editing movies on PC for Web

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Andrew Pratt, Jun 1, 2003.

  1. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    My digital camera (Canon A60) can capture short movies in the AVI format. They look pretty decent for a digital camera but I'd like to share them with family and friends by streaming them over the web. I figure I need to convert the AVI into quick time and upload it to my website. I have a copy of QuickTime pro 6 but when I save it as a QT movie it actually grows in size. I tried saving it as a MPEG4 file but it didn't look very good. So what do I need to do to make it work?
     
  2. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    AVI is just a container file format. The important thing is the codec (compressor-decompressor) used with the AVI. Different ones compress better or worse (there is also uncompressed AVI). The person on the receiving end must have that codec installed, or they can't view the movie. There are a few standard codecs that ship with Windows, but none of the them are really any good.

    MPEG-4 is a good idea because it is its own codec, and included with QuickTime 6. It should look OK if you use a bitrate that's high enough. A recommended starting point depends on the frame size and rate. For example, with 640x480 at 30 frames per second, you might try (pulling a number out of a hat) 600kbps (kilobits per second). If that looks good, you can try going lower.

    Of course, the results also depend on the quality of the encoder; dunno about the QuickTime encoder one way or the other.

    //Ken
     
  3. Andy Olivera

    Andy Olivera Screenwriter

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    There are a couple of options for decreasing the size. First, I'd get the latest version of DivX, unless you're dead set on using Quicktime. Second, you can decrease the framerate. Example, if it's too large at 30fps, change it to 20fps or 15fps. Third, and finally, reduce the resolution. If you're capturing with a digital camera, I assume the res is at or near 2K. You could cut it in half and it would still look decent blown up 2x.

    Virtual Dub can handle all the modifications(framerate, resolution) and is really easy to use.

    Just curious, with MPEG4, what bitrate are you using?
     
  4. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Andy when I click export in the quick time viewer I can choose MPG4 which when I click options tells me its being saves as a 320 * 240 at 900 kbs and 30 frames per second. I can choose basic which lowers the size and frame rate a bit so I'll try and see what happens
     
  5. Andy Olivera

    Andy Olivera Screenwriter

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    I don't have any experience with QT, so I'm not sure what MPEG4 codec it uses. Does it give you any other options, like Keyframe Interval or Scene Change Detection? Of course, if you're only dealing with a few seconds of footage these aren't all that important.

    I would think 320x240 would be small enough. Is that the original resolution, or is QT scaling it down? I ask because the inferior look could also be due to poor scaling.

    BTW, I'm new at this, too. :b
     
  6. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    There is a keyframe setting. The 320 * 240 is my digital camera's native setting (at max) so there's no scaling involved.
     
  7. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Andrew, Your camera...is it a still camera with movie capabilities? It sound like it is. If so, why not leave the movies the way they are? Those cameras are set up to make movies for the web...they're not meant as real digital video cameras, so you should be fine with the way they are.

    When you say you want to share them with your family and friends...are you saying you want the movies smaller? How big are they now?

    You also mentioned streaming (I assume you just mean you want to send them to your friends), because streaming is another issue that requires special servers to "stream" video.
     
  8. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Yes its a canon A60 digital camera (Still). Right now a 30 second clip is about 24 megs in size which is way to big to email and to large for putting on my ISP account so I was just looking to make it smaller so friends/family could download it.
     
  9. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    24Megs?? Ok, now I'm with ya. Did your camera come with any video software? Some programs can export MPEG1 files which work great. I use the DivX codec for my avi files (see Andy's post for the link), but (as Ken mentioned) the end user would have to have the codec installed. But since DivX isn't too mainstream, I'd doubt that many people (especially older family members) have it installed or would even attempt to install it.

    I haven't used the MPEG4 codec yet, but when I compress QuickTimes, I always use Sorenson 3. Sorenson can do 320x240, 30 fps, 300k/sec and look fantastic! Also, if there is sound, use sound compression. Sorenson combined with the Qdesign Music 2 audio codec will keep file sizes small.

    At 300k/sec, your talking about 2MB per minute of video...pretty good!
     
  10. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Thanks I'll give that a try.
     
  11. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Also try smaller sizes like 160x120 (half size). This will help immensely in making a smaller file. Sure, it's not as big as 320x240, but that's more of a CD rom size than a web size.

    No one (with a modem) connection should be expecting anything that's 320x240, so it's not out of the question to go smaller.
     

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