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Different compression qualities in one film?

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David Joban
Different compression qualities in one film?
on Dec 4, 2012 at 5:34:26 pm

Hi there,

I've recently finished a documentary and have exported from Final Cut 7 as a Quicktime movie (total size: 55GB; 65 minutes). I've just compressed it using Compressor -> Apple -> DVD Best Quality 90 Minutes, resulting in a video file of ~3.5 GB. On the whole the quality is fine, but in some places (especially where I've used Smoothcam or where there is fast movement in low light) the image is really poor, with a kind of lagging herringbone mess to it.

My question, then, is whether it's possible to compress these problem sections at a higher quality while keeping the overall size of the film below, say, 10GB? I'm pretty new to this side of the process so forgive the clumsiness of my question! But any advice would be very gratefully received.

Many thanks,


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Eric Strand
Re: Different compression qualities in one film?
on Dec 4, 2012 at 5:47:18 pm

Hey David, you want to read up on Compression Markers in Final Cut. Check out this article from Ken Stone, it's old but the basics are still good.

If you're going to DVD the file will have to be below 4.7 GB, as a DVD only holds that much data. The size of your file is dependent on your bit rate settings in Compressor. Since your movie is only 65 mins, the 90 minute settings will create a file small enough. However, if you want to dial in your bitrate to fit your movie, you can use the bit budget spreadsheet, also on Ken Stone's site. (sheesh I sound like a spokesperson for him)

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