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Old July 4th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #1
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I am getting killed on conversion for PCs...

I am not an editor, nor really care about making videos to watch more than once. I make stuff - I am a mechanic not an artist - mainly grips for these new little cams like the Flip, Vado, etc. to be used in unusual places. I simply want to export <2min. of either SD or "HD" ..to show the view from either a plane, a kite, a bicycle, etc..

I have FCE but prefer QTPro .. 'import/trim/export'.. I have tried all the various stock exports and some addons to QTP. I got DV Kitchen, ffmegX and even a dongle fired 'Turbo.264 HD'.

If I simply 'save as' .. I get pretty decent representation of the <2min, but all my PC friends simply cannot seem to see the .mov file when I host it on my site.. If I bury the .mov file within a .htm page .. they can hear the noise but not see anything?!

Sooo, I 'convert' using one of those conversion mentioned above, but get a bunch of pixelated sh/t that degrades the quality of something that is already 'not ready for prime time'. I was hoping to end up with something better than the typical YouTube or Vimeo file. I certainly appreciate any thoughts... Thanks in advance.

Jim

Here's one of a friend from last week...>

http://wetstuff.com/movie/1_20sec_Brent.mov

http://wetstuff.com/movie/1_20sec_brent.wmv

...within the page:

Brent Franklin kitesurfing
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Old July 4th, 2009, 11:30 AM   #2
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In QuickTime Pro try; File>Export, Choose movie to QuickTime movie. Click "Compression type and select H264. Click "Options", Click "Settings", under "Data Rate, select "Restrict To", enter 3000. Under "Encoding select "Best Quality". Hit Okay.

Click "Size" and make sure you have your desired frame size.

Make sure both sound and streaming are checked.

Then you're good to go.

If your buddies still can't see it ypou'll have to make an mp4 for them. File Export>Movie To MP4 and off you go...
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Old July 4th, 2009, 11:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jim Cancil View Post
I am not an editor, nor really care about making videos to watch more than once. I make stuff - I am a mechanic not an artist - mainly grips for these new little cams like the Flip, Vado, etc. to be used in unusual places. I simply want to export <2min. of either SD or "HD" ..to show the view from either a plane, a kite, a bicycle, etc..

I have FCE but prefer QTPro .. 'import/trim/export'.. I have tried all the various stock exports and some addons to QTP. I got DV Kitchen, ffmegX and even a dongle fired 'Turbo.264 HD'.

If I simply 'save as' .. I get pretty decent representation of the <2min, but all my PC friends simply cannot seem to see the .mov file when I host it on my site.. If I bury the .mov file within a .htm page .. they can hear the noise but not see anything?!

Sooo, I 'convert' using one of those conversion mentioned above, but get a bunch of pixelated sh/t that degrades the quality of something that is already 'not ready for prime time'. I was hoping to end up with something better than the typical YouTube or Vimeo file. I certainly appreciate any thoughts... Thanks in advance.

Jim

Here's one of a friend from last week...>

http://wetstuff.com/movie/1_20sec_Brent.mov

http://wetstuff.com/movie/1_20sec_brent.wmv

...within the page:

Brent Franklin kitesurfing
I've had problems with this before - it's one of the reasons I moved to a PC workflow.

First, "Pixelated stuff."

Make sure that you're using a good enough bitrate. My general rule of thumb is AT LEAST 400kbps for SD, 1600kbps for 720p, and 4000kbps for 1080p - at least, that's good for the Web.

As for conversions - I don't know what to tell you, except that if you're just going "Save As" you're probably saving it in some sort of special Mac-Only codec.

Instead, choose "Export," and select H.264 as the codec. It takes a while to encode, but it's pretty standard for everyone, and if your clips are less than 2 minutes long, it shouldn't be that big a deal.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cancil View Post
I have FCE but prefer QTPro .. 'import/trim/export'.. I have tried all the various stock exports and some addons to QTP. I got DV Kitchen, ffmegX and even a dongle fired 'Turbo.264 HD'.

If I simply 'save as' .. I get pretty decent representation of the <2min, but all my PC friends simply cannot seem to see the .mov file when I host it on my site.. If I bury the .mov file within a .htm page .. they can hear the noise but not see anything?!

Sooo, I 'convert' using one of those conversion mentioned above, but get a bunch of pixelated sh/t that degrades the quality of something that is already 'not ready for prime time'. I was hoping to end up with something better than the typical YouTube or Vimeo file. I certainly appreciate any thoughts... Thanks in advance.

Jim

Here's one of a friend from last week...>

http://wetstuff.com/movie/1_20sec_Brent.mov

http://wetstuff.com/movie/1_20sec_brent.wmv

...within the page:

Brent Franklin kitesurfing
I have a Mac and I can't see these movies either, sound only with the mov file and the wmv file will not load. QuickTime asks me to load a third party component which I know I don't have to do. Something is wrong here.

DV Kitchen or the Elgato Turbo 264 dongle are straight-forward and should result in a usable file. I use them all the time and PC clients have no problem with the files. First make sure you have completely updated your Mac OS. You could be having trouble with the codec the Flip is using. If your Mac isn't updated it might not be able to process the codec.

Use DV Kitchen to make an h.264 file and a wmv file. Pick a decent bit-rate, 2200 or above, and see what you get. It should work. Or use the Elgato hardware and make iPod ready video files. MPEGStreamclip might be helpful in transcoding the files to mp4.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 10:01 AM   #5
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Thanks Bill and all... I'm running 10.5.7 on a dual core Intel iMac and do all the upgrades. (it's wild - iPhoto is sending me a 100MB upgrade right now.. Wasn't OS 7 itself smaller than that?!)

In DV Kitchen, I tried both ramping up the bit-rate .. then one with up'd bit-rate into a smaller physical size thinking maybe smaller pixels are easier on the eye ... 'still looks like I blew the images up 400%

I am maybe faced with a simple 'garbage in/garbage out' issue. I'll try a couple of other cams. I have about six of these little guys. Thanks.

Jim
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Old July 5th, 2009, 10:44 AM   #6
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Remember that these little cameras compress the hell out of an image already. Recompression never improves things.

You can try dropping the frame rate to 15fps and see if that enables you to up the quality without increasing the file size too much. You might lose the feel of the action.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 06:54 PM   #7
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Hi Jim,
I'm not much of an expert about compression, but from what I can see of your file, your selected bit rate appears to be at least half what I would recommend for the frame size you've chosen. H.264 scales pretty well, but still, if you opt for lower bit rates ,it will still try to cut image data where it can, and if you are already starting with the ultra-compressed imaging those little cameras put out, stock settings, low bit rates and large frame sizes are likely to show lots of evidence of compression pixelation such as what you are seeing here.

If compressing your QTPro, the export steps that Brian and Liam noted should give you good results if you select appropriate bit rates for your frame size and codec of choice.

As far as having your PC friends being able to see the videos, they will need to be running one of the more recent versions of WMP or Quicktime. I am pretty sure you need at least QT 7 to play H.264 files (if I remember correctly) and I'm not sure which is the required minimum version of WMP, but if they haven't upgraded in a few years, they will probably need to do that, or you may need to export to an older standard.

Good luck.

-Jon
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Old July 5th, 2009, 07:25 PM   #8
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There is something else going on.

I'm on a PC with QT 7.6 and I couldn't play the video either. Not in quicktime anyway. Nor could I drop it in my editor. GSpot shows the codec used to be H264 but there must be something seriously out of whack. The only application I could play it with was VLC.

That indicates to me that either the codec version you are using is jacked up, or there is something seriously non-standard about the video. I've worked with mpeg4 for quite some time now in many flavors and I've never seen one I couldn't play in quicktime.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
There is something else going on.
Yeah, come to think of it, I'm using a Mac with pretty much the latest versions of just about everything and I never have problems seeing H.264 files. I am not having any problems viewing the .mov version of this file either, but I am noticing in the file info that it is accessing Perian to play the video, and the audio has a Microsoft ADPCM tag - I am not sure if that is affecting it in anyway - I think it is a proprietary flavor of PCM from Microsoft, but it is just not something I am used to seeing.

I am wondering if this is either being sourced from a non-standard codec, or is being compressed using a non-standard process.

Not sure.

-Jon
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Old July 5th, 2009, 09:45 PM   #10
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...but I am noticing in the file info that it is accessing Perian to play the video...
Highly recommend uninstalling Perian; it's been the source of problems for many FCP/QT Pro users. I had some glitchy issues with H.264 and AVI files especially in making PC versions after installing Perian; they went away after it was removed.

Not sure what the allure to Perian was supposed to be but considering Flip4Mac does WMV/AVI/H264 conversions easily along with MPEGStreamclip - and they're both free - there's no need for the Perian plug-in.

Get rid of it and chances are your strange encoding problems will disappear.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 10:06 PM   #11
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Highly recommend uninstalling Perian; it's been the source of problems for many FCP/QT Pro users. I had some glitchy issues with H.264 and AVI files especially in making PC versions after installing Perian; they went away after it was removed.

Not sure what the allure to Perian was supposed to be but considering Flip4Mac does WMV/AVI/H264 conversions easily along with MPEGStreamclip - and they're both free - there's no need for the Perian plug-in.

Get rid of it and chances are your strange encoding problems will disappear.
I am not the one in the thread having issues with Perian - although I have read numerous threads over the last several months documenting problems cropping in QT and FCP, with Perian considered a likely culprit. I've had it installed for a couple of years and haven't experienced such issues.

I'm not totally wedded to Perian however. I only installed it because I was hired by a client to fix a batch of media files that they hired a production house to produce. They were delivered in .flv format , which my client hadn't asked for, and consequently didn't work on their mobile distribution servers. So they hired me to convert them to their needed specs. None of my .flv compliant apps would open them - so I then installed Perian, which worked perfectly. But I have continued to follow threads about it, and if I start experiencing anything out of whack, I have no problem disabling or deleting Perian.

I also use Flip4Mac for my cross platform work.

I did find it interesting that the problematic file originating this thread seemed to require Perian in order to play it back - which indicates to me that something must be out of whack with its encoding because H.264 files have always been straight forward for me.

-Jon
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