Making decent MPEGs

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by 2ms, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #1
    I need to submit a video where the only stipulation on submissions is that the files be MPEG . So I made my video in iMovie, but when I export it the quality is amazingly poor. Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong?

    Characteristics of the original video:
    25fps, 1080p, 16:9.

    How I am exporting it:
    Share > Export Using Quicktime > Move to MPEG 4.

    The options I'm selecting:
    Video Format: h.264
    image Size: 1920x1080 HD
    Frame Rate: 25
    Key Frame: Automatic
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    Tried "Share > Export using QuickTime > Apple Intermediate Codec for Video and Linear PCM for audio" and then HandBrake and one its presets yet?

    Have you tried "Share > Export Movie" and the 1080p preset yet?

    What EXACT settings did you use with the "Movie to MPEG 4" preset, as the following settings are the standard ones and they are pretty low:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #3
    Sorry, I was incorrect about something before: There is also a file size limit. Right now, the best results I get are with 720P MPEG-Improved, but it is still 50% too large. When I do 720 or 1080 H.264, there are incredible jaggies that make it almost unwatchable. Why would that happen?

    Here are the settings I am using. In general, the only settings I see that can be manipulated are the framerate and the resolution. I'm always using 25 fps since that's what the camera is.
    [​IMG]

    It seems to me I need to use Handbrake. But I do not see any of the options for Apple Intermediate codec.

    I see these:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
    And the data rate, which is quite small, even for 720p.

    iMovie > Share > Export using QuickTime ... > Export: Movie to QuickTime Movie > OPTIONS: >> VIDEO: Settings > Compression Type: Apple Intermediate Codec
     
  5. mBox macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2002
    #5
    MainConcept MPEG Encoder takes the guess work out of it :)
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #6
    You mean an application from 2004 or 2005 which is not even listed on MainConcept's website anymore?
    Would it even run on an Intel Mac, if one were to find it?
     
  7. mBox macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2002
    #7
    Hey your right!
    We have both Mac and PC versions.
    Nothing has changed as far as legal MPEG goes so the version we purchased back in 2006 is fine here.
    They were bought out by Rovi years ago so who knows.

    ----------

    To be honest of late, Adobe Media Encoder has been the go to for mass encodes.
    On the mac side, make sure to edit the demux to get it off the stupid mv2 format.
     
  8. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #8
    Yeah, Adobe Media Encoder is quite fast and can use all cores and threads compared even to Compressor 4, which seems to be limited to half the resources. Hmm.
     
  9. Parkin Pig macrumors 6502a

    Parkin Pig

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Location:
    Yorkshire-by-Gum
    #9
    How long is your video, and what is the file size limit?

    This will give us something to work with.
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    You will get the best result if you send the AIC video file to Apple's "Compressor". Compressor has come down in price and is now a real bargain. Find it in the app store.

    I doubt many of the other free video transcoders will accept Apple Intermediate Codec or ProRes. and you don't want to do a two step conversion if it can be avoided.

    One other thing, If you shoot the video on a tripod the background is fixed and it is easier to compress. Good light also helps as it reduces the noise, noise does not compress well. You do not want to use up your bandwidth budget on noise and backgrounds. When you have a strick file size limit it really does become a "compression budget".
     
  11. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #11
    Argh!

    Thanks for all the suggestions and my video does indeed have a lot of noise from poor light... I will have to remember that for next time.

    Well the video is exactly 1 minute long and the file size limit is 5 MB. It's for a scientific journal. They're pretty brutal with this stuff...

    Will this additional information help you guys let me know what to do? I'm a bit overwhelmed at the moment.

    ----------

    Do I basically have no option but to plunk down for Compressor, realistically speaking? 50 bucks isn't the worst thing in the world, but I don't even know if I'll ever use it again.
     
  12. Parkin Pig macrumors 6502a

    Parkin Pig

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Location:
    Yorkshire-by-Gum
    #12
    With a 5MB limit you're looking at a maximum of 682kb/s (you'll need to specify lower than this as most compression software will render higher than you specify).

    It's unlikely you'll get anything like a crisp image at that bitrate unless you're prepared to reduce the dimensions of the video significantly.

    If it's for a scientific journal then that journal really should have a scientist who knows that 5MB is insufficient for a minute of 720p video (unless they also specified that it should look like it was shot on a $2 webcam).

    Depending on how how well-lit, busy, and movement-filled your video is, even the most expensive compression software is going to struggle of you don't give it enough space to work.

    Can you contact the journal to ask if:

    a) the video needs to be 720p
    b) if the video can be shorter than 1min
    c) if they can accept larger files than 5MB
     
  13. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #13
    The length and filesize are rigid but yeah, I guess it looks like I just need to make it SD.

    Do you know why iMovie would be making such terrible h.264s? It's as if there is something wrong. They are not much smaller than the MPEG-4 Improved option but the quality is dramatically worse.
     
  14. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
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    #14
    It has to do with the data rate and the resolution.

    Anyway, if you get a .mov out of iMovie using the Apple Intermediate Codec as explained in one of my previous posts, take that .mov to HandBrake or MPEG Streamclip and create an .mp4 with your requirements.

    But 5 MB for 1 minute of 1080p glory is too much, 5 MB for SD glory might do it.

    Can you link to those requirements?
     

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