DVD compression and chapter markers from Final Cut Pro

Posted on 11 January 2012

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I had to manually make a chapter list for my DVD track and imported it into DVD studio:

01:02:12:12 De verleiding

It works great, but I think it could get easier. So I looked into placing and exporting markers from Final Cut Studio Pro.

Using markers

You can add markers in FCP by pressing M when at the right position. You can browse through your markers by control-clicking on the timeline ruler or ‘current TC’ field, or using shift-arrow up/down. You can edit or delete these markers by pressing M again, for instane if you want them to be chapter markers for DVD.

Types of markers

FCP lets you insert different types of markers in your sequence:

  • Default is a FCP only marker. Pressing M again lets you select one of the other types:
  • Chapter markers. For Quicktime or DVD chapters.
  • Scoring Markers. For Soundtrack Pro.
  • Manual Compression markers. More about this later.

FCP lets you export the Chapter, Scoring and Compression markers, and more:

  • ‘All markers’ means all sorts of markers are including, one marker track for each type. Please be aware that compressor cannot read these markers for DVD! If you need that, please select the “DVD Studio Pro’ markers;
  • ‘DVD Studio Pro’ markers includes chapter and compression markers in such a way that compressor can read them and include them in the m2v file for DVD studio;
  • Automatic Compression markers are included when selecting ‘compression markers’, ‘ALL’ or ‘DVD Studio Pro markers’. More about this later.

Compression markers

There are three kind of markers to indicate where to put I-frames when compressing your video to mpeg or other long GOP formats:

  • Chapter markers. I-frames are automatically added on each chapter marker, because DVD chapters can only be placed at I-frame locations. You need to keep 1 second distance from the start/end of your sequence as well as other chapter markers.
  • Automatic compression markers. These are also known as edit/cut markers and are added automatically by FCP on each edit/cut.
  • Manual compression markers. You can add these manually by editing your marker. Because of the edit/cut markers you will only need to place manual compression markers at big visual changes within shots, like a pan from a dark forest to a bright beach.

The automatic compression markers are ingnored by DVD studio Pro, so this is one more reason to use compressor for DVD conversion.

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Posted in: DVD & Blu-ray