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wp_capozzi
02-07-2007, 06:18 AM
Hello,

I'm preparing a short animated film for rendering. It is intended to go straight to DVD. I don't anticipate having to put it to film, but you never know. Test show it will be feasible to do it as a near 2k render size at about 20 minutes in length.

My first question is... is it ok to render to a size like 2350x1000 square pixels when making a movie for DVD? My initial tests look good with nice fine details in the images, I'm wondering if it is overkill for going direct to DVD. Half that size still looks good, saves on a lot of render time, but loses the finer details. I've tested a number of resolutions including 1080p and variations on 1.85 and 2.35 sizes, I haven't settled one an exact res though.

Part two of my question is, since I don't plan to go to actual film with it, does it matter if I render to the size I want with square pixels, or should I actually render to something standard like 2048x1556 with pixel aspect set to 2.35? As I understand it, 2048x1556 is sized to take advantage of the area within 4 perfs of film. Since I'm planning to be all digital with it, my thinking is to just go for the best quality render, the best render speed, and easy on my workflow. I'm not sure of any last minute hazzards that might pop up if I don't go with a film standard.

One other question that ties into the other parts is, I'm encoding with Adobe Premiere and Encore. The first encoding tests using presets turned out looking bad, very compressed and jaggy. I'm assuming it is just that I am new to this version and haven't dialed in the settings I need. I would guess this is professional enough software to make good encodings. Should I outsource for pro encoding? Does the resolution I render to have a bearing on the quality of encoding output? I'm looking at other animated feature films and see lots of nice detail throughout, I would like to get something close to that with my CG movie on DVD.

Any tips or experiences or examples to point to are most welcome.
Thanks,
Bill C.

starbase1
02-07-2007, 06:37 AM
I don't understand why you are rendering so large, is it high def DVD?

If not you are effectiovely anti aliasing outside of lightwave.

Nick

wp_capozzi
02-07-2007, 07:22 AM
Well, I'm going for as much detail as I can get into the images since I am able to budget for rendering 2k images for this. Tests are showing sharper details at 2k, which I would really like to have in there. If the crispness of the detail ends up getting washed out anyway, I would be glad to render it at a smaller size. A bit of extra AA from downsizing the images I guess is an added bonus. I know it will go to DVD, with maybe a few small screenings through an LCD projector, and if I'm lucky, a local cable broadcast or two, so I'm trying to accomodate for that in the overall process.

I'm looking at films like the Incredibles and Robots, and VFX shots in films like King Kong and Pirates of the Caribbean, and I'm hoping to push and retain my image quality and details into that range, from rendering through to output. The shortcomings of my gear will most definitely hold me back, but I would like to push as far as I can go towards something that looks really good. I have a few months to sort it out before commiting to a render size. 2k res might get abandoned if there is a better way to do it. Asking questions and testing are part of figuring it out.

Thanks,
Bill C.

ColinSmith
02-07-2007, 09:03 AM
DVD issues.
It's 720x576, well in PAL anyhow, and 4:2:0 colour sampling.
It will not show all the detail in your HD renders.

A good encoding from the HD will give a slightly better SD DVD than if you rendered to the SD resolution though, but the encoding will need to be good to take advantage of it.

I seem to remember that the MPEG encoder in Premiere got quite a good review, but again, will not match what Hollywood does with shot compression profile optimised by hand.....

I think I would test render to 720p HD (square pixel) and see how a DVD from that looks. And that will still give you a HD master for digital projection.

The Dommo
02-07-2007, 10:02 AM
Interesting question.

You will get better images due to the extra detail, by rendering large and scaling down to SD resolution, compared to rendering in SD to start with.

I'd render with square pixels, as HD for TV is square pixels at 1920x1080. HDV is 1440x1080 with a 1.33 pixel aspect ratio, so give that a miss. Film will also use square pixels - if you had digitised some film to use as a background plate you'd want to capture as much detail as possible, as you will then export a composited sequence back to film. If you didn't do this full resolution you would lose definition. On cinema size screens this would become evident.

HD at 1920x1080 is near enough 2k cinema res, so that could even possibly be upscaled to film. This would also cover you for future Blu-Ray / HD-DVD use, with apropriate encoding.

Back to the DVD aspect, as Colin said above, the built in encoder for Premiere uses Mainconcept technology, and is pretty good. You don't get the full control with it as you would with other encoders, such as specifying by hand where to place an I-frame.

To play HD from a DVD, at the moment, would require you encoding in DivX format to play on a suitable player, or WMV-HD to play on a computer. Both are good technologies.

cresshead
02-07-2007, 12:20 PM
re dvd...be carefull of texturecrawl in your scenes and also ultra thin lines with high contrast zones/boarders as they will flicker on playing back via a dvd player/tv set.

Titus
02-07-2007, 12:42 PM
Handling 2K images for film is expensive, we now work with 1080p resolution for movies, the data to film is cheaper.

starbase1
02-07-2007, 04:56 PM
re dvd...be carefull of texturecrawl in your scenes and also ultra thin lines with high contrast zones/boarders as they will flicker on playing back via a dvd player/tv set.

Oh boy, I've got the scars from that one... Slow pans over Earth, (quilting like crazy), and a slow pass of a planet with Saturn like fine ring structure, Ouch! Even at the 'elements' level though Premiere did a MUCH better job assembling the frames than other low end packages.

Nick

wp_capozzi
02-08-2007, 06:56 PM
Thanks for the excellent replies! It has spurred another round of research and testing. Things seem more on track with better results already. I'll be glad to share my findings down the road a bit.

Thanks again!
Bill C.

wp_capozzi
02-20-2007, 12:00 PM
I've been doing some more testing on render sizes and comparing the results to CG films on DVD. Something is missing in my results. Maybe a better question to ask is, do pro CG movies look good on DVD because they have better encoding, or do they look good because they are rendered at 2k or 4k? Probably a combination of both I would guess, but I'm trying to sort out what part of it I can put to use myself for a better end result. (What resolution does a place like Pixar render at?)
A goal I'm reaching for is to get as much detail and clarity as I can squeeze out of the gear available to me. My thinking was that rendering at a large resolution would result in a more detailed animation. If a SD DVD will show the same thing no matter what resolution it is rendered at, I might as well save on rendering. I sure would like to retain the detail I see in large renders. Maybe rendering at an SD res and turn AA way up? I guess some specific testing is ahead. Any experience or ideas are welcome.

Thanks,
Bill C.

avkills
02-20-2007, 12:24 PM
I would just render it at 1080p. Probably use enhanced high for AA.

You can also use H.264 for HD computer playback (QuickTime).

-mark

Mylenium
02-20-2007, 12:51 PM
Maybe a better question to ask is, do pro CG movies look good on DVD because they have better encoding, or do they look good because they are rendered at 2k or 4k?

Good encoding and proper preparation of the footage. Some extremely highendish stuff is even encoded scene-per-scene, then assembling the separate MPEG-II chunks into one stream. The only realy advantage in rendering at larger resolutions is that the detail is distributed in a more natural way across the entire pixels - unlike AA at low resolutions that weigh certain pixels over others, a "dumb" downsampling will treat each pixel more or less the same resulting in everything blending in a more more pleasing manner rather than over-accentuating fine details. The funny thing is that human perception sees this as a "better" image as opposed to the technically more "clean" antialiased low-res image.

Mylenium

beverins
04-02-2009, 07:24 PM
Semi-related question to this...

a contest that I'm looking at has the requirement to render 1920x1280. What pixel resolution is that?

Is the LW HD preset enough?

toby
04-03-2009, 01:42 AM
I've been doing some more testing on render sizes and comparing the results to CG films on DVD. Something is missing in my results. Maybe a better question to ask is, do pro CG movies look good on DVD because they have better encoding, or do they look good because they are rendered at 2k or 4k? Probably a combination of both I would guess, but I'm trying to sort out what part of it I can put to use myself for a better end result. (What resolution does a place like Pixar render at?)
A goal I'm reaching for is to get as much detail and clarity as I can squeeze out of the gear available to me. My thinking was that rendering at a large resolution would result in a more detailed animation. If a SD DVD will show the same thing no matter what resolution it is rendered at, I might as well save on rendering. I sure would like to retain the detail I see in large renders. Maybe rendering at an SD res and turn AA way up? I guess some specific testing is ahead. Any experience or ideas are welcome.

Thanks,
Bill C.

I wish I knew what pixar rendered at - but I can tell you that star wars ep. 1 was done at less than 1900px wide, and speed racer was at 1920, so 2350 is probably excessive.

If this is worth watching in the future (it's not a tampon commercial I hope!) I'd say go ahead and render hi-res, and then only if you're not sacrificing AA to get it done. 20 minutes might be short enough to put onto a blu-ray enabled dvd, so you could watch it in hi-res right away.

toby
04-03-2009, 01:43 AM
Semi-related question to this...

a contest that I'm looking at has the requirement to render 1920x1280. What pixel resolution is that?

Is the LW HD preset enough?
You mean 1920x1080? That's an hd standard resolution. The lw preset is fine for that.

SAHiN
04-05-2009, 03:17 PM
Someone on this forum once posted me this tutorial for similar question I had..
I think you should check it out.. its about Galactica renders..

http://www.battlestarvfx.com/bsg_tutorial_shotbreakoutandlighting.htm

good luck