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Old August 18th, 2005, 02:56 AM   #1
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Sorenson Squeeze 4 - Any Suggestions?

hey everyone. I'm hoping that someone here can help me out...

I've been having a hell of a time trying to figure out Sorenson Squeeze 4 (SS) for encoding/rendering (they're both the same thing, right?) my final vid clips. I'm an amateur at this whole video thing but i'm learning fast.

These vid clips will be used on a website so i was thinking about rendering them at about 800-900kbps. That's not my concern though. My main concern is to figure out how to put out the highest quality video at the smallest possible size and there are just WAY TOO MANY settings to adjust in SS and it's driving me crazy trying to figure out the best combo.

Here are two images for those of you who don't have SS:

http://greenpoolmedia.com/images/win...edia_video.jpg
http://greenpoolmedia.com/images/quicktime.jpg

The "windows media video" image shows the settings that i'm currently rendering my .wmv files at. But the "quicktime" image shows the basic settings for that format (i have not yet started to render in quicktime to play around with these settings).

Basically, if someone can let me know what's important in these settings and what i should adjust and what i should just leave alone (primarily "key frame every" and "frame rate").

I shoot using a Sony VX2000 and edit using Sony Vegas 5. I then print the final edited video to tape and then recapture this entire clip in raw AVI for rendering using SS.

Thanks and ANY help will be greatly appreciated :)

Alex
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Old August 18th, 2005, 07:54 AM   #2
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It would be helpful to know what kind of material you are trying to compress and for what audience. Choosing compression options is all about trade-offs and what way you choose to go is going to depend on what elements of the video are more important to your application.

The compression choices you would make for an engineering/scientific video would be different from what you might choose for a wedding, for example.

I had to use Sorenson to compress a 3-minute short film for the Amazon/Tribeca short film competition using the Flash Video (FLV) format. It makes very small, fairly nice video (at least at 384k) but when the camera moves (as opposed to the subject moving) the picture goes literally to pieces. For this film that was acceptable since most shots were static but you can imagine applications where this would not be the way to go.

If you're not sure about using the detailed settings I would suggest going with one of the presets and experimenting from there.

I'm sure there is someone here with more detailed suggestions but I thought it would be helpful to gather more info about what you're working with.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 09:24 AM   #3
 
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Read "Compressing Your Movies" under the "Help" menu. It explains every thing you need to know in order to understand what you're doing and what you want to accomplish.

Jay
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Old August 18th, 2005, 10:37 AM   #4
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Ah man, welcome to the wonderful world of low bit rate encoding... It IS confusing, and you need to educate yourself of what those settings do by reading manuals, FAQ, and HOWTO articles.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 11:20 AM   #5
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you should pick the format(s) that you want to host first... wmv is more efficient, you'll get better results with it at comparable bandwidth settings.

the main thing you are concerned about is the settings in the center area... here is what i typically do for the bitrate you listed, it would be classified as downloadable video, not streaming, so keep it short:

640x480: 800-950+ kbps
2-pass vbr
everything else pretty much per your pic

if you want broadband people to actually play it back in "semi-real time", try cutting the frame size down to start:

320x240: ~250kbps(??) or less
2-pass vbr
audio bandwidth ~32 kbps or less

start creating video at those specs, subtracting bandwidth as you go, until it gets too ugly to look at... make sure that the wmv player frame size is playing it back the same size you encoded it at, then double the player frame size for further evaluation.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 03:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell
Read "Compressing Your Movies" under the "Help" menu. It explains every thing you need to know in order to understand what you're doing and what you want to accomplish.

Jay
thanks Jay but that's not included in my version :( do you have any idea where i can access this info on the web??? i've looked at their website to no avail

Alex
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Old August 18th, 2005, 03:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Euritt
you should pick the format(s) that you want to host first... wmv is more efficient, you'll get better results with it at comparable bandwidth settings.

the main thing you are concerned about is the settings in the center area... here is what i typically do for the bitrate you listed, it would be classified as downloadable video, not streaming, so keep it short:

640x480: 800-950+ kbps
2-pass vbr
everything else pretty much per your pic

if you want broadband people to actually play it back in "semi-real time", try cutting the frame size down to start:

320x240: ~250kbps(??) or less
2-pass vbr
audio bandwidth ~32 kbps or less

start creating video at those specs, subtracting bandwidth as you go, until it gets too ugly to look at... make sure that the wmv player frame size is playing it back the same size you encoded it at, then double the player frame size for further evaluation.
Awesome information, Dan. Thanks!

So do you really think that i need to compress the vid down that much (320x240 at ~250kbps) for streaming to broadband users? So that should be the upper limit of my streaming vids then. How about for dial up users? what's the recommended size of streaming video for them?

PS. is it true that encoding with the 2-Pass VBR (or is it 3-Pass?) codec will prevent your vid from playing on Macs?
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Old August 19th, 2005, 03:43 PM   #8
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250kbps @ 320x240 frame size is indeed hitting it pretty hard... how well it will hold up depends on the content you are encoding... you may have to go up to ~300 kbps for the video portion... sometimes you can cut the fps way down, depending on the content, which really saves bandwidth... do it by multiples of half(?), don't pick an odd fps like 17.

try going to places like msnvideo.com, right-click on a stream, and see if the properties show the frame size and bitrate they are using... i typically will encode several clips in a row, all with slightly different names and bitrates, to find the lower limit of what works.

since cbr will always create a bigger file that'll cost you more bandwidth to serve up, vbr is the way to go... but you'll probably have to use cbr if you are serving the video clip up from a windows media server.

i have not heard about a mac-related vbr issue, but some mac people out here have posted about wmp 10 issues with macs.

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

in general, macs make up less than 3% of the o.s.'s on the internet... this is where you need to look at your web server stats and the market you are addressing, to see where your priorities really are.
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Old August 20th, 2005, 06:47 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Adhami
thanks Jay but that's not included in my version :( do you have any idea where i can access this info on the web??? i've looked at their website to no avail

Alex
Do you have a legal version? If so, it will be there. If it's not contact Sorenson directly.

Jay
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