1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Jun 9, 2012 7:35 PM by David Dixon
Cat Songs Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

Greetings. A simple question, I'm sure...


I've got a 75-minute film that I need to export to DVD. My elementary-school students and actors each need a copy; we'd also like a DVD to show the whole school on a big screen.


I've got...


... Final Cut Pro X

... Compressor 4

... iDVD


The "options" are overwhelming. My experiments have resulted in poor quality output.


Could someone suggest a straight-forward settings/methods for accomplishing this transfer, without loss of quality?


Many thanks!



MacBook Pro, 2 G4 towers, Mac OS X (10.5.6), Audio gear
  • 1. Re: 75-minute film to DVD -- how?
    stuckfootage Level 4 Level 4 (3,040 points)

    1. In Final Cut, select your project and choose Export > Current Settings:

    http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/how-to-export-a-high-resolution-movie-out-of-fin al-cut-pro-x/

    This will create a large high-quality master.


    2. In Compressor open the master and apply the DVD presest for 90 minutes, best quality. This will create two files, video (.m2v) and audio (.ac3).


    3. In iDVD, start a new project, import your compressed files, and make the DVD. Save as Disk Image.


    4. Open the Disk Image in Disk Utility and make as many copies as you wish.

  • 2. Re: 75-minute film to DVD -- how?
    Cat Songs Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Many, many thanks, from cast and crew (97% me). My actors at The Wilkes School at Grace & St. Peter's (Baltimore, MD) thank you for your help with "A Mystery at Grace & St. Peter's."


    Thanks again.



  • 3. Re: 75-minute film to DVD -- how?
    karan_mann Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    I have this same problem. I have my .m2v and .ac3 files - however in iDVD nothing happens when I attempt to import .m2v and with the .ac3 it gives an unsupported file format message. Any suggestions or step-by-step instructions on how to overcome this?




  • 4. Re: 75-minute film to DVD -- how?
    Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (106,175 points)

    You don't use MPEG and compressed audio files with iDVD. You export a master and take that to iDVD, which does its own compression.

  • 5. Re: 75-minute film to DVD -- how?
    karan_mann Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the response.


    The compression in iDVD is very very poor... I therefore need a viable workaround.


    I have compressor 4 but not sure which conversion will enable me to import the files correctly into iDVD? (if at all) .




  • 6. Re: 75-minute film to DVD -- how?
    Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (106,175 points)

    Do not convert anything in Compressor. It does absolutely nothing for you. iDVD does its own compression. You might try asking questions about the problem in the iDVD forum.

  • 7. Re: 75-minute film to DVD -- how?
    Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,885 points)

    karan_mann wrote:

    ...  The compression in iDVD is very very poor...

    I wouldn't use iDVD to 'master' a Hollywood movie ...

    but it isn't thaaat bad.


    bitrate is in iDVD determined by length - <60min=9mbps, <90min (your project) = 6mbps ...

    set iDVD to Best Performance (NOT Best Quality) ...


    from FCPX just 'export' - resolution willl be shrunked to 720x480 o DVD anyhow ...


    other options listed here


  • 8. Re: 75-minute film to DVD -- how?
    aleidy Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    I had a similar school project and also found iDVD quality to be poor. I ended up sending the FCP X project to Compressor (Share...DVD...Advanced...Send to Compressor) and burning the DVD right in Compressor. In Compressor I changed the MGEG-2 quality to Two pass VBR and was amazed at the results. You have very limited DVD menu options in Compressor, but I found the video quality to be better than DVDs burned in FCP X and way better than iDVD.

  • 9. Re: 75-minute film to DVD -- how?
    David Dixon Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    Tom and Karsten are right. You're making this too complicated.


    iDVD is capable of superb quality if you use the right settings. Yes two pass VBR is the best approach, so in iDVD always go to Project Properties and set Encoding to Professional Quality - that turns on two pass. The quality is excellent. It will take a little longer to do all the compression, but the result is worth it. And, if you use the Disk Image trick, you only have to do the compression once.


    So, use Export Movie... to get a full quality movie out of FCPX. Use that movie directly in iDVD. Use Professional Quality Encoding. Save as Disc Image. Use Disk Utility to quickly burn any copies that are needed.


    The quality will be as good as anything Compressor can do, with fewer steps and better DVD menu options.

  • 10. Re: 75-minute film to DVD -- how?
    karan_mann Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Interesting - I will try this out tonight and check the results. Thanks for all the responses -  I hijacked someone else's question in this forum & now all these great responses probably belong in its own thread!




  • 11. Re: 75-minute film to DVD -- how?
    aleidy Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    All respect to David, my experience was that iDVD produced much lower quality DVDs compared to Compressor, even when I used Export Movie from FCP X and had Professional Quality encoding selected in iDVD. I spent a lot of time (and DVDs) comparing iDVD, Compressor, and FCP X and Compressor was a clear winner in DVD quality. The projects I worked on were about 90-minute videos. Results may quite likely vary depending on the length of the project and other factors, but I've been very unhappy with iDVD quality and am sticking with Compressor for DVD creation unless I need fancier DVD menu options.


    In another thread, someone suggested they had better results selecting High Quality instead of Professional Quality in iDVD, so maybe I'll give that a try next time.

  • 12. Re: 75-minute film to DVD -- how?
    David Dixon Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    Well, I still maintain that iDVD will do excellent quality DVDs - I've used it for years with excellent results when the physical disk is displayed on HDTVs, projectors, etc.  On the suggestion to use High Quality, my recollection is that High Quality equals one-pass constant bit rate. It can give excellent results, but if you have a lot of motion you might see some artifacting. And, it used to be limited to only 60 minutes of video on the disc - I assume that's still the case. Professional Quality encoding will almost always give better quality, and will fit more video on the disc.


    I took a little time today to experiment with using Compressor instead of iDVD. I immediately ran into the fact that there are practically no options for making a professional-looking contents screen for your disc. I just don't know if I could live without all the polished iDVD themes available, unless I was just making a quick-and-dirty preview disc - but I never have a need to do that. I always make use of the "fancier DVD menu options."


    In addition, I often create DVDs that are not just one video, but rather several shorter videos on one disc. I can't see a way to do that when authoring in Compressor. I even checked out a few web tutorials and the lynda.com training for Compressor. If it's possible to have multiple videos (not multiple chapters) on a disc created in Compressor, please tell me how.


    So why not compress in Compressor and use those files in iDVD? As Tom said earlier, iDVD won't recognize them. I think they're meant to be used in DVD Studio Pro or some other higher end DVD authoring tool.


    It may be possible that if you are creating a disc with only one video, can live with a contents screen that is bare bones (or nonexistent), and tweak the settings in Compressor to two-pass vbr and maximum data rate, you might get a DVD that is slightly better quality than iDVD can produce. However, I'm not yet convinced, so in the interest of open-mindedness I will be testing this when I get time this coming week. And, for my particular needs it's going to have to be noticeably better to offset the authoring and workflow restrictions it would impose.

  • 13. Re: 75-minute film to DVD -- how?
    rhjph Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    I have read this thread with great interest, and in particular your comments. However I don't see a Share option of 'Export Movie' - there is 'Export Media' or 'Export using Compressor Settings'  which is what I use, then selecting ProRes 422 HQ. Is that not the optimum choice?  I then pass it through AVT Chapterit to put in chapter markers before moving it into iDVD, and I shall now save it as a disc image. Any comment on that workflow gratefully received.

  • 14. Re: 75-minute film to DVD -- how?
    Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (106,175 points)

    Export Movie was used in an earlier version. ProRes works for most formats but not all.

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