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General Category => General Anim8or Forum => Topic started by: flametiger74 on May 18, 2008, 02:08:55 am

Title: So what is "DVD" quality anways.
Post by: flametiger74 on May 18, 2008, 02:08:55 am

1. I'm working on a big project now, and I need to know: If I want a DVD  qualty movie what are the specifications in which I have to render it in.
I searched online, and found that DVD quality is less that 1000 pixels wide. How is that possible? ???
2. And of course what codec should I use for rendering?
3. Does the codec you use speed up or slow down your render time?

Title: Re: So what is "DVD" quality anways.
Post by: ENSONIQ5 on May 18, 2008, 03:31:48 am
Standard PAL 4:3 format DVD (NTSC may be different) is 720 x 576 pixels, 25 frames per second.  I'm not sure about widescreen 16:9 format, but I think it is the same, using rectangular pixels.  Only relatively new televisions (LCD and plasma, for the most part) have a greater pixel count than this, hence the need for BlueRay and other high def formats.

I generally render without any compression, and don't apply compression until burning the actual disc.  That way, the quality is kept as high as possible.
Title: Re: So what is "DVD" quality anways.
Post by: flametiger74 on May 18, 2008, 04:06:09 am
I'm wondering though how is it that 720 x 576 is the rate if that sounds like low quality.
I always thought high quality would be like 1024 x 768. or something like that. Higher than 720x576.
Now what if I would want to not burn it to a DVD, but keep it on my computer. I've tried watching uncompressed renders, and they are always slow and about 100-500 megabytes depending on the video length.
How could I get them to play normally, but not lose quality.
Title: Re: So what is "DVD" quality anways.
Post by: ENSONIQ5 on May 18, 2008, 05:01:14 am
Well, you won't, basically.  AVI's pretty much have to be compressed to play normally on most computers, in my experience.  Certainly an uncompressed AVI file is massive, because it is essentially a series of complete still frames, and only very powerful machines can load and display 25 of these 720x576 px images a second.  I personally need the uncompressed AVI's because I process them frame by frame in Corel, and I want the image integriity to be as high as possible.  When it comes time to edit the renders down to either an AVI suitable for uploading to YouTube, or burning to a DVD, I generally choose a Cinepak codec, which I find to be reasonably good.  I have also used Indeo codecs, with varying success, but I lost the one I found most useful and have not been able to find a free downloadable copy anywhere.

As low as it sounds, standard DVD is only 720x576.  It is still an improvement on VHS, and the pixel count was selected because at the time no television could display more pixels than that.  It also allowed an entire movie, plus trailers and extras, to fit on the DVD disc.
Title: Re: So what is "DVD" quality anways.
Post by: flametiger74 on May 18, 2008, 06:24:58 pm
Wow that's really surprising. So high quality isn't really that "high quality" that I thought it would be.
Title: Re: So what is "DVD" quality anways.
Post by: thecolclough on May 19, 2008, 09:12:07 am
ensoniq is right about PAL frame rate and resolution, and also what he said about using rectangular pixels for widescreen videos.  anim8or can't render rectangular pixels, as far as i'm aware, but there is a workaround: if you want to render DVD-quality widescreen images in anim8or, you should use 1024x576, and then when you import that into a video editing program, the rectangular-pixel issue should be sorted out for you automatically, and the final output will be 720x576 anamorphic, which is what you want.

NTSC is even lower resolution than PAL, i think it's 720x480 or thereabouts (although i'm not completely sure, as i'm a brit, so i pay more attention to the european standard than the american one ;D )

as a little side note on tech history, DVD actually uses the same pixel resolution as VHS, but the difference is that DVD is a digital format rather than an analogue one, so you get cleaner pictures, even though they aren't any higher resolution.  the new HD formats do have an increased pixel count (1280x720 for the 720p standard, and 1920x1080 for the 1080i and 1080p ones), which is why they look so much better than DVD.  as ensoniq mentioned, that's why Blu-Ray was invented - you just can't fit that much data onto a standard DVD.

like ensoniq, i always render uncompressed for major projects - yes, it slows things down a bit, but you do get much better images afterwards.  downconversion to MPEG-2 (well, i say 'down', but it's actually not that bad a format) or to 320x240 MPEG-4 for youtube, is always the last stage in the process for me, not something that happens in the anim8or renderer.  if you plan to burn onto a DVD for playback in a normal DVD player, then you want to use the MPEG-2 codec for your final output, as that is what the DVD standard is built on.  it looks pretty good on a computer screen too, so you can also use it for non-burnt-to-DVD viewing.  it's not the most compressed format in the world, but you can get over 25 minutes into a GB of MPEG-2, as opposed to much less than one minute of uncompressed widescreen render.

well, hope that helps.  or at least, hope it was interesting ;)

- colclough

ps... you might have noticed already, but i've spent far too long absorbing all this nerdy trivia about DVD standards and stuff... :P
Title: Re: So what is "DVD" quality anways.
Post by: flametiger74 on May 19, 2008, 10:58:40 am
Whoah. That's a lot to absorb. If I just burn uncompressed video onto a DVD with something like Windows DVD maker, will that automatically make it so it can run on a DVD player.
I'm going to try to get a couple blank DVD's and test them out a little. Luckily I have a DVD burner on my computer. :)
Thanks for the explanation.
Title: Re: So what is "DVD" quality anways.
Post by: thecolclough on May 20, 2008, 08:03:44 am
yes, most dvd software should be able to convert the video to MPEG-2 for you, but i prefer to do the conversion as a separate stage before importing the video to the dvd authoring app, as it then means i have a nice, fairly compact version that i can watch on the computer, as well as it being better optimised for dvd production.  if your dvd app can't convert, then it should only let you import things that are already in MPEG-2.

- colclough
Title: Re: So what is "DVD" quality anways.
Post by: flametiger74 on May 22, 2008, 11:02:52 am
I just burned a bunch of movies and pictures onto a DVD today, using windows DVD maker. I was AMAZED!!!!!! The quality was awesome, and the uncompressed videos played like they were compressed with no lost quality. Even the low quality videos looked high quality. :)
Just one thing. So I have to get sounds into my video before I burn it to a DVD, and if I use Windows Movie Maker, the movie will lose quality.
If I do it with VirtualDub, will it not lose quality, and add sounds?