10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 9, 2009 6:36 AM by Jim_Simon

    Best format for HD export?

    CNF-Productions

      I'm putting the finishing touches on an EPK for an upcoming indie film, working on CS4. The bulk of the featurette was shot on P2 cards in 720p, but it also includes tons of still images, some SD footage shot on Mini DV and clips from the 1080p finished film downconverted to 720p. The next step is going to be exporting it into a file for archiving, a file which the transfer house can dub to an HDCAM tape.

       

      Thing is, I've never worked in hi-def before, this project marks my conversion from working exclusively in SD. And I'm having trouble figuring out how best I should go about exporting to a file. Obviously I know how to use CS4 Media Encoder, but I don't know what file format I should export in and what codec I should use for best results.

       

      The most important thing here is quality. Hard drive space (or lack thereof) is not an issue, as we have an enormous, brand new hard drive to copy the final render on to. We would rather have an enormous file with the best quality than have to use some sort of lossy codec. Any ideas?

        • 1. Re: Best format for HD export?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Uncompressed or Lagarith.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Best format for HD export?
            CNF-Productions Level 1

            Okay, next question...

             

            I'm going to have to go with an uncompressed Quicktime file, since I need a 5.1 mix and I can't export with Lagarith to anything but AVI in Stereo.

             

            I exported by selecting quality at 100 percent and "None" for my codec. Actually, I'll list all the settings I used below:

             

            Format: Quicktime

            Preset: Custom

            Video Codec: None

            Quality: 100

            Width: 1280

            Height: 720

            Frame Rate: 23.976

            Field Type: Progressive

            Render at Maximum Depth - Checked

            Aspect: Square Pixels (1.0)

            Codec Settings: 32 bit

            Optimize Stills - Not checked

             

            I had to try a couple of different times with different options, but these are the settings that worked best for me. I rendered the first 45 seconds of the EPK and it produced an enormous 3.2 gigabyte file that appeared to be full quality.

             

            Are these settings good to go with, or is there anything that I can do better? Different options? I'm particularly concerned about outputting the file in full 720p and 16x9, I had to mess around with the Aspect and manually set the height and width to 1280x720 before it looked right. Should I do things any other way?

            • 3. Re: Best format for HD export?
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              All settings look good. I would use the same. Can you export with 5.1 sound using the Surcode plug-in?

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Best format for HD export?
                CNF-Productions Level 1

                Hmmmmm don't think I have the Surcode plug-in, let me investigate and I'll report back.

                • 5. Re: Best format for HD export?
                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                  I can't export with Lagarith to anything but AVI in Stereo.

                   

                  I believe Stereo is all you can do with Premiere native, regardless of format. For a 5.1 mix, you'd need the SureCode plug-in, or you'd need to export out all your .wav tracks separately and bring them into another program which can make a proper 5.1 .wav mix, which you'd then Interleave with a video only Lags file.

                  • 6. Re: Best format for HD export?
                    CNF-Productions Level 1

                    Getting ready to export the finished file, hopefully tonight. But here's my question/issue about the audio with regards to Surecode to clarify things.

                     

                    I don't actually need a 5.1 mix for this EPK. I didn't do a real 5.1 mix per se, and the people who watch this at home when the DVD comes out are not going to be watching it in 5.1, they're going to be watching it in stereo. However, the distributor, when they sent us the specs on the deliverables, instructed that the HDCAM tape for the EPK should be broken up into four channels. Left and right front would dialogue and main program audio, left rear would be sound effects/background and rear right would be music.

                     

                    In order to get that channel separation I needed to create a timeline in Premiere that was set to 5.1 audio, and then use source channel mappings to map the channels the right way, then export as a Quicktime that was set to 5.1 audio. I tried exporting a few minutes of this and it seemed like it worked.

                     

                    Are you saying though that this will be a no-go without Surecode?

                    • 7. Re: Best format for HD export?
                      shooternz Level 6

                      The other way to do your Video  Export :  Setting 960x720 with an anamorphic PAR (1.333)

                       

                      This is native to HDVCPRO  720p.   Frame size ends up same.

                       

                      Never tested both side by side for quality or encode speed but it maybe quicker due to less processing of the PAR.

                      • 8. Re: Best format for HD export?
                        Jim_Simon Level 8

                        SureCode will create a single Dolby Digital file with 5.1 audio.  I'm not aware of any way to get discrete multi-channels out to tape through Premiere alone.  Perhaps one of the add-in cards from BlackMagic or AJA would allow this functionality...

                        • 9. Re: Best format for HD export?
                          CNF-Productions Level 1

                          Okay, so let me get this straight - even if I create a Quicktime file with a 5.1 timeline, even if I use source channel mappings to separate the channels the way the distributor wants them, the post house still won't be able to use that file to create a tape with the proper channel separation?

                          • 10. Re: Best format for HD export?
                            Jim_Simon Level 8

                            Well, actually  now that I think about it, if you can monitor the 5.1 sound during editing, you should be able to hook up to a deck in some way.  Just connect the four used channels, ignoring the rest.