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Old March 26th, 2006, 04:07 PM   #1
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Compressing for online reel

I have completed putting together my first short; reasonably well done. I will be putting it online and have the following problem.

I ripped it from DVD, and it is currently at 120 mb in MPEG format, or 84 mb in AVI. Too big for online so far. So I used a program to compress it to Flash, and it came out to be 30-40 mb. The problem is that it is unwatchable due to a lack of buffering, and freezes while playing. I most likely will convert it to WMV, or keep it in MPEG or AVI.

Any suggestions on how to compress it from this stage, and how to reduce overall size? Mentioning specific programs to use would also help.

Thanks in advance.

A
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Old March 26th, 2006, 05:04 PM   #2
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There are (basically) 3 ways to reduce the size:

1. reduce the resolution, you normally do not want to encode at full 720 x 480 or 720 x 576. Do half of that. If you have black bars remove those as well (they waste space)

2. reduce the frame rate to 15 fps. This will make motion more choppy but also drops a lot of extra information

3. choose the "correct" codec

When you mention AVI (at to some point WMV) you are talking about a container format. AVI is not a compression method. So you will need to try various video and audio codecs FOR the AVI format. For example DiVX (if you have that installed).

Another option would be QuickTime in either MPEG-4 (MPEG-4 is a new form of MPEG, basically the same as DiVX, it can be a standalone format or a codec for other formats like AVI or QuickTime) or Sorenson.

Most NLE's (Premiere, Vegas, Final Cut Pro, etc.) offer ways to output to various formats and choose the codecs and their settings.

Play a lot of them and see what they all do.
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Old March 26th, 2006, 06:37 PM   #3
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Thanks Rob for your input.

I have a stupid question: how do I remove the black bars?
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Old March 26th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #4
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Use Quicktime 7 or Vegas 6.0d to generate an H.264 file. Set the resolution to 320x240 (if full frame), and the bit rate to 464kbps. Make the sound track mono with a bit rate of 48kbps. Each minute of footage should now take 3.75MB.

How long is the film anyway?

Quote:
I have a stupid question: how do I remove the black bars?
Each NLE has a different approach, but what you would do in Vegas is to set the project's aspect ratio to wide screen, then use the Pan/crop tool on the offending clip. Note that not all videos have superfluous black bars! At least not if they were captured and encoded properly.
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