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Old October 30th, 2009, 09:17 AM   #1
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Compression issues

Okay,
my submission was entered, but not without a lot of breaking rule #11, at the end.

I read all the threads on the challenge site, regarding compression. None of what I read helped.

How are you all getting such small files, what software/settings are you using, the workflow after the film is edited and ready for compression is what I am looking for.

99% of the video I see is just awesome, from such, and I would really like to get, where most of you are.

I know starting with good video-colour and lighting and composition and audio/script, is how you start, it's the end result to upload, for you all to see, that is my issue.

Sam
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Old October 30th, 2009, 09:33 AM   #2
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Sam...what is your NLE?

I use Vegas and render as a .mov with the sorenson 3 codec.
Mess around a little bit with the quality level and audio settings to get as close to 60mb as possible....and...

It seems to come out OK...
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Old October 30th, 2009, 12:20 PM   #3
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This has come up before, and I have yet to get a positive outcome.

I use Premiere Pro CS3, and the encoding isn't great, at least on my hardware. My footage is pretty good (by my standards), but the Sorenson and h264 outputs at the proscribed size isn't very good. It loses color (which I have corrected for and slightly mitigated), but it loses sharpness a lot.

I know it's do-able; I downloaded the Sorenson Squeeze demo and it makes brilliant compressed video, doesn't wash out the color and gets a good file size, but it's $500 - no way, at the moment, funds aren't that stretchy here.

I'm hampered as well by not using HD, due to steam-powered a computer, but that's another matter.

Not to mention, I never think about this until the day before submission, which doesn't help, it's too late by then!
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Old October 30th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #4
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Sam,
I stumbled across a beautiful fix for the compression problem. I have spent many days, weeks, maybe even months trying to solve it by many means, with mixed results. This is so easy, I'm almost embarrassed. The software is called Wondershare. It's free, or a donation. You load your footage, chose a codec to change it to, pick your bit rate, and frame size. The software tells you how big the file size will be before you do anything.

My original video (this is for the long form) is 50 minutes long, 1.8 GB, a .wmv file from Adobe Premiere Pro 2. In Wondershare I used a bitrate of 384 kbps, frame size of 428x240 pixels, and .mov as codec. The result is 169 MB, well within the required parameters. And it converts in less than an hour! Yes, it pixellates heavily in the big motion scenes, but the rest is nice. What can you expect at 384 kbps? Try it.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 01:40 PM   #5
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I'm using Compressor that comes with Final Cut Studio. It will give an estimated completed file size and I just keep jacking up the data rate until it's right around the max file size allowed.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 01:59 PM   #6
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Sam,
Which software do you use for edit and encoding?

Mike,
I agree with you. I also use Premiere Pro CS3 for editing. Gave up Premiere for compressing and bought Squeeze.
The quality difference is like night and day.
Yes, Squeeze is expencive, but well worth it if you can afford it.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 02:16 PM   #7
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Trond,

I have to choose between a 2x lens extender and an electronic download! I am patiently awaiting my next bonus at work - but it will nto come in time for UWOL 15.

It's good to hear that I'm not the only one unimpressed by CS3. I do have CS4, but the olde, steam-powered PC can't cope with it. It's OK with good HQ renders, and HD renders (if I have 2 months to edit and another month to render!), but the smaller ones give me a lot of trouble.

Steve,

I will try out Wondershare. Can't find a free download, just a trial at www.wondershare.com, but I'll give it a go.

As I said, I always forget about this until the very end. If I was a more organised person, I would be trying out all of this in the downtime between UWOLs!
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Old October 31st, 2009, 05:14 AM   #8
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Sam,

I have the same issue. Unfortuantly for me, I could not for the life of me get a proper render of my video to submite. I am so frustrated, I spent the whole day yesterday trying to get something I can submite that would look desent. It would either be a 8.5meg and pixilated or 2.5gig in size. Finally I uploaded it to youtube just to have something.
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Old October 31st, 2009, 05:32 AM   #9
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Oliver,

You have an email....
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Old October 31st, 2009, 12:11 PM   #10
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I've tried out Wondershare and, initially, the results seem good. I'm trying a series of renders and comparing them to PP CS3's efforts. Odd how a $36 piece of software out-classes Adobe's finest; I suppose it CS3 is a few years old now.

Edit:

OK, I think I'm on to something here. The problem with CS3, I think, is the resizing of the video from the default project size (which seems to have to be one of the standard HDV or DV sizes) to anything smaller. The Export feature in CS3 will create clean uncompressed AVIs, but if you use Media Encoder to make anthing else, it freaks out with the resizing of the image to something "non-standard" and destroys a lot of the quality, particuarly if there is water or a pan/tilt.

At least I'll have a couple of better quality alternatives to post, even if my competition upload is poo.
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Last edited by Mike Beckett; October 31st, 2009 at 12:57 PM.
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Old October 31st, 2009, 03:32 PM   #11
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CS3 rendering - the process

OK, here's how I've finally improved my render for CS3:

The short version:
- Export from your original project at the UWOL size (428x240), using File-Export-Movie, to get an uncompressed AVI
- Create a new project with custom settings at the UWOL size, import your uncompressed movie, then export to Quicktime using your preferred settings

The long version:
1. Edit your project together in its native format (HDV, DV Pal, whatever)
2. Don't use Adobe Media Encoder to generate the smaller size from this project

3. Choose: "File | Export | Movie" menu option
4. Click: "Settings" button
5. General: Microsoft AVI, Export Video - on, Export Audio - on
6. Video: compressor - none, color depth - millions, frame size - 428x240, frame rate - 25 (or 30), Pixel aspect ratio - square pixels, recompress - off
7. Keyframe/rendering: I left everything as default, set Deinterlace - on because I start with interlaced footage
8. Audio: all as per default
9. Click OK, then Save to save your uncompressed AVI file

10. Create a new project.
11. Click Custom settings tab
12. Editing mode: desktop. 25 fps (or 30 fps)
13. Frame size: 428 x 240 (the UWOL size)
14. Aspect ratio - Square pixels
15. Fields - progressive. Leave everything else as per default.

16. Import your uncompressed AVI, drag it onto the timeline
17. Fire up Export - Adobe Media Encoder
18. Choose settings: - Quicktime, H.264 or Sorenson, Quality 100, dimensions 428 x 240, FPS (25 or 30), Progressive, Square pixels, bit rate: 2048kbps, make sure deinterlace is off

Now you can export, and it will be a lot cleaner. The key seems to be not to use Adobe Media Encoder to do any resizing from your original footage size, it does a bad job of this. Once you get your head around all that, you can experiment more with the output settings and tweak the video.

This may or may not apply to CS4 as well, I am not able to try that.

Now I can delete the 50 or so crappy export profiles that don't work properly!

(Saved $36 too!)
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 04:05 PM   #12
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Thanks to everyone that answered this.

Mike, thanks for the long version, on CS3 rendering.

I am still using Premiere 6.5, and have CS2.
6.5 normally gives me what I want, but not this time around, and CS2, made things worse.
I guess I will find a copy of CS3, as I also have a steam powered computer and laptop, that CS4 will bring the steel wheels to a stop.

Oliver, loved your submission.
I was in the same boat, either to large, and not by much, or smaller-which got uploaded.

I will try Mike's process, with CS2, and get my UWOL #15, up on Vimeo.

Bob and Steve, I will try what you have suggested.
I haven't played enough with Sony Vegas, although I have it.
I guess I should use it between challenges too, to see what it can do for me.

Trond, I think I will have to find a friend, who has squeeze, and see what it can do for me.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 01:02 PM   #13
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Mike,

once again thanks for all your work on this.

I tried this with CS2, and it works famously.

I will keep a hard copy of your instructions, and can always come back to this, should the hard copy go astray.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 01:54 PM   #14
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Since there has been an issue with compression this round, would it be an idea if we post our compression settings for the various NLE/Compression software we use?

I could post my settings for Squeeze (I compress from DV, so if anyone use Squeeze to compress from HD(V), they could post their settings...)

Whoever uses Compressor, Vegas, PPro.... to compress their files, could post the settings they use (with success), so we won't have this trouble again next round?

Any thoughts?
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