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Please read this: iDVD and DVD Studio Pro provide the tools you need to easily create a simple, single-menu DVD or an elaborate title including multiple menus, multiple movies, scene selections, and slideshows.

You can also use the Share feature to quickly create and burn DVDs and Blu-ray discs, and to create and deliver output media files in a variety of other formats. For more information about the Share feature, see Using Share.

Note: You can also archive your projects and media files on a DVD-ROM disc. For that purpose, you do not need a DVD authoring application. For more information, see Backing Up and Restoring Projects.

There are four phases to creating a DVD.

Stage 1: Creating and Editing Your Source Material In addition to the main movie created in Final Cut Pro, you can create still graphics or short movies for use as menu backgrounds. All edits, special effects, audio fades and mixes, and scene transitions must be created in Final Cut Pro before exporting them for use in the DVD authoring application.

Stage 2: Encoding Your Video and Audio to DVD-Video Compliant Formats Video DVDs require that all video and audio conform to DVD MPEG-2 specifications. Both iDVD and DVD Studio Pro automatically convert any media files that are not compliant. This means that you can export a standard QuickTime movie from Final Cut Pro and import it into your DVD authoring application, and all encoding and conversions are handled for you automatically.

DVD Studio Pro accepts video and audio encoded by other applications, such as Compressor. Using an application like Compressor allows you to precisely control compression quality while maximizing use of disc space on your DVD.

Stage 3: Authoring Your DVD Title This is the phase when you create DVD menus, tracks, and slideshows using your DVD-compliant media assets. Both iDVD and DVD Studio Pro include templates and tools to create professional-looking DVDs with minimal effort.

Stage 4: Building and Burning Your DVD Once you have authored your DVD, you build (or compile) the files and then burn them to a DVD disc. Both iDVD and DVD Studio Pro make this a one-button process.

For detailed information on preparing video and audio sources and planning your DVD, see the documentation that came with DVD Studio Pro or iDVD.

Video for Standard DVDs All standard DVD video must be MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 encoded, using DVD-compliant frame dimensions, frame rates, and bit rates. Larger frame dimensions and higher bit rates result in better video, but at the cost of larger files.

When preparing video and audio for use on DVD, always use the highest quality settings available. Any flaws in your media can be exacerbated by MPEG compression on DVD. If you use high-quality source materials, you’ll get high-quality results.

Here are some guidelines to help you maintain high quality:

Capture and edit your video at the frame dimensions that you will use on the DVD (typically 720 x 480 at 29.97 fps for NTSC or 720 x 576 at 25 fps for PAL). DVDs also support anamorphic 16:9 video. For more information, see Working with Anamorphic 16:9 Media.

When saving video material to a QuickTime movie file, you should use the native codec of your source material. If you are creating footage from scratch, specify no compression (which requires a lot of disk space) or use a high-quality compression codec such as Apple ProRes 422. This provides the MPEG encoder (including those internally used by iDVD and DVD Studio Pro and external encoders such as Compressor) the best-quality video to start with. Recompressing already highly compressed video results in a noticeable increase in visible compression artifacts.

Add compression and chapter markers in Final Cut Pro to help control the encoding quality and make creating chapter selection menus easier. MPEG encoders, such as Compressor, can use these markers to customize the MPEG encoding process, directing the encoder to concentrate on those areas of the video that are the hardest to encode. See About MPEG-2 Video Compression and Adding Chapter and Compression Markers to Your Sequence for more information.

Video for High Definition DVDs DVD Studio Pro includes the ability to author DVDs using high definition (HD) video content. These DVDs support MPEG-2, HDV (an MPEG-2-based codec), and H.264 (when encoded using Compressor). Both standard and HD image dimensions and frame rates are supported.

Dimensions Frame rate Scanning method Description 720 x 480 720 x 480 Anamorphic 16:9 29.97 fps Interlaced NTSC 720 x 576 720 x 576 Anamorphic 16:9 25 fps Interlaced PAL 1280 x 720 23.98 fps, 29.97 fps, 59.94 fps, and 50 fps Progressive NTSC-compatible PAL-compatible 1440 x 1080 29.97 fps, 25 fps Interlaced NTSC-compatible PAL-compatible 1920 x 1080 29.97 fps, 25 fps Interlaced NTSC-compatible PAL-compatible Note: MPEG-1 video is not supported on HD DVDs.

See the DVD Studio Pro documentation for details about HD DVD burning and playback requirements.

HD DVD Editing Formats There are three common HD formats used when editing HD projects in Final Cut Pro: DVCPRO HD, uncompressed HD, and HDV. The format you use affects how you deliver your completed footage to DVD Studio Pro.

Starting with DVCPRO HD or Uncompressed Sources Because the DVCPRO HD format and uncompressed HD video result in large file sizes, files in these formats must be further compressed before you store them on a DVD. DVD Studio Pro supports two formats for use in HD projects: HD MPEG-2 and H.264.

The HD MPEG-2 format has the same basic structure as the MPEG-2 format used with standard definition-based (SD-based) DVDs; the difference is that it uses a higher bit rate range and supports the HD video format image dimensions.

The H.264 format, also known as AVC or MPEG-4 part 10, uses an encoding process that is twice as efficient as the MPEG-2 encoding process. When compared to MPEG-2 encoding, this means that with the H.264 encoder:

You can use a lower bit rate to get the same quality, resulting in smaller files

You can use the same bit rate and get better quality with the same file size

You can either export your DVCPRO HD-based project from Final Cut Pro using Compressor (as described in Using Compressor with Final Cut Pro) or export a QuickTime movie of the project and import it directly into DVD Studio Pro.

As with SD Final Cut Pro projects, the advantage of going through Compressor is that you have more control over the encoding process. You can choose whether to create HD MPEG-2 or H.264 files, and you can even use distributed encoding to reduce the amount of time the encoding process takes. For more information, see the Distributed Processing Setup Guide, available in Compressor Help or Apple Qmaster Help.

If you choose to import your DVCPRO HD-based QuickTime movie directly into DVD Studio Pro, the integrated MPEG encoder automatically encodes the video using the HD MPEG-2 format.

Starting with HDV Sources The HDV format is based on a configuration of the MPEG-2 format that is supported by DVD Studio Pro. This means that if you acquire and edit your video in the HDV format, the video does not require transcoding before being used in an HD project. This not only saves time, it also reduces the chances of artifacts being introduced into the video during transcoding.

Important: Not all HDV formats are supported by the HD DVD specification. Some formats, although not supported, are able to have frame doubling flags set so that they can play correctly without having to be reencoded, whereas others must be reencoded. Specifically, if you import HDV files using the 720p24 or 720p30 format into an NTSC HD project, they will be set to play at 59.94 fps using frame doubling. If you import a 720p25 format into a PAL HD project, it will play at 50 fps using frame doubling. If you import 1080p24 or 1080p25 formats, they will be transcoded by DVD Studio Pro into supported formats.

The ability of Final Cut Pro to natively edit HDV sources makes this workflow an attractive way to create DVD projects using HD assets.

About MPEG-2 Video Compression MPEG-2 is an internationally accepted compression standard developed by the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG). MPEG-2 allows you to create broadcast-quality video files and was designed to support high-resolution, high-bit-rate video. It is the video compression format used for home satellite dish systems and high-quality video titles on DVD. All DVD players contain the hardware required for MPEG-2 playback. For more information see About MPEG Compression.

Audio for DVD In DVD Studio Pro, each DVD track can have up to eight audio streams. Each audio stream is independent of the others—only one can play at a time. Each stream can have from one to seven channels (as with 6.1–channel surround sound). Having multiple audio streams allows you to include alternative language versions of the program, as well as special features such as a spoken commentary.

Important: Do not confuse the way audio tracks in a Final Cut Pro sequence work with the way audio streams in a DVD Studio Pro track work. A DVD player cannot mix multiple streams together. If you want to have music playing underneath the dialogue, you must mix the two in the audio exported from Final Cut Pro so that one audio stream contains both the music and the dialogue.

Video DVDs support several audio formats:

AIFF (uncompressed): Provides the highest-quality mono or stereo audio but requires the most disc space. May cause problems with DVD tracks that contain multiple audio streams. QuickTime, Compressor, iDVD, and DVD Studio Pro all are able to create suitable uncompressed AIFF audio streams. Dolby Digital AC-3: Provides high-quality compressed audio. Supports from one to six channels (5.1-channel surround sound), including standard stereo. Compressor includes an AC-3 encoder. DTS: Provides high-quality compressed audio. Generally used only for surround sound audio streams. Requires a third-party encoder and decoder. MPEG-1 Layer 2: Provides good-quality compressed audio. Generally used only for mono or stereo audio streams. Compressor includes an MPEG-1 Layer 2 encoder. When recording and editing audio, use a 48 kilohertz (kHz) sample rate and no compression. This ensures the best quality whether you use the uncompressed audio on the DVD or decide to use a supported compressed audio format.

Important: When you create DVDs, your audio must have either a 48 kHz or 96 kHz sample rate. If you use the 44.1 kHz sample rate found on standard audio CDs, DVD Studio Pro and iDVD will convert your audio to the correct sample rate. Additionally, DVDs do not support MP3-encoded audio. DVD Studio Pro and iDVD will convert any MP3 audio to DVD-compliant uncompressed audio.

About Surround Sound Audio Surround sound audio usually consists of six independent audio channels: front left, front right, front center, rear left, rear right, and low-frequency effects (LFE, also known as the subwoofer).

Mixing audio for use as surround sound is best left to specialized audio facilities that have the required equipment and experience. Nothing can ruin a movie quite like badly done surround sound audio. If you are using an audio post-production facility for your final audio mix, you can use the Export Audio to OMF command to export all of the audio from your edited sequence. For more information, see Exporting Audio for Mixing in Other Applications.

If you decide to mix your own surround sound audio, you can export suitable audio files from Final Cut Pro that an AC-3 encoder can use to create a surround sound audio stream. One method is to export four audio files: one for the front right and left, one for the center (usually dialogue), one for the rear right and left, and one for the LFE (usually a mix of all of the audio channels, with the AC-3 encoder filtering out the high frequencies to include only the low frequencies).

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