FCP Export for Web "Sweet Spot"?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by DCAbrams, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. DCAbrams macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2007
    I'm trying to export video I've edited using Final Cut Pro to post on the web, as well as make available to download as a podcast.

    I've tried many different combinations of file types, and played with the options in many of these, but just can't seem to find a "perfect" export: one that is a small enough file size, but does not totally degrade the quality.

    I've been able to either get the video to have good quality, but large file size (1.2GB), or a smaller file size more suited for the web, but virtually unusuable quality.

    Can anyone give me some direction? The video is ~12 min. long, and I'm trying to put it on my iWeb site, and hopefully get it onto the iTunes podcast page.

  2. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    What's the subject matter? ( how much motion on the screen? )

    What is your target file size/bitrate?

    In the end, the goals of smallest file and highest quality are of of course mutually exclusive, and it's all up to personal taste on where that sweet spot is on that curve.

    here are things to try:
    * use H.264
    * shrink the resolution
    * drop the frame rate ( 24 fps, 20, 15 might even work for your clip )
    * make your audio mono unless you really need it stereo.
    * increase the number of frames between key frames to something high like 240. ( this will only work if you have medium to low amount of motion )

    Start the bandwidth limit around 1000Kbit, examine how that looks to you and then drop it down to 600Kbit. If that's not tolerable, bump it up and compare... 650... 750... 800...

    You have a limited bandwidth window here because right now your target audience can't sustain on average more than 100Kbytes ( 800Kbits ) per second. Now since you're not streaming, but are podcasting, this isn't as much of an issue... you may be able to increase your bitrate as high as 1200Kbit or higher. That will affect your file size of course.

    Take a 30-60 second representative sample of your work to do all these tests on, otherwise the amount of time you have to wait while you're finding that sweet spot will be frustrating.

    Hope this helps!
  3. L3X macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2006
    Chesapeake, VA
    For resolution, you want them to be divisible by 16.

    ie. 640x480.

    We export to FLVs at my work and stream from a flash server. We use about 400k bandwidth and the rez is 512x288. They look pretty good.
  4. DCAbrams thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2007
    Thanks for all the help! (The in-depth responses are awesome!)

    Trying it out now, let's see how it goes!

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