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View Full Version : Looking for a good capture/render format to use for a project



wtdedula
11-16-2007, 04:57 AM
Hello All;
I posted a messsage in the SpeedEdit forum yesterday but didn't receive a single response so I think no one understood my question. Posting the question here in the event someone could provide advice/suggestions fast for this project I'm doing.

Yesterday, I captured a 10-minute video clip from a dv camcorder using SpeedEdit's capture utility.

I need to put this clip on a DVD with other clips and photos that I can distribute at a recognition ceremony on Saturday.

After I captured it, the 10 minute clip was over 2 GB in size which is too large and won't fit on the DVD. I neeed to try to cut this in half to make it 1 GB instead and this is where I need your advice.

I am looking for a good render format and possibly program that will enable me to ...

1) Convert that 10 minute 720 X 480 dv avi clip into one that is under 1 GB in size
2) Uses a good compression scheme that doesn't tax the computer too much so it doesn't stutter too much or sound or look too bad.
3) Preferably ... Uses a codec that most everyone is likely to have without installing anything.

Any format, method, or software out there that will enable me to perform this challenging task ? Yesterday, I was using After Effects 6.5 but after working an entire day, couldn't get satisfactory results. I can use AE6.5, SpeedEdit, or even TMPEnc to convert provided it adheres to my rules above. Or I can buy another program provided it is a reasonable price and it can be downloaded. Thanks.

Tim

SBowie
11-16-2007, 05:35 AM
After I captured it, the 10 minute clip was over 2 GB in size which is too large and won't fit on the DVD.Yes, it would be. 10 minutes of DV25 is 2.1 gigs ...


3) Preferably ... Uses a codec that most everyone is likely to have without installing anything. This is probably the trickiest part. What sort of systems and codecs will 'most everyone' have? Will they mostly be windows systems, or are you going to run into Macs too.... will they be powerful enough to play back a fill-size video clip at all?

If you want a really universal format that will play well and look 'decent', I'd be tempted to suggest you drop the resolution to 360x240, and use MPEG1. It will play on just about everything out there, and look surprisingly respectable at that size. An alternative with fairly wide installed user would Flash (.swf).

WMV would likely give you a rough time on Macs, and Quicktime is not universal on Windows systems. The same sort of thing would be true even moreso for some of the slightly more exotic options like DivX, XVid, etc.

Just my 2 cents...

wtdedula
11-16-2007, 06:21 AM
Thank you very, very much for your responde, Steve.

Before you responded, I did some searching and found Quicktime's H.264 codec touted as a compact format and I tried it at 720 X 480 and it actually looks very good at a file size I can deal with. I guess I'm not too concerned about users having to download a program provided it's free. Quicktime seems pretty popular so I guess it's not that bad for me to use it.

Question 1 - Other than the inconvenience of possibly having to download Quicktime, would you say that Quciktime would be a good option for mostly Windows users ?

I will try MPEG-1 at half resolution as you suggested and see how it looks. I have two questions about MPEG-1 -

Question 2 - SpeedEdit defaults to 352 X 240. Is it possible/reasonable to increase that to 720 X 480 ?

Question 3 - SpeedEdit defaults to "Progressive" fielding. Would I want to use "Progressive", or "Interlace" ?

Tim

SBowie
11-16-2007, 07:46 AM
Before you responded, I did some searching and found Quicktime's H.264 codec touted ...I thought of H.264 as well, as its popularity is growing and it certainly does a devent job - but it does require Quicktime, which is not really universal .. your call there.


Question 1 - Other than the inconvenience of possibly having to download Quicktime, would you say that Quciktime would be a good option for mostly Windows users ?Do you really mean 'for mostly Windows users'? Because some Windows will not have it installed, tohugh many will. (There may be even less Vista users than XP users with Quicktime installed just now.)


Question 2 - SpeedEdit defaults to 352 X 240. Is it possible/reasonable to increase that to 720 X 480 ? You could, I suppose, but a couple of things to consider. First, 720X480 is a rectangular pixel Given you expect folks to play this on a computer monitor (it seems), maybe you should scale to a square pixel aspect - and de-interlace if necessary) while you're doing this.

So, for the lower res option, you might use 320X240 with square pixels, or 640x480 for 'full' size.

Also, since you mention having TMPEGenc, you might want to use that for the conversion - I think it renders quicker, if nothing else.


Question 3 - SpeedEdit defaults to "Progressive" fielding. Would I want to use "Progressive", or "Interlace" ?
TimFor display on a computer monitor, you would use progressive - but you would likely want to de-field the source first.

wtdedula
11-16-2007, 10:00 AM
PK Steve;
I think I'm following you.

My original clip was captured in dv .avi format with SpeedEdit at 720 X 480.

I am using TMPGEnc 4.0 Xpress. I used one of the profiles for MPEG-1

I loaded the clip and I checkmarked the Deinterlace filter, It said "Deinterlace if necessary".

I set the resolution to 640 X 480, and Pixel Aspect Ratio to 1:1. I noticed that it was set to progressive and I couldn't change it.

And upon viewing my clips, I am now getting reasonable file sizes and performance.

Let me know if I set anythng wrong. You are right in that TMPGEnc is MUCH quicker than either SpeedEdit or After Effects 6.5 for MPEG-1 conversion.

Thank you very much for your tips and suggestions.

Tim

SBowie
11-16-2007, 10:28 AM
Sounds good to me. MPEG1 - the old stand-by - looks fairly decent and is broadly supported .... at the expense of being bigger than MPEG2, 4, or what have you.

ScorpioProd
11-16-2007, 10:56 AM
Note that MPEG-1 is intended to be a 352X240 size format. It is not intended for 640X480 resolution.

Proper MPEG-1 should be taken from 720X480, cropped to 704X480 and then rendered to 352X240 deinterlaced.

I'm not saying you can't do it at 640X480, but just that that's not a legal resolution in MPEG-1, and it could potentially be less compatible.

Equally important, the quality of MPEG-2 over MPEG-1 becomes significant at "full" resolution, at the data rates required for quality results.

What kind of data rate are you using to get "decent" quality at 640X480 with MPEG-1?

SBowie
11-16-2007, 11:13 AM
I'm not saying you can't do it at 640X480, but just that that's not a legal resolution in MPEG-1, and it could potentially be less compatible.I've never seen anything to suggest it is illegal, Eugene - except for the VCD spec, which is not what we're talking about here. (If I'm mistaken, I'll happily apologize though.)

LW_Will
11-16-2007, 11:19 AM
Well... if you are going for final output, why not get your hands on Flash 8 (i think that's the current version).

Its H.264, its ubiquitous... or as universal as you are going to get, and it is very transferable between platforms....

ScorpioProd
11-16-2007, 11:25 AM
OK, I looked into it further, you are correct, Steve... BUT:

The MPEG-1 codec IS optimized for 352X240.

Also, by design, it is progressive-only.

As for H.264, it's so ubiquitous that SpeedEDIT doesn't support it! :hey:

wtdedula
11-16-2007, 11:41 AM
WOW, Thanks for all of the additional replies, fellas.

I'm in a crunch here, so unless you think MPEG-1 at 640 X 480 resoultion won't work for some folks, I won't have time to re-encode. Technical, it's for a personal project, not professional but it still has to atleast be compatible and look (and sound) decent because I'll be handing about 10 of these DVD's out to folks and they could be further distributed.

I've heard you say that MPEG-1 640 X 480 resolution isn't standard, Eugene but I know some software will let you break the rules like TMPGEnc so I thought I'd "go for it" to give folks a higher resolution.

I understand a few of you who think I should go with either MPEG-2 or Flash but both require plug-ins which I'd rather avoid at the expense of picture quality.

In case I didn't mention it earlier, these files are only being copied to DVD as .mpg files which are intended for computer playback only. They are not intended to be played back on any TV, VCR, or DVD.

Eugene, I checked on my bitrate/quality at 640 X 480 progressive and it's 4000 Kb/s.

Tim

SBowie
11-16-2007, 11:46 AM
As for H.264, it's so ubiquitous that SpeedEDIT doesn't support it! :hey:Yeah, I think H.264 is going to continue to gain ground, as Will mentions. I agree as well that Flash has pretty good penetration (which is why I mentioned it in my first post) ... but for just plain 'works everywhere' it's still hard to beat MPEG1 even now.

ScorpioProd
11-16-2007, 11:55 AM
Eugene, I checked on my bitrate/quality at 640 X 480 progressive and it's 4000 Kb/s.

Holy... Wow... OK, well, that's certainly a brute force method...

But yeah, as long as efficiency of compression isn't the goal, and it's for computer-only playback, you should be fine. :)

Just for example, what I do for my wedding demo CDs, yes, CDs:

I want a universal playback format, so I use MPEG-1.

I want better than VCD quality, so I don't go with the VCD data rate of 1150kb/s. But I do go with 352X240, deinterlaced. I push the data rate to 1800kb/s for the video plus 192kb/s for the MPEG-1 Layer 2 audio. I keep my total datarate to just under 2000kb/s.

This I have confidence will playback fine direct from a CD-R on any computer.

I wouldn't recommend using a datarate higher than this on a CD-R if you want high compatibility.

For your use with DVD-R, you can of course go much higher.

wtdedula
11-16-2007, 12:46 PM
Eugene - I used the default (4000 kb/s). I actually wasn't sure if it was considered high or not. I am using DVD's to record the data on, not CD's.

Tim