Compressor 4 Essential Training
Illustration by Mark Todd

Compressor 4 Essential Training

with Jeff I. Greenberg

Video: Modifying Apple's video sharing preset

In this video, I'm going to sit back and take one of my starting points. You don't have to use mine; you can use any of your own, or you could start in say Final Cut to compress a video meant to go to any of the online services. Very standard Compressor usage here. I'm going to drag a file in. It's going to get dropped into the well. I am going to hide the Finder. So it says drag a setting and destination. And I'm going to roll this open manually, rather than doing a search. You can see here, I can roll open the Apple groups.

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Watch the Online Video Course Compressor 4 Essential Training
1h 57m Beginner Oct 14, 2011

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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.

Topics include:
  • Using Compressor with QuickTime and Final Cut Pro X
  • Transcoding to ProRes
  • Understanding encoding
  • Setting markers for DVD and Blu-ray
  • Building an MPEG2 for broadcast
  • Adjusting video footage
  • Creating templates
  • Setting destinations
Subject:
Video
Software:
Compressor
Author:
Jeff I. Greenberg

Modifying Apple's video sharing preset

In this video, I'm going to sit back and take one of my starting points. You don't have to use mine; you can use any of your own, or you could start in say Final Cut to compress a video meant to go to any of the online services. Very standard Compressor usage here. I'm going to drag a file in. It's going to get dropped into the well. I am going to hide the Finder. So it says drag a setting and destination. And I'm going to roll this open manually, rather than doing a search. You can see here, I can roll open the Apple groups.

We've Video Sharing Services down here towards the bottom. I'm going to roll that open, and you'll see there are number of settings here. Now there is 1080 and 720, and the goal here is for you to pick which one represents your video. If you have worked in high def, the bigger your picture is when you send it online, the better and the more versions they will have online. A group like YouTube--and in fact all these groups Vimeo, Facebook--they are all going to recompress your video. So whichever setting we pick, we want to pick one that probably matches our video to let them do their magic. But you can see there are couple other settings here, including one for the smallest file size, like say that you're really trying to minimize how much you have to upload.

Since my video is a 1080 video, I'm going to just drag and drop this up here, and we're going to examine on the inspector exactly what's going on. So this file here, if you take a look at my Inspector, it's going to take up about 9 gigabytes per hour of source. I'm going to want to tweak this. This video has got a lot of motion. And while Apple setting is a very, very good, we're going to find that just with a little bit of tweaking we can customize them for our own use. The first tab here right next to Summary is the Encoder.

And the encoder tab for this is where I'm going to do most of my work. You can see there is already an Estimated file size right here for the finished work, but what I need to do is I need to have the ability just to tweak this a little bit. Of course, when I tweak this, if I make this-- I'm going to adjust the number in a second. If I make the number larger, it's going to make a bigger file and a longer upload. To get to this, to get to the actual encoder, we'll going to press this button here that says Video > Settings. We get this large window up, and it's the trick up in the top right corner where it says Data Rate.

Now I don't need to really get into heavily what a data rate is, but I want to look at this number. This is 20 megabits of second. This is a very large number. This should not make your video look bad, but if you go ahead and you compress your video, when you find that you're unhappy with the way it looks, you can try raising this number. And I would raise this number in 10% increments, to 22,000. I've raised it by 10%, and this will be good for, say, high-moving video, something with a lot of speed. To be honest, this number is so high, Apple has given us such a big number, that it probably would work fine anyway, but I'm kind of to trying to teach you how to manipulate this.

So with this data rate a little bit higher, I'm going to say OK. And before I go any further here, on the bottom of the inspector is this button that says Save As. Since I'm going to use this over and over and over again, I'm going to hit Save As and name this, and that's going to appear in my Custom settings. I'm going to call this Perfect for Sharing services Fast Motion, because I'm giving a higher data rate, a higher number the things that have a lot of motion.

Again, in encoding, if there is less motion, we don't have to worry about it as much, but if there is a lot of motion, that number gets higher--the file will get smaller. I'm going to hit Save. You'll see that now down here under Custom. When I hit Submit, I'm going to make movie smaller, but it's still going to be a fairly large file. It's still going to be-- it's going to take it all the way from-- here it is, the original, at 500 megs--it's going to take it down to 80 megs. That's still a big file for 30 seconds. If we take a look at the summary, it means it could be about 10 gigs per hour of source.

The larger the file, the longer the upload it will take. The original, the better the original file will be for compression for services like YouTube and Vimeo and Facebook. So by upping the data rate, by upping this adjustment here, when we up these settings we get the ability to make the files larger and smaller, but in doing so, we're going to end up with a larger, or possibly smaller, file. But the larger we give this number, the better our end video will look, but it also mean the longer the upload time.

As again, I want to keep in mind that sites like Vimeo and YouTube are going to recompress your work. The better of the file you upload, the less damage they're going to do to your footage. I'm going to say OK, and I'm going to press the Submit button. We're not actually going to see the same movie play, play through, because that all we're doing is watching it compress at that point. So this idea that you go ahead and you open your settings, I really encourage you to play with this Data Rate and kind of learn instinctually what it means to make a file smaller or larger. The larger the file, the longer the upload, the better the quality. The smaller the file, the smaller the upload, the lower the quality.

You should know in the prior version of Compressor, if you've ever used Compressor before, this number was only at 8000. So with 20,000, or what I have it set to now, 22,000, it's relatively three times larger than what Compressor 3.5 used to use for this value. This means that its starting point is way better, but it's good and healthy for you to go and play with this number and learn that relationship.

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