Need Help with Compressing FCE4 Video

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Roy Hobbs, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. Roy Hobbs macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    My editing is complete and I am ready to compress my project for viewing on my daughters website. I found the Export using Quicktime Compression options.

    But I need some suggestions, the video clip is 4 minutes long and I want to compress for optimal viewing from my website and also keep the quality.

    Any suggestions??
  2. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    If you want it accessible from your website, how demanding do you want it do be on the people watching it?

    What you need to do is experiment. Take a 30 second clip of the most complex part of your video and export it as a seperate project. Then start compressing it with different options to see what you can tolerate. We're using the 30 second clip so it will render fast and you won't get frustrated.

    First, try this:

    640x480 resolution, H.264 codec, "medium-high" compression, "best quality" ( multi pass ) for video, then set Audio to AAC 44KHz MONO ( unless there's a compelling reason for stereo ) 64kbps. Then check the box for internet streaming and do "fast start compressed"

    Let this be your baseline. If the file size comes out nice where you want it, go for that. The video settings that auto determine your keyframes and data rate are pretty conservative.

    Keyframe rate: if you don't have alot of motion, and don't think people are going to do frame by frame analysis of your video, you can set your keyframes as high as 10x your frame rate... ( so for 30FPS, you could say "300" ) this can make your video horrible if you have alot of motion.

    Date Rate: When trying out the best restriction settings, don't forget to set the "optimize for streaming" option, and them keep dropping your rate down by about 100Kbit until it get's noticeably bad and then raise it up about 40-60kbit from there. So, start out at say "1000".

    Now if you truly want people to be able to watch this "on the fly" with little delay, you're going to likely want to drop the framerate or resolution as well. If you don't mind people having to download most of the the movie before watching it, then keep it at 640x480.
    Some easy ways to save bandwidth without losing too much quality is to set a custom resolution of 512x384, or 480x360. It all depends on how important the small details of the film are. Try different ones and see what you like.
    Also you can safely reduce your framerate to 24fps or even 20fps for alot of projects, unless you have effects that might look poor because of it. ( try it and see ).

    For example: you are going to have a GREAT looking but large video with the first settings I gave you. If you knock the resolution down to 480x360, change framerate to 24fps, limit the data rate to 800kbit, set keyframes to 240, you're probably going to have a dramatically smaller and "pretty good" alternative version.

    Always use the H.264 codec for the best quality.
    Hope this helps and inspires you to experiment !!!!
  3. Roy Hobbs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    Wow thanks for the awesome tips! I am going to start experimenting.

    I havent messed with FCE in 4 or 5 months, but I swear I could easily pick a preset and get my 3-4 minute video down to 8-10 MB

    Any ideas, I am by no means a video expert of any kind and with a 1 year old I don't have a lot of time for experimenting. All of the Quicktime preset either look like garbage or end up being 50 MB for 4 minutes. But I am looking at my files on the website currently and I have a clip thats 3 1/2 minutes long and is 8 MB and it looks pretty darn good.

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