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Old June 16th, 2008, 06:50 PM   #1
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What are you using to compress?

I am wondering how people are compressing for this competition. Since I have never had to meet anyone else's standard for codecs I use what I want. I am using Premiere CS3, and in the encoder setup, to use Sorenson 3 codec I have to make it a quicktime video. If I go mpeg 1 Sorenson 3 is not available. I don't seem to have mpeg 4 as an option either.

Sorenson Spark isn't available any more and they want $500 for Sorenson Squeeze. What are people doing for options to this?
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Last edited by Martin Vavra; June 16th, 2008 at 10:48 PM.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 09:40 PM   #2
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I am having the same problems you are, using Premiere Pro 2.0. The last time, I exported as Microsoft DV AVI and got the file down to 700MB, then exported that as Sorenson 3 50% quality and was at 59MB. This time, with HD footage, it's not so easy. Getting to 60MB with an image bigger than a postage stamp will requires some real compromises such as low quality and 15 frames per second. Anxious to see what you come up with.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 06:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Siegel View Post
I am having the same problems you are, using Premiere Pro 2.0. The last time, I exported as Microsoft DV AVI and got the file down to 700MB, then exported that as Sorenson 3 50% quality and was at 59MB. This time, with HD footage, it's not so easy. Getting to 60MB with an image bigger than a postage stamp will requires some real compromises such as low quality and 15 frames per second. Anxious to see what you come up with.

HI Steve, I think the output size for the comp :

Video size is limited to 60 mb 320 x 240 (4:3 aspect ratio) or 428 x 240 (16:9 widescreen)

I use PP2 as well, and I usually export an SD version, then run it through quicktime to export it down to 428x240. With sor3 I can use about 60% quality to get to 60mb. This is ample for good quality in this resolution, and you shouldn't have to compromise with non native framerate...

Hope that helps!
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Old June 17th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #4
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Hi Rob,
Thanks for the info. Sounds like you are doing what I had been doing, using Microsoft DV Avi for the first export as SD. The problem with that seems to be (at least on my PC)
that the 16:9 footage is converted a different frame size. It's not 4:3, but close, and the images are laterally compressed, as they would be in 4:3. This is probably because frame size is restricted to 720x480 in DV AVI. Changing pixel aspect ratio doesn't seem to make a difference. Are you shooting in wide angle?
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Old June 17th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #5
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No probs Steve - are you using the "widescreen" drop- down when exporting out to SD?
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Old June 17th, 2008, 12:12 PM   #6
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Hey Rob,
Tried that (D1/DV NTSC Widescreen 16:9 (1.2)). It compresses the frame and letterboxes the sides. What preserves the frame is square pixels. The result with square pixels is good, a 1.7GB file of 428x240. The next step, going to Sorenson 3 for the contest is the strange part. Using 428x240 and square pixels in QT Sorenson 3 the file is reduced to the 60 MB range, but instead of filling the 6.8x12 cm window in the Quicktime Player, it gives a little 3.4x6 cm image. Still can't figure that one out.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 10:48 AM   #7
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I shot mine in 1440x1080 at 12Mbps and like some others here have found out that starting with HD changes the whole compression ballgame.

Where I used to render out of the NLE to AVI (which ran about 600-700MB for a 3 minute "film") and then go to QuickTime Pro to convert and compress with Sorensen3 that no longer works.

Instead of Sorensen3 being available I seem to have H.264 as a best choice but nothing tried got the file size down anywhere near 60MB. Best I could do came in a bit over 108MB.

So in my NLE I set custom size as 428x240 and selected MP4 (the software then set my size to 432x240 ??? But nothing I could do about that) and let it render out. File size about 52MB.

I use Pinnacle Studio 11.1.2
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Old June 19th, 2008, 11:59 AM   #8
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Well, I've converted to Mac Pro and FCP and so far it's seem that the compression direct from the HD-timeline, using - export - using quick time conversion and set the appropriate parameters give me about 57-59MB file after conversion.

My experience from the Pc-world, was that I was using the Sorenson Squeeze Suite. My NLE was Avid Liquid. In Liquid I exported an avi-file, 720p, which then was imported into Sorenson for compression. The finished compressed file was always good to look at and around 55-59MB in size.

Sorensen video 3 - codec as we are supposed to use is maybe a little bit "old". Using H.264 codec is highly recommended. Maybe Meryem could chime in and gives us her opinion?
I think most modern webcompression tools have the H.264 codec built in, which gives a better compressed file IMHO.
The free quick-time player also support H.264 codec.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 02:35 PM   #9
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For whatever reason, Premiere CS3 doesn't have an mpeg4 setting on it, unless it has another title that is an Adobe version of the same thing. Every time I render this out in the Sorenson 3, the only option is to do it as an .mov in Quicktime, and the results are terrible. The quality is soooooooo low.

Admittedly, as I said in the first post, this has never been an issue for me before simply because I haven't had to do this before. It is clear to me now that I need to take a crash course in compression and web video rates and settings. All of my prior work goes to DVD or Vimeo, so I never think this stuff through for such settings. I am going to be very mad at myself if the one thing holding me back from my entry is the fact that I can't get this thing compressed into some form or fashion that is acceptable to the UWOL standards. I certainly know that I don't have $500 to blow on Sorenson Squeeze 5, and the trial version has a watermark big enough to see from orbit. I can't find a person to get me Sorenson Spark. My days and options are dwindling.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 05:12 PM   #10
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Well, I am at a total loss. I can't seem to get anything to look good at the specs needed. I have been going back to the archives on the UWOL website and I am complete baffled at the way people have such great compression. I made an Mpeg2 of my video and it is awesome. I made a large Quicktime of it and it looks great. As soon as I bring it down it is like I put my footage in a meat grinder. If anyone is willing to help, that would be appreciated. I am running Premiere CS3 for my editing. I have no compression program, I am just trying to do it through the Adobe Media Encoder on P-CS3.

My latest attempt got a 63 mb Quicktime Mpeg4 and it looks squashed. It is in widescreen and the widescreen is totally lost and the compression lateraly compressed the width. This is one of those moments where I feel like I have much to learn and no idea where to get the info.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 05:20 PM   #11
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Martin,
How big is the QuickTime file? I can set you up to FTP it and I can try compressing it for you.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 05:23 PM   #12
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Per,

Can't you get a cross-platform license for Sorenson Squeeze? I know most duel platform programs will do that.
Course, you have a Intel Mac so you should be able to run Windows on it and run the PC version of Squeeze anyway. :)

I know Meryem's thing about H.264 was that she didn't want to use a codec that someone had to download if they were not that computer savvy.

So, if H.264 can be found on all computers then maybe she'd be willing to revisit it.
I love H.264 so I'd be a happy camper if we went to that.
Maybe we could increase the image size and still be able to keep the file size down.
Would be nice to have bigger movies to look at.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 06:04 PM   #13
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The best looking one was 1gig while I was experimenting with settings. That is too big to FTP. It seems that as long as it is 100mb or bigger it is fine. I just did one that was 88mb, and for what ever reason the lateral compression happened on the video again. The only thing I am changing is the bit rate, but when it gets smaller and smaller, Premiere is laterally compression the viewing field.

At this moment I feel very inadequate. This has always been intuitive for me; I taught myself Premiere, AE, Photoshop, and Encore but compressing for the web seems to have me doing rocket surgery.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 07:25 PM   #14
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Martin,

I finally got it to work in PPro 2. Here's what I did. Actually pretty simple.

1. Original 3 minute project on the timeline. (If this were to be exported as a movie using Microsoft AVI with no compression it would be about 15 GB).

2. Export the timeline as a movie using Quicktime, Compressor=Sorenson 3, Frame Size=
428x240 pixels, frame rate=29.97, quality=25% (yes it's low,but that's the rules of the game), square pixels (footage was shot in HD 16:9 pixel aspect ratio 1.333, but square pixels works here), check recompress, Audio uncompressed at 32KHz.

3. The result was a 59MB file, 6 x 12 cm in the Quicktime player window, which is typical of what everyone will be getting. The quality is not good, but the window is so small that it is acceptable. Sorenson Squeeze provides a better image with a similar file size. If you look at all the entries, you can guess who uses Squeeze and who doesn't. I think the judge must take this into account, because it doesn't seem to give an advantage.

4. What you might want to do is make a larger file using H.264 or DivX (my favorite), and post it separately on a platform like Vimeo. Then we can see what your video really looks like.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 07:31 PM   #15
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Martin,
One more thing. Your lateral compression. Were you exporting as Microsoft DV AVI first, then going to Sorenson 3? I had the same problem when doing that. Spent a lot of time trying to figure it out, never could.
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