From Vegas Platinum to 24p DVDs

Many HD cameras shoot 24p these days, and while some consumer-grade video editors can deal with 24p, there aren’t many cheap DVD authoring applications that support 24p. For example, ‘Sony Vegas Platinum 8’ unofficially supports 24p timelines, but its accompanied ‘DVD Architect Studio’ application doesn’t. If you are shooting in 24p, it’s better to edit and burn a real 24p DVD and let the TV add pulldown during playback, rather than adding pulldown during the DVD authoring process. Besides, there are some new playback devices in the market these days that can output true 24p to 24p Sony TVs, without adding pulldown, so these cases while rare, can benefit from pure 24p DVDs. Here’s how to go around DVD authoring limitations and produce a 24p NTSC DVD:

1. Download and install the latest “nightly by clsid” ffdshow build.

2. Capture your footage the way you usually do. If your camera does not capture as true progressive in the 23.976 frame rate, but instead it uses something like Canon’s PF24 or some of Sony variants, you must remove pulldown (methods for the HV20 here, or for Canon’s AVCHD line here).

3. Then, bring your footage into your video editor, just make sure your editor does support true 24p editing (e.g. VMS Platinum). In the “File”/”Project Properties” select 1440×1080 size, frame rate of 23.976 (type it if there’s no such option), progressive field order, aspect ratio of 1.3333, rendering quality “best” and “none” for de-interlacing method. Then, edit as usual.

4. When your editing is done, you export in an intermediate format. Click “File”, “Render As”, select the “avi” type and its “HDV 720-25p intermediate” template. Then, click “custom”. In the “video” tab of the dialog that pops up select “23.976 (IVTC Film)” for frame rate, and then from the video format menu select the “ffdshow video codec”. Click “configure”. From the newly created dialog select the “encoder” tab, and from the encoder menu select “Lossless JPEG” and “YV12” for its Colorspace. Click “Ok” to close that dialog. Click “Ok” to close the other dialog too. Then, hit “Save” to start encoding the .avi file.

5. Install the latest “DVD Flick” version (as I write this, the latest beta version can be found here) and then load the application (regularly check for new versions of this app). Click “Project Settings” and go to its “Video” tab. There, select “NTSC-film” as target format. From the “Burning” tab you can instruct the application to burn a disc at the end of your authoring, or just create the DVD/.iso files without burning. Then, load your LJpeg .avi file(s) you exported from your video editor into DVD Flick. Read the DVD Flick manual to learn how to author DVDs with this application. It is a simple application to use, but it doesn’t have enough templates and beautifications. Save often too, as the application is not super-stable either, but it’s the best we got to do this job for free. After you are done authoring, you can click the “Create DVD” icon to burn or just create an .iso file. Enjoy!

Some notes on this method:

* I don’t use 1440×1080 to export via the video editor on step #4 because the kinds of .avi files that VMS produces are not recognized as widescreen by other applications. This results in DVD Flick having vertical letterbox bars, and that’s not what we want. Besides, downscaling first to 720p and then to 480p is not very lossy to make you worry about it.

* If your 24p camera is a DV one instead of HD, export in 874×480 (progressive, 23.976 frame rate, aspect ratio 1.000), instead of the suggested 720p resolution on step #4 (use the same codec as suggested though). If your camera is the DVX-100 export in 848×480.

* I am using LJpeg instead of the Huffyuv codec in this tutorial because the mode of Huffyuv that produces smaller files uses a colorspace that DVD Flick does not support. As for the Lagarith lossless codec, or Cineform, they are not supported by DVD Flick either, so your best bet is LJpeg (the FFv1 ffdshow codec could be a workable idea, but it’s slower to encode that LJpeg).


jeff wrote on January 7th, 2008 at 7:56 AM PST:

I can’t even tell the different when I switch between progressive on and off on my DVD player, I think its all a bunch of BS.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on January 7th, 2008 at 12:04 PM PST:

It’s not BS. If your TV is good at de-interlacing, you might not see much difference, but for most TVs, a progressive DVD makes a difference. Besides, this post is about 24p in some very rare devices, not general de-interlacing in particular.

Crystal wrote on January 8th, 2008 at 3:29 PM PST:

HELP!!!!!! Downloaded Sony Vegas Movie Studio 8.0 and the transitions don’t work it says something about no plugins found??? What is that? HELP!!!!

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on January 8th, 2008 at 5:52 PM PST:

Crystal, you are off topic, and off topic comments piss me off. If you have a problem with Vegas, post to the SonyCreativeSoftware forums.

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