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View Full Version : Lightwave to DVD 720X486 ???



Glendalough
10-10-2006, 06:11 AM
Maybe someone who has been down this road could be so kind as to tell me what to do....Please!

What output resolution from Lightwave should I use to make a DVD? (smallest size, no letterboxing, -not widescreen)

It seems DVD Pro wants to take 480X720 but the Lightwave preset for D1 NTSC is 486X720.

480X720 is the specification for this sort of DVD...Yes?

Do I just change the 486 down to 480 and keep pixel aspect ratio at .9? Am guessing this is right? No?

Or should I render at 486X720 in LW and then just drop this into After Effects preset 480X720 and lose 3 pixels at top and bottom.

Or just put the 486X720 into DVD Pro, but this is going to squash or stretch it in some form so can't be right.

There seems to be a contradiction in the "composition setup" box in After Effects which is too tedious or something to explain, and I probably got it wrong anyway, but it appears AE displays correctly like the final output should on the DVD???

This is unlike Lightwave which will be using square pixels and thus we see distortions. For this reason I always work in the default 640X480 and change it later... and end up in this mess...

Please Help!

avkills
10-10-2006, 07:23 AM
I'd render out a image sequence at 720x486, 60fps progressive and then import into AfterEffects and create a movie of the animation in whatever video codec format you are using (DV, DVCPRO50, Uncompressed 8bit, etc etc) and then take that into FCP; add your audio or whatever and then export out to DVD SP.

Although if you are using DV or DVCPRO50 then you can render out at 720x480 with the same pixel aspect of D1 and do the same thing.

The 60fps thing we had a long discussion on; while you can just render at 30fps progressive, at 60fps AfterEffects will interpolate the motion and correctly convert it to 60 fields per second for video. Also, make sure when you import the image sequence into AfterEffects, you interpret the footage as 60fps. I'd stay away from using field renders in LW.

Also, lightwave correctly renders non-square pixels. I generally use Targa as my image sequence format.

-mark

eblu
10-10-2006, 07:41 AM
umm... no.

NTSC is 720 x 486 at .9 aspect
dvd is 720 x 480 at .9 aspect

these are the numbers, at no point has dvd EVER been 720 x 486, it has ALWAYS been 720 x 480. the difference is 6 horizontal lines on your tv, and you will not notice them, you never have. They are usually impossible to see anyway.

The BEST way to render for dvd (dvd only), is to render at 720 x 480 at .9 aspect, period.

dsol
10-10-2006, 08:17 AM
Yep, 720*480 for NTSC DV (and DVD). For PAL renders it's 720*576.
The frame rate for NTSC is actually 29.97fps - NTSC is a right little PITA in that respect. It makes it pretty hard to be certain how frame-accurate your edits are or if you're losing random frames when playing out.

Also - you don't need to render at double the frame rate if you want to create 60/59.94 fields per second motion. Lightwave can render fields - it always has done (due, no doubt, to its Video Toaster heritage). Though it has to be said that most of my clients don't like the look of field-rendered animation - it looks very "video" as opposed to "film" (too smooth!). Plus - it's slightly easier to work with non-interlaced footage in post. And it's faster to render (in both LW and AE)

shrox
10-10-2006, 09:20 AM
Why is the default 720x486?

dsol
10-10-2006, 09:42 AM
Why is the default 720x486?

Presumably because that's the resolution of NTSC Broadcast television. The 480 resolution is for DV and DVD (and digital terrestrial broadcasting IIRC). Now I'll stop talking about NTSC before I start getting irate and ranting about the stupidity of the format - non-integer frame rates are NOT A GOOD THING :)

Glendalough
10-10-2006, 11:00 AM
Thanks for all the very prompt replies!

Don't know what to think about the 60fps, really just hope it would go away. The render times, long enough now with proper anti-aliasing, would be doubled.

Was talking to someone doing a lot of HDTV and they thought the whole interlacing thing was rubbish, though admitted there can be problems with fast motion. (Is this what 60fps is about???) But obviously some people like the video look.

Only doing animations of 5-6 minutes so don't need FCP, would spend extra cash on upgrading to AfterEffects when it has gone intel.

Take the 720X480 into Quicktime and output to MPEG2 29.97 and then into DVD Pro 2 (which by the way works on intel for some strange reason).

Not sure of this last, whether it would be best to bring straight into DVD Pro and mux there....when it is converted to MPEG 2 in QT first it says in QT it is 640X480 (maybe the pixel aspect ratio is changed to view only)...wonder is it degraded this way??? Very confusing???

Any ideas???

Many Thanks again for all the info anyway!

shrox
10-10-2006, 11:41 AM
Presumably because that's the resolution of NTSC Broadcast television. The 480 resolution is for DV and DVD (and digital terrestrial broadcasting IIRC). Now I'll stop talking about NTSC before I start getting irate and ranting about the stupidity of the format - non-integer frame rates are NOT A GOOD THING :)

I thought it was, but everytime I get footage (avi, mov, etc) from a client it is 720x480.

robewil
10-10-2006, 12:08 PM
The original NTSC D1 spec, which is still used in some equipment, including Newtek's VT system, has a defined resolution of 720X486. When computers in the 1980's only had a vertical resolution of 480, this spec was changed. Now, both are acceptable NTSC D1 resolutions.

eblu
10-10-2006, 02:57 PM
Don't know what to think about the 60fps, really just hope it would go away. The render times, long enough now with proper anti-aliasing, would be doubled.

60 fps is a keystone number. so is 1080 P
if you were to render at 1080 p at 60 fps, the conversion to every other format would work adequately. IE: a keystone number.

I HIGHLY recommend against doing things that way. half of your time is wasted. it works Much better to find out the exact specs (if you've been paying attention they are in this thread) and render to that size/apect/fps.

as long as you have one delivery format (dvd) then you should Only render to that format.

avkills
10-10-2006, 03:09 PM
I've done lots of tests, and I can tell you all with extreme certainty that rendering 60fps second progressive in LW and then converting to 60 fields per second using After Effects looks way better than field rendering straight to a video file or image sequence from LW. And if you render 30fps progresssive in LW to video you will get strobing effects much like forgetting to field render to video from After Effects. The manual for After Effects even says to render from external graphic applications at 60fps. Not to mention the field rendering tabs for LW pre version 9 for the Mac are backwards from my experience.

and I also never said DV and DVD was 720x486. D1 resolution, which is what I gather most professionals use, is 720x486. Uncompressed 8bit and 10bit formats that Apple and AJA use are 720x486; which is the industry approved CCIR 601 frame size for NTSC video.

I would never "render" straight to DVD, it makes no sense. I doubt you would find anyone who renders content without going through either some sort of compositing app or editing software before compression to MPEG2 for DVD creation. I could be wrong though.

NTSC is a pain, but I suppose we will have to live with it until everyone owns digital sets.

I don't think the 720x480 had anything to do with computer resolutions in the 80s, for one, nobody was doing any non-linear editing. The old Media100 system I used to edit on had a frame size of 640x480 square pixels, which surprisingly still looks better than DV25 footage. Although the 4:2:2 color sampling was probably the reason for that.

-mark

toby
10-10-2006, 03:09 PM
Take the 720X480 into Quicktime and output to MPEG2 29.97 and then into DVD Pro 2 (which by the way works on intel for some strange reason).

Not sure of this last, whether it would be best to bring straight into DVD Pro and mux there....when it is converted to MPEG 2 in QT first it says in QT it is 640X480 (maybe the pixel aspect ratio is changed to view only)...wonder is it degraded this way???

Since when does QT Pro output mpg2?

QT does display the aspect ratio that will give you square pixels, the un-distorted image, if it detects it in the file. It's not degraded unless you were to export out of QT at that size.

avkills
10-10-2006, 03:14 PM
I'll agree that you waste lots of time rendering at 60fps, and a lot of it depends on exactly what your animation is. I've done my own testing to verify that it works better overall if you want the sharpest, cleanest looking video possible. And the argument was that After Effects will not use all of the data, that is a myth, which I have debunked myself. Whether you believe me or not, it is stated pretty clearly in the manual for After Effects.

-mark

avkills
10-10-2006, 03:15 PM
QT Pro will output to MPEG2.

-mark

dsol
10-10-2006, 03:46 PM
I'll agree that you waste lots of time rendering at 60fps, and a lot of it depends on exactly what your animation is. I've done my own testing to verify that it works better overall if you want the sharpest, cleanest looking video possible. And the argument was that After Effects will not use all of the data, that is a myth, which I have debunked myself. Whether you believe me or not, it is stated pretty clearly in the manual for After Effects.

-mark

I can imagine that by merging more temporal frames in the conversion from 60fps to 30fps (60fields) you get cleaner looking motion blur as you're overlapping more frames. Hopefully the revised Motion Blur in 9.1 will help address this issue. It's not an issue for me generally, because as I said all the clients I've worked for (including the major UK broadcasters) prefer the look of non-interlaced footage :)

toby
10-10-2006, 04:08 PM
QT Pro will output to MPEG2.

-mark
Really - how would you do that, did it come with a recent upgrade? It's still only listed as a playback codec on the website. Or is it the only the version you get with FCP?

Glendalough
10-10-2006, 05:17 PM
The keystone number thing is interesting...really want a big operation for this though, glad you don't recommend it...thanks for all the info...


... D1 resolution, which is what I gather most professionals use, is 720x486. Uncompressed 8bit and 10bit formats that Apple and AJA use are 720x486; which is the industry approved CCIR 601 frame size for NTSC video.

So really it would be better to use the lightwave default of 720X486, (the .9 being the correct pixel aspect ratio) and put his into AfterEffects at 720X480 losing the 6 pixels in height.

This, because down the road, the same image sequence could go to tape (digital, DLT or whatever it is called) for broadcast.

I'm doing DVD as the animation is on spec and until I'm fortunate enough to get a buyer, client, investor or something, there is no point in getting into all the extra equipment.



Really - how would you do that, did it come with a recent upgrade? It's still only listed as a playback codec on the website. Or is it the only the version you get with FCP?

QT pro has been able to output to mpg2 for quite a long time, since DVD Pro came out 5 years ago anyway. It needs this mpg2 component you get with DVD Pro. But it will only play a muxed track without the sound, like .vob. QT7 can play sound if there is a separate associated sound file such as one would import into DVD Pro.

Wondering about this exporting out of QT, not sure if going through DVD Pro constitutes this. When converting from say animation or targa sequence to mpeg2 in QT it says "target size" 720x480, but when opening the finished mpg2 or actually m2v as it calls it, the size in the info says 640x480???


It's not an issue for me generally, because as I said all the clients I've worked for (including the major UK broadcasters) prefer the look of non-interlaced footage

This is good to hear. Am in a PAL region at the moment and wondering what the stations here do with NTSC stuff, can this be used on air now (as everything is digital) or when they buy NTSC programs from the U.S. do they get a PAL version?

toby
10-10-2006, 05:31 PM
QT pro has been able to output to mpg2 for quite a long time, since DVD Pro came out 5 years ago anyway. It needs this mpg2 component you get with DVD Pro. But it will only play a muxed track without the sound, like .vob. QT7 can play sound if there is a separate associated sound file such as one would import into DVD Pro.

Yes, I've been playing mpg2 files for years. I just can't output mpg2. I guess it's a full mp2 codec you get with DVD studio Pro or FCP.



Wondering about this exporting out of QT, not sure if going through DVD Pro constitutes this. When converting from say animation or targa sequence to mpeg2 in QT it says "target size" 720x480, but when opening the finished mpg2 or actually m2v as it calls it, the size in the info says 640x480???

That's right, and if you have a 16x9 aspect video it will actually display it at 720x404. It always displays the undistorted image if it detects it in the file.

dsol
10-11-2006, 04:04 AM
This is good to hear. Am in a PAL region at the moment and wondering what the stations here do with NTSC stuff, can this be used on air now (as everything is digital) or when they buy NTSC programs from the U.S. do they get a PAL version?

Unfortunately, despite what you may have heard to the contrary, the switch to digital broadcasting hasn't solved anything regarding the NTSC/PAL framerate issues. NTSC digital broadcasting is still locked to the original analog framerates of 29.97 (or variants of, like 59.94) and PAL is still 25fps (50i). As a broadcast professional, who faces the headache of format conversion on a regular basis, the failure to create a unified global standard for digital broadcasting is a terrible missed opportunity.

dsol
10-11-2006, 04:09 AM
Yes, I've been playing mpg2 files for years. I just can't output mpg2. I guess it's a full mp2 codec you get with DVD studio Pro or FCP.

I've got FCP Studio and there's no option to export M2V files on mine either, which is a pain. Maybe I need to use the QTPro serial that comes with FCP instead of the one I bought previously?

Glendalough
10-11-2006, 05:36 AM
I've got FCP Studio and there's no option to export M2V files on mine either, which is a pain. Maybe I need to use the QTPro serial that comes with FCP instead of the one I bought previously?

It doesn't matter which serial you use, you have to have this M2V exporter "component" which works with QTPro. This can be bought seperately for, I think, around 20 dollars. It comes free with FCP and DVDPro, but you may have to go somewhere on the Apple site and insert your serial no. to download. It's very small, around 300k!

I think you than put this in with other QT components (for DivX etc.) somewhere in Library/Application Support/ or/Quicktime...

dsol
10-11-2006, 06:06 AM
It doesn't matter which serial you use, you have to have this M2V exporter "component" which works with QTPro. This can be bought seperately for, I think, around 20 dollars. It comes free with FCP and DVDPro, but you may have to go somewhere on the Apple site and insert your serial no. to download. It's very small, around 300k!

I think you than put this in with other QT components (for DivX etc.) somewhere in Library/Application Support/ or/Quicktime...

Thanks for letting me know - this'll be really useful for me as Compressor keeps crashing on my system and I don't have any other convenient way of generating m2V files :)

John the Geek
10-11-2006, 07:49 AM
Thanks for letting me know - this'll be really useful for me as Compressor keeps crashing on my system and I don't have any other convenient way of generating m2V files :)

Actually that feature is not supported anymore in lieu of Compressor: (Also we're getting MPEG-2 playback and FCP included exporter confused. Only the Playback module can be purchased from Apple outside of FCP installation.)
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301871

Have you tried MPEG Streamclip for MPEG-2 export? I like Compressor more, but Streamclip is much more versatile.

=)

avkills
10-11-2006, 08:01 AM
QT Pro; Use the export feature, select Movie to MPEG2. It is very bare bones and has no where near the features and tweaking abilities of Compressor or Cleaner.

NTSC video is always interlaced as a final product whether you want it to be or not. If your final file you make for NTSC is not interlaced then you are doing something wrong. Animations can well be 30fps progressive, but once you process it through whatever app, the resulting NTSC video file "should" be interlaced because that is how TVs work.

-mark

Videonut
11-04-2006, 09:15 PM
Just a dumb question here everyone. I am very new at LW and just started using 7.5 which came with VT. When you render a scene, where does the file get generated. I have spent hours on the menus, unless I am missing something. I see the output files on the render options, but I do not see a source location.

Please help.

John the Geek
11-04-2006, 09:31 PM
See attached:

If you want a quick and dirty video output choose Save Animation and then choose the type of output next.

Then click the Animation File button to get your navigator window for your OS to go find a place to save the file and name it.

If you are outputting frames for composition, then choose Save RGB and it's essentially the same process.

=)

dsol
11-05-2006, 08:35 AM
NTSC video is always interlaced as a final product whether you want it to be or not. If your final file you make for NTSC is not interlaced then you are doing something wrong. Animations can well be 30fps progressive, but once you process it through whatever app, the resulting NTSC video file "should" be interlaced because that is how TVs work.
-mark

If you're exporting a DV quicktime movie, then in Quicktime 7 you have additional exporting options over previous versions. You can now overtly specify whether the movie is (a) interlaced/progressive and (b) 4:3 or 16:9. This is just additional metadata added to the file, but can cause problems when you try and import a video file an FCP project with different settings (ie. importing a file tagged progressive into a sequence set to use interlacing) whereby it might force you to do unnecessary re-rendering of footage. Just to clear up - although all footage is broadcast with 2 fields, you don't need to have moment over the 2 fields (which is the motion equivalent of progressive).