Monday, January 18, 2010

Mind the Gap: dealing with gaps in timelines when authoring 24p DVD's in Adobe Encore

I've been authoring DVD's of our film using Adobe Encore CS4.  The original footage is glorious 4K 23.976 fps shot on RED at 1:2.35 aspect ratio, so needless to say, the 29.97fps footage I'm outputting for DVD is a little lackluster.  I'd like to at least get rid of the "video" feel by exporting the footage at it's native 23.976 (instead of the 29.97 required by DVD's).  However, when I do this I get errors in Encore ("The gap before the video clip at __;__;__;__ must have a duration of either zero, or at least 0.4 seconds").

The project is broken up into five "reels."  I assume if there was just one video stream (all five reels exported from one timeline), this issue wouldn't even come up, as the issue arises in Encore on the movie timeline between these clips.  But I'd really like to find a solution that allows me to keep these "reels" separate.

I've been researching the issue for the past day or so, and there is a lot of discussion about pull down, field order, flags, and a bunch of other stuff that I don't necessarily want to become an "expert" in.

I realize there is a standard for DVD's that requires all NTSC footage to conform to a 29.97 frame rate.  I also realize that "pulldown" (or "pullup," depending which way you're going) refers to making 24 frame footage conform to a 30 frame format by adding/removing frames.

Almost every source states that it's best to output your footage for DVD from Adobe Premiere (rather than let Adobe Encore transcode it).  Encore will then take your 23.976 footage and use it on the 29.97 DVD supposedly without issue.  However, there is some tweaking that needs to be done in the export, as the Adobe Media presets used by Premiere do not work "without issue" when authoring the DVD (see the "mind the gap" error message).

If anybody stumbles across this post and has some helpful information, please post in the comments!  I will do my best to keep this post updated via reader comments and whatever I find in my searches on the web.



captain lizardo said...

Damn, that's technical. Good luck with that. Once you get it sorted out (you will), I'm looking forward to seeing the movie!

The Invisible said...

Submitted to the Athens Film Festival, so hopefully you'll get to see it close to home!

Linda Nelson said...

I just ignore the gap error. It doesn't cause any problems. We have five pieces to our project, as well. I export each project and then drag the five files with their audio component into encore and then write out an image file that I can burn anytime I want. It works great. If you want a better looking image, burn a blu-ray, using the same procedure. My feature is about 23 gig, so it fits nicely and looks much better than the DVD.