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Video conversion software

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Chris Souders, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. Chris Souders

    Chris Souders Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi guys,

    I'm looking for software recommendations to take large quicktime files and basically downgrade them most efficiently and good-looks wise.

    Basically, I have an 18 min presentation I video-camed... I downloaded it in ImovieHD and it is something like 15GB's. I exported it full quality as a .mov file and I want to put it into a powerpoint presentation. I don't, however, want it to be 15 GB's. Smaller. Perhaps part of the problem is my videocam is 1080i hi def so it's a large widescreen file.

    I got Imovie to do a mp4 version, but it was extremely blocky and not pleasurable to look at.
    Perhaps what I need to do is scale the video down to a smaller size?

    Any other suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  2. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Hmmm...
    That's kind of a loaded question...

    You have the software you need (Quicktime, via iMovie) to export to a smaller file. The problem is knowing what settings to choose - and that can't be explained in a brief paragraph.

    iMove works in a 5:1 compression, native DV format. As you've found, the files are huge. Cutting the file size drastically will require either smaller frame size, slower framerate, or both.

    I'm not sure if you need QT Pro to get all of the export options, but you may start by using the H.264 codec with a mid-quality compression. Resize to 640x480 or smaller (as small as you can get away with). If the video is a talking head type content, drop the framerate to 15 or less.

    QT is notably slow at encoding. Check out Handbrake.. it's free, and if I recall, will let you size at above 320x240 in advanced mode. It's not versatile, but it's the closest to one-click encoding you'll find for free.

    If you're comfortable with codecs and settings, ffmpegx is my conversion and encoding tool of choice.

    There are other options that offer fast encoding with good presets, such as Sorenson Squeeze and Media Cleaner.. but those are not inexpensive.

    -Scott
     
  3. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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    But VisualHub is inexpensive and pretty flexible. Worth a look!

    -Christian
     
  4. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    Handbrake will only convert from DVD data, either on disk or hard drive. It needs to see the video_ts folder somewhere.

    Another vote for VisualHub. Try it for free, it gives you a 2 minute sample of the result.

    CJ
     
  5. Chris Souders

    Chris Souders Stunt Coordinator

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    And slightly related, what's the best file format to convert to?
    I making a powerpoint presentation on a mac, but going to show it on a PC powerpoint....

    Chris
     
  6. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    If you want to try something free, iSquint is the little brother of Visual Hub, and is very simple -- just drop a file onto it, select "optimize for TV" and move the slider to a high-ish quality. It defaults to MPEG-4, though it will also do H.264 if you want it to and if the PC that the presentation will be done on can play H.264 files. H.264 is smaller and nicer looking, but takes a lot longer to encode.
     
  7. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

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    Use WMV. From experience, embedded QuickTime content will not display properly if the presentation machine doesn't have a recent version of QuickTime installed.
     

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