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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.
So in this movie we are going to go and compress video for an email gateway. We are going to make sure we can get it under about 10 megabytes, and that means that it's, at most, going to be about 10 minutes. I am going to show you some very aggressive switches and knobs to turn, but I want to give this little note before I start. If you can post it up on Vimeo or YouTube and send somebody a link, they are going to get a much better-looking picture. This is for somebody who you are going to email it and they're really not going to have any access to the Internet while they're playing it back.
You know, I can think of a couple of other reasons why you wouldn't want to post on public sites like that, but you can make almost all of them private. So with this as a starting point, we are going to do some aggressive things here. I am going to go ahead and bring my video into Compressor. And please, again, feel free to use whatever video you want to. You can use one of yours. I am just using this as a starting point so you can get the same exact results I am. I am going to choose an MPEG-4, and we are going to build this from scratch. We are going to call this MPEG4 for email, and we are going to start making some pretty aggressive choices here.
The first choice I want to do is I want to change the size of the picture. If you go and you look at the other title in the series about compression, in itself, you saw there were a couple of different ways I can make files smaller, and one is I can control the size. I am going to make this from this high-def picture much, much, much smaller. I am going to pick 16x9, because it happens to be a 16x9 file. I am going to take this Frame Size here and say Custom 16x9. And I am going to type in the Width. It will automatically figure out the Height of 320, and I get this nice Height of 320x180.
This is a small picture, about 1/16the the size of our full high def, but it still looks full picture. It's about the smallest I feel is acceptable for playback. While there are other smaller settings here that are available, I find that this is about the smallest I can reasonably show somebody a video. Remember, most of your players-- QuickTime, Windows Media Player--will double-size the pictures, and they will look pretty good double sized. The next place where we are going to go and make some changes is over here in the Encoder.
Now, this is where we get into some real aggressiveness. I find that the smallest--at that size, at about 300 kilobits per second, that's about the smallest I can get it and still have good-looking video. Unfortunately, at this frame rate, and that's 30 seconds--29.97 for us NTSC users, or 25 seconds for our PAL users-- this is about the threshold between video--no matter what it is will look awful. I am going to have to be more aggressive than this.
And I make this number smaller. This number will get me about 4.5 minutes, 5 minutes at 10 megabytes. I need this number to be even smaller than that. I am going to make this number about 130 or so. Yeah, it should be 150, but 130 or so is about the number that I am going to use. I am going to cut my Frame Rate in half. And this is the big secret. I am going 15 for NTSC. I am going 12.5 for PAL. I will let it pick automatic Key Frame Intervals. If you don't know what those are, don't worry about them.
Let it do it automatically. This is almost perfect. I need to go over and play with the Audio and Streaming tabs. So coming to the Audio tab, I am going to sit back and take a look at this audio. It's gorgeous at this quality level. Unfortunately, we don't need this sort of quality for such a small movie. I am going to make it Mono and that can take this Bit Rate immediately from 128 to 64--and that's still great-sounding audio. I am going to take it down even lower than that. I am going to take it down to about 44, and this is going to make the audio a little crunchy. But, again, we are so compromising this file to begin with that we are going to be okay with that.
I really don't want any streaming hinting involved, because that's just extra data we don't need. I am going to come back to the Video tab. I notice I don't have Multi-pass on; I definitely want it on. So as a brief review, I have cut the Data Rate down as low as I dare to get, at about 130. I have cut the Frame Rate from 30 frames per second to 15, because I am in NTSC; PAL, I'd go 12. For Audio, I have really gone and tried to drop out as much as I dare. And I have turned off the Streaming settings here.
And of course I want to make sure I have picked Multi-pass. And coming over to the Geometry tab, I want to point out that since I am starting in high-def 16x9, I want to make sure the finishing file is in high def. Between this Frame Size change, between these compression changes, we will get as many as eight to nine minutes inside of a 10-MB file. I am going to hit Save here. When I go to the Summary tab, let's see. We get about 16 MB per hour of source, so I am doing about 1 MB a minute.
That's exactly the target I am looking for. So 10 minutes is about 10 MB. This will work, even if the video doesn't look great. I am going to leave one extra piece in the Description, "Keep under 10 mins," and save it again. We are now ready to go ahead to compress and see what that looks like. I am going to press the Submit button. It's going to go ahead and compress my video. This will be possibly crunchy, but it definitely will be under our size that we need to be. I expect it to be between 30 seconds and a megabyte, because I only have 30 seconds of source video. Okay.
I am going to take a look at this out in the Finder. First off, you can see, boy, did I hit that target right, right about 650 K, a little bit above 500 K for 30 seconds. When I open this up, it's a very small file. Let me close both of these. Let's do that again. When I open this up, you will see it's a very small file. I am going to turn down its Audio level and I am going to hit Play. It's going to be fairly crunchy. I am okay with it being crunchy. It's a file that actually is bearable to look at, given its small size.
This can fit nearly on anything from a thumb drive to over email, and I can get nearly 10 minutes of video in this size--perfect for emailing to somebody. It's an aggressive way to work, but this really gets you to explore some of Compressor's Data Rate and Frame Size settings.
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