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Transcoding for archives

From: Compressor 4 Essential Training

Video: Transcoding for archives

I am going to take a look at a little more complex of a transcode than our prior section on ProRes. We're going to actually build something into the JPEG 2000 codec. Now this is predominantly used for digital cinema projection. It's also used for some archival use. This standard, JPEG 2000, whether or not the file sizes are big, whether or not it's easy to edit, is a relevant. It's one of those standards for archival. Whether or not we necessarily individually agree with it is a relevant.

Transcoding for archives

I am going to take a look at a little more complex of a transcode than our prior section on ProRes. We're going to actually build something into the JPEG 2000 codec. Now this is predominantly used for digital cinema projection. It's also used for some archival use. This standard, JPEG 2000, whether or not the file sizes are big, whether or not it's easy to edit, is a relevant. It's one of those standards for archival. Whether or not we necessarily individually agree with it is a relevant.

This is what the government uses for long-term archival stuff. Again, we're going to just take a look at our Transcode Start movie, and you'll see that it's in H.264 format. And we can close this at this point. Let's bring up Compressor. Just because I am using this movie doesn't mean you have to. Let me cancel this template. You can use anything you want as a starting point for this, whether it's this movie or if it happened to be something you sent over from Final Cut. I am going to go ahead and drag and drop this over and take a look at another neat feature here in Compressor.

This feature is the search box. I want you to know that what I am going to do is going to fail. That's okay. I've got a lot of formats in here. For example, if I type in ProRes, you can see all the ProRes settings. If I chose something like JPEG, like JPEG 2000, there's nothing here because there's no preset. What we're going to do is use one of the ProRes presents. It really doesn't make a difference which one. I'll just take the top one, and we're going to modify it.

So before we go any further, I would like you to see, we've got our movie on the left. We're going to take our setting here, which is going to be ProRes. It's going to then send it where the source file, where this original file, lives. The only difference is is we're going to make through a one switch difference. Here we've got Apple's ProRes; this is not the right choice. I am coming down to the Inspector. And the tab I want to look at the Inspector here is the Encoder. For a lot of settings--and we'll see this when we talk about encoding--these things will be preset. But here for QuickTime-based movies we actually get a separate set of buttons we've to get into.

We don't get easy dial controls. So I am just kind of press this button called Settings, and this is pretty much everything you get inside of QuickTime. This is where you are supposed to feel a little overwhelmed. But as I said earlier, we were talking about JPEG 2000. If you scan down that list, you'll see it right there. All we're going to do is change the codec flavor from ProRes 422 to JPEG 2000. This will be transcoding it to a much larger file, and that file size is determined by this Quality switch.

Since we're doing this for archival uses, I am just going to drag the Quality switch all the way over to the Best. I don't care how big the file is; I want in to be in the best final quality. I am going to say OK. This is ready to go. Notice I've got a big exclamation point. It's because it's going to append at the end of this name, ProRes 422. This is because in my last movie we did we sat back and we built a file like that. There is no big deal. I am just going to click in here, and I can change the name to anything I want.

I am going to change this to -JPEG2K, for JPEG 2000. Now that we've done this, you can see when I click, the exclamation point's gone away. I am going to hit Submit and when I do--I'll tell this to go with high priority--it's going to go ahead and compress this. And as this compresses it, it's going to change it from its original format, H.264, into JPEG 2000. And as I said at the beginning of this, JPEG 2000 is a format that, at the very least, the US government has decided would be the best for long-term archival footage format for video as a codec.

When this is done we're going to end up comparing it. I will take a look at its original size, the ProRes size, and the JPEG 2000 size. With this finished, we're going to go ahead and click on our nice little happy-face finder. We're going to find this on our scratch disk. So we've got three files here. We've got our original file at 22 MB, H.264, from the camera. We did in our earlier section, we did the ProRes file 65 MBs. Here at a whopping nine times larger than the original is the JPEG 2000 movie. And the beauty here is while it's gigantic, we're going to keep all the quality we had with just a little bit more compression than it being totally uncompressed. It will be lossless, just huge.

So this is another great example, and with a little bit more detail, of a transcode.

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Compressor 4 Essential Training

32 video lessons · 8644 viewers

Jeff I. Greenberg
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