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Andreas Lupp
Custom Export From AE
on Dec 11, 2009 at 11:59:30 am

I've got a screen that is 3120x1050 pixels that I need to split into three screens of 1400x1050 for the Dataton Watchout system. In itself its not very hard to do using Quicktime and an animation codec.

However the data rate is way to high for the watchout system to process with the animation codec. My other option is to make an Mpeg 2 but that comes in set ratios on FCP, AE and Compressor and the closes I can get is 1440x1080 or 720p.

I have been told to use the Canopus Procoder, but I have no idea how it works. Can procoder create a custom Mpeg 2? I have the option of making the screen marginally smaller than the 1400x1050 required but only by about 2 percent.

Any ideas? thanks


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Custom Export From AE
on Dec 11, 2009 at 12:37:48 pm

Procoder has presets from which you can then edit to suit your needs. It's been a while since I've used it so I can't give you specifics but it is very easy to use.

You should take note that MPEG-2 uses fixed block sized Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) compression techniques. The block size is 16x16 pixels, meaning your output width and height has to be divisible by 16. In your case, 1396x1048 should do the trick.

Having said that, Procoder may actually be able to work with 4x4 blocks which will allow you to output a MPEG-2 at 1400x1048 pixel resolution.

Before you do all these, you should check on the Dataton's preferred CODEC and datarate. I'm sure there is a limited number of supported architectures and CODECs and these are further restricted to the max datarate supported by the system. Once you have the maximum datarate supported by the system, you should deduct 20% from it for your actual setting in Procoder.

HTH
RoRK






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Walter Soyka
Re: Custom Export From AE
on Dec 11, 2009 at 3:16:29 pm

Since you're talking about FCP and Compressor, I assume you are on a Mac. Telestream Episode will allow you to encode a 1400x1050 MPEG2, but I'd want to test the resulting file on your Watchout display computer before committing to MPEG2 delivery.

Watchout also accepts WMV files, and Dataton often recommends WMV over MPEG2 specifically for the added flexibility in file sizes in cases like this. Performance was an issue with hi-def WMV back in the Pentium days, but any reasonably competent Watchout display computer will have no trouble with hi-def WMV today. If you choose WMV, you could either use Flip4Mac on a Mac, or the free Microsoft Windows Media Encoder on PC.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Brendan Coots
Re: Custom Export From AE
on Dec 11, 2009 at 10:01:14 pm

Animation codec is a "finishing" codec, i.e. it's uncompressed, archival quality. What you need is a distribution codec that looks just as good but has a much lower datarate.

Try opening the Animation codec videos in Quicktime Pro, which is a mere $30 if you don't already have it (comes free with FCP). Export the Animation codec videos from QT Pro (Export>Quicktime Movie), and click the options box. Set the video to h.264 codec, maximum quality, automatic keyframes and "current" frame size.

This will result in very high quality video that should play smoothly on your system. HD video compressed to h.264 can be indistinguishable from the original so it's probably your best Quicktime-based option. If it still bogs your system down, try lowering the quality slider in very small increments until you get something that works.

Many people don't realize it, but Quicktime Pro offers excellent compression quality/speed. it rivals most of the pricey third party compression tools I have tried, and for the price simply can't be beat.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Custom Export From AE
on Dec 11, 2009 at 10:11:53 pm

[Brendan Coots] "Animation codec is a "finishing" codec, i.e. it's uncompressed, archival quality. What you need is a distribution codec that looks just as good but has a much lower datarate."

This is great advice in general, but it's incorrect for this specific application.

h.264 is currently unsupported in Dataton Watchout, which recommends Quicktime v6.4. Dataton specifies Quicktime Animation for movies where transparency is required, and the only other option for preserving transparency is Quicktime PNG.

MPEG2 or Windows Media 9 are the only supported formats for high-def video. MPEG2 uses less resources for playback, but is limited in possible frame sizes; WMV9 is more flexible on frame size, but uses more resources during playback.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Brendan Coots
Re: Custom Export From AE
on Dec 12, 2009 at 12:30:36 am

Ah, thanks for the clarification. I wasn't familiar with this particular system so I probably should have just kept my mouth shut. I just assumed the OPs problem was trying to feed an uncompressed video into an underpowered system.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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