Best way to create mid-quality, low-MB video blog

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by cleo, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. cleo macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2002
    Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
    It's not actually a vlog I'm making, but a project for school (me-talking-on-video-in-lieu-of-5-page-paper). But the same idea: me talking into my external iSight.

    I'd like to post the final product on vimeo, so the size needs to be no larger than 500MB. The length will be 5-6 minutes.

    The rub: Because it's for school, the final product will be an amalgamation of many separate clips (takes). In the past when I've done stuff like this, I've recorded in QT Pro; imported those clips into iMovie 6; trimmed, added title screens where necessary, and put quick (like, .25sec) fade-out-fade-in transitions between clips to avoid choppiness; then moved the whole thing over to iMovie 8 for uploading to a password-protected Web Gallery. (Of course, I'll be skipping this final step this time, since I can embed password-protected vimeo vids.) Anyway, my past experience has been that the end result is a much larger file than the composite pieces, and of *much* lower quality, all of which lets you know that I have only the weakest grasp of the whole thing. (I suspect the quality thing is like repeatedly encoding a jpeg, introducing new artifacts each time?)

    So my mission is to have a 5-6 minute movie of me talking, under 500 MB, that isn't exactly HD but doesn't look like utter crap, either. I'd do the whole thing in QT Pro, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to smooth the transitions between clips in that program.

    My questions:

    1) Can I do basic transitions in QT Pro? If so, how?
    2) If not, what is the best strategy for doing this project? If I record into QT then transfer the clips to iMovie, what setting should I use? Is it better to record right into iMovie? (IIRC, I had trouble getting it to recognize my external iSight in the past.) And best export settings there, regardless of where the material comes from?
    3) Any general tips for avoiding filesize-bloat?
    4) One random one: I notice in QT Pro I can speed up a recorded clip. If I take a 1min clip, set it to 2x so it's 30sec, and reencode it, will it be half the filesize?
  2. Lunja macrumors 6502


    May 15, 2005
    Lincoln UK
    Hi Cleo -

    I know that one of the best methods for getting good quality on YouTube is to export using the h.264 codec in QT Pro, so if you can export a high-ish quality or uncompressed .mov file from iMovie, you should be able to open it in QT Pro, and export it again using the h.264 codec.

    If Vimeo is like Youtube, then they may re-encode your video before publishing it, so the emphasis when exporting your video is on getting a video that will be good after it has been through further encoding. There are a few good sites around that can help you with encoding for YouTube (ie. encoding video to be re-encoded through Flash). However if Vimeo is nothing like Youtube (I don't know - I've not used it) then feel free to ignore all of this paragraph ;)

    EDIT: In terms of workflow, record the video using the method that gives you the biggest/uncompressed filesize, take it into your editor, export uncompressed and then take it into QT Pro to compress it using h.264. Hopefully this will work...

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