DVD followup – assistant work gets the short shrift

Every time I do something that my assistants normally handle, I’m amazed by what these smart, determined people are forced to put up with. Most of the assistant editors I know have long ago given up on contacting Avid with their needs, and it shows.

Case in point: making a DVD. These are the steps in Xpress. (Times are for a 105 minute show.)

  1. Add a 1.85 matte over the top of the entire sequence. Render that entire track (one hour). (If you don’t render all effects Xpress will hang during the export and you’ll have to force quit.)
  2. Export to Quicktime using the Avid Codec (one hour).
  3. Copy to a removeable hard drive so you can do the next step on another machine (20 minutes).
  4. Encode and burn to disk on another machine. I do this with Toast, which converts to NTSC, encodes and burns the disk (about 5 hours).

This actually represents an improvement in that some of the menu choices have been simplified — but it takes all day! And because there are so many steps, you have to babysit the whole process.

I want to hit one button to burn my sequence to a DVD. And I want to be able to continue to do useful work while this is taking place.

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3 Comments on “DVD followup – assistant work gets the short shrift”

  1. twistedtrees Says:

    Where I work, we have 2 processes to make DVD’s. One is the quick and dirty way. We bought a sub-$100, commercial DVD recorder for recording off-air broadcasts. We ran a signal to that, and if we only need a DVD to be popped in and play, then we just play off the Avid, and “crash in” to the DVD recorder. If we have a bunch of copies, we put those in our 7-stack duplicator.

    If we want to get all polished & professional, we just dub it to beta, and then encode and author it with our Sonic Scenarist set-up.

    Obviously the former is cheaper & quicker (the Scenarist can be expensive and you need someone to know the authoring process, which is a PAIN). But if you want actual menu’s and chapters, you have to do the authoring part.

    I have no experience with Apple’s DVD Studio, but would like to know what it’s capabilities are, if anybody has experience.

  2. Drew Says:

    …and you haven’t even mentioned quality degradation from these re-encodes. Encoding your feature uncompressed, even with YUV subsampling, will take 64GB and more than 20 minutes to copy.
    Have you tried using QT Reference? I’ve had success with it on short projects.

  3. Steve Says:

    QT Reference works (and is much faster) as long as you’re planning to burn the DVD on a machine that has access to your media. I talk about it in the next post, “DVDs from Xpress Pro.”


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