I have done a ton of research, googling, and experimentation regarding the following problem and have not been able to get satisfactory results, so I'm looking forward to hearing your expert advice!
My brother and I shot a how-to video using the HD Canon Vixia HF G10, 1920x1080, 24p. This camera records in AVCHD and has pretty nice footage. The goal is to get the edited video to a DVD to offer for sale.
I own both Corel VideoStudio Pro x9 and Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 13.0, and also DVD Architect Studio 5.0.
I know that for HD video, the only true HD disc option would be to use Blueray, but this is not what we're going for....DVD is the goal.
I have done multiple tests using both of the above mentioned editing software products to export the video into MPEG-2 with varying degrees of success. Of course, since DVD is in SD, it looks great on our SD TV screen, but degrades considerably when played on 64-bit PCs.
I understand that downscaling from HD to SD will result in a significant loss in quality, but I'm still convinced that there must be a way to get a higher quality encoding than what I'm getting now.
So, here are my questions:
1. Am I correct in assuming that with a higher quality encoding to MPEG-2, the DVD will play better on the higher resolution screens?
2. If anyone here works with going from HD to SD for DVD, what is your process? What have your results been like?
3. Is anyone here familiar with the "Render to AVI with Lagarith>Use hd2sd plugin for AVISynth>Encode with HCEncoder" method and what did you think of the quality? I have read that HCEncoder is one of the best...not sure if that's still true. If you like it, would you please consider doing a step-by-step guide for your workflow to get that done?
Thank you so very much in advance for your time and suggestions! I'm thinking there are some great experts here, so I'm sorry for my "learner's questions."
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1. There's no way to know based on just a description. However, I'd use better encoding software than what you're currently using.
2. No problem as long as one understands you take a big resolution hit, but my process won't be your process.
3. That's a good way, yes. However, you can get all the benefits more easily by using AvsToDVD to do the conversion to SD and to DVD. Just choose HC-Enc as your encoder of choice.
Thank you for your reply!
I am absolutely open to a better/easier way to use HCEncoder (I've not been able to get that whole progression to work yet...), but to my understanding AvsToDVD is not to be used for commercial purposes and we hope to sell the DVDs.
I'd love to hear any detailed tips/instructions that you have for using the "Render to AVI with Lagarith>Use hd2sd plugin for AVISynth>Encode with HCEncoder" method. I think my problem lies in not knowing quite how to organize/place the files, folders, and scripts.
Thank you again!
AVSToDVD thread and you can ask in the thread or click on _MrC_'s name and send him a message:
I'd love to hear any detailed tips/instructions...
Assuming your final product is a Video DVD which will be played on a typical HDTV, you'll need to view on a HDTV for a true example of what the customer will see.
manono: Thank you very much for your suggestion, I have done so and eagerly await his reply!
SameSelf: Thank you for the welcome; it's so appreciated. I read through the thread you directed me to and - wow! Lots of info there!
lingyi: Thanks for your advice. It's nice to know the difference in what each screen type will display. I would love to try my test DVD out on a HDTV, but don't have one in ready access. Hopefully I can sometime soon.
Also, I have a question about AVI:
When I have rendered AVI files in either uncompressed or Lagarith, to prepare for encoding, they play very strangely - either squished up, or in the center using just a fraction of the screen - in Windows Media Player.
According to my research, this is normal for AVI in WMP and that's not really how it would turn out on DVD, right?
Thank you again for your help to a beginner who is in over the head!
The aspect ratio will be set when you encode the mpeg2 file for DVD (16:9 in your case) . With a lagarith AVI it's 1:1 (square pixel) . Nothing to worry about
If you don't have a HDTV, you could go to a friend's house to check the final DVD playback
The mainconcept encoder used by vegas isn't that bad. In some respects it's actually better than HCEnc, but worse in others areas. Eitherway - it's not going to be massively worse or massively better.
Can you describe more clearly what "degrades considerably" means ?
I'm wondering if there are other issues in your workflow, or if this is "normal" and expected degradation that you get with DVD
What is the total duration of the DVD? What video bitrates were you using ? Most common cause of a low quality issues for DVD is low bitrate
Were you encoding a "24p" ie "progressive" DVD with those programs ?
WMP, or any player for that matter, handles uncompressed AVI especially if it is 1920x1080. The main thing to focus on is avoiding as many transcodes as possible on your way to an mpeg2 for DVD Architect. The other thing you want to make sure of is that you don't trigger the encode flag in DVDA—iow, it accepts you mpeg2 as DVD compliant. Hopefully you are editing the Canon AVCHD footage directly in Vegas Movie Studio. Then as poisondeathray suggests, you can either export directly from MS as a downrezzed mpeg2, or you can export from MS as an uncompressed AVI and follow something similar to the steps outlined in my HD->DVD thread.
As pdr stated, their are pros and cons to using Vegas Movie Studio's bundled MainConcept mpeg2 encoder vs HCenc. But the other benefit of uncompressed workflow is you get complete control of how the footage is downscaled to SD. I don't know what the pros and cons are of MS's scalers. It is your choice, and that is why you always here people talk about workflows. Everyone's workflow is different.
Also, I should point out in my HD->DVD thread, the footage that I always work with is YUV 4:2:2. Therefore, when I export as an uncompressed UYVY AVI, it is also YUV 4:2:2, and I need to subsample the UV or chroma channels to YUV 4:2:0 which is all DVD supports. Your are starting with AVCHD 24p footage which is already YUV 4:2:0.
Also, HD is Rec.709 and SD is REc.601 which are colorspaces. You just need to be sure that there are not strange color shifts occurring when you convert from Rec.709 to Rec.601.
That is probably a lot to bite off on for a beginner. So, IIWY, I would just focus on minimizing the transcode steps especially getting to the point where DVDA accepts with the footage without triggering the transcode flag.
HD to SD script by its author it is sophisticated procedure for any HD into any SD. There is a major problem with HD interlace to SD interlace resizing it within ANY videoeditor. So it was done i n Avisynth. HD2SD author created elaborate procedures that accommodate different situations. But your case is not interlace HD into SD interlace, even if you shoot for NTSC DVD.
But it just might not look good rendering in Vegas directly, if it is flickering too much for you, then you need to do resize elsewhere. First check that HD 2SD, it might be chroma aware resize. Or check it out there if there is vertical blur possible to select, you get rid of flickering by this. More vertical blur less flickering but of course you loose sharpness. That is trade off. You decide what is good for you. Also be careful to select your source as progressive and progressive output. Because my guess is that HD2SD defaults are interlaced in both cases, input and output HD progressive to SD progressive.
Other thing is to DVD author 23.976 progressive,. never done that. You need proper flag in stream or DVD. Not sure if HcEncoder does it, if it is needed, what Vegas does etc. I'm just sure you should not encode 30i (60i), just 23.976p and then just flag it somewhere along the way and author DVD. Is it NTSC DVD you are making right, not PAL?
If you are not going to use that HD2SD, there are some other scripts in here, that was 50p to 25i, so you just ignore always that last line that re-interlaces video again, you delete it from those scripts, and use 720,480 for NTSC DVD:
source was RGB32 coming from Vegas frame server, so if different, for example if your avi will be YUV video, not RGB, then you delete that:
from that script as well
Last edited by _Al_; 14th Jan 2017 at 15:27.
HD2SD script I just opened it up, it could be aware of Premieres YUY2 export, frame server, authors NLE was Premiere as it seems, and he might sort of "tune it up" for Premiere and Frame server YUY2, there are examples also
Hello and thank you to all! I really appreciate all the considerations you've brought up. I have a lot to learn!
poisondeathray: The main problems I have noticed with the playback of the DVD are pixelizing and motion blurring when played in a PC. On the SD TV, it's fine. It could get be that it's as quality as it's going to get when played on a PC, but I still think it could be better.
As you suggest, what I need to do is get to a HDTV to test the DVD on. I hope I can do that soon and in the meantime I may try some more tests with different render settings, etc.
_Al_: Thank you so much for your suggested scripts! My main problem with running the HD2SD plugin for AVISnyth is that I may not have everything in the proper location for it to run. I have it like this: AVISynth in its own folder, HD2SD files/folders inside the AVISynth "plugins" folder, HCEncoder in its own folder, .avs script document and .avi video file in HCEncoder folder. Does this sound correct? And, may I ask, what is a flag? Is this refering to "pulldowns?" Thank you!
Thank you also for the reassuring words about AVI files. That's one less thing to worry about!
It may be a while before I can get to a HDTV, but I hope to report back about it if I can.
"pixelizing" suggests too low of a bitrate. "Motion blurring" could be many things, including playback post processing and blend deinterlacing
(where "path" is the acutal path)
or change the extension to .avsi instead of .avs and place it into the avisynth plugins directory to autoload
It's an older script and a bit depreciated, and it uses ITU aspect ratio resizing by default (without bars), so the picture will be stretched slightly compared to a straight resize . You will lose some pixels from the top and bottom on 16:9 . But you can toggle some settings to get it the way you want . It primarily takes care of 2 common issues in NLE's , interlaced resizing, and proper colormatrix for SD or HD . It's easier to specify the precise commands IMO
I'm surprised no one's asked for this already.
Post a short 10-15 sec clip (one with fast motion or scene changes is best) of your original file and your encoded file (you can use a free file host like Mediafire or Mega if you can't upload it directly here). This way others can get a better idea of what types of issues you may be dealing with
read that readme.txt unzipping hd2sd zip
after exporting lossless avi, not sure, never realy tested it, and there is much many options, just read that hd2sd.txt, perhaps you need to create avisynth script:
avisource("my_clip.avi") hd2sd( \ Interlaced = false, \ Interlaced_out = false, \ OutputWidth = 720, \ OutputHeight = 480, \ Input601 = false, \ Output601 = true, \ VerticalBlur=0.25 \)
But it is progressive in and progressive out so compare it with those scripts I gave a link before, not using hd2sd, again hd2sd was created a while ago because interlace HD videos needed to be trasformed to interlace DVD. Your source is hopefully 23.97p so no special cooking is not much needed, just simply good resize.