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Compressor 4 Essential Training streamlines the processes of compressing and encoding media in Final Cut Pro X's companion compression software. This course introduces the fundamental concepts of compression, how to determine appropriate compression settings, and building and modifying encoding presets for a variety of outputs, including Apple and Android devices, DVDs, PowerPoint, and the web. The course also covers placing watermarks, setting destinations, and transcoding files automatically using droplets.
One of the things that doesn't come with Compressor is a preset for Android devices. And we need to provide a little bit of extra care, because for Android devices we still are pretty much in very much a wild, wild West, where we have all sorts of different sizes, be it very small phones with very small sizing through pads that are full high def. So what this being said, we are going to build one, and the big message here is that you should experiment--but you should use this as a good starting point.
I am using my video; you can use yours, whether it's in Final Cut or any other sort. I am just going to drag and drop it in the Compressor, and we are going to start with a very different way of working here. I could pick one of the presets. Unfortunately, there is no preset for Android, so we are going to build it ourselves here from the top right. Now, I am sourcing this directly from the Android documentation. There is developer documentation for Android, and these are their video encoding recommendations. They don't cover every possibility of video, which is why you are going to have to experiment, to a large extent, on your own.
I am going to go up here to this plus and choose an MPEG-4 file, and we want a specific type of MPEG-4, what's called an H.264 file. So when I choose this, we are going to get a couple of things here. We get a new setting over here on the left with no description, and we get on the Inspector that setting, and we are already on the Encoder tab. So to name this, I am going to call this Android Base. I will use as a description, "Base Profile for Android Devices," and now here we are going to go ahead and make some adjustments.
We are on the Encoder tab. You may be initially on the Summary tab, but we are going to definitely make sure we are on the Encoder tab. We are building an MPEG-4 with this extension. And under the Video tab here of the Encoder, we will need to make sure we are on the H.266 baseline profile. Some Android devices can handle the main profile, but this baseline profile definitely works. You may be coming from a variety of frame rates. Some of you may be watching this in countries that are PAL based, some of you may be NTSC based.
I am just going to throw this switch, this gear, which is going to make everything automatically select. Same thing for the Key Frame Interval. You don't have to worry about these if that gear is selected; Compressor will make the best picks for the source. The big question here is bit rate. The smaller the bit rate, the smaller the file; the larger the bit rate, the larger the file. The one in the documentation says 500 kilobits per second. The only two things I want to mention--well, the only thing I want to mention is you should definitely experiment with taking this number significantly higher.
Take it to 2000. Take it to 5000. This, along with the frame size, are the two big pieces which are going to allow you to handle stuff that is high def, say off of a tablet or off of a phone. Some of the Android phones have HDMI plug-ins, so you could plug it into a high-def television set. And I'll tell you, this will just blow up something that's standard def. The bit rate will be where you want to play. Multi-pass just means that it should spend more time really doing the compression. It should analyze before it compresses.
This is a good choice anytime you're doing compression is to have it do a multiple-pass. The other piece of the puzzle I need to play with is the frame size. I am going to go over here to the Frame Size, the Geometry, where I can choose what the actual frame size should be. The only real thing you need to know is whether or not your video was 4x3 or whether it was 16x9. Compressor has a bunch of presets set for 16x9.
The one the Android documentation sets up, 480x360, it's really meant for 4x3 video, and I think it's a pretty fair assumption that most of you are starting off in high def. With this being the case, I would highly recommend any of these choices up here as a good starting point for yourself. I am going to actually do as close as I can to their documentation and pick totally a custom that I type in. Not 640x360. I am going to pick the horizontal size of 480. It's picked a height of 270.
So you are going to play here with the different frame sizes. As you pick larger sizes, I would suggest making larger values of the bit rate. Go double, triple, quadruple as you make the pictures larger. So this is Android Base. I might even say something up top here 500 kilobits or .5 megabits and a 480 size, 480x270. I'm going to save this, and now we can go ahead and use this and compress.
So I am going to drag this up top. I am going to press my Submit button, and it's going to start building this video. As it builds this video, I am going to go ahead and take a look at it at the Desktop and see how much smaller it is than the original and compare its sizes. Now that that compression is done, let's take a quick look out in the Finder. You'll see our file here, our original. We can get rid of this column for the time being. You can see our original file here, 500 megabytes. We have compressed it down to 2.5 megabytes. I am going to go ahead and double-click both of these, just so you can get a feel.
We have of course got beautiful video. This has actually been sized down a little bit, because it's in QuickTime 10. This file is significantly smaller, but as I scrub through it or play it, the video looks pretty decent, although you can see some blockiness in areas like where there's a lot of light here, and areas like right here. So this format, this is based on Android's Developer Guide.
You should definitely play with both the frame size and the data rate until you find one that's perfect for your videos.
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