compressing finalcut pro video

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Harryt223, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Harryt223 macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2008
    Hey everyone! Looking for some advice/tips here.

    I need to burn a DVD for my class projects.. and I'm wondering what the best way is?? and also less time consuming.

    I have been exporting my video's as FinalCut Pro movies.. eg. .fcp files and then was planning on burning them.. but the size his huge.. they range from 800MB to 2.2 GB PER a video...

    So would my best bet be with exporting as a quicktime mov file?

    PS: I didn't tick the "recompress frames" button.. so I suppose that could have increased the size??
  2. -DH macrumors 65816

    Nov 28, 2006
    Nashville Tennessee
    The 'best way' wouldn't be less time consuming. You can have speed or quality, but not usually both at the same time. Encoding is somewhat of a dark art and requires a lot of forethought if you expect good quality. It also takes time.

    FWIW, commercial DVD authors (Hollywood releases) will often encode each scene individually, choosing settings based on the nature of each scene. A scene with fast motion will require higher bit rates to playback smoothly at good quality, while a scene with little motion will be OK with a lower bit rate.

    If you want speed, purchase a stand-alone DVD recorder, connect it to your DV device and record directly from FCP's Timeline in real time. Quality can be good this way, depending on the nature of your source video, the brand of media you use and the recorder model and settings you use.

    As for the file sizes; your term of "huge" is very relative. DV footage (which is compressed 5:1 in the camera) requires about 13.3gb per hour of footage, so when you say that the file sizes of 2.2gb or 800mb are "huge," most editors would consider that to be very small.

    In FCP, if your Sequence settings are for DV, then what you export as a self-contained movie will be the size that those settings require. As above, if you Sequence settings are for DV, your export will be at those specs and space requirements of 13.3gb per hour.

    When you encode for DVD-Video, you have to compress/encode the exported file to .MPEG-2 (.m2v video) and either AC3 (Dolby digital) or AIFF audio. Compressor is usually used for this task. Those two files are then multiplexed (muxed) and written as specially formatted VOB files to be compatible with the DVD-Video specification. DVD Studio Pro handles this part of the process.

    Alternatively, if quality isn't your main concern, you can import the FCP (QT) movie directly into iDVD or DVD-SP for encoding and authoring. While this may seem to take less time, it affords the user less control over the various parameters that affect quality and still takes time in that both applications will still have to encode and author the disc - it just removes a step but the process is the same.

  3. UndertheRadar macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2007
    My advice, just export as a quicktime file using the reference movie option without recompress frames option and bring it into DVDSP or iDVD and let them do the encoding. If you want to experiment, considering you have the time, then go into compressor and play with the different settings.
  4. Harryt223 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2008
    thanks for the heads up.

    I was asking because our teacher wants it all on one DVD.. and one video itself is 2GB.. so.. it might be tough to get all my video's on one.. though my other classmates have done it.. hmm...

    btw.. wouldn't re-compressing the frames during export.. = smaller file size?
  5. ShakeWellProd macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2008
    Good Luck

    Bro, I had the same dilemma.

    I had 3 hours of footage that needed to go onto one DVD.

    I ended up using "Compressor", import the file into compressor, click on the little arrow, then it gives you options choose the Dolby for audio and Mpeg 2 for video. I used the best setting for the 150 Minute DVD, you can try using the fastest option for 150 minute dvd.

    My results were great. I had 3 1-hour videos all compressed onto one DVD. You can lower the bit-rate on you audio down to 128 160 or 192.

    It took a 12.5 gig video down to about 2gig. If that is too big you can adjust the mpeg2 setting to as low as 2.0 bit rate.
  6. UndertheRadar macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2007
    The reference file will actually be smaller cause it's encoding from the original files on your computer. It'll tell whatever app your in where to get the files from and encode from there. Compressor is awesome and would definitely give you the best result but if you want something quick go with pulling the reference file into your other program. Which program are you using to create your dvd?
  7. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    If you're making a DVD, you will have to compress your footage to MPEG-2 and then author a DVD using DVD Studio Pro. If your timelines in FCP are already rendered, you can export directly from there. Open your finished timeline, make sure it's rendered and plays back fine, then go to File > Export > Using Compressor. Select the most appropriate DVD presets, and go.
  8. Harryt223 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2008
    At the moment I have some files in .mov format and some in FCP movie format.. Just wondering what I can do to compress the FCP movie files? Since 2 of them are 2GB.. I need to bring it down.. would IDVD or DVD Studio compress it down?? or do I have to use compressor?
  9. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    all of your files will be converted to MPEG2 in iDVD or DVDSP before they are burned to disc. this will make the QT Mov's from FCP much smaller.

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