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codecs/compressions for FCP vs. Compressor

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reneegade
codecs/compressions for FCP vs. Compressor
on Nov 29, 2005 at 4:46:37 am

This probably has been asked before...my apoligies for repeating if so...

i have 2 questions:

1-i'm trying to make a dvd for a client..i'm relatively still new to the compression world. I've read great things about h.264, but also heard it's primarily for web use...would anyone recommend using it straight out of FCP for DVDs? Or is it better to use Compressor? Actually, i've done tests between h.264, mpeg-4 and sorenson 3 exported out of FCP...they all look the same...and when using Compressor, not much of a difference...any advice?

2-When using Compressor, although i have my output set to 720 x 480, my output mpeg-2 file is 640 x 480....????? i've tried both default as well as custom settings---how can i avoid this?


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daniel_l
Re: codecs/compressions for FCP vs. Compressor
on Nov 29, 2005 at 11:09:59 am

I've read great things about h.264, but also heard it's primarily for web use

Nope.

It's the next gen (HD) DVD codec.


Actually, i've done tests between h.264, mpeg-4 and sorenson 3 exported out of FCP...they all look the same...

I beg to differ, possible I guess but unlikely when you look closely. They are very different beasts aimed at very different delivery models.

Bottom line is, if you are making a DVD for a client to be played back 'anywhere', your only option is to encode to MPEG-2. No standard DVD player supports eith H.264, Sorenson 3 (a web codec) or MPEG-4 (pt-2 - another ideal-for-web codec)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-4
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-4_Part_2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorenson

If you can, get yourself on one of these:
http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org/courses_assets/compression.html

Orat least get's Ben's book, afdter reading the Compressor manual/help files.

Hope that helps.

DL






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reneegade
Re: codecs/compressions for FCP vs. Compressor
on Nov 29, 2005 at 12:13:40 pm

Thanks....do you know much about this debate about one pass vs. 2 pass with compressor 2?


as for the comparison of h.264 with others...i've looked and looked and looked, expecting and wanting a difference...alas nada with my tests...baffles me as i've seen others tests and seen the difference. but some of the footage is archival...



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daniel_l
Re: codecs/compressions for FCP vs. Compressor
on Nov 29, 2005 at 3:03:20 pm

What debate are you referring to?


Take a look at these for examples of the difference between H.264 and Sorenson

H.264, choose 480p - http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/king_kong/hd/

Sorenson - choose Large or fullscreen -http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/king_kong/



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reneegade
Re: codecs/compressions for FCP vs. Compressor
on Nov 30, 2005 at 12:53:54 am

there's a lot of complaints on the apple compression site about compressor v. 2....lots of talk of the 2pass vbr not being so hot.


as for H.264...i know, i know, i've seen examples by other people that show a remarked difference...but on my system and with my work, like i said, the difference is imperceptible.



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daniel_l
Re: codecs/compressions for FCP vs. Compressor
on Nov 30, 2005 at 10:27:53 am

but on my system and with my work, like i said, the difference is imperceptible.

Obviously this will depend on the source, the content and the encoding settings.

I.E. A shot of a black cat sleeping down a coal mine at midnight will look the same whatever codec you use ;-)


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phil
Re: codecs/compressions for FCP vs. Compressor
by
on Dec 5, 2005 at 4:01:49 pm

i recently did a test comparing CBR, 1 pass VBR & 2 pass VBR at 7.2 mps.

in the end, the 1 pass won because of faster encoding, and image quality is exactly like the 2 pass VBR.....

now this was done only on a 60 sec spot, but i'm guessing it will remain the same, no matter what scale the project.

if i'm not mistaken, the 2 pass took over 15 minutes, while the 1 pass took like 4 minutes....go figure. i for one didn't want to believe it......



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Ben Waggoner
Re: codecs/compressions for FCP vs. Compressor
on Dec 10, 2005 at 7:54:56 pm

Note that the next-gen HD optical disc formats support MPEG-2, H.264, and VC-1. I think VC-1 has some meaningful technical advantages over H.264 in this area.

If you're making content for DVD today, you need to use MPEG-2. That's the only supported codec.


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daniel_l
Re: codecs/compressions for FCP vs. Compressor
on Dec 10, 2005 at 11:16:03 pm

I think VC-1 has some meaningful technical advantages over H.264 in this area.

Ben,

I'd be very interested to hear what you think they are.

Thanks

Daniel


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