Best way to reduce file size keeping Quality

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Dukey, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Dukey macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2011
    Hi there all,

    So I finished editing a short documentary for a client and he is going to put the video on his new CD release as a bonus in addition to the music. Now that the video is ready for export I was wondering what would be the best way to go about keeping the quality but while reducing the files size to around 120mb.

    -I shot the footage on an canon vixia hf21 HD camcorder.

    -I'm using final cut pro 7 to edit

    -The video is around 10mins

    -client wants the size of the video around 640x480 (I'm going to give him 640x360 because it looks better, also the dimensions isn't as important as the size)

    -the video has to be 120mb or less.

    I was messing around the exports setting and got 350mb exporting as h.264 best quality dimensions 640x360 but as result but stretch out to full screen on my lap top the low res quality was very notice able (obviously because it's stretched out)

    Should I be looking in compressor? Any advise would be helpful thanks.
  2. boch82 macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2008
    You should contact whoever is authoring and mater the disks. They probably have specific settings that are required for that to work.

    In general, you should never export a file from FCP, always export a reference file and encode in compressor or another compression program.
  3. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    Use Compressor to specify a target bitrate of 1400Kbps for video and 192Kbps for audio.
  4. Dukey thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2011
    I understand. I'm wondering why this is, I've exported stuff from final cut before and didn't find anything wrong with it. Also have use compressor for web related files. Why do say "never export on FCP?" (for the sake of learning :)

    Thanks will try this. The bit rate is something I could never really wrap my brain around 100% do you mind explaining to me why "1400kbps for video and 192kbps are significant numbers?

  5. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    There are Bitrate calculators available online, like this one:
    They help you to get the right size.

    The bitrate is simply the number of bits and bytes that are transferred per second. The more of them bits are transferred, the better is your quality, but the file size is bigger. 1400 is a good, well somewhat, compromise between size and quality. 192Kbps is a standard.

    A reference movie is actually only a kind of database that tells Compressor or QT where to find the specific clip and what you did to it (filters, color corrections, transitions). There is no re-compression (possible generation loss!) taking place on output, and you save a lot of space.
    There is one caveat though: You should only use it when your project with all its media stays at the same place on the same computer. If you want to share your movie with someone else, it won't work.
  6. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    Bitrate is file size over time (akin to miles per hour). 1600Kbps for 10 mins = 120MB. 1400 and 192 is a good balance of video and audio quality.
  7. Dukey thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2011
    Thank you guys for explain that to me. Will go ahead and try and apply :)
  8. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    You will probably want to use h264 encoding which is one of the most efficient. This can be both a MP4 or MOV file. You always loose quality when you decrease size so you have to tweak your settings to see what's acceptable for you.

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