem Pro. Encore + DFX (not included in my example below)

Lightwave:- animation out
Render D1 PAL (camera settings (720 x 576))
Tiff still images. (uncompressed)

Prem Pro
Import tiffs add music/ sound then edit etc........
Render out at Microsoft DV AVI (video setting are Compressor DV (PAL), millions of colours, Frame Rate 25 fps, Pixel aspect D1/DV PAL 1.067)

Encore
Menus have to be created as .PSD file format at 720 x 576 pix in size
then import you animations etc.......

Useful tip.

ALWAYS render images out at AT LEAST medium AA or the equivelent in Lightwave other wise they will bite you in the arse when you finally put it on TV TRUST me! There is nothing worse then rendering out a weeks worth of animation at a low AA setting to see it look like crap when you finally test it on a TV set!! :rolleyes:

Exception
05-20-2005, 06:57 AM
How would I go about rendering something to Widescreen pal dvd?

My client wants a dvd with widescreen video...
I can choose it in the camera settings, but it just changes the pixel aspect ratio... How does this work, will it automatically show correctly on any TV, or... I have no clue!

badllarma
05-20-2005, 09:00 AM
How would I go about rendering something to Widescreen pal dvd?

My client wants a dvd with widescreen video...
I can choose it in the camera settings, but it just changes the pixel aspect ratio... How does this work, will it automatically show correctly on any TV, or... I have no clue!

Firstly
you need to set lightwaves camera to you local settings but 16:9 so mine would be D1 (PAL widscreen) (living in the UK)
Second
Then in Prem Pro on start up I would choose a new project set at
D1 PAL, widescreen 48khz

and that s it I don't know why but a project rendered in lightwave as 16:9 Never seems to fit the Prem Pro monitor coirrectly and I always have to manually alter the settingn (drag the size of the image sequence out to fill the monitor) in Prem Pro

Also if using Encore for your DVD you will need to set that up to create a widescreen setup for your DVD.

Tips

Then main thing is to remmber is the ONLY difference in 4:3 and 16:9 is the pixel aspect ratio you still render out images at 720 x 576 (PAL) in size.

In lightwave if you view your rendered images in a image viewer (older versions of Photoshop etc..) they will appear mishaped as your computer monitor still views them as 4:3 only when they appear on a TV screen or in a decent piece of video editing or comping application will you see the rendered images at the correct pixel aspect.

Always a good idea to have safe area guides on in Lightwave when rendering out at 16:9 other wise you could end up with characters heads cut off the top of images etc... :)

noyce
05-20-2005, 12:48 PM
This topic has been sooooooo helpful, i can't thank you all enough.

Exception
05-20-2005, 06:00 PM
I second that!
Thank you!

starbase1
05-21-2005, 04:57 AM
Happy to find an area I could help with - most of the stuff I really like here is way beyond my abilities... Incidentally, when I first sucessfully got stuff working to DVD, I put some notes into a message here, you can find it at:

http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=26707

Others joined in too, adding to the collective wisdom!
:p