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Custom-encoding DVDs

From: Compressor 4 Essential Training

Video: Custom-encoding DVDs

It's very common to use Compressor to build the necessary elements to make a DVD. While Compressor can do some very basic DVDs, I want to examine a little bit about how to tweak the settings for handing off to DVD Authoring software, be it the older and dead DVD Studio Pro or products like Adobe's Encore, for actually building these assets. To do this, we're going to start with a movie again. You can use your own for this. I'm going to drag and drop into Compressor. I'm going to just take a quick look at what the actual settings are.

Custom-encoding DVDs

It's very common to use Compressor to build the necessary elements to make a DVD. While Compressor can do some very basic DVDs, I want to examine a little bit about how to tweak the settings for handing off to DVD Authoring software, be it the older and dead DVD Studio Pro or products like Adobe's Encore, for actually building these assets. To do this, we're going to start with a movie again. You can use your own for this. I'm going to drag and drop into Compressor. I'm going to just take a quick look at what the actual settings are.

I'm going to roll open Apple. I'm going to roll open the Disc Burning settings. You can see there is three settings here: one for Blu-ray, one for DVD, and a separate one for audio. A big piece of the picture here is that audio and video elements are separate on a DVD until the final encode, the final authoring, is done, just for the reason that you might have multiple languages encoded. So one video may need to be shown against different languages, so each language is encoded separately, even when there is only one language.

So there is going to be my audio, which is known as an AC3 file, and for our DVD we're going to go ahead and drag this up. This is going to be our video file. There will be two separate pieces. There is a kind of a gotcha here, and the gotcha is this. I'm going to select this. I want you to see the Inspector is lit up. I'm going to go to the Encoding Tab. The Encoding Tab is set to automatically adjust this based on the size of the output. Now, the size of the output is fixed to the size of a DVD. We're going to see those adjustments under Quality.

We'll see this Bit Rate at 7.7 megabits per second, and allow 67 minutes of video on a DVD-5, a standard DVD that you would buy. The problem we have is is that you may have multiple elements going on your DVD. You might have this movie, but you might have ten other that you're going to do in other authoring software. The problem is that this is set by default the best-quality movie, but this may build movies that are too large for your DVD. They call this, by the way, a bit budget, knowing how much footage you're going to put on a single DVD.

Now as long as I'm going to have a total of 67 minutes or less on this DVD, the setting is fine, but maybe I'm going to put upwards of two hours. I'm going to put this video as well as a number of others. I need to fix this so it's not set at such a high setting. I'm going to go ahead and turn off the gear, and I'm going to reduce this until at the bottom it says 120 minutes. So right about 3.6 megabits per second, I can compress this and I can fit other elements for a total of 120 minutes on a standard one-sided DVD-5.

As soon as we get under the number of about 4 megabits per second, and even under the number of about 5, we do running the risk of quality. This Maximum Bit Rate is a little high. Generally speaking, this is the variance. This is the idea that this is the number it's going to encode, but it can pop up as high as 9. That's a little high. I would tell you to take that down around 7. And the other major adjustment I want you to make--and this is going to mean a longer encode--instead of it being one pass where the bit rate can vary, a variable bit rate, I'd like you to go two pass.

I want you to spend a full time in analyzing it and then a full time compressing it. This is so useful as a setting I'm going to save this for later. I'm going to hit Save As, and I'm going to call this DVD 120 2pVBR Best, and let's put in the data rate that average bit rate up here, 3.6 megabits per second, just so we know exactly what it is for later. I'm going to hit Save. You will notice it at the bottom of my Custom Settings, as well as the Custom Settings I've built earlier in this title.

So you'll see there is that setting that exact setting I'm going to need. I'm actually going to delete the one that's already there, and I'm just going to drag this one up, because whatever settings right now we put on a file when we go to compress it, it will append that as part of the name. You'll notice the end of the name of this includes that information. I'm going to press the button that say's Submit, and it's going to compress these two items. Remember, as it's compressing them, there are two separate elements, because for DVD authoring software we may have more than one audio track.

Now that these are done, I can go ahead and take a look at the two files it built. It built my 3-megabit file, right here. It's only 13 megabytes, compared to the original 500. We have to remember not to forget the audio that went with it. These are the two elements that you'll hand off to your DVD authoring software, if you're doing it or other person handling your DVDs, to sit back and actually author and finalize the DVD itself.

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Compressor 4 Essential Training

32 video lessons · 8748 viewers

Jeff I. Greenberg
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