Wait... does FCP X (or Compressor) now make full-size BluRays?

Wait... does FCP X (or Compressor) now make full-size BluRays? (March 05, 2018 08:38AM) Videot
Maybe a noob-sounding question, but let me set the scene:

I recently re-imported 12-year-old HD footage I shot on a WWII educational tour of Europe. I had made DVDs, back in the day, of all the raw footage and gave them out to a few of the people who organized the trip. A few months ago, one of them asked me if I could make him a spare set of the DVDs and he gave me back his originals. Unfortunately, one of them was damaged and I wasn't able to make a duplicate of it.

I decided now was a good time to grab back all the original HD footage from my Z1U and make a new archive on AVCHD BluRay discs ("red-laser BluRay" as we all called them back when FCP 7 first allowed us to do that).

So I imported (flawlessly!) into FCP X directly from my Z1U. I broke the clips into timelines identical to the original DVDs, and added the same chapter markers I'd used for the DVDs over a decade ago.

I generated DVD-ready files straight from FCP X, and also exported full-res Master Files, expecting to bring them into FCP 7 and make those red-laser AVCHD discs. But I decided to first try bringing the Master Files directly into Compressor to see how when BluRay option worked there. I left it rendering overnight and awoke to 22GB disc images on my Mac... I was surprised by this, as I expected 4GB images for use on DVD blanks.

I do have a BluRay burner and some blank 25GB BluRay discs (which I've yet to use since I have been searching for proper BluRay authoring software to try before attempting to burn anything). But since I wasn't expecting this outcome from Compressor, I'm reluctant to make an expensive coaster by burning the image, only to find out that it's not really BluRay compliant.

I mounted the image and used a BluRay player application to test the "disc," and it seems okay. The chapter list only has chapter numbers instead of my carefully-transcribed chapter titles, but that's not the worst thing. I guess that if I'd anticipated a real BD image, I'd have put more effort into creating a real menu and verifying chapter names to be working.

I guess I'm just shocked to see actual BluRay-sized images and I'm wondering if I can trust them.

Any input?

TIA, as always.

— Mike
Re: Wait... does FCP X (or Compressor) now make full-size BluRays? (March 05, 2018 09:23PM) Joe Redifer
Did it create an .ISO file? What do you mean by "disc image"? I mean it could theoretically create a disc which just automatically played the files back to back. But you can't create much in the way of menus and stuff in Compressor, FCP7 or FCPX. Compressor can make some good Blu-ray ready .264 files though. I use these and then author the actual Blu-ray in Adobe Encore (usually dual layer) since Apple doesn't want us making physical media any more. But Encore won't work in High Sierra so I don't think High Sierra will ever be able to author a proper Blu-ray.

Anyway try burning a disc and see if it plays fine on a few different Blu-ray players.



Re: Wait... does FCP X (or Compressor) now make full-size BluRays? (March 06, 2018 01:22AM) Videot
Hi, Joe —

Yes, it created a 22GB+ .iso file (biggest .iso I'd ever seen). So I mounted that image and played it in my BluRay player software and it played. I just didn't know that anything on the Mac made full-size BluRay discs/images; I've only ever done the AVCHD pseudo-BluRay "red laser playable" discs up until now. But since I actually do have a BD burner and a short stack of discs, this was pretty exciting... if it's the real deal.

It's just an archive for those who were on the trip, but it's nice to give them true BDs as opposed to DVDs or even the semi-HD AVCHD option.

This is just taking me back to the days when DVDs were a couple of bucks a throw and any coaster you burned was painful.
Hell... I still remember the days when blank CDs were $10 - $20 each! Burn with caution. I stuck to MiniDiscs at that point. Here we go again, now with BD. I haven't invested in any BD50s yet (when I do, those will be for backups only, I suspect).

— Mike
Re: Wait... does FCP X (or Compressor) now make full-size BluRays? (March 06, 2018 06:33AM) Joe Redifer
Apple fight for HD-DVD which was far and away an inferior product compared to Blu-ray. I agree with you Greg about the attempted DRM of Blu-rays though. What's more is that the industry (besides Adobe) have made Blu-ray authoring apps priced outside of what normal people can afford. This did not help the format at all. You can still make a proper, able-to-be-replicated BD with Encore and if you run into problems BluStreak Tracer can help out.

Source: Have authored commercial Blu-rays.
Re: Wait... does FCP X (or Compressor) now make full-size BluRays? (March 06, 2018 03:23AM) VidGreg
Hi Mike
Macs can make BD discs, you can do it directly in FCPX. It is an optional "Share" destination, just drag Blu-ray into the destination list and you can make a BD disc (or disk image) that is "Authored" for a blu-ray movie. Personally I use Toast Titanium with the BD extra plug-in to burn the discs, but I mostly create the BD structure inside FCPX. Toast also can author blu-rays, too.

There is a difference between an ISO data file and a BD movie. Most BD players, especially nearly all player/burners can "play" video files or retrieve data that you create if connected to your Mac. If you are simply exporting a Master File from FPCX it will lack the file structure of a BD movie, that is why you use an authoring program (or share as BD), but your Mac should be able to play back the file, including video files even w/o movie info.
On simple BD players not connected to a computer, it will be necessary to use an authoring program. In essence, all optical discs are just dots of info, it is the file structure that creates "Movie" disc vs a "Data" disc. So, if you are sending out copies of your "movie" for other people to play on their TVs, you need to "author" a movie BD.

The famous quote by Steve Jobs about a "World of Hurts" for blu-ray was about the DRM scheme that the Blu-ray implementers came up with. It really is a mess and not even effective. So this was mostly about commercially recorded content and Apple fought for a different standard, different licensing and lost, so Apple decided to not include the ability to "decode" commercial BDs and pay the costs, however, you can make your own BDs.

What remains to be seen, is what Apple will do in the future. The program code for creating DVDs, CDs and BDs are all 32bit code and has not been updated in a long time. 32bit code may not be supported for long in OS updates. It can already cause problems while attempting to "burn" directly in FCPX. I export the file, then burn separately to avoid hangs. It also means I have the file ready to make more copies without having to re-export (share) from FCPX.

Hope this Helps, Greg
Re: Wait... does FCP X (or Compressor) now make full-size BluRays? (March 06, 2018 04:12AM) Videot
Thanks, Greg!

So what I'm gathering from this is that the .ISO created by Compressor isn't a properly-structured and playable BD disc; I should author directly from FCP X to a BD disc (I hear a lot about the whole "it goes until 66%, then freezes" syndrome so I was a bit worried about racking up an expensive coaster collection that way (given I have four titles to burn to BD — the whole footage collection was about 7 hours so I have three 2-hour discs and a 1-hour final disc, hence my interest in first creating images that can be burned to BD, just like I used to do with DVD Studio Pro — create images first, burn second).

If I were to opt for the Toast option, what does Toast need to import for a proper disc? I did have FCP export the audio and video files for BD... can I just use them, the way I'd use Dolby and MPEG-2 files in DVD-SP?

I hate to sound so thick about this. I guess I was a bit shaky on DVD authoring back in the day until I got used to it, too.

— Mike
Re: Wait... does FCP X (or Compressor) now make full-size BluRays? (March 09, 2018 06:43AM) Videot
Thanks for all the advice... it worked great! Took almost 24 hours total but I now have four BluRay discs carrying all of the HD footage from that trip.

Thanks again!

— Mike
Re: Wait... does FCP X (or Compressor) now make full-size BluRays? (March 09, 2018 06:24PM) Joe Redifer
Beats DVD any day!
Re: Wait... does FCP X (or Compressor) now make full-size BluRays? (March 12, 2018 08:46AM) Videot
Hi, Greg —

The initial burns of each disc took a few hours each, direct from FCP. So that's four discs at about 5-1/2 hours each, including encoding and burning (two hour run-times for discs 1-3, and disc 4 only had an hour of material on it so it was slightly — but not much — faster to process).

When I tried doing "burn again" with the first disc, it looked like the encoding was happening again so I stopped the process and went on to discs 2 - 4.

Once they were all done, I made .iso images of each disc and used them for subsequent burns... but it still took a bit of time for making the image and doing the burns... still, those were all gotten through in a few hours the next day. The bulk of the time was that first pass of creating the actual discs, 1 through 4.

Results look great, though!

— M.
Re: Wait... does FCP X (or Compressor) now make full-size BluRays? (March 10, 2018 12:26PM) VidGreg
Hi Mike
Glad you got it to work.
24 hours sounds too long for burning the disks, so maybe a recap.
Given the amount of time it sounds like your created and burned each disc separately inside FCPX??? If you set the destination for the BD file to Hard Drive instead of the Blu-ray burner, then making additional copies should not take that long, but it could just be your burner/drive.
Here is a KB by Apple on making disc inside of FCPX… [support.apple.com]
Again I would set the destination to Hard Drive and create the img file then burn from that. If you burn directly inside of FCPX it has to re-transcode for each copy and you do risk the 66% complete hang up/spinning beach ball of death. Making the image file and placing on a hard drive saves on RAM, processor and creates a file you can reuse without opening FCPX again. You can choose the location where this is saved including attached drives.
The options for things like Chapter Markers are limited and for BD best done inside of FCPX. You can choose to export the chapter markers and it is supposed to add the marker names in the exported file.
As far as Toast is concerned, I mostly use it because it can make as many copies as I want saving the project into RAM so it is faster than using Disk Utility or FCPX. Apple programs do not allow multiple copies, but treat each burn as new actions. You do need the BD plug-in for Toast which is about $20.00USD if I remember correctly. You don't have to purchase the Pro version of Toast to create BDs, just the plugin. It is a separate purchase on the website. They hide it and push the Pro version for more $$$$.

Again glad you got it to work.
Happy Editing, Greg
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