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  • Compressing for the web

    Compressing for the web

    May 1, 2010, 9:31 am
    This week I had an interesting job to tackle. Exporting my video for the web. This was a daunting task as compressing HD video down to web size files often leaves you with image quality problems. I tried many ways, including QuickTime but in the end realized Compressor was my best bet.


    Compressor Once you have your finished timeline, the first thing to do is send it to Compressor. Now there are several ways to do this, however, I prefer to make a QuickTime Reference file out of FCP and then drop it into Compressor. This route is the fastest and you are less likely to run into problems. There are many different presets in Compressor, for our purposes we will use H.264. This codec does such a great job that it is even used in the new DVD formats such as Blu Ray and the extinct HDDVD. Once you have your reference file in Compressor, you can scroll down to the QuickTime settings and choose the H.264 preset. Depending on your source footage you may have different video sizes to output. For this purpose I will be using HDV, which is 1440x1080. What you really want to concentrate on is the aspect ratio. We are working with HDV so we will want to keep the 16:9 ratio. For Instance you like to have a video size of 400 pixels. Well then you take 400 and divide it by 16 to get 25. Then multiply that by 9 for the height and you get 225. Now you have a dimension of 400 x 255 for your video while keeping the 16:9 aspect ratio. This will work on any size you need for web output. You can then change your video size accordingly in the Inspector window underneath the Geometry tab, select Custom, and then type in your settings. Next let’s work with the "Video Settings". I am pretty sure most of us are familiar with what goes on in here. So lets begin by cutting the frame rate. This will help to make the file size smaller for the web. Just remember that if you video has a lot of motion then cutting too many frames can result in a choppy video. If you have just talking heads then you can cut a larger amount of frames out. When working with 29.97 I find that bringing it down to 15 frames works well and still keeps the video fairly smooth. I also put the "Key Frames" to automatic. This will allow Compressor to determine the best key frame rate for the compression. Working with your encoding department or I.T. You can determine whether or not you need to restrict the data rate or not. If you do so make sure to select "optimize for streaming" Now for the quality of the video, this again is a trial and error depending on your own video. I have found that using the Medium setting is usually enough quality for the web. You can also select a "Multi-Pass" or "Single Pass". A multi-pass will often give you better results, however it will take longer to encode. You can make the judgment depending on your deadlines. One thing many people are not aware of is frame control. When changing Frame rates and sizes, you want to turn this option on and this can be found in its own tab. This will make a huge difference in your output. Also change the Resizing control to "Better". You can choose "Best" if you have the rest of your life to wait for it. Choosing "best "will take a large amount of processing, time and power. You will also want to change your "Output fields" to progressive, and "Deinterlace" to better, as computer screens are all progressive and not interlaced. Last, but not least, is Audio. You can leave it full quality, however I feel this is overkill. I often change the settings to AAC or IMA at 44.1k in Stereo. This is more than enough for most web videos. Once you have done all of these settings, just hit "Submit " and away you go. Remember to check the quality of your video and make adjustments accordingly. Once you are finally happy with all of your settings, and you have a bunch of projects to turn out. Then don’t forget to turn your settings into a droplet for future use. This will save you a lot of headaches trying to remember everything you had done in the past. Making videos for the web can be frustrating, but don’t forget the trial and error is all worth it to have your work viewed by millions on the World Wide Web.

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  • Other Postings By Member
    • UltraStudio 3D Review
      EDITING

      UltraStudio 3D Review

      December 5, 2011, 11:22 am
      BlackMagic design showcased the UltraStudio 3D back at NAB this year. I have been excited to get my hands on of these for some time. I waited patiently and finally, I got one and I have been testing the BlackMagic Design’s UltraStudio 3D over the past few weeks.

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    • ioSafe Drive Destruction
      EDITING

      ioSafe Drive Destruction

      November 15, 2011, 10:47 am
      This week I test out the durability of the ioSafe hard drive. It's fire proof and water proof. I wanted to find out how water proof it is, so I flooded the drive. Check out the video below to see if it still works after the flooding.

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    • Avid Media Composer 6.0
      EDITING

      Avid Media Composer 6.0

      November 3, 2011, 12:17 pm
      Today Avid Avid announced Media Composer version 6, Symphony version 6 and NewsCutter version 10 . Avid matins they acer deeply committed to professionals, and are pleased to announce that all of these new applications are 64 bit native.

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    • Fast Forward Video sideKick HD
      EDITING

      Fast Forward Video sideKick HD

      October 17, 2011, 10:54 am
      Over the past few weeks the folks over at Fast Forward Video have given me the opportunity to test out their sideKick HD. The sideKick HD allows you to capture the highest quality video, with a straight to edit workflow. The sideKick HD is capable of recording directly from the camera up to 10 bit precision, 220Mbit/s , 4:2:2 sampling using Apple ProRes 422 HQ.

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    • Tiffen DFXv3
      EDITING

      Tiffen DFXv3

      October 10, 2011, 9:43 am
      Over the past couple of weeks I have been working with the latest release Tiffen Dfx Version 3. Tiffen has been a leading manufacturer and supplier of photographic filters and lens accessories for the consumer/professional imaging and the motion picture and broadcast television industries for over 70 years.

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    • Caldigit VR 6TB Review
      EDITING

      Caldigit VR 6TB Review

      September 18, 2011, 9:45 am
      Recently I had a great discussion with the Twitter community about picking up a new raid for myself as my older ones were now aging, and I was running out of space. Many people suggested a Thunderbolt drive. However Macbook Pro is only a year old and does not support Thunderbolt, and Apple has yet to release a new MacPro Tower. Thus I really did not see the need for a Thunderbolt drive yet. Enter The CalDigit VR.

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    • Avid Announces New Ongoing Crossgrade
      EDITING

      Avid Announces New Ongoing Crossgrade

      September 12, 2011, 2:43 pm
      In a tremendous move, due to the response from the professional editing community for its current Final Cut Pro Crossgrade promotion, Avid announced today that beginning October 1, 2011, it will offer a Final Cut Pro crossgrade price for qualified customers on an ongoing basis. The new crossgrade will allow Final Cut Pro users to purchase the Avid Media Composer®, for $1499 USD. Avid’s current limited-time crossgrade promotion, at $995 USD, ends September 30, 2011.

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    • Blackmagic Design Announces a New Range of Super H
      EDITING

      Blackmagic Design Announces a New Range of Super H

      September 9, 2011, 10:43 pm
      lackmagic Design today announced a new family of super heavy duty Mini Converters that feature a unique design that’s machined from a solid block of aluminum for amazing strength, as well as for protecting connectors. Heavy duty mini converters also include innovative features and technologies such as 3 Gb/s SDI. There are 4 models in the Mini Converter Heavy Duty product range which are all priced at only $295 US.

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    • Avid Significantly Enhances Leading Solutions for
      EDITING

      Avid Significantly Enhances Leading Solutions for

      September 9, 2011, 9:41 pm
      Today Avid annoucned new versions of Avid NewsVison and Avid ISIS 7000 at IBC.

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    • BlackMagic UltraStudio 3D
      EDITING

      BlackMagic UltraStudio 3D

      August 29, 2011, 11:44 am
      BlackMagic Design just announced UltraStudio 3D the world’s first video product with Thunderbolt technology is now shipping. Initially debuting at NAB this past year we have all been eagerly awaiting it’s arrival.

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