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Create and Burn Blu-ray Discs Using Final Cut Pro 6, Adobe Encore CS4 and OWC Mercury Pro BD/DVD/CD Burner

By Heath McKnight

One of the biggest complaints for Final Cut Pro (FCP) editors is the inability to create and burn Blu-ray Discs (BDs) with Macs.  Windows apps seem to have all the fun with built-in BD creation/burning software (like Sony Vegas Pro and others).  This article aims to help you create those BDs using FCP, Adobe Encore CS4 for Mac, and the excellent Other World Computing Mercury Pro BD/DVD/CD Burner.

Final Cut Pro
In recent updates of FCP 6, Apple has included a way to encode to Blu-ray in Compressor 3.x.  I have a complete workflow on the encoding-to-Blu-ray process in FCP, which can be found here :

Adobe Encore CS4
Once your Blu-ray encode is done, it's time to open Adobe Encore CS4.  Since Macs don't have built-in BD burners, you'll need to hook up the OWC Mercury Pro BD burner.  Install any software you may need, then it's time to get started.

Upon initial set-up, you'll indicate what kind of disc you're creating (Blu-ray or DVD), whether it's NTSC (60i/30p) or PAL (50i/25p), the frame size (make sure you match your original source material), frame rate, and what type of encode used (MPEG-2 or H.264). 

For this exercise, I chose Blu-ray, NTSC, 1440x1080 (the original footage was shot on a Sony HDV camera), 23.98 fps (or 24p), and MPEG-2.  Once you're finished, Encore will set up the transcode settings and you're ready to create your BD masterpiece.

After you've imported your assets, you can create your own menus (with Photoshop, which is fantastic), or use templates found in Encore CS4.  Once you're done with the BD creation and render, it's time to preview then burn a Blu-ray disc.

You can preview the BD by clicking on the DVD icon at the top-left:

After previewing the BD, go to the Build tab and select Blu-ray under Format, and Blu-ray Disc will automatically pop up for Output.  I'd recommend using re-writable Blu-ray discs in the Mercury Pro to test the process.  Click Build and then wait; you'll need some patience, so I recommend going to a movie.  Seriously, it takes a while.

Once it's done, drop the BD into a Blu-ray player or a Playstation 3 and make sure that it's running well.  My disc had no problems, but I didn't really make too many menus; I just used a Photoshop file created to advertise my film 9:04 AM (www.904am.com).

Though Final Cut Studio 2 doesn't support Blu-ray Disc creation and burning yet, I'm betting we may see it in the oft-rumored FCS 3.  For now, this workflow can help you get started on creating some BDs to show off.  Next time, I'll discuss a workflow using FCP 6 and Toast Titanium 10 Pro.

Get more information at www.apple.com/finalcutstudio, http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/encore/, and http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/MRF8BDSD8XT/

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Heath McKnight is a filmmaker and author who has produced and directed several independent feature and short films, including Hellevator, 9:04 AM and December. He is currently web content manager for doddleNEWS. Heath was also a contributor to VASST's best-selling book, "The FullHD," and has written for TopTenREVIEWS and Videomaker.

Related Keywords:blu ray encoding, blu ray burning, NLE, FCP,


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