Optimal Export settings for Streaming

DannyG

New member
Hey all,
Trying to export a 21 minute video from FCP that would keep it less than 1 gig yet still be somewhat decent. Obviously all the options for direct export to QT resulted in enormous file sizes, and I did try the H.264 @ 300 kbps preset in Compressor but the result was a really small resolution. Ultimately trying to upload to Facebook. Though if that's not doable I'll have to use YouTube or Vimeo. Any suggestions on export settings would be wonderful. (FYI, FCP and Compressor are the only two programs I have at my disposal) Thanks!
 
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BenB

Guest
Here's a tutorial you need to watch. Go to this URL,
http://slfcpug.ning.com/video
And in the Search box type in "tutorial". There you'll find my freebies. The one in particular you want to watch is "H.264 Encoding For The Web". Compressors presets, well, you need to understand the codecs in depth to use them properly. This cheat I use gives you a lot of control, and keeps your quality up to snuff.
http://slfcpug.ning.com/video/1975320:Video:4903

Also, FCP 7 and Compressor 3 now have YouTube presets that are great, and will automatically upload the video to your account when it's encoded, all in the background while you go about your business. Final Cut Studio '09 upgrade is really very worth while, and a totally safe upgrade (not need to reinstall everything from scratch).
 

DannyG

New member
Thanks Ben. A couple things: When you do the initial export from FCP does the "Current Settings" option mean the current editing settings that the project was captured as? Or does it strictly apply to export parameters? Because since I'm working in a school lab, those current settings might have been changed multiple times.

Also, don't know if this is important, but the project I'm currently working on is practically home video from 7 years ago just shot on a consumer DV cam. Will that mean the degradation in quality once compressed will be noticably more than if the source material is HD?
 
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BenB

Guest
The Sequence settings do not get changed in a project over time. Maybe from project to project, but once a project's Sequence is set up, changing it would distort and ruin what you see in the Sequence.

You will see no degradation in quality exporting as a Self-Contained QT movie. It will be the same codec and settings used in the Sequence you are exporting. Just be sure to render the whole Sequence before exporting this way. Not one iota of degradation, as it's the same codec, it's just writing out the same data, no big deal.

If you transcoded to a different codec (export via QuickTime Conversion, or Compressor), you "may" see some degradation in quality, but only depending on the codec and settings you were transcoding to. Most of the time you'd not see any problems. SD, HD, it all holds up the same.

BUT, if you take HD and down-convert to SD, it'll still look better than if it were originally shot in SD. If you take SD and up-convert to HD, you'll see a huge mess.
 

DannyG

New member
Thanks much for all the help Ben. I managed to screw something up nonetheless. I was able to compress a 20 minute, 4.5 gig quicktime movie down to 800 megs and it took about 45 minutes. I kept the screen size the same as the original however (720x480).

The final product was fine except for the big problem of having horizontal lines going through the image. Any idea what setting I messed up?
 
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BenB

Guest
Yeah, you are starting off with Interlaced material. When creating H.264, in the Size window, make sure the "Deinterlace Source Video" option is checked.
 
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