2 Replies Latest reply: Feb 10, 2013 8:28 AM by Ian R. Brown
Lawrencedc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I am making a FCP X movie and when it's finished I want to put it on a DVD using DVD Studio Pro. I have done this before but now I'm wondering if I should first export it to Compressor 4 and then to DVD Studio Pro. I understand that if I was puting it on YouTube or an iPod device I would need to Compress it however why would I need to go to Compresss 4 first if ultimately going to DVD Studio Pro? Would I get a better Codec quality then what I get from exporting in FCP X using their default Compression format i.e. Quicktime? Should I use an Apple ProRes Compression from Compressor 4? I guess I really don't understand the encoding quality options very well however I do want the best quality on my finished DVD. The DVD or Sequence is somewhere around 20 - 25 minutes if that makes any difference in your response.

  • 1. Re: Is Compressor 4 necessary when sending from FCP X to DVD Studio Pro
    BenB Level 5 Level 5 (7,825 points)

    You do not need Compressor for iPads or YouTube/Facebook/Vimeo.  That is all built in to FCP X.


    For DVDSP you have two options.  Send it to Compressor to manually set the controls and encode your MPEG2 vidoe and AC3 audio files for DVDSP.

    This page has an old 3-part tutorial walking you throught this whole process from legacy FCP, but applies the same to X.  Look under the "FREE Legacy Tutorials" section.



    Otherwise you can save out to ProRes 422 and let DVDSP encode the media itself.  Yet for best quality, follow the instructions in the videos.  Nothing wrong with either way.

  • 2. Re: Is Compressor 4 necessary when sending from FCP X to DVD Studio Pro
    Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (17,885 points)

    People will tell you that encoding in Compressor will give the best quality, but that assumes you are using a suitable preset and for your length of video the ready made ones are unsuitable and will waste time as they are all 2-pass with variable bit rates (VBR).


    For DVDs under 70 minutes long the best quality and fastest encoding times are achieved using a constant bit rate (CBR) of around 7.5mbps.


    For your short DVDs you should achieve the highest quality and fastest processing by simply exporting the project from the timeline as it is, drop it into DVDSP and set DVDSP to encode and burn it at the specs I gave above.


    Returning to my opening comment, you will frequently find that the theoretically best solution to a problem results in no discernible improvement but often entails a lot more work and time-expenditure.


    P.S. You might get marginally better quality by raising the bit rate to 8mbps but you run a slight risk that some old or cheap players may not be able to keep up, resulting in dropped frames.


    Message was edited by: Ian R. Brown