Best way to render a widescreen video?

I have to produce a short animation on DVD in PAL format with a 16:9 (widescreen) ratio. So my (hopefully) simple question is: what’s the best way to render this? Left to my own devices (always dangerous) and based on what I’ve read so far I’d do something like this:

Select the PAL 16:9 preset, compose the animation allowing for the stretched xy pixels.
Render at 100% (so 720 x 576 pixels) to a series of png files.
Compile the image files into a video format (MPEG4? XVID?)
Burn to DVD in PAL format

Bearing in mind the usual quality vs computer time/grunt balance, is this on the right lines? Do I need to worry about interlacing etc? All advice as to best render settings, output type, video format etc would be very welcome.



:eyebrowlift2: My advice is probably not the best one, but I would do the folowing:

1st - Render for .tga or .png(quality 100) still images, in the defalt blender PAL16:9 option.

2nd - Load all the images in the squencer and encode them to quicktime, Animation codec, best quality if your DVD authoring tool program suports .mov; if it doesn’t render to AVIRAW ( be aware, 1500 frames =1.8Gb in your HD and if you pass the 2Gb, the video will not work). I wouldn’t use XVID or Mpeg-4 because they are lossy formats, meaning you will be loosing quality right now.

3th -After that load the resulting video in your DVD authoring tool and make sure that it comes out in 16:9 and interleaved, doing a preview, standard options in most of those tools. and if everything looks ok then burn it.
Hope it helped

My advice is:
to use instead of Animation. The File gets way smaller and it is still lossless compression.

I agree with the image sequence. If you have a long animation, it’s much easier to index by frame number and replace parts of the animation that need adjusted. I use tiff as they support more channels and higher bit depths and the apps I use work faster than with PNG but they do take up more space so either one is good. Don’t think Blender outputs tiff for some reason so PNG is a good bet.

If I target widescreen DVD, I render 1024x576 with a 100x100 aspect. This gives you the same output as 720x576 widescreen.

Do not compile the images to a compressed format like mpeg4 before burning to DVD. If you are going to be editing the video down then DV or MJPEG are ok but you might still lose some quality. Compiling to animation is a good idea but playback is so slow that I tend to just use MJPEG or DV, drop that into Final Cut and then export straight to DVD.

Your DVD authoring/compression software handles the interlacing as mentioned.

Thanks for the advice everyone. So I’ve installed Lagarith, and Blender finds it OK. Based on your comments, the strategy would be:
Render to .png files, Size X = 1024, size Y = 576, Asp X = 100, Asp Y = 100.
Load the images into the VSE, output the sequence to the Lagarith codec.
Burn the resulting video file to DVD.

Is this right? Also, a couple of the inevitable supplemental questions. Lagarith defaults to RGB: is this the best format? Finally, I have to render to PAL format, and from what I’ve read the Blender PAL 16:9 preset accounts for this using a 64:45 aspect ratio which stretches the image vertically (presumably it’s squashed back down on playback on TV?). The method above gives a very nice unstretched widescreen image: is this going to get squashed on playback? Hope this question makes sense…