And here is the result, shorteningthe movie made no difference, I'm still unable to create a disc image of the original file
Here is what the Finder brings up when I look at the disc:
Looking like I'll end up with Apple support on this one, wonder what the chances are of resolving it there?
Disk Utility will not work. I assume you are using FCP X or Compressor 4 to generate a HD video. Let say you are using Compressor. What you need to do is the first time you encode your project and burn it to disk, instead of burning it to a DVD disk, burn it as a disk image. Then use an application like TOAST image copy to copy the disk image directly to a DVD or Blu-ray. Once you have a disk image, you can do the burn multiple times indefinitely. The reason disk utility does not work is because it does not know the file system uses by the Blu-ray player. TOAST solves that problem. You can get a new copy of TOAST 11 PRO with Blu-ray plug in on eBay for about $40. Follow the following steps:
How to Prep BluRay or AVCHD discs using Compressor to Encode and TOAST to burn (TOAST won't re-encode):
- Under Compressor, select File>New Batch with Template.
-Select Create Blu-ray Disc
- At top right hand corner of the batch job window, there is a "Create Blu-ray disc" warning icon or cog wheel icon. Click on the icon, now refer to the Inspector window. Click on the Job Action tab.
- Under "Output Device," select "Hard Disk (Blu-ray).
- Complete the rest of the Job Action selections to specify the DVD menu template.
- If you need to change the encoding parameters, select the "H.264 for Blu-ray" target under the job window, then go to the inspector window to change the parameters. For example, for AVCHD discs, I set an average data rate of 15mbps.
- Submit the job in Compressor.
- Compressor finishes with a .img disk image
- Start up TOAST
- Select the COPY tab
- Select project type: Image File
- Drag the .img file created by Compressor into the new window
- Make sure the "Use Fit-to-DVD video compression" is unchecked and verify there is enough DVD or Blu-ray media space to hold the video and audio files.
- Select the proper destination drive for burning
- Initiate DVD or Blu-ray burn.
pegasus1787, thank you for the detailed reply which is very helpful and is a further alternative to the approach I worked out. I eventually started by buring my Blu-ray compliant DVD in the usual way (producing a master disc) and then using Toast to image the disc using the DVD-ROM (UDF) option under the "Data" tab "View Advanced Options". Doing it this way I was able to produce a disc image with the .toast file extension which I can then use to produce any number of copies of the disc for folks. Always nice to have different ways to skin the same cat and your input is very much appreciated.
I've tried out the TOAST approach also, i.e. using TOAST to encode the ProRes 422 master file and make a .toast image. However, after some more experimentation, I've found using FCPX or Compressor to encode has two major quality advantages that you may want to consider:
TOAST's best quality setting for burning AVCHD disc only supports up to 16Mbps. However, if you use FCPX or Compressor and specify a hard disk image to be the final output, the applications will encode at speeds of up to 30Mbps. I have a 2 year old LG Blu-ray player and it plays these high speed encoded file with no problem. I noticed some folks did post on this forum stating AVCHD DVD can only support up to 15Mbps. All I can say is I've successfully encoded and played at speeds doubling the 15Mbps guideline and the improved video quality comes through clearly. If your player can play the higher encode speed, it's worth pushing the envelope.
A second advantage of encoding using Compressor is to optimize the encode using muli-pass. That often improves the end result and TOAST does not offer that option.
Hope that helps.
Ok, a "trial" disc is currently burning. I found that the .img file generation process generated 3 files, .img, .ac3 and .264. I'm assuming I can just delete the .ac3 and .264 files and that they will have been incorporated into the .img file. The original master movie I'm testing this with was only 2 minutes and 20 seconds in length and yet the .img file is over 500MB, I guess this means that with the higher bit rate settings one would only get about 16 minutes of material on one of these discs? Using the approach I was using I was getting about 35-40 minutes of material on a red laser DVD.
Well I generated the file following your approach and using the settings I posted above but sadly the disc didn't play. I have to confess to still being a bit confused about this. Using the approach I was originally using I was encoding the original APR422 1920x1080 file using Compressor which is what you were suggesting and surely the only difference is that the output I generate from that process is written to a DVD rather than a .img file?
Using your approach you write a .img file and then clone that to discs but using my approach I produce a DVD which I then create a .toast image file of and then clone discs from that. Reading through your post again from Dec 26th 2:46am you mention you have tried using the TOAST approach "i.e. using TOAST to encode the ProRes 422 master file and make a .toast image" and I wonder if you may have misunderstood me. I don't use TOAST to encode my APR422 master file, that encoding is done by Compressor and the output of that process is a DVD, I don't write a .img file at that point. I then take that master Blu-ray Compliant DVD and clone that using TOAST, my working notes of the steps I use for this stage are listed below:
Notes about creating a disc image (.toast) file from a Blu-ray DVD-R for disc copying.
This procedure has been tested and works with Roxio Toast 11 Pro (Titanium).
- Insert disc to be copied into the SuperDrive.
- Launch Toast Titanium.
- Select “Data” tab.
- From drop-down menu select “View Advanced Projects”.
- Select DVD-ROM (UDF) option.
- In next window ensure that DVD-ROM (UDF) shows in top LH corner.
- Open Finder, you should be able to see the disc icon for the disc to be imaged.
- Drag and drop the disc icon into the drop zone of Toast.
- Close the Finder.
- In the “Destinations” drop-down menu select “Disc Image”.
- Click on the Big Red Button marked “Save”.
- In the pop-up window select the location and filename you want to use for your disc image, leave the filename with a .toast extension. I include in the filename ***BDMaster.toast to distinguish these files from SD video disc images.
- When the file has been created eject your original master disc.
Your original disc has now been imaged and the .toast image file can be used to produce any number of copies.
I'm afraid I don't know why the approach didn't work, I just assumed it might have been something to do with the encoder settings I posted above. The disc tries to play in that the player comes up with a "reading" message but then doesn't actually complete the read process for some reason. My guess is that if I fiddled some more with the settings I could get it to work Ok but I probably don't really need to now that I know that my approach is fundamentaly sound.
I'm happy with the quality of the results I'm getting and now that I know that I'm not actually "losing out" on quality by doing it this way I'll probably stick with it. At least this way I do end up with my master disc which can act as an additional backup layer and I also end up with being able to get say 35 minutes onto the discs if I need to so there are no real capacity issues for most home projects. It also leaves me with the .toast file from which I generate as many copies as I want so all in all I think it serves my purposes Ok.
I am very grateful to you for the time you have spent guiding me with this, it's certainly been useful to see another perspective and I may yet tweak up the bit rates on the encoder settings I'm currently using to see if I can get any further quality improvements, particularly if the material is very short and disc space isn't an issue at all.