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Old March 30th, 2007, 05:06 PM   #1
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Compressor vs Third party converters

Hi:

I have been attempting to use the latest version of Compressor to convert FCP 5.1.4 exported QT files to Mpeg H.264 for web distribution and have not been satisfied with either the resultant quality or the lengthy processing time. I have tweeked the settings, worked with the filters, etc. but the picture quality still leaves much to be desired. Out of frustration, which is perhaps related to my ineptitude, I purchased a copy of "Visual Hub" just to compare results and was surprised to see an astounding degree of improvement in both the picture quality as well as the processing time.

I wonder if others have had the same experience with Compressor or if my problems are indeed related to a poor understanding of the program and its related settings???

Ron
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Old March 30th, 2007, 11:23 PM   #2
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The guy to ask - who has a great deal of web-authoring experience - is Mike Schrengohst who is a foum member. (www.motionzoneHD.com)

I've not used Visual Hub but have seen it; my take is that since Compressor has such various and deep setting menus that you could easily get what you want by manually tweaking settings rather than using a built-in pre-made version.

Hit Mike up for this very question, I'm sure he'll have an answer!
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Old March 31st, 2007, 10:09 AM   #3
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Compressor

Hi:

Thank you for the suggestion, I will follow through.
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Old April 4th, 2007, 04:47 PM   #4
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Hi Ronald, this is something I was wondering as well, did you uncover any info of value?
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Old April 5th, 2007, 02:27 AM   #5
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What is your target size? You've got to work the settings in Compressor and you can get great results. Use the h264 codec restrict the data rate to 400kbps. Keyframe every second. I prefer multipass encoding but if you can't wait then single is faster. Most of my projects are 16:9 so I change the frame size to 432X243 square pixels. Dont forget to compress the audio as well. AAC mono 48k, best quality 64kbps. This works out to roughly 4mb per minute and looks excellent. The 432X243 window even resizes very nicely. Mpeg streamclip is also an invaluable tool.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 12:51 PM   #6
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It sounds like you really want to understand the best Compressor settings, but I use iSquint (free) for my web video. It looks great, does batch processing and is very fast.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 04:56 PM   #7
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I had a three and a half minute standard definition uncompressed Quicktime that encoded to h264 using visual hub, compressor and also opened it in PPro2 and encoded windows media 9.

I have never used Compressor before so I used the default setting.

The file I started with was a 720x486 uncompressed Quicktime, 4.57GB.

Visual Hub was easy to use quick and the output was very good with a resulting file size 720x480 - 63MB. [I used the "go-nuts setting]

Compressor was easy to use with the defaults and generated a 360x240 -38MB file with marginal quality.

The Adobe Media encoder in PPro2, although easy to use required the extra step of opening the file in PPro2 to export, the resulting WMV was 720x486 - 35MB. Overall this was the best looking image, however it had a couple of problems with scene changes.

Visual Hub was the easiest and fastest but also resulted in the largest files size. If I could have found the resolution setting in Compressor I'm guessing that the file size would have been similar to Visual Hub [~60MB].

I was hoping for good quality for around 25-30MBs. The Adobe Media Encoder was close but probably not worth the effort.

I'm thinking the right answer should be Compressor but I'll have to learn more about how it works before I can expect the kind of results I was hoping for.

If anyone has a simple tutorial for compressor or cares to share their experiences that would be great...
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Old April 5th, 2007, 08:57 PM   #8
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Compressor

Hi Chuck:

I have had the same experience in regards to file size but, on the other hand, Visual Hub seems a bit quicker than Compressor and as you indicated requires very little in the way of tweaking to get great results. That said, I too would be interested in obtaining a better understanding of compressor and feel that, given its flexibility in terms of the numerous available parameter settings, good results should be possible.

In addition, I have been experiencing problems in exporting to Compressor directly from within FCP 5.1.4. When I try to export a sequence to Compressor from within the program, I invariably get a message that says something to the effect that "the file name already exists," and processing from that point on usually fails. If I export the file as QT and then drag it into Compressor it works fine, albeit, with the previously mentioned limitations in output quality.

For the time being I will continue to use Visual Hub ... I cannot imagine that Compressor, when properly configured, will do much better.
Ron
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:27 PM   #9
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I bought visualHub and for what it costs it does a decent job (especially if you need .WMV files) but when it comes to quality I haven't found anything better then compressor 2. It's slow but the results are worth it. For small file sizes using H264 it's the best.
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