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Dealing with Road Blocks While Compressing/Encoding (and workflow in general)

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Shane Newville
Dealing with Road Blocks While Compressing/Encoding (and workflow in general)
on Apr 30, 2009 at 11:10:19 pm

Not sure where to start...

I often find myself in a situation where the video file I am given needs to be converted into something readable by Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier, etc...

Example:
At the moment I am using Quicktime Pro to export a
Video file, (AVC coding, AAC, Stereo exported as H.264 (.mov), WAV)
It has been exporting for over an hour and is not even 1/4th of the
way completed.

When I get a project, in theory they should be simple.
(Take the good parts, clean it up, add intro/outro, DONE)
I'm told often these things should only take 10 minutes to complete.

Obviously this is (and similar situations)not physically possible to complete in 10 minutes. At least as far as I know.
I've never worked with other professionals in this field so
I don't have anything to compare to.

Am I crazy for thinking 10 minutes is impossible when considering
how long it takes to edit, import/export and encode/compress videos?

What would you do in these kinds of situations?

How long do you generally spend on getting small projects completed?

Is there anything out there that handles encoding/compression better
than Quicktime Pro? (Sorenson Squeeze?, etc...)

I highly appreciate any wisdom you can spare me.


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Chris Blair
Re: Dealing with Road Blocks While Compressing/Encoding (and workflow in general)
on May 1, 2009 at 1:05:52 am

I often find myself in a situation where the video file I am given needs to be converted into something readable by Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier, etc...

Don't we all..

At the moment I am using Quicktime Pro to export a
Video file, (AVC coding, AAC, Stereo exported as H.264 (.mov), WAV)
It has been exporting for over an hour and is not even 1/4th of the
way completed.


I'm curious why Final Cut can't read the original file. I don't use Final Cut, but from what I do know...it should be able to play an H264/AAC encoded file. Also...how long is this file and is it HD, SD?

Am I crazy for thinking 10 minutes is impossible when considering
how long it takes to edit, import/export and encode/compress videos?


No...you're not crazy. If you're getting files that Final Cut cannot read natively, then conversion should be a scheduled and billable part of the process. Just about everyone in the industry underestimates how long it takes to properly transcode something.

What would you do in these kinds of situations?

I'd tell the people that expect it to take 10 minutes that they're being unreasonable and tell them to sit-in on a project and watch what it takes to get it done. Pick the most ornerous video file you've ever gotten so they can see the time it takes to convert.

How long do you generally spend on getting small projects completed?

Impossible to answer that without a lot more detail, but we don't ever tell a client something will take less than 30 minutes. And at 30 minutes it would have to be uber simple...like changing a graphic or two or switching out a handful of shots, or changing one music cut etc.

Is there anything out there that handles encoding/compression better than Quicktime Pro? (Sorenson Squeeze?, etc...)

Just about anything is better than Quicktime Pro. It's not a dedicated encoding app. Others on the list can give you Mac specific suggestions but I know a lot of people use Telestream products with great success. Sorenson is ok, certainly better than Quicktime Pro, but middle of the pack from posts I've read on here.



Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Shane Newville
Re: Dealing with Road Blocks While Compressing/Encoding (and workflow in general)
on May 1, 2009 at 5:56:04 pm

Thanks Chris,

I'm actually using Final Cut Express HD 3 to be more specific.
The original video is AVC Coding which could be the reason too.

And have been using Quicktime Pro for any encoding/compression
jobs. I have never been 100% happy with the end results.
H.264/AAC seems to look nice in most cases though.

Thanks for telling me about Telestream. I just checked out
Episode and it looks amazing!

One more question. I've read on here somewhere that some people
don't use Final Cut Pro as an encoder. But rather export as a
Quicktime Movie to be encoded with other software. In my experience
exporting a Quicktime Movie, the video always looks blurry/ugly.
This is coming from an NTSC 720x480 4:3 Project project.
Also, I'm shooting with a Panasonic AG-DVX100A.
Could this really be because I'm using Final Cut Express HD
and not Pro?


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Daniel Low
Re: Dealing with Road Blocks While Compressing/Encoding (and workflow in general)
on May 1, 2009 at 11:40:45 pm

[Shane Newville] "One more question. I've read on here somewhere that some people
don't use Final Cut Pro as an encoder. But rather export as a
Quicktime Movie to be encoded with other software"


Exactly. FCP is not an encoder. You should have compressor if you have FCP? If so give that a try before buying Episode.

[Shane Newville] "In my experience
exporting a Quicktime Movie, the video always looks blurry/ugly.
This is coming from an NTSC 720x480 4:3 Project project.
Also, I'm shooting with a Panasonic AG-DVX100A.
Could this really be because I'm using Final Cut Express HD
and not Pro?"


No. It's because you're not using the right export settings.



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