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Old September 18th, 2012, 08:53 PM   #1
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Good, Clean Compression for HD Streaming

There is a major disparity between the videos that I upload to the internet (Vimeo) and many of the others that I see there. My videos, by contrast, seem plagued by noise and motion artifacts:

I am using FCP6 Compressor, and following the Vimeo guidelines:

H.264
VBR set to "Best"
.mov
24p
Plus, project originally transcoded via Media Manager and edited in ProRes 422.

For examples of how much better videos can look on Vimeo, look no farther than any video on the "Staff Picks" channel. My question: is my problem just that I am shooting with a Letus attached to a 3x1/3" 4:2:0 camera? Or is there a better compressor out there that others are using?
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Old September 18th, 2012, 09:04 PM   #2
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Re: Good, Clean Compression for HD Streaming

1) Does the video look this way if you export a full quality ProRes 422 file and watch it on your computer?

2) The video does look weird. It should be better than that.

3) You compression settings above are missing one critical component - bit rate. For 720p, make sure you're running at least 5000 kbps. I use 10,000 kbps for 1080p.

4) An easy way to make a video that looks great is to use the "iPad" preset in FCP, Quicktime or Compressor. It encodes a 720p .m4v file (that works fine on Vimeo) with a 5000 kbps bit rate and 128 kbps audio. If you want to do 1080p, try the "Mac" or "AppleTV" presets.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 07:27 PM   #3
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Re: Good, Clean Compression for HD Streaming

Thanks for the advice. 5,000 Kb/s actually yields an inferior result to the VBR compression that I am using now (because the max VBR travels higher than 5k, I think). I think that it must have something to do with the organic noise and lack of contract in the original. Somebody in a post-house up here told me that both of those things can be confusing to compressors.

Unless...anybody else has a compression secret?
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Old September 25th, 2012, 09:33 AM   #4
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Re: Good, Clean Compression for HD Streaming

Have you tried CBR? Not all encoders incorporate VBR very well.

Also, I would never recommend an H.264 to Prores to H.234 workflow. I have always been better off with editing native.
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Old September 28th, 2012, 10:05 AM   #5
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Re: Good, Clean Compression for HD Streaming

Having ripped the video down and opened in QT, I noticed the frame rate is now 30fps. I know Vimeo has its own re-compression pass after content is uploaded to the site, so not sure if that is where the frame rate change is happening. It looks as if duplicate frames are being inserted before a compression pass, adding to the jerky motion.

Besides looking into the frame rate itself - try increasing the number of keyframes rather than using auto. I like to use every 4 or 5 frames depending on the source frame rate (i.e. 5 for 30fps, 4 for 23.98fps).
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