Are there any tools out there, similar to discreet's cleaner, that we can use with our (90+ minute) clips for encoding?
Specifically, I need something that will give me an accurate preview and filesize estimate, or even suggest the best encoding/compression options for the target filesize.
Basically, we have a 90 min HDV clip that's dropped out of Final Cut 5 as a QuickTime HDV clip, and we need to somehow downsample/compress/etc. to make it fit on to two CDs, while taking into account whether its a high-motion clip, or 90 minutes of a talking head, with next to no movement or scene change.
I'm hopeful something like this exists, right now its like a shot in the dark for us, playing with various settings in virtualdub each time till something works.
If all you need to do is compress your HDV clip into something that will provide a high quality image and fit in under 1400MBs, then most of the usual software encoder suites will be able to do this. The top encoders on the market IMHO are Compression Master 3 (Mac), Canopus ProCoder 2 (PC), and Sorenson Squeeze 4 (Mac and PC). If working with HD, my choice would be Compression Master due to its excellent scaling and processing abilities. Using a 2-pass VBR encoder mode with any of these suites will provide the result you are looking for, where the "high action" parts consume more bits than the "talking head" parts. Just pick an average (target) bitrate that you want to achieve that will make your video fit onto 2 discs, and let the encoder make the decisions. Note, you may have to demultiplex the HDV video before encoding it. A great tool for doing this on the mac is MPEG StreamClip. And a good calculator for determining your bitrate is here: http://www.3ivx.com/support/calculator/index.html