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Good quality output Vs file size workflow

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steve nicholl
Good quality output Vs file size workflow
on Dec 9, 2010 at 11:37:44 am

Hi all,

Firstly I wasn't sure which forum to post in, so if this isn't the best one then I apologise and feel free to move it!

I'm after a bit of advice on processing my daughters nativity play footage.

Basically I've shot 35 minutes of footage on my camcorder (What I did was literally hit record and left it running for the whole performance so its just one AVCHD file at the minute).

What I'm wanting to do is take it into after effect to sort the colors out etc. Which is fine, I can do no problem.

But then I'm not sure whats the best way of slicing the footage up to edit out the times when either someone was in the way, or I was shooting my knee!

Would I be better to take it into another programme like Premier, or Final Cut? and do the slicing there, or should I just stay put in after effects and do it there, bearing in mind that If I want to do it in another programme I'll have to do render the footage with color work done thus adding to the process!

I'm not asking actually how to do it in the software, as I can do that, I'm just wanting to know the best process.

That's the first part of my question, the second part is what settings to choose when setting it up...

I want to view it on on my Sony Bravia (its a 1080p one), burning it disc etc isn't a problem as I know how to do all that (I'll probably do it using Toast).

I'm just not sure what to set my document up as, is doing it 1920x1080 overkill as the file size it'll output will be colossal (and probably wont fit on my macbook pro laptop)! Will 720 suffice?

I was just interested in other peoples workflow processes... and what would be the best way for me.

And finally what would be the best type of file type to output, which will be small enough to not fill my hard drive, but will retain the quality. It will need to fit on a DVD as well.

If I've missed any important info out like what hardware/software then let me know as I'm quite new to the video side of things.

I'll be playing it through my Pioneer dvd player (which plays DIVX,DVD Audio/Video, DVD-R/W, DVD-R DL, DVD+R/W, CD, CD-R/W, MP3, WMA, JPEG)

I was thinking of doing it as a DIVX so it'll fit on a DVD, would this be the right thing to do?

Apologies for the long post, I hope I haven't lost everyone, and I hope I'm making sense!


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Good quality output Vs file size workflow
on Dec 9, 2010 at 3:58:01 pm

For editing (cutting out the parts you don't want) you should definitely use an editing program like Premiere. Don't forget that you can do a lot of color correction work in Premiere. However, if you'd rather do that work in AE, you can import a Premiere project right into AE so your timeline with all your edits shows right up with no rendering.
Now, if you're using AE CS4 or earlier, you'd probably want to render to a different codec before you used your video in AE anyway as the older versions tend to struggle with AVCHD.
If you have the Final Cut Suite, you have Apple's Color, which is an excellent color correction tool and it works well with Final Cut.

Doing your final output at 1920x1080 isn't overkill if the screen you're playing it back on is a 1080p screen and you're playing it back off of a medium that can show 1080p.
However, (assuming your playback is capable of it) I would make your final output match the resolution of your original video. Most consumer and prosumer HD cameras actually shoot at 1440x1080 with a 1.33 pixel aspect ratio. So, if that's what yours does, I'd do that as the final output (depending on how your TV handles PAR).

However, you say you're putting it through a DVD player. If that DVD player isn't set up to play back HD output then it would be silly to output your final video at a resolution that it can't play back. DVDs in a DVD player can only do 720x480. Now, you can put any type of file on a DVD as a data disc if the player can play back that type of file, but since you didn't list any sort of HD-sounding formats for your DVD player I'm going to guess that it's not capable of any sort of HD. It's probably not even hooked up to your TV by a cable that can carry HD. If that's the case, I would suggest 720x480 (widescreen PAR since your originating video is widescreen).

What format you put it into will depend on what file formats your TV can handle (as previously mentioned, it doesn't sound like HD of any flavor is possible). If you have Encore, you can just send your Premiere timeline to it and burn it onto a DVD with that. You could create a DivX file, but the quality wouldn't be any better. You can fit 2 hours of video onto an ordinary DVD using MPEG-2 compression (the type used on all DVD's played in a DVD player) and about 4 hours on a dual-layer disc (most commercially available movies are on one of these. Note, I said dual-layer, not double sided.) In any case, SD footage on an HD TV will look a bit blurry, especially if your DVD player isn't one of the ones that upscales it.

I hope this is helpful.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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