View Full Version : Best Way to Animate for DVD?

02-06-2006, 10:24 AM
What is the best rendering setup, Quicktime settings and Post/compositing procedures to ensure that I get the highest quality animation for DVD playback?

02-06-2006, 12:58 PM
render tga or tif sequences and do the encoding in a program such as premiere, wich has by the way presets on how to export as m2v stream, the mpeg format most authoring tools will accept.

02-06-2006, 11:02 PM
The biggest questions I have are these:
Should I render at 29.97 fps for NTSC or 30 in LW?
What size to render in LW - 640x480, 720x540 pixels?
Render interlaced in LW or interlace in After Effects?
DV field dominance if interlaced rendered in LW?

What's your take on these? BTW, thanks for the reply.

02-07-2006, 12:25 AM
You can take these with a grain of salt, but these are the settings I use.

In LW I render at 720 x 480 (30 FPS) with a Pixal Aspect Ratio of 0.9, almost the same as LW's default D1 (NTSC) profile except for the height.

I render to LW's Flexible (.flx) format, to give me something akin to a negative from which I can then run back though LW for two "prints," one gamma corrected for DVD and another for computer monitors.

As for interlacing (Field Rendering), I've don't use it because I prefer the way prgressive looks. But, I think to get the proper effect it needs to be done in LW versus interpolated later. If I understand it correctly, one field has it's time offset by 1/60th of a second (for NTSC), so if you look at a field rendered image one set of lines is the current frame and the other (odd or even lines) is the frame if it was rendered 1/60th of a second before the frame.

Whatever software is used to take the rendered frames and build a video file needs to be aware of the fields in the frame and their ordering. I've seen field rendered frames encoded as progressive and it looks quite bad.

02-15-2006, 04:10 AM
Different system use different fieldorders. For Matrox e.g. are the even lines the upper. For Avid are the odd lines the upper. That sucks.
I tried a lot to solve the fields-problem. And there is one in LW I think - the AA. While a field is rendered LW take only the horizontal pixels on a line to antialias. OK, on one field you just see this one line (even or odd), but the pixels from above and below where not used to make a smooth AA. So the movement is smooth, but straigt lines are flickering.
Is there anything to do better? I use progressive Frames with motionblure, but some studios want the material in fields.
Does anyone knows how to get a fine fields-Rendering?


02-15-2006, 06:35 AM
I had the same problem with flickering horizontal lines but the vertical ones were fine.

I, too , definately would like to know what would be the best settings in LW for the best quality on a dvd played on a tv.


02-17-2006, 02:21 PM
NTSC will flicker if your detail is too fine. It is just too low res to be helped. Uncompressed video with fine detail will flicker (that is why News figures aren't supposed to wear Herringbone patterns). DVD is compressed (MPEG2) and that isn't helping things. All you can do is take in the highest quality image into your compression software and let it do it's damage. It will never be prisitine if it is very high detail.

If you are dealing with a studio, send them the uncompressed file on a DVD ROM and let them mangle it.

My Opinon, subject to correction by any higher authority.

02-17-2006, 02:41 PM
In the "good old days" the best video graphics were created with analog video graphics machines, e.g. Aurora. If I go to trade shows where there are computer generated graphics playing on a large flat-panel display from a DVD, they look beautiful and smooth. What is their secret? Are they using scan-convertors to get the animation to analog? Or is there another secret anyone can share?

02-17-2006, 03:29 PM
Where I work we use scan converters for squashing the signal down to go to NTSC. We use a Farouga Line Doubler for an RGBS send to some of our projectors. Our video wall uses a processor that also has built in video scalers used before splitting the signal to go out. I also think you may be harder on your own work than you are on the stuff you see in the trade shows.

02-18-2006, 07:31 PM
Any horizontal lines thinner than 2-3 pixels will flicker because the fields switch back and forth at 60fps. I agree with the other posts. Render at 720x480, pixel aspect 0.9, 24fps looks great, 30fps okay. If you need 30fps interlaced, you can double the speed in an editing application that'll interlace for you, course that's longer render time.

Interlacing was a solution for TVs back in the day that couldn't draw the whole frame fast or last long enough. But we're better now! When are we going to get rid of 30i? I hate it...

02-18-2006, 07:41 PM
I've used After Effects to interlace animation output to QuickTime DV 720x480 @ 29.97 fps. I then used Compressor to make the mv2 files used in DVD Studio Pro. The original LW rendered files were 720x540 and squashed to 720x480 in After Effects. This seems to produce the best DVD output so far. Any other ideas?