Final cut pro - best small size format to export to?

Philo86

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 26, 2006
21
0
Okay, the title is just a bit wrong conserning my problem.
I've tried exporting my FCP project on several formats, mpg4 - .mov and a few others but they all look very blurry. Except the non-compressed one, which takes 400 megs of space. Now I want to share this video on the net, so the max. size should be about 140 meg.

The only half decent one I got was when exporting to Mpeg-4 Improved PAL for CD. But it's still not good enough, too blurry...

Has anyone got some idea how I can compress FCP projects to good quality and relatively small size quicktime movies?
 

Macnoviz

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2006
1,059
0
Roeselare, Belgium
Philo86 said:
Okay, the title is just a bit wrong conserning my problem.
I've tried exporting my FCP project on several formats, mpg4 - .mov and a few others but they all look very blurry. Except the non-compressed one, which takes 400 megs of space. Now I want to share this video on the net, so the max. size should be about 140 meg.

The only half decent one I got was when exporting to Mpeg-4 Improved PAL for CD. But it's still not good enough, too blurry...

Has anyone got some idea how I can compress FCP projects to good quality and relatively small size quicktime movies?
I think the most simple thing to do would be using iMovie to compress your non-compressed one for web-streaming, so it's all done automatically. You get pretty good results that way.

How long is your movie?

I don't like saying it, but using Windows Movie Maker on a PC (or flip4mac) is also an option, WMV is a really good codec for small files and decent quality.
When I was working with Adobe Premiere, I exported a trailer for a movie of about a minute 30 times, with either poor quality or large file size. Then I tried WMV, with a web setting from WMM, and it was immediatly perfect.
 

Philo86

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 26, 2006
21
0
My movie is 10 minutes long. Usually I get good results when compressing with iMovie, but not this time. I tried it with iMovie but it's still too blurry.
The best result I now got was compressing in FCP with quicktime conversion to .wmv but for some reason it stops at exactly 30 seconds. There's nothing special at 30 seconds, it's the same clip, same music, nothing special. It just stops at 0.30 with windows media compression, any advice?
 

Philo86

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 26, 2006
21
0
Okay, I got it now. I have flip4mac trial version which only exports up to 30 seconds of video. Damn...

Now I don't know what format to export with.
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
Are you tweaking the settings as you go, or are you just using presets? Does your movie have a lot of fast movement/action in it? A good looking 10min movie for the web coming in at under 140megs shouldn't be too difficult to do. Unless, of course, you have unreasonably high expectations of quality. ;)


Lethal
 

D-rock

macrumors member
Aug 24, 2006
35
0
City of Angels, Left Coast
You should buy yourself a copy of Cleaner. It's one of the best investments you can make for exporting video to the web. The built-in compression within FCP is not nearly as robust as Cleaner's. :cool:
 

evil_santa

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2003
893
0
London, England
I do a lot of encoding with 'mpeg 1' I get quite good results from a 1mbps encode that results in about 8mb file size per minute of video.
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,561
0
VA
if you're going to the web, export it as quicktime and save it from there. The best thing you can do in quicktime is set it at 15 fps which should look fine on the web and cut the file size significantly. Also tweeking the size makes a huge difference as well. Unless its important to keep it at the PAL size, you'd do well to cut it in half for the web as well.

D
 

elvirav

macrumors member
Jun 29, 2006
76
0
California, off and on.
Evil Santa has a good suggestion: MPEG-1 will do well. I convert my video over from iMovie or Final Cut Pro using VisualHub (visualhub.net). (Well, first I export the file from iMovie or FCP using an "uncompressed" setting, then I use Visual Hub.)

If you want to take the path of least resistence, then WMV is the way to go. I'm sick of WMV, though, because it tends to have a softer picture, and it takes a long time to encode with Flip4Mac. MP4 (with H.264 encoding) or AVI (with DivX) give sharper picture, and somewhat smaller file size.

The problem with these codecs is that some computers won't play them. If someone's computer is really old, H.264 is too processor-intenstive.

But more often, the real problem is that users won't figure out how to play these other codecs. Many just want the file to open automatically in Windows Media Player, and if it won't do that, they start crying, "I can't play it!" "There's something wrong!" A few might even complain and demand that you make a WMV version of the file. They don't seem to want to use another program (like Quicktime or VLC Player) to play the file.

(I shouldn't say that everyone is like this. I know that's not true. But it is true that many Windows users are lost if the video file is not WMV.)

Getting back to the point: MPEG-1 is a good file choice because it will play on older computers. Some WMV files won't play on older Macs or PCs. While many people will want you to use WMV files (and depending on what you're doing, WMV might be the best choice), the truth is that older Macs (and PCs) might not be able to play them. But they will be able to play MPEG-1. So, for more compatibility, MPEG-1 is good to go.
 

virus1

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2004
1,191
0
LOST
lot of advice goin around here.. but why don't you just take it through compressor and find a good H.264 res + audio setting so it lands at around 140? H.264 is really the way to go, because it compresses it so well, and is quicktime, which easily works on macs and pc's (no messing with flip4mac and WMV junk)
 

elvirav

macrumors member
Jun 29, 2006
76
0
California, off and on.
I missed the part about your goal being 140 megs for 10 minutes of video.

This is quite attainable in many formats—an average of 14 MB per minute will yield a very sharp picture. Like virus1, I personally prefer H.264. The problem is that you'll get people complaining that they can't play it. (Translation: They seem incapable of using any other app other than Windows Media Player, and so claim that they "can't" play your file.)

If you know your audience and know that they'll be willing to use Quicktime 7 and/or VLC Player (or some other app which can handle H.264) then you're good to go. If you have a bunch of "I can't handle anything other than Windows Media Player" types, your options are to use Flip4Mac (or Popwire) and convert to WMV. Or, you can educate your intended audience (this sometimes can work really well) so they understand why some of these non-WMV formats are really better. MPEG-1 is also a good option (for the reasons I outlined earlier).
 

Macnoviz

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2006
1,059
0
Roeselare, Belgium
elvirav said:
I missed the part about your goal being 140 megs for 10 minutes of video.

This is quite attainable in many formats—an average of 14 MB per minute will yield a very sharp picture. Like virus1, I personally prefer H.264. The problem is that you'll get people complaining that they can't play it. (Translation: They seem incapable of using any other app other than Windows Media Player, and so claim that they "can't" play your file.)

If you know your audience and know that they'll be willing to use Quicktime 7 and/or VLC Player (or some other app which can handle H.264) then you're good to go. If you have a bunch of "I can't handle anything other than Windows Media Player" types, your options are to use Flip4Mac (or Popwire) and convert to WMV. Or, you can educate your intended audience (this sometimes can work really well) so they understand why some of these non-WMV formats are really better. MPEG-1 is also a good option (for the reasons I outlined earlier).
That is so true, some people are really stubborn about installing Quicktime (all I ever need is Windows Media Player, and such and such)

Luckily I had acces to PC's to use WMM, which does a really good job at compressing,
 

evil_santa

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2003
893
0
London, England
elvirav said:
Getting back to the point: MPEG-1 is a good file choice because it will play on older computers. Some WMV files won't play on older Macs or PCs. While many people will want you to use WMV files (and depending on what you're doing, WMV might be the best choice), the truth is that older Macs (and PCs) might not be able to play them. But they will be able to play MPEG-1. So, for more compatibility, MPEG-1 is good to go.
This is exactly why I use MPEG 1 at work, we have to send out Mpegs all the time at work for clients to view. I found a lot of people who have PC don't want to install quicktime because they are afraid it will mess up their system, or can't because their system administrator doesn't allow it. ( i work in a TV station and only about 5% of the PC have quicktime! Our support team are really against quicktime, itunes & anything Mac)
As yet we have had very few people who can't play MPEG 1, its usually because they cant download the file in the first place.
My Second choice is Flash Video. I use Flash to post stuff on my personal web site, its fast to load & look good. I use the On2 encoder for this.
http://www.on2.com/
 

jaduffy108

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2005
526
0
Philo86 said:
Okay, the title is just a bit wrong conserning my problem.
I've tried exporting my FCP project on several formats, mpg4 - .mov and a few others but they all look very blurry. Except the non-compressed one, which takes 400 megs of space. Now I want to share this video on the net, so the max. size should be about 140 meg.

The only half decent one I got was when exporting to Mpeg-4 Improved PAL for CD. But it's still not good enough, too blurry...

Has anyone got some idea how I can compress FCP projects to good quality and relatively small size quicktime movies?

### Slam dunk best...Sorenson Squeeze...MUCH better than Cleaner!
Use H.264...you're happy and done.
 

D-rock

macrumors member
Aug 24, 2006
35
0
City of Angels, Left Coast
jaduffy108 said:
### Slam dunk best...Sorenson Squeeze...MUCH better than Cleaner!
Use H.264...you're happy and done.
Oh? I've only used Cleaner so I'm not familiar with SS. What makes it better? My version of cleaner is showing its age so I might consider getting it.

p.s.-- sorry for the partial hijack... at least it's on topic! :p
 

bobblemeyer

macrumors newbie
Oct 8, 2006
15
0
compression newcomer's experience

I'm completely new to compression for emailing or posting so I appreciate all the experience shared thusfar.
I needed your input to email a 1.5 minute video to 3 random Windows/PC people. This is what I learned.
--------
(I took the DV from fcp and employed one of three apps -- FCP, Compression or Flip4Mac $34 WMV component (it's an addition which runs inside FCP and Quicktime apps))
---------
Mpeg-1 didn't work for any of them. Could be software, could be some obscure variation I set. I don't know. ( Their PCs are 2-3 years old, standard Dell types.)

WMV file worked on one computer

Mpeg4, Mp4, worked on all. the 300mbps setting provided the best combo of small size and acceptable quality (albeit barely)
__________

Can someone tell me why most videos that I've downloaded from random websites are ".mpegs" or "mpg"? Does that mean they're mpeg-1? If so, why weren't the mpeg-1 files I emailed playable to the 3 PCs I sent them to?

thanks again,
Craig
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
bobblemeyer said:
I'm completely new to compression for emailing or posting so I appreciate all the experience shared thusfar.
I needed your input to email a 1.5 minute video to 3 random Windows/PC people. This is what I learned.
--------
(I took the DV from fcp and employed one of three apps -- FCP, Compression or Flip4Mac $34 WMV component (it's an addition which runs inside FCP and Quicktime apps))
---------
Mpeg-1 didn't work for any of them. Could be software, could be some obscure variation I set. I don't know. ( Their PCs are 2-3 years old, standard Dell types.)

WMV file worked on one computer

Mpeg4, Mp4, worked on all. the 300mbps setting provided the best combo of small size and acceptable quality (albeit barely)
__________

Can someone tell me why most videos that I've downloaded from random websites are ".mpegs" or "mpg"? Does that mean they're mpeg-1? If so, why weren't the mpeg-1 files I emailed playable to the 3 PCs I sent them to?

thanks again,
Craig
I'm very surprised the MPEG-1 files you made didn't work. MPEG-1 is older than dirt (at least in computer years) and runs on just about anything.


Lethal
 

tk421

macrumors 6502a
Dec 7, 2005
654
1
Los Angeles
I agree with the others that recommend h.264. That's always the best quality in the smallest size for me.

edit: I just saw how old this thread is. You're probably done with this project by now! :)
 

AviationFan

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2006
510
0
Cedar Rapids, IA
Over in the dvinfo forum, I was pointed towards Flash8's new On2 VP6 format. I am no expert in this area, but many people seem to believe that this codec is superior to sorensen, and from what I have seen, it produces high quality video with relatively modest bitrates.

Also, if simplicity for the end user is your goal, than Flash seems like a pretty good choice - at least for viewing on websites.

- Martin
 

zimtheinvader

macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2005
203
0
the capitol
FCP's exporting is not robust??? What are you talking about! There is a dedicated sub-program called Compressor JUST FOR THAT!!! I find compressor is just fine if you figure out what the best format is, especially since you may use divx/similar codecs within compressor...
 

dpaanlka

macrumors 601
Nov 16, 2004
4,868
6
Illinois
zimtheinvader said:
FCP's exporting is not robust??? What are you talking about! There is a dedicated sub-program called Compressor JUST FOR THAT!!! I find compressor is just fine if you figure out what the best format is, especially since you may use divx/similar codecs within compressor...
I think this person does not understand the concept of codecs... He sounds like he thinks all .mov files are the same and is probably just using whatever the default settings he happen to be.

QuickTime and it's codecs are superior to Windows Media, so that is what you should be using. H.264 will give you the smallest file size (and also the nicest picture to boot).