Friday, 26 August 2011

Tip #79: Have a Blu-ray mastering workflow

By Dan Parkes (Director/editor)

Although not (yet) commercially released in the Blu-ray format, Ambleton Delight was mastered in HD and hence we created a Blu-ray master first, before down-converting it to DVD. This is something we recommend all filmmakers do, as not only will it look great on a HD TV, but it future-proofs your film and also allows for HD quality projection if shown in a cinema (e.g. cinemas such as Cineworld are now equipped with Blu-ray players that can be used with their digital projectors). This is the workflow we used:

1. Export HD master file
Since the film was shot and edited in HD we simply exported the entire film as a HD master file, in our case, from Adobe Premiere Pro CS3, as an .avi file using the Cineform intermediate codec. (For more information on this refer to our earlier blog:

2. Encore authoring
We then authored the Blu-ray disc in Adobe Encore CS3, making sure all the menus etc we at HD resolution (ie at least 1280x720). It is recommended to create these menus separately in image creation software and then import to the authoring programme. We created ours in Photoshop.

3. Add extras
The great thing about Blu-ray is the ability to fit up to 23GB of data on the basic 25GB discs, compared to 4.3GB on standard 4.7GB DVDs. This not only allows for higher quality video but a load more extras. On the Blu-ray version of Ambleton Delight we could include the full Making Of plus other extras such as deleted scenes and the alternate ending -something that would just not fit on a standard DVD.

4. Burn DVD and HD
Adobe Encore has a great feature -the ability to export both a Blu-ray or DVD disc from the same authoring project. It does involve creating different transcodes for each disc and so there is some extra rendering time. You also need to decide whether your Blu-ray video is transcoded in either MPEG2 or h.264. H.264 is higher quality but takes a lot longer to transcode, unless you use a Matrox system which has the ability to speed up h.246 encoding.

5. HD Image file
We also recommend not burning direct to disc but creating an image (.iso) file for both the Blu-ray and DVD discs, that can then be burned to disc using IMGburn ( which can verify the accuracy of each disc that is subsequently burned.

1 comment:

  1. The Blu-ray takes its name from the blue laser that players use to read the disc's data. The first Blu-ray discs hit the market in fall 2006, coinciding with the release of the first Blu-ray player, the Samsung BD-P 1000.