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Movie Compression

Posted: Fri, 8th Nov 2002, 3:32pm

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cerveaupro

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What is the best compression "size/quality" to put the movie in the Cinema section? Never used quicktim, but it seems to be the best, what are the settings I should put?

Also, why there isn't the export dv codec from Microsoft in AlamDV2 and I can find it in all other programs: Pinnacle Studio 7, Adobe Premiere, AfterEffects, etc.?
Posted: Sat, 16th Nov 2002, 2:11am

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Kid

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Why MS DV doesn't work with ALAMDV has been discussed many times. Just to sum up in case anyone forgot.

Most codecs work with either the 'Video For Windows' or 'DirectShow' ways of working with video. Most apps (including ALAM) work with VFW. Microsoft is pushing along its new standard by only offering support for DV from DirectShow. There are several DV codecs around which support VFW (and are better than the Microsoft one) so just go and get one.

Secondly. Movies are best at 320x240 and should look ok at 200-300bps in either 2pass Divx or Mpeg4 in Quicktime. Don't forget to also compress your audio.
Posted: Fri, 3rd Jan 2003, 2:19am

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cyclone3000

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A pretty good compression program is 'Windows Media Encoder." You can get it free off of www.microsoft.com.
Posted: Fri, 3rd Jan 2003, 7:12am

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Kid

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Windows Media Encoder doesn't allow very much configuration and gives fairly poor results in comparison to the other advanced MPEG4 based codecs. It is easyish to use but creates WMV which is hard to do anything with later.

Personally I wouldn't use it.
Posted: Fri, 10th Jan 2003, 6:10pm

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Cypher

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I recently started using Cleaner 5 Pro and couldn't be happier for compression.
Posted: Sat, 11th Jan 2003, 4:37am

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Axeman

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The trouble with Cleaner, though, Cypher, is the $600 price tag. Other than that, its the best, from what I hear.
Posted: Sat, 11th Jan 2003, 4:39am

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sfbmovieco

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When I use mpeg 2 it usually comes out really good and with a low file size as well. I really recommend it.
Posted: Sat, 11th Jan 2003, 4:07pm

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Cypher

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Axeman, can't you get a copy from your school or something?
Posted: Mon, 27th Jan 2003, 7:47pm

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broderp

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What codec works best with larger frame and bitrates for DVD or SVCD authoring tobe viewed on the TV or Bigscreen?

I can't imagine 320x240 stretched to fit a 27" or larger Tv very good.

Any codecs work well with AlamDV in the 780x480 size? for rendering to Mpeg2 or DVD?
Posted: Sun, 16th Mar 2003, 11:43pm

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ckossoyan

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I would highley recomend ProCoder by Canopus. I am 99% sure it is the best compression/encodeing software out there.
Posted: Mon, 17th Mar 2003, 1:10am

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sidewinder

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The two best, easily accessible codecs are Divx and mp4, in my opinion....

Divx (www.divx.com) is free, and gives VERY high quality, compared to the file sizes.

Mp4 is also very nice to use, but you'll need a Quicktime pro serial, which is thirty bucks, but no one cares about the price anymore. razz

Anyways, Mp4 does give the best audio compression, hands down.

Best settings: 320X240, 12-15 fps, medium quality video (Divx or mp4), mp4 audio, medium-low quality. Keyframe every 20 or 30 frames, depending on the amount of action.

P.S. for those of you wondering, keyframe is a frame that is totally refreshed, so all those compression artifacts dissappear.
Posted: Mon, 17th Mar 2003, 10:40am

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Kid

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Media Cleaner and Pro Coder are ok to use if you are compressing MPEG2 for DVD. But the divx encoder is a lot more optimised for making something as small as possible at the very best quality due to its original target of allowing you to fit a movie on a cd for sharing on the net razz

Because it is based on mp4 it should be no better than the results you can achieve with mp4 but it is because of the quality of the encoder. Divx has simply had a lot more work put in and makes a more optimised file than Media Cleaner or whatever.

Sidey mentioned audio which is a good thing not to forget. I notice a few movies about that have encoded their video a ton but then left the audio as uncompressed PCM! razz MP3 or AAC (MP4 Audio) are the 2 I would choose. Ogg is great but a lot of people wont know what to do with it.

As for settings. What I would use with divx for the cinema is 320x240, 25 or 30fps (I wouldnt change that because it'll become jerky), 200-350kbps, GMC and Bidirectional Encoding on, everything else default.

Get the pro version cos its free with adverts (or you can pay to get it without ads). This is important cos it gives you the bidirectional encoding option which will almost double the quality.

Also 2pass is very important because it will more than triple the quality over single pass. To use it choose 2 pass - 1st pass and save your movie, then without changing any other settings choose 2 pass - 2nd pass and save it again. This will give you your final optimised movie.
Posted: Mon, 17th Mar 2003, 10:47am

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Kid

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Oop almost forgot what audio settings I use. Again I leave the audio on its default sample rate and everything because lowering it doesnt save much space and just makes it sound crappy. Also mp3 likes stereo so I leave it on that too. For the alam cinema I would use 96kbs abr but that envolves combining the mp3 with the video in nandub so if you arn't confident in using that just go fo 96kbps constant bit rate.
Posted: Mon, 17th Mar 2003, 5:46pm

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codec3

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Hi
I don't know about you, but I think it's frustrating when I want to watch a movie in the cinema and I have to download this player or that player or this component or that component or this codec or that codec.

Facts are if it's not an mpeg file it won't be able to play on dvd players, it won't be compliant with video industry standards and it won't (shouldn't) require an additional viewer.

After all, we all know what MPEG stands for:
The Moving Picture Experts Group! MPEG is a working group of ISO/IEC in charge of the development of international standards for compression, decompression, processing, and coded representation of moving pictures, audio and their combination.

MPEG-1 was approved in '92, MPEG-2 was approved in 1994.

I'm constantly amazed that content creators feel the need to stream or present video and audio in a format other than what has been universally accepted and integrated by content creators, broadcasters, set top box manufacturers and software vendors.

Sure it's nice to have choices, but who needs 3 or 4 or 5 players with (x) number of codecs installed to view files which should have adhered to the long adopted international standards for delivery in the first place.
sorry for the rant, but I find it all a bit too...this one is better...or...you'll need to download this player, for me to watch certain content.

What ever happened to ISO Standards?
codec3
Posted: Mon, 17th Mar 2003, 6:13pm

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Kid

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Yes well the problem with that is that neither MPEG1 or MPEG2 are suitable for this sort of thing. MPEG1 is pretty old now and a file can be more than 10 times the size it needs to be. MPEG2 is designed for high bit rate uses and is based around ease of decompression (cpu required) and so also makes big files.

MPEG4 is the one which is suitable but rather than bring out a format fully to the spec Apple and Microsoft both came out with their own incompatible versions. It is only the development of opensource MPEG4 based codecs like DIVX that have finally forced them into supporting it properly.

MP4 playable with Quicktime now or various special players is as close to the spec as you are going to get. Unfortunatly it isn't just a case of using that one because the encoders arnt up to scratch. The DIVX codec which makes MPEG4 but puts it in a wrapper manages to produce much better results and so you have to choose between a clip that is 3 or more times better (DIVX) and that people have to download a codec for or MP4 which people need to download the latest version of quicktime anyway in order to use.

ATM I would go with the method for producing better clips(DIVX) until more and better tools are available for creating and manipulating true MPEG4. The time to switch is almost upon us but not quite yet.
Posted: Mon, 17th Mar 2003, 6:57pm

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codec3

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I suppose, but in this thread it's a matter which method you choose, Kid.

I find .mp4 is working very well to post my TV Spots and promotional videos on the web.

The fact that Microsoft and others have chosen not to support the ISO format in place of their own proprietary (non-MPEG-4) codec is their choice.

I'm confused and angered when I make a video and send it to Windows, the user still has to download QT to play .mp4 files since WMV won't play them. It's too hard to distribute that way. And plain and simple it's an example of Microsoft not playing friendly with everyone else.

The fact that there are currently no consumer desktop players that support DIVX format is the manufacturer's choice.

If someone chooses not to distribute in accepted international format standards it's their choice.

For excellent quailty video distribution, I choose .mp4, and have had no problems to date.

I was pointing out in a roundabout way that distribution methods in the ALAMDV cinema have no continuity and if you wish to view all of the movies then you'll need to download and install every player ever made and every codec ever written...is that better?
codec3
Posted: Mon, 17th Mar 2003, 7:15pm

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Kid

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Well Apple are to blame because they helped come up with the standard and then didn't even follow it. Now they've got round to doing it it isn't so much an international standard yet as an Apple proprietry standard.

I have been trying to get everyone to release in a standard divx format for ages because it is currently the best format and requires one simple download. MP4 may also require only one simple download but at the moment you can't encode it as well.

When its just as easy to use either I would choose the one that looks 3 or more times better wouldn't you?

The problem is that people dont know how to encode them properly and the Mac people tend to choose something in quicktime just because it is made by Apple even if it isn't as good yet. Everyone has their own idea of what is best so we end up with all different things.

The most accepted non-proprietary formats are xvid and divx atm which happen to be compatible. And thats a standard that is in place because the people put it there. Commerce will always go with the big name. Thats why some are still using Real Media!!!
Posted: Mon, 17th Mar 2003, 7:26pm

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Kid

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I don't know what it has to do with it but there are consumer divx players!
Posted: Mon, 17th Mar 2003, 10:06pm

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codec3

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erm, Cleaner 6 encodes mp4.

Here there aren't any set top players yet:

Jan '03 (One of the first DivX certified devices to hit the market in the United States will be the KiSS Technology DVD player later this year.) so for now if you want to distribute to dvd like I do, then it's in mpg format.

And like I said before, it is great for the web, vbr is great for connection speeds. Too bad Windows can't play it...

Like you said, there are alot of choices, so there are alot of differences in how people present media, but I don't know any pros here who use divx to distribute, it's all in mpg format...what the players and PS2s can read.

Until divx devices proliferate in the consumer market the format will be confined to web based-distribution like it is now.

MPEG-4 provides an open playing field. As an open, industry standard, anyone can create an MPEG-4 player or encoder that will work with other manufacturer?s devices and applications.

As for Apple: Apple just optimized the codec to run better on the G chips, that does not mean it won't work in your browser, home player or dvds you burn, and it's not a matter of "I think it's better" it's really "I know it's better because I use it to master dvds for mass production and it works."

Looks like it's another one of those "This one is better than that one" threads. To each his own, but without carefully assessing needs, it IS difficult for many people to decide which format to use...

rolleyes
codec3
Posted: Mon, 17th Mar 2003, 10:34pm

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Kid

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Obviously on cd you're going to use dvd or vcd or whatever. You use the format that suits the use.

Cleaner 6 does not make mp4 streams as well as the divx encoder. That is a fact. They may be acceptable but they will bigger at the same quality.

I don't see a future in divx it is simply the thing to use for the moment.

MP4 is the way to go in the future but at the moment the encoders available are rubbish. Cleaner is no match for the leading divx, xvid and others. And by no match, I have to repeat, at least 3 times worse. So the quality issue by far outweighs the added ease for Mac users. Note all you have to do is install the codec to play divx. Whereas to play mp4 you have to install the whole of quicktime 6 which is also a way bigger download if you have to dl it.

As I said before, the pro's go with the big names. If it was up to the pros MP4 would not exist, you would still be using Sorenson 3 which while quite good, also had bad encoders. It is only the competition from divx and other open source formats which has prompted this u-turn. They've changed to become compatible now but haven't fixed the problem of actually creating media. Hence why the trailers you see on Apple.com will be way better than you can manage to encode.

The situation also isnt as simple as you say because ISO MPEG4 also incurs a BIG fee on encoders which limits the availability of free encoders and tools and discourages cheap good quality ones. Using it will mean more costs for businesses and mean that for the most it will be an illegitamate format like mp3.

Its not simply a mine is better than yours situation, it is much more complex than that. A format is only as good as its encoders and, while they both have the potential to be as good as each other, MP4 simply doesn't have that support.
Posted: Mon, 17th Mar 2003, 10:37pm

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Kid

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As for Apple: they did not release the format simply optimised for G4.

I'm talking about back when they came out with the spec and claimed Sorenson 3 was ISO MPEG4, funny how now this is ISO MPEG4!!!

I try not to be biased but it really does annoy me when people who use Mac come on saying 'this format and that format is the best', repeating what Apple say without realising it is hyped so much and in some cases completely false.

!!!! DIVX and ISO MPEG4 are equally capable. However, the DIVX encoder is far superior to anything you can get your hands on for MP4, even the top apps. This is not opinion !!!

If you accept the above as fact but choose to use MP4 for convenience then fine, but don't try to argue that it is better. please.

Sorry for the rant, had to get it off my chest. razz
Posted: Tue, 18th Mar 2003, 4:25am

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codec3

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Hi
That's a good argument, Kid...I'll bite.

Can you suggest a good cross-application divx encoder for my Macs?

I need to check out the benefits divx has to offer over mp4s and I'm willing to find an definate easier/better way to get my message out to the public...I have a hard enough time distributing mp4 files as it is (the radio stations and TV stations only take certain formats for delivery...funny thing, it's all mjpeg...but bandwidth isn't really a prob on tape) because people have to d/load a MP4 PLAYER.

In your opinion divx will make streaming and downloading my video content easier and quicker for everyone?

And disc distribution will look tons better, too?

Kid, can you give me some retail brands for divx set top consoles...I have 150 retail stores that I might reconsider switching to a format that makes everything 3 times easier and better. Players are so cheap now it's no big deal to switch them. How hard do you think it will be to deliver divx media to a retail storefront environment like that? They all use TVs and dvd players.

Forgive me, but QT and its' codecs allow me to publish on ALL analog and digital media...ALL MEDIA...can divx? I'll bite and see if I can plug it into all my apps on export. Since I work in a QT environment of course I expect everything to be easy and of professional quality.

Any help with these questions is appreciated.

Kid, don't you think there be some standard for submitting cinema files? I mean, how am I supposed to decide which format/player is easier to use?
codec3
Posted: Tue, 18th Mar 2003, 11:56am

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Kid

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According to fallen, mencoder is available to encode DIVX on the Mac and is reasonably good.

I would not distribute to stores with DVD players in either DIVX OR MP4!!! I would write a proper DVDR seeing as there arn't widespread set top players for either DIVX OR MP4. Distribution in that sense has nothing to do with this as an MPEG2 based coded is suitable and DIVX and MP4 are MPEG4 based codecs.

There is a big difference between something that is set as a standard and something that is widely used as the standard. DVD is an example of something that is accepted and widely used. MP4 isn't accepted and widely used yet because it is only supported by Apple proprietary software.

Comparing Quicktime with DIVX is daft because DIVX is a codec. Saying that Quicktime supports ALL media is like saying WMP supports ALL media! Neither is true. Both have codecs which are better for different stituations. Both have codecs which provide better and worse results.

One MPEG4 encoder can be better than another just like one MPEG2 encoder can be better than another. DIVX is a much better encoder for MPEG4 than the one in Quicktime or Cleaner.

It is the quality that is 3 times better for the size. Ease of use isn't really relevant because once they have downloaded the DIVX codec or installed Quicktime 6 it's a case of just clicking to run.