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FCP compression nightmare

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Scott Huster
FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 26, 2010 at 5:50:12 pm

I have a client that I've had to go through many steps to get their .m2ts footage to play nice with FCP. I used Clipwrap and converted it to Apple Pro Res 422. I'm now at the end of the edits and they want to compress it to a 960x540 .mp4. They're recommending I use handbrake for compression but handbrake will not recognize Apple Pro Res 422. Is there a codec anyone recommends? Should I output with a different codec and let handbrake do compression? Should I do it through quicktime? Thanks for the help! These videos are long by my standards- 7-10 min talking heads.


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Michael Moon
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 26, 2010 at 6:25:38 pm

Hi Scott,
Have you tried Mpeg Streamclip instead of Handbrake?
It will create an mp4, and I seem to recall ProRes working with it. I can't test it at the moment, but you can download Mpeg Streamclip from squared5.com. It is one of the most useful piece of free software I have ever used.
Good luck.
-Mike


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David Johnson
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 26, 2010 at 6:39:56 pm

ProRes is a great codec for editors to work with and it sounds like the client said they want MP4 deliverables so I'm not sure I understand what codec recommendations you need. Is there any reason you don't want to just use QuickTime Pro to make the MP4s?

By the way, when I take my car to my mechanic to fix, I don't try to tell him which tools he should use to fix it.


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Mike Schrengohst
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 26, 2010 at 6:51:47 pm

File>Export>Using QuickTime Conversion

Format>QuickTime Movie>Options

Video>Settings>Compression Type>H.264

Framerate>Current

Set your choice of quality.

Size>Custom>960x540


Sound>Settings>AAC

Unclick "Prepare for Internet Streaming"

Now encode the H.264 .mov file


THEN - In Quicktime do a File EXPORT Movie to MPEG-4

OPTIONS Video & Audio Pass through....

This .mp4 file can then be uploaded to YouTube or streamed
from a variety of Flash video players like Longtail or Flowplayer...

If going to YouTube Then I suggest making the file at least 720p 1280x720
and of course a progressive (not interlaced) file is best for internet....







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John Pale
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 26, 2010 at 7:54:07 pm

Just use Compressor. Using Handbrake would be like taking the Ford Pinto and leaving the BMW in the driveway.


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Scott Huster
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 26, 2010 at 9:28:40 pm

David, Mike, and John thanks so much for your responses. I had never heard of anyone using handbrake for compression so I'm glad I'm not going nuts. Also I appreciate all the car references :) Thanks again!


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Mike Schrengohst
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 26, 2010 at 10:10:52 pm

Hello Scott,

A client of mine had a DVD replication job done and they used Handbrake to pull the VIDEO_TS
so they could add CSS. It screwed up playback of DVD's for the MAC. The client picked them
but I had questioned why they were using handbrake. They had to make 100 DVD-R for free that
will play in a MAC.

Try the method I outlined and let me know if that works.


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Steve Eisen
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 26, 2010 at 10:25:11 pm

I would NOT recommend QuickTime Conversion. Bad workflow. Use Compressor. Export QT Movie and drop that into Compressor. Choose a H.264 preset.



Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Scott Huster
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 26, 2010 at 11:03:03 pm

Currently doing an export out of FCP gives me a 3 GB file for a 7min 40sec video at 960x540 apple pro res.

I'd like to compress that down at the same resolution to less that 100 MB.

I do have MPEG streamclip, so I'll give that a try along with exporting out of QT pro and compressor.

Thanks!


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Mike Schrengohst
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 29, 2010 at 4:41:22 am

Scott:

Here is a test I did:
Direct from timeline - convert to H.264.mov then convert to .mp4 in QuickTime
7:40 minutes - took 10 min to encode, 145 megs using an iMac.

http://www.izonemedia.net/960x540_test.mp4

For comparision here is the YouTube version:
http://www.youtube.com/mhsrv1#p/a/f/0/9bZ4BEBaCwM
(Just click 720p)
I upload a 720p .mp4 for YouTube.

Look at my video page - most are .mp4 using FlowPlayer.

http://www.izonemedia.net/video.html

I don't post .mov because many people on PC's are still
QuickTime phobic and don't even have QuickTime installed.


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Mike Schrengohst
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 29, 2010 at 4:45:24 am

Don't know why the YouTube Link was missing?

YouTube Link:

just add this after YouTube dot com

/mhsrv1#p/a/f/0/9bZ4BEBaCwM


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Gary Askham
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 27, 2010 at 12:13:37 am

Everyone is giving you really bad advice (apart from Steve Eisen).

This is really basic post production knowledge freely available on the net (and in the manual of the application suite you are using - Final Cut Studio).

Handbrake is for ripping DVD's into video that will play on you iPod or PSP. Not really what you're trying to do. Mpeg Streamclip is great at converting problem video clips into editable formats.

What you want to do is export an MPEG-4 - something that is built into Final Cut Studio and is a very standard procedure. Use Compressor. There are about a dozen MPEG-4 presets with plain english descriptions telling you what each one is best for. Copy one of these and change the size (if it HAS to be 960x540). Easy.

------------------------
FCP and Avid Technical Support
Air Post Production
Shoreditch - London


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John Pale
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 27, 2010 at 2:39:09 am

[Gary Askham] "Everyone is giving you really bad advice (apart from Steve Eisen).
"


....cough...cough....cough...

[John Pale] "Just use Compressor. Using Handbrake would be like taking the Ford Pinto and leaving the BMW in the driveway.

"



[Gary Askham] "What you want to do is export an MPEG-4 - something that is built into Final Cut Studio and is a very standard procedure. Use Compressor."

oh...why didn't I think of that....


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Steve Eisen
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 27, 2010 at 2:43:16 am

Some folks just don't get it. I'm here to help if you want to listen.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Scott Huster
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 27, 2010 at 3:08:24 am

Compressor using MPEG-4 with a key frame interval of 15 and a bit rate at Medium VBR got me down to 71MB with acceptable results, around 2hrs to compress. Thanks to all.



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Rafael Amador
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 27, 2010 at 3:32:56 am

[Scott Huster] "Compressor using MPEG-4 with a key frame interval of 1"
Never set the key-frames by your self. You have no arguments to set a value or another. Let the application set the K-frames: this is why the "double pass" is for.
BTW, people that take the piss of Handbrake, just to say that is much, much better than the rest of the usual options available (QT, Compressor, MPGStreamclip). Handbrake is the BMW.
rafael




http://www.nagavideo.com


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Gabriel Regalbuto
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 28, 2010 at 7:45:38 am

Handbrakes .mp4 options are much better than Compressors. I've always been frustrated that Compressor was so limited with .mp4 versus an h.264 QT. Am I missing something?

I stumbled onto Handbrake recently. Uses all 8 cores, quick, good quality, and lets you set compression based on target file size or data rate. No prores though...

I know BMW, I've driven many, Compressor, you are no BMW.


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Rafael Amador
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 28, 2010 at 9:03:01 am

I agree with you Gabriel.
The only shortcoming of Handbrake is that doesn't resizes, neither accepts Prores.
Applications that allows similar process control cost few hundred of dollars.
I master in Prores; when I need to make an H264, I transcode to 10b Unc to bring the clip to Handbrake.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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John Pale
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 28, 2010 at 4:59:01 pm

You are right, Rafael. Handbrake is actually a very good tool for some types of work (and I do use it, too). It has some very interesting features for experienced users. I shouldn't have put it down.

I think Compressor is more versatile and better suited for the kind of work the original poster was doing, however.


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Andrew wenner
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Jun 28, 2010 at 8:25:36 pm

For good quick results compressing and converting m2ts and many other formats, try using iskysoft imedia convertor, it works great.


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Chris Lawes
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Sep 2, 2010 at 6:11:16 pm

Just for the record, after extensive experimenting and testing we found that final H264 files created by Handbrake were WAY better than compressor, and this is even after really tweaking the keyframe settings according to Ken Stone's tutorials. Also, handbrake converted them in about 1/8 of the time.

For the particular purpose of converting a master to a H264 web video I think Handbrake is way better.

Only problem is it doesn't take ProRes files, what format do you people working with ProRes timelines usually export to for compression with Handbrake? Have you found that it matters as far as quality/export time goes?
-Chris


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Will Hommeyer
Re: FCP compression nightmare
on Apr 11, 2011 at 6:57:10 pm

I've recently had good luck converting .m2ts files with a program called ClipWrap. It's about $50. Easy download.

http://www.divergentmedia.com/clipwrap


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