Big video window for CD-ROM
A client of mine wants a ~3min., full to 3/4-screen video, on CD-ROM, that will work on both PCs and Macs (as old as 2000), and that won't require users to install any software. From reading various COW Forums, I gather Flash is the way to go. I use DVD SP3, but I've never scripted or used any of the Macromedia software (I'm creating my website using Freeway Pro). I edit a lot and am currently using FCP HD.
The video will be either 960x720 or 800x600, and consist of video clips of various formats that I will integrate in FCP HD, together with some Motion clips and imported Photoshop files. There will also be some sync sound, as well as VO and music.
What is the best (and easiest or at least pretty painless) way to get this video to become a Flash video (if indeed that is the best thing to do)? Do I ouput an uncompressed QT and then compress it with other software? I've read that WildForm FlixExporter works well for this, and many posters rave about Sorenson Squeeze 4 and Sorenson Squeeze for Flash: which is more appropriate for my needs? What about FlixFLVPlayer? What distinguishes them all? Also, people mention swf and flv in the same breath: are they two versions of the same thing? What distinguishes them? Some have also mentioned Cleaner/Cleaner 6 and Toast? What do they do and do I need them for what I'm doing?
I know that's a lot of questions and if someone can help me out or point me in the right direction (or recommend a good book/website to educate myself), I'd really appreciate it.
For CD distribution, I wouldn't recommend Flash Video at this time. Especially not if your concern is playback for all users without requiring any installations or specific media players. And Flash Video at larger framesizes isn't that great IMO. Fash Video is great at half D1 sizes and for display inside a web browser, but standalone is not yet recommended. Based on what your needs are, it seems to me that good ole' MPEG-1 is the way to go. Also, the larger framesizes you speak of seem unneccesary to me. One thing is, when you go to larger framsizes, you put more pressure on the CPU or graphics card. There are a number of systems built since 2000 that won't be able to handle high bitrate/large framed movies. So, if you aren't worried about those users being able to realistically and enjoyably playback your video, then why sacrifice quality with an ancient codec? The largest size I would distribute via CD, while still wanting to ensure everyone can play the video from scratch, would be 640x480, but more likely 480x360, and MPEG-1.
If you insist upon using Flash, then I would suggest Squeeze. Flix is comparable, but I find for the extra few bucks, you get a more powerful app with Squeeze due to the pre-processing options. Though, if you have used Squeeze in the past, and hate it for whatever reason and would rather use Cleaner, then Flix is probably more appropriate for you. The FlixPlayer is just that, a FLV Player, no encoding. If you plan to use FLV standalone, then you need to encode to a .SWF. If you plan to use FLV inside a Director or Flash project, then .FLV is what to use.
Thanks for your response, Charles. I am in no way wed to any codec, method or application at this point; I just need to know how to get to the result I want, or as close to it as possible.
I was going to compress my QT movie to Flash and then have someone else put it on a CD-ROM so that when users put the disc in their computer, the movie automatically opens up in whatever web-browser is installed in their computer and just plays. If MPEG-1 can work the same way, than I'm fine using MPEG-1. I've been under the impression that MPEG-1 doesn't get any bigger than 320x240 though: am I mistaken or is there a way to keep my window at, say, 800x600 (in Compressor or another application)? The thing about the window size is that my client wants their movie to open up big on computer screens. But you know, if there's no way to do this and have the movie actually play smoothly, then that's that: it's just going to have to be smaller, like 640x480. I'm also probably going to offer two versions of the movie on the CD-ROM - a big one and a smaller one for slower computers - in an attempt to respond to my client's desire for a big movie, while addressing users' various CPU capacities.
Is there any other way that you can think of (using other applications &/or other compression codecs) that I can create a movie or animation that will play off a CD-ROM and show up big and sharp?