DVD and BluRay Authoring Projects
Guidelines for Master and Element Submission
- DO submit your master in a robust format: QuickTimeProRes or similar low-loss video format, as large as possible (1920x1080 HD is ideal). This will insure a crisp, detailed image when converted to BluRay or DVD. Masters, especially feature-length ones, should be submitted on a portable hard drive or USB Flash drive. Masters can be posted online, but since the codec for online video is compressed and lossy (usually MPEG-4) online masters should only be used for DVD authoring. DVD images are smaller than HD, and when the image is reduced it should not show MPEG-4 compression artifacts.
- DO submit all master elements in FINAL edited condition. Editing masters after submission will slow down the authoring process and may result in multiple iterations.
- DO leave at least 1.5 seconds of black in front of all clips. This will allow players to adjust audio output and guarantee audio won't be clipped. And unless you want the viewer to see and hear them, all leaders, countdown and the 2-pop should be removed before delivery.
- DO submit your feature at 23.976 fps if it was shot and edited to that timebase. Any masters in 24.000 theatrical-release timecode should be interpreted to 23.976 before submission.
- DO submit any special features or extras in sizes and timecodes that match the main feature. We realize this is not always possible.
- DO NOT hesitate to send us your master -- even if it does not conform to these intake specs! We can handle a wide range of master formats, from VHS to professional videotape and non-standard video files to your own DVDs or Blu-Rays. Additional charges may apply, depending on the master format.
- DO submit any menu audio loops (if so requested) as WAV or AIFF files no shorter than 90 seconds long. This will disguise the loop point.
- DO submit any additional audio tracks (5.1 surround or LtRt stereo) in robust formats (WAV or AIFF) and timed perfectly with the video master. The preferred submission format would have the stereo tracks integral to the video and the 5.1 or alternate audio tracks as separate but perfectly matched stereo or multichannel tracks. If 5.1 multichannel tracks are submitted, make sure the tracks are clearly labeled (for instance, top to bottom L-R-C-LFE-Ls-Rs)
Menus, Chapters and Subtitles
- DO submit any menu artwork as Photoshop format, HD size (1920x1080) or larger. All menu text should be 18 points or larger with lines being 2 pixels or more. Keep text and essential graphics 50 pixels from all edges to account for over scan crop on old CRT TVs (this is known as Title safe). Create button high-light graphics (also called selection state graphics) as one color on separate layers. NOTE: All rollover graphics within a menu must be the same color. Making text glow/hi-light is not recommended. Having a simple bold graphic, arrow, underscore, or box appear near the button text usually results in the best look. If you have specific ideas for button highlight overlay colors, include these as Photoshop layers. Text showings on menus should either be rendered or the fonts used should be provided.
- DO submit a chapter list of chapter points if they are requested. The format for these should be as follows:
Chapter Number Chapter name timecode Description of A/V
We would need a description if a chapter points falls on a fade-to-black or crossfade. A sample of a workable chapter point description would look like this:
Chapter 1 The Gathering Storm 00:16:35;12 Fade up on barn. VO: "We lived on the ranch..."
- DO submit any subtitles in a format easily usable by the authoring engineers. STL (for DVD) and TXT (for BluRay) are our preferred format. An "SRT" file is for on-line video use and can sometimes be converted for use on DVD/Blu-ray, but this incurs extra time/cost and doesn't always convert with 100% accuracy. Subtitles should be completely readable when dropped into a text-editing program. We do not recommend submitting Closed Captioning files (.CC or .SCC) as subtitle masters.