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Old March 18th, 2009, 11:20 AM   #1
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ex3 footage for the web

This keeps happening to me.
Each time Im about to finish a clients blue ray or standard dvd from original 1920 x1080 50i or 720 50p they then go and ask for ...."can you do us a version for the web please"

Ive just finished compressing 8 mins of footage to wmv,qt,qt mp4,streaming qt flash etc etc
but what im after is for tips from you all who have got a nice work flow for compressing to the web.
I want to have 10 secs of buffering and then the video plays with the quality of vimeo hd

most of my clients have their own websites for showing footage on so really dont want Tobe directed to a vimeo site
I am using Edius to edit with procoder3 and also after effects any tips or presets gratefully received.
Am also trialling the demo version of on 2 flix pro
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Old March 18th, 2009, 12:10 PM   #2
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Some of my EX-1 web stuff can be seen on Vimeo:
B Jackson's videos on Vimeo of which only this one is HD on vimeo:
American Lemans Laguna Seca 2008 HD AM Warmup on Vimeo

On youtube:
YouTube - pitrow66's Channel
Anythig posted since Feb 16, 09 should be HD.

I use Episode Pro
QT (MOV) H264 Download H264_Widescreen_1280x720
I like the look of Vimeo better.
Youtube has a 10 minute limit, which can be a problem.
To ensure a short buffering time you might have to make the H264 widescreen size a size smaller.
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Last edited by Bob Jackson; March 18th, 2009 at 12:15 PM. Reason: to add buffering time
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Old March 18th, 2009, 12:46 PM   #3
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Vimeo is using On2VP6 but you should get better results from H.264 IMHO.

Vimeo's data rate seems to be around 1800kbps.
YouTube, which is using H.264 for their HD video, is using a 2000kbps average with peaks as high as 4000kbps.

Keep in mind a viewer has to have a very fast internet connection. It's very hard to control buffer time on progressive download (as opposed to a streaming server). If you're using .mov make sure you have "fast start" enabled.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 06:33 AM   #4
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Read this article by Stefan Richter over at Streaming Media:

Streamingmedia.com: First Look: Adobe Flash Media Encoder

In it he discusses the use of the free Adobe Flash Media Encoder to produce flash video for the web.

Adobe has a tutorial center in their developer section:

Example:

Adobe - Developer Center : Flash video learning guide


In addition to founding Muchosmedia in the UK, Richter maintains a blog you may find helpful called Flashcomguru.

Flashcomguru.com

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Old March 19th, 2009, 07:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Bass View Post
most of my clients have their own websites for showing footage on so really dont want to be directed to a vimeo site
I am using Edius to edit with procoder3 and also after effects any tips or presets gratefully received.
Am also trialling the demo version of on 2 flix pro
On2 Flix Pro is a great little app for Flash 8 compression, albeit a little slow compared to higher priced applications. In a head-to-head test last year it came out as being one of the best Flash encoders - funny that, being produced by the people who invented the format. Although I use Episode for most work, Flix Pro gets wheeled out for the more difficult jobs.

The player is going to be critical in deploying Flash video without using third party suppliers. Jeroen Wijering's JW_player (JW Players | LongTail Video | Home of the JW Player) is wonderful if you have a little bit of HTML knowledge. Reliable, flexible, chapterable, all sorts of good stuff, and cheap to license too. I've used it extensively in clients' work.

However, a word to the wise aiming at Corporate web video:

I've had to scale back on the achievable quality and best codecs - H.264 at 640x360, 600-750 kbps - because my intended audiences have reacted unfavourably to modern codecs. I've had to back off H.264 and stick to On2 (Flash 8), avoid Vimeo (Viddler gets through more corporate firewalls than Vimeo and HD YouTube), and scale back bandwidth to under 512kbps, allowing at least 5 secs buffering.

QuickTime and H.264 is an amazing combo, but it cuts your audience down to Mac users and a few enlightened PC users. Most corporate networks don't allow QT, therefore your only H.264 implementation is Flash 9, which again is unpopular as most corporates stick to Flash 8 and don't allow upgrades.

Thusly, I've had to stick to 480x270 Flash 8 at 400kbps for the widest viewability with an embedded flash player (no pop-outs). I'd also advise finding a few friends who work behind finnickety firewalls of cautious corporations to see how they view your planned implementations. Get them to check out a few test pages.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 08:47 AM   #6
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Great resume Matt. I can confirm that this is my experience also - been doing it less time than you though! Stick to Flash 8 for corporate work (I use Sorenson Squeeze 5 Pro with On2 VP6, 2-pass) and the excellent JW Player (I bought a commercial license). H.264 is just too advanced for most of my clients.

Clients that can view Flash 8 video I put up on my site (on password accessed pages on my website) seem to complain if I go higher that 512 Kbps for video which I typically use at 480x270 pixels. For me, this bit rate seems to be the sweet spot for trade off between speed and quality (400 is a little low for my liking and I actually normally use a higher video bit rate for my publically viewable video for non-corporate stuff). Frequently, I find that clients have great difficulty viewing (any Flash video, not just mine) until their web guru's "unblocked everything" on their corporate firewalls to allow access....not sure they really "unblock everything" but that's how it's sometimes described!

I already have a short list of friends who do the typical corporate firewall testing thing for me too!
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Old March 19th, 2009, 09:48 AM   #7
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Please do keep in mind the intended target (although you certainly are).
In my region the bargain basement DSL speed is 768kbps and most businesses have at least 1500kbps. I have 30,000kbps (yes you read that right). This means I need to think very carefully if I'm targeting locally or to a wider region.

The most recent numbers I've seen are Flash 8 98% and Flash 9 (H.264) 90%. My hunch is that Flash 9 is much lower than 90% in the corporate market but I suspect it'll rise quickly throughout the year.

Microsoft Silverlight 3 will support H.264 as well. I think the move to H.264 is going to accelerate as the use of Adobe CS4 tools and the next version of Expression Encoder hit the market.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 10:32 AM   #8
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I think the move to H.264 is going to accelerate as the use of Adobe CS4 tools and the next version of Expression Encoder hit the market.
But it's the IS and IT departments in large corporations that are going to hold the reins when driving H.264 adoption. H.264 is inevitable, but whilst IS/IT buys budget or stripped down 'business' laptops for most of our audiences, they're not quite ready for the extra decompression workload of a proper modern codec like H.264, and whilst we squeeze the compression further to fit into people's requirements, so the decompression job gets harder.

The more we compress, the harder the processor must work to decompress, so stuttering caused by processor overload can be misinterpreted as bandwidth restriction.

Bandwidth, hmmmm. In Europe, the average bandwidth for home use seems to be rising - 2 to 8 Mbits per second are common in urban areas. But it's all subject to contention. Consumer 8 Mbit lines are shared between up to 50 users, so there are 'brown-outs' when kids come home from school around here.

If you're designing a movie for B2B consumption, most corporates stipulate silly requirements based on what was safe five years ago. But even so, if there's something modestly interesting and an office of 200 souls have a 10% uptake of a live stream at 512kbps, that's maxed out an uncontested 8 Mbit leased line, so streaming video tends to be banned. It'll throttle HTTP traffic too, to prevent the line being swamped.

Then there's the horrors of hosting a popular video if using US based hosts who (egad!) measure bandwidth from the server. Every view of the video would therefore COST somebody something, with a low rate of return - so how do we mitigate the cost? By lowering the bitrate. Please, feel free to join in the communal pulling-out of hair etc.

And, sigh, dear Silverlight. I do hope it survives. It's one of those 'Good' MS technologies that has some great features and could keep Flash in check, but whilst 'We're number two, we try harder' is laudable, we gotta pray that IS/IT allows it. I fear it may sink otherwise - unless Windows 7 picks it up and runs with it. But even then it's a couple of years away and that's when H.264 will be the gold standard. IMHO, of course!
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Old March 19th, 2009, 10:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
But it's the IS and IT departments in large corporations that are going to hold the reins when driving H.264 adoption. H.264 is inevitable, but whilst IS/IT buys budget or stripped down 'business' laptops for most of our audiences, they're not quite ready for the extra decompression workload of a proper modern codec like H.264, and whilst we squeeze the compression further to fit into people's requirements, so the decompression job gets harder.
Jan Ozer, regular author at Streaming Media, shows that despite the hearsay, H.264 is EASIER to decode than On2VP6. My own experience shows the same. Jan actually measured CPU use. One real world example of this (for me) is Vimeo's use of On2VP6 at about 1600kbps and limiting it to 24 or 25fps to avoid dropped frames vs YouTube's use of H.264 at 2000kbps at full 30fps (for us NTSC folk).

On2 had to release VP6-E and VP6-S because HD frame size where hard to decode on many computers. Hence the Simple profile variant.

BTW, I do understand the B2B issues but again that's why it depends on who your target is. Speeds are fast and reliable in my area. I've monitor speed tests regularly (speed tests by others in my region). Again it's just a regional thing. I know others in big cities who still do 320x240 500kbps at 15fps.

Silverlight isn't doing too IMHO. It's like Zune is to iPod. Major League Baseball went from Silverlight back to Flash. NBC went back too (used Silverlight for the Olympics here in USA). Netflix has many user complaints (I was a Mac/Silverlight beta tester for Netflix). Silverlight 3 will fix a bunch of issues and have many improvements but I don't think there's any hope it will compete with Flash. Basically it's use will be limited to business Windows Media Server infrastructure that have lots of WMV and need the interactivity without the need to transcode their libraries.

BTW, regarding H.264 and business. My hunch is that market is going to move faster to it than past player/codec moves. It's a two way street but when their clients and/or vendors use the codec, it may hurt the bottom line. Unlike Quicktime (or Real in the past) updating a Flash player isn't as "invasive."
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Old March 19th, 2009, 11:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Jan Ozer, regular author at Streaming Media, shows that despite the hearsay, H.264 is EASIER to decode than On2VP6. My own experience shows the same. Jan actually measured CPU use.
I do follow Jan's work at Streaming Media carefully and his findings can sometimes throw up some surprising anomalies. Maybe one of them involves high bitrate implementations of H.264.

Regarding lower bitrates, and therefore higher compression, my clients and I will have to respectfully disagree - especially when using 18-24 month old hardware. Based on his findings, I ran a test last year which mixed H.264 and On2 within a JW player. Same bandwidth, same physical size. A disturbing number of clients (and potential clients) found their hardware baulked at the H.264 stuff.

Amongst my Mac brethren, and well endowed private PC users, everyone prefers H.264. No shadow of a doubt. But clients in their office, especially in the public sector, could spot the issues (if they could see the H.264 at all) as crotchety, poor playback.

Of course, wait enough time (12-18 months? Maybe a little longer?) and the problem will go away. But this is what I remember saying before On2 became the standard.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 04:19 AM   #11
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Don't know if this would help you or not, but...

You can create a Quicktime H.264 file and then just manually change the extension from MOV to FLV and it will then be seen as a Flash file to people wanting to view it. Find out more here:

ProVideo Coalition.com: Stunning Good Looks by Art Adams | Cinematography
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