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scotttygett
12-05-2003, 11:23 AM
I didn't spot this one in the search engine, so I thought it couldn't hurt to ask it.

My crude way of downloading my movies until very recently has been to render image sequences, then make QT's in LightWave, then use Bink from smacker.com to compress the QT and add the sound, and then, out the nVidia card to the computer.

When a new card didn't work out, I wondered if there were some more palatable way to get sound and picture out of the machine, like to a CD?

I only recently started making compressed QT's, dialing the setting down from millions of colors to thousands. I couldn't help noticing there are A LOT of recording options in LightWave these days. MPEG? Really?

Will any of these play in a DVD player?

And the other part of the question: we can play sound through LightWave with a texture playing on a card; is there some way of attaching sound to an MPEG or QT etc file?

If there isn't anything native in LightWave, what's a good affordable choice? Will TMPEG's add sound and play in DVD players?

SplineGod
12-05-2003, 11:26 AM
What I do is render out an uncompressed avi and then run it thru tmpeg and then burn it using Nero as an SVCD.
Most DVD players will play VCDs, SVCD etc but make sure first.
I would also check out this site, its got a lot of great info about all this and links to free software to do most of this.
http://www.vcdhelp.com

zuzzabuzz
12-05-2003, 01:38 PM
For basic, cheap manipulation of Quicktime files (among others) I like Quicktime Pro. It's $30 or so to register, and adds a lot more options for adding sound tracks, etc.

Of course, it's very basic functionality but very useful if you like quicktime movies.

(and it won't get you closer to vcd though)

scotttygett
12-05-2003, 08:25 PM
Wow! Thanks!

Since Nero came with the computer, and it seems to like MPEG's, I guess I'll go in that direction. Any other tips? Render 720x486, etc? "Avi's," really? Ouch, but as long as I don't have to e-mail them...

TMPEG is a shareware called Tsunami MPEG available from Download.com probably, but it's also at vcdhelp.com.

SplineGod
12-05-2003, 08:28 PM
The various formats (VCD, SVCD etc) all have specific dimensions and bitrates. TMPEG has a list of them or on vcdhelp.com. I usually just use the templates that come with tmpeg

Para
12-05-2003, 09:26 PM
The program SplineGod is talking about is actually called "TMPGenc". Great piece of software :thumbsup:

Beamtracer
12-06-2003, 02:47 AM
Just a hint for anyone who may be thinking about buying a DVD player.

Some cheap home DVD players can't play any home-made disks. Check the list of formats that it can play before you buy it. See it in writing (the salesperson may tell you the wrong thing).

The most popular format for "home movie" DVDs is 'DVD-R', developed by Pioneer. If you buy a player, check it can play DVD-R.

A newcomer on the market is 'DVD+R'. Most home DVD decks can't play it, though some can. It has more advantages for file storage, as it can write multiple directories on the one disk.

Many DVD players can play video CDs (VCD) and the newer super video CD (sVCD). Both of these formats are very low quality, but are popular in Asia.

If this wasn't bad enough, there are another 4 DVD formats to be progressively released onto the market, including double-sided discs, and blue-laser disks.

SplineGod
12-06-2003, 02:56 AM
Thanks Para, thats the one! :)

Its true that VCD is a lower quality then DVD but the nice thing is that for animators its a cheap way to make a Master of their demo reel to dub onto VHS tapes :)

Also you can buy a portable CD/MP3/VCD Player for about 70 bucks. It makes it a very convenient way to show off a demo reel somewhere. :)

Beamtracer
12-06-2003, 11:59 AM
VHS is pretty bad quality, but I think VCD is even worse! Then again, it is cheap.

Some of the CD burning applications (such as those from Roxio) can encode and burn a VCD with the push of a button.

LittleFenris
12-06-2003, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by Wanker
VHS is pretty bad quality, but I think VCD is even worse! Then again, it is cheap.

Wanker, with comments like this you must work at a video production studio or something? I saw how bad VHS was once I discovered DVDs, but then I started using BETA SP tapes and DigiBeta tapes for work and even DVDs look bad compared to BETA tapes. And yeah, VCDs do look quite a bit worse than VHS...I've seen a couple. Luckily when I finish my short film, I'll be able to use the work MACs to make video DVD's of it, with menu's and all. :buttrock:

SplineGod
12-06-2003, 08:14 PM
VCD is only worse looking then VHS if it is highly compressed or if the source material was poor quality. I have created VCDs off of DVDs and the quality was excellent. No drop outs, no noise etc.
A typical movie on DVD will take up 2 VCDs if compressed at the highest quality. :)

Beamtracer
12-07-2003, 12:19 AM
At least VCD doesn't have the format wars that plague DVD.

The current burn-your-own DVD formats, DVD-R and DVD+R are both single layer formats. That means the laser etches the signal onto a single layer of plastic.

Soon there will be dual layer versions of both these formats. There will be two record surfaces stacked one on top of the other. The laser will access one or the other by adjusting the focal point. It will focus on either the upper or lower layer.

Today's DVD burners will not be able to record on dual layer discs. You'll have to upgrade.

Later will come the blue laser disks. Current formats use red lasers. A blue laser has a smaller wavelength. This allows it to read small pock marks on the disk, so they can pack more information on each disk.

The blue laser formats have already been finalized. There are two. One from Toshiba, and another from Philips/Sony called bluray. Both are incompatible with eachother.

Although the blue laser formats are already finalized, the consortiums have decided not to release them to the home market yet. They'll release dual layer machines first. Then wait a bit and stagger the release of the blue laser machines.

This will cause you to upgrade twice. Clever, isn't it!

Triple G
12-07-2003, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by Wanker
VHS is pretty bad quality, but I think VCD is even worse!

If I'm not mistaken, I think both VCD and VHS use the same resolution (320x240), so theoretically they should be able to achieve identical results.

SplineGod
12-07-2003, 02:26 AM
VCD and VHS are roughly identical. In the case of VCD if you increase the compress the worse it looks. A good VCD will always looks good. VHS tapes degrade over time even if you dont use them. You get dropouts, tearing and problems from tape stretch the more you run the tape. VCD doesnt suffer from this. And when you copy a VCD your copy is as good as the original.

scotttygett
12-07-2003, 04:27 AM
Thank you very much.

Just to recap:

We all record image sequences because they can be interrupted, etc.

We then take the image sequences and load them back into LightWave, and record "avi's" to put into TMPGEnc, a popular MPEG-1 and 2 encoder, free for 14 days for $48, I think, from pegasys-inc.com.

We have our audio in a separate file, which we don't want. TMPGEnc is supposed to be able to let us combine, as Bink does.

I was startled to learn that Nero actually has a built-in audio editor. It looks pretty robust. NERO 5 Burning Rom, which came with the computer/CD-RW will then let me author my MPEG-2's as SVCD's that will play in some DVD players.

[Edit: what follows is about to be corrected by Splinegod as wrong]
And just to clarify -- those who are referring to "vcd" are referring to the teeny tiny format MPEG-4 that LightWave looks like it can encode through QuickTime, though I'm not sure yet. Nero apparently has no problem with MPEG-4, but when I tried it with Inspire, it wasn't much to look at.

SplineGod
12-07-2003, 05:04 AM
VCD is mpeg1 and DVD is mpeg2

scotttygett
12-07-2003, 12:29 PM
Oay, let me get this right,...

DVD uses MPEG-2 but in a 720x480 template.

Super-VCD SVCD also uses MPEG-2, but with a squeezed 480x480 aspect.

Plain VCD uses the somewhat wimpy 352x240.

TMPEG was one of the most straightforward downloads I've used in a while. Pretty great.

So far, trying to get Nero to author the resulting MPEG-2 has lead to a message saying that I would need a Nero MPEG-2 product, some success, and an MPEG-2 that played at 5fps (?!)

VCD was no problem.

Staying away from LightWave''s D1 and D2 defaults, the TMPEG fancy options like DVD, but going ahead with MPEG-2 encoding using a 640x480 VGA image and recording "on one's" (or repeating frames in LightWave) seems the safest route, though my sample scene was sticking a lot when I played it.

Comparing the two, my brain wouldn't let me enjoy anything that might have less resolution. It doesn't even want to go there. I will make VCD's of as much as I can because of their being universal though.

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