I just finished watching a completed iDVD 3 project and was somewhat disappointed with the final product as it played on my DVD player.
I used Final Cut Express on a 450MHZ DP PowerMac G4 to edit 8 hours of video into a 15 minute project. I added still images, titles and a musical soundtrak. When I was done, I added chapter markers to the project. Last, I exported this project as a "self-contained" Final Cut Express document file.
I copied the FCE document file to my 1 GHz PowerBook G4 (with Superdrive). I used iDVD 3.0.1 to create my DVD project. For the project, I added my own motion backgrounds (30 second video clip created in FCE) and a slideshow. I imported the Final Cut Express document file into the project via the File Menu->Import command. I then burned the DVD.
When I played the DVD in my DVD player, I noticed the following quality issues:
1. "Disolving/morphing scrolling text." The movie begins with some scrolling text. It is a take-off of the warning that scrolls at the beginning of Hollywood movies about copyright. I used the "Scrolling Text" editor in FCE to create the effect. When played back on my DVD player, the edges of the text are not solid. Instead, they appear to be fluid, as if they are disolving or morphing.
(NOTE: I opened the self-contained FCE document file in QuickTime. The scrolling text exhibits the same effect.)
2.) "Blocky, Blotchy, Pixelated Disolves." In the project, each of the major scenes ends with a fade-out. In FCE, instead of using the built-in Fade-in/Fade-out effect, I created a still of the last frame of the scene and then adjusted the opactity of the clip from 100% to 0%. When played back on my DVD player, each of these opacity fades appears blocky, blotchy and pixelated.
(NOTE: I opened the self-contained FCE document file in QuickTime. The opacity fades appear fine.)
3.) "Freaky Text/Title Effects." The movie ends with text credits. The first 6 or so credits are simple static text blocks that cut-in and cut-out. These are followed by a scrolling block of text. During the last satic block of text, text from the scrolling block of text appears for a few frames, then disappears. It is as if I chose to cut-in to the scroll block for a few frames and then cut-out, back to the satic block of text. But the scrolling block does not scroll, it is static! And not from the beginning of the block, but about 1/2 way through the scroll!! When the last static block of text cuts-out for good, the scrolling text appears on cue as normal.
(NOTE: I opened the self-contained FCE document file in QuickTime. The text appears fine.)
4.) "Suddenly Shifting Sound Volume." When played back on my DVD player, the volume during the first half of the video is very quite. The music of the soundtrack is particularly subdued. Suddenly, without warning, the volume increases about 1/2 way through the movie. The music of the soundtrack is no longer subdued, and in fact, is almost too loud.
(NOTE: I opened the self-contained FCE document file in QuickTime. The volume during the first half of the movie is quieter than the second half. However, the jump in volume is not as dramatic as on DVD.)
I opened the original FCE project on my PowerMac G4. None of these issues affect the original project.
What is going on here?