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Old May 1st, 2009, 05:20 PM   #1
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Creating FLASH (FLV) Movies from HDV

HELP!!

I have been commissioned to shoot promotional video clips, some of which will be uploaded to social networking sites, (which isn't a problem), and some which is to be uploaded to the clients WEB site. The wed designer has asked for this footage in the form of FLASH, FLV format, and here IS the problem! I edit using Videostudio X2 Pro, which CAN render edited .M2T files in FLV format. However, because I am shooting in HDV, I do not know whether I can PRODUCE HD Flash clips using this method. Furthermore, I do not know the resolution to select for the produced files. I can choose from default settings in the FLV create section of 320 X 240 OR 640 X 480. However, this clearly isn't HD, and although I do have an alternative CUSTOM facility where I can enter the resolution size of 1280 X 720, I am not sure that this will work!! It may be better to use some kind of OTHER converter to change the original MPEG 2 to FLV. Advice desperately needed!!

Thank you,
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 10:28 AM   #2
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I would clarify with the web guy to see what dimensions he would want the video in (if he says he wants it in HD, export as 1280x720). There are tons of free encoders out there to encode video, but it sounds like your editing system already does it fine. Just make sure your flv dimensions are either 16x9 or 4x3, depending upon your source footage. Then just fiddle with the quality settings, usually by changing the values for kbps or mbps.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 02:24 PM   #3
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Hi Wes, and thank you for your advice. He hasn't specified HD, but as the footage was taken in HDV, I figured it would be appropriate. Ultimately, I want to produce the BEST quality FLV footage, and at the moment it looks pretty grim.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 05:39 PM   #4
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Its good that you are performing some tests. Do you know what you encode settings are?
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Old May 4th, 2009, 10:50 AM   #5
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Once you have a feel for what your NLE can do for FLV output, you might also download one of the trial versions of Flix from on2.com, and see if using the VP6 codec is an improvement. (Your NLE likely uses the older Spark codec.)

Their $40 Flix Standard encoder is one of the best deals in flash video encoders today.

When preparing for streaming, the issue isn't quality - almost any encoder/codec combo will give you great quality if you raise the bitrate high enough. The issue is quality for a given bitrate. The meaningful benchmarking of encoders/codecs is going to come somewhere around 500Kbps, if you're trying to create content for a diverse audience that has broadband internet access.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 11:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
Once you have a feel for what your NLE can do for FLV output, you might also download one of the trial versions of Flix from on2.com, and see if using the VP6 codec is an improvement. (Your NLE likely uses the older Spark codec.)

Their $40 Flix Standard encoder is one of the best deals in flash video encoders today.

When preparing for streaming, the issue isn't quality - almost any encoder/codec combo will give you great quality if you raise the bitrate high enough. The issue is quality for a given bitrate. The meaningful benchmarking of encoders/codecs is going to come somewhere around 500Kbps, if you're trying to create content for a diverse audience that has broadband internet access.
Many thanks for your advice, Seth. From what I understand, the footage is to be uploaded to the clients web via "FLOWPLAYER", and I'm wonderfing if I can provide the footage in a different format.
Best wishes
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Old May 4th, 2009, 02:30 PM   #7
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I highly disagree that you should go out and purchase any video encoder. The beauty about software is that there are many open source software or free options available. Take a look at winff - Google Code , which is a GUI (graphical user interface) for ffmpeg, (also try SUPER encoder Free Video Converter That Does It All | Vidlivery). ffmpeg is used extensively in encoding videos for the web, especially to flv or mp4 formats. I doubt that you are encoding an flv with an spark codec, but Seth is right that you want to be using the VP6 codec.

An important note is that ever since flash 9.0 has been released (which was a while ago, currently 10 is the newest version), flash can play/stream mp4 videos in the h.264 codec. I prefer the h.264 codec over the VP6 codec, so you might want to consider that as a viable option as well.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 02:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Coughlin View Post
I highly disagree that you should go out and purchase any video encoder. The beauty about software is that there are many open source software or free options available. Take a look at winff - Google Code , which is a GUI (graphical user interface) for ffmpeg, (also try SUPER encoder Free Video Converter That Does It All | Vidlivery). ffmpeg is used extensively in encoding videos for the web, especially to flv or mp4 formats. I doubt that you are encoding an flv with an spark codec, but Seth is right that you want to be using the VP6 codec.

An important note is that ever since flash 9.0 has been released (which was a while ago, currently 10 is the newest version), flash can play/stream mp4 videos in the h.264 codec. I prefer the h.264 codec over the VP6 codec, so you might want to consider that as a viable option as well.
Many thanks, Wes. Basically, as my NLE is Videostudio X2 Pro, I can only configure what they allow me, which results in a FLV4 video. The original file, as captured, is HDV and I see a big drop in quality. 700kbps Data Rate. MPEG-4 is definitely a much nicer product. I'm hoping that their version of 'Flowplayer' will upload it.
Many thanks for all your advice guys.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #9
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...From what I understand, the footage is to be uploaded to the clients web via "FLOWPLAYER", and I'm wonderfing if I can provide the footage in a different format.
Wish I knew something about Flowplayer. If it transcodes, (similar to what youtube or vimeo do to your video), then frequently the best intermediate file will be an h.264/mp4 codec.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Coughlin View Post
I highly disagree that you should go out and purchase any video encoder. The beauty about software is that there are many open source software... ...I doubt that you are encoding an flv with an spark codec, but Seth is right that you want to be using the VP6 codec.

An important note is that ever since flash 9.0 has been released (which was a while ago, currently 10 is the newest version), flash can play/stream mp4 videos in the h.264 codec. I prefer the h.264 codec over the VP6 codec, so you might want to consider that as a viable option as well.
Hmm... I misagree with Wes! The open source products (and I am a happy user of Super-C) encode to Spark or sometimes h.264/MPEG4. The Spark codec is free. Likewise h.264. VP6 costs money. VP6 was the first flash codec to bat in the same quality-for-bitrate ballpark as Windows Media, which for many years was the leader in q-for-b.

h.264 is the up-and-comer that puts WM, VP6, and just about anything else to shame in q-for-b. Can you use h.264 for wide distribution? I don't think you reach all viewers yet. I've heard/read that some people just can't see h.264, regardless of whether they have recent a recent flashplayer.

But I am with Wes on the quality, and h.264 gains more and more acceptance as the codec that's going to take us forward. Adobe Flash Player - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is a very interesting page that details the decoder side of Adobe Flash Player - VP6 in Aug. 2005, h.264 in Dec. 2007.

What is amazing to me is that the encoding side of the VP6 codec, which only used to be available in the full Flash app, in On2 Flix Pro, or as an addon to Sorenson Squeeze, any of which cost multiple hundreds of dollars, is now available in a stripped down Flix Standard for $40. Almost anybody can afford that, if they want to.

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Originally Posted by Mike Hardy View Post
...my NLE is Videostudio X2 Pro, I can only configure what they allow me, which results in a FLV4 video...
Which is the Spark codec, way poorer q-for-b than VP6 or h.264.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 06:06 PM   #10
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Hmm... I misagree with Wes!
Ha, misagree, love it!

Quote:
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Can you use h.264 for wide distribution? I don't think you reach all viewers yet. I've heard/read that some people just can't see h.264, regardless of whether they have recent a recent flashplayer.
It may be surprising, but YouTube is actually taking advantage of the increase quality and compression that h.264 offers, as it uses it primarily for encoding and streaming its HD content. There are probably still some people who have problems viewing HD versions of YouTube videos, but at least h.264 is starting to become more mainstream.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 10:45 PM   #11
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I ran into a friend who'd written a few advanced flash books, and mentioned the h.264 concerns I'd heard/read. He clarified the issue very quickly: h.264 takes relatively a lot of processor cycles to decode.

I suppose that shouldn't be a surprise...

Older computers would certainly be h.264-compatible with Flash Player 9.3, but may be processor-bound in uncompressing and playing a broadband stream.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 02:04 AM   #12
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I too am needing to get my short HD video files to .flv, they are 3-5 mins long and Adobe Premier crashes when I try to use it to encode to .flv, and Adobe Flash CS3 is no help, I have no clue how to use it.

I am just looking for a good quality .flv video.

What video format should I start with, to encode to .flv?
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Old May 9th, 2009, 08:10 AM   #13
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Since you apparently have Adobe Production CS3, convert to FLV using Adobe Media Encoder. It always works well for me.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 10:47 PM   #14
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Since you apparently have Adobe Production CS3, convert to FLV using Adobe Media Encoder. It always works well for me.
Would you mind sharing your flash settings? Thanks.
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