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compression flavor for edit-ready video files that aren't too huge

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Paul Dougherty
compression flavor for edit-ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 29, 2013 at 7:23:26 pm

A producer called me last minute to try to convert 2.5 hours worth of SD footage on video dvds into edit-ready video files that aren't too huge. What does too huge mean? Say files I could ftp upload in less than five hours or a file size total under 5 gigs.

The quality of the footage is not that great so it's not like I'm the gatekeeper of pristine quality. My first thought was to extract the dvd footage using MPEG Streamclip (I'm on a Mac) and converting to ProRes LT with the quality dial turned below 50%. I don't know what I'm doing wrong but tests dialing down the quality that way did not delivery great file size reductions. Thoughts?

The next thing I can try is using Compressor after creating (large ProRes) interim masters. This is a new challenge for me trying to turn around this volume (2.5 hours) of footage as an Internet deliverable. Any thoughts on a ProRes alternative ie. another way of getting the file size down and keeping it edit-ready?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Paul


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Craig Seeman
Re: compression flavor for edit-ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 29, 2013 at 7:31:19 pm

[Paul Dougherty] "edit-ready video files"

It doesn't mean much unless they mention which NLE. NLEs like FCPX and Premiere Pro CC can edit H.264 files without transcoding.

[Paul Dougherty] " ProRes LT with the quality dial turned below 50%. I don't know what I'm doing wrong but tests dialing down the quality that way did not delivery great file size reductions."

You can change the quality of a ProRes file. The type of ProRes encoder (LT for example) dictates the results. There are some editors that will curse you for giving them ProRes anything rather than DNxHD.

Your client has the responsibility to tell you what "edit-ready" means.

[Paul Dougherty] "What does too huge mean?"

Nothing in my opinion without an overt comparison to something they consider huge.



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Paul Dougherty
Re: compression flavor for edit-ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 29, 2013 at 7:52:24 pm

Thanks Craig,

I believe you meant to say "You can't change the quality of a ProRes file. " Ok understood.

In this first shipment we *might* know something about editors and edit systems on the receiving end but in pass two that will be an unknown. For example, what do outfits that distribute VPRs with raw footage packages for news & TV stations do? I'm guessing they do this over the net, what file format would they upload.

Such outfits would be distributing to the world and would have to prep a one-size-fits all, knowing little about the target systems.

Paul


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Craig Seeman
Re: compression flavor for edit-ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 29, 2013 at 8:02:00 pm

Oops, yes about ProRes.

Pathfire is often used to deliver Video News Releases.
http://www.dgit.com/Pathfire_Services_Syndication

They use MPEG2 Transport Streams I believe.
The specs I have for them are old though.
If you get the specs for them you can match it.
I don't think it was "edit ready" though.

I was once contacted for CNN Headline News for footage directly and they said they were fine with H.264 .mov and they'd convert as needed.

H.264 would be the most efficient (quality vs file size) and would probably be "edit ready" on many modern NLEs but it's possible that many places are not on "modern" NLEs.



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Craig Seeman
Re: compression flavor for edit-ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 29, 2013 at 7:52:58 pm

[Paul Dougherty] "Say files I could ftp upload in less than five hours or a file size total under 5 gigs."

[Paul Dougherty] "This is a new challenge for me trying to turn around this volume (2.5 hours) of footage as an Internet deliverable"

This is also relative. If one had 2.5 hours of video totaling 5GB I'd be able to upload it in under 20 minutes.

I believe 2.5 hours at 5GB size would be about 4,444kbps. Basic math if you convert Bytes to bits. (8 bits to a Byte).

It can be as simple as "I have a 1 hours file that's 1000kbps and my upload speed is 1000kbps then it takes me 1 hour to upload it." Of course it also depends on what they're internet speed is to determine how long it takes to download it.



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