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In Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins explains how to take video editing from simple nuts and bolts to an art form. He shares tips for shooting video in the field to get the most from a subject and get the best footage for a project. He demonstrates how to build a project through the careful use of cutaways, pacing, and suggestive edits. He covers special effects, color correction, and keying and compositing, integrating all these concepts as he builds a music video project from scratch. Exercise files are included with this course.
In this movie we want to talk a little bit choosing a format. Now I want to focus more on choosing an output format. When you choose a working format, make sure you choose a format for editing that's good for your system. As we talk later in this chapter about temporal compression, you want to make sure that you are using a format that your system can handle. Formats like HDV and AVCHD, they are really hard on your processing system. It might be good if you have a weaker system to render to an intermediate format and then cut with that.
But again referring to output formats, this discussion is actually a little easier than it once was a few years ago before there were these really powerful compressed formats. I am just going to select my sequence here and hit Command+M or Ctrl+M as in movie on the PC. Now will open up my Export Settings dialog box and we could talk about this a little bit here. First of all, we want to choose a Format and basically this is the file extension, but we know that far more important than the actual file extension itself like .mov or .avi.
Far more important than that is actually choosing a compression algorithm. This is often referred to as a codec, and of the biggest right now is H.264. H.264 is a format and it's also a codec. So you could actually use the QuickTime format with H.264 codec, so it would be a .mov file, but it would still be an H.264 compressed file. Now you could also choose H.264 as a format in which case it will create an MP4 file, which is an H.264 file.
That's both the format, MP4, and the codec. Now the reason H.264 is so exciting is because there is such a really great compression algorithm. Most of the videos in these Exercise Files are compressed with H.264 compression. It's just so great. The quality is amazing and the file sizes are ridiculously small. Now as a matter of personal preference, I actually prefer to render to the QuickTime format using H.264 compression, which you can choose in the Video tab under Video Codec. Change Video Codec to H.264.
Now you might look at this and say, hey, you don't have all of those formats and that's okay. I just might have more codecs installed, but that's fine. All the key ones like H.264 will be on your system. If you are missing some of the key ones that you're looking for, try and installing the latest version of QuickTime and see if that doesn't add a few more codecs to what you have going on there. Now for adjust general usage stuff, if you're just trying to show a file that's somebody else's on a computer for a test render or that type of thing, H.264 is a codec that will work great.
If you needed to go to the Internet and you wanted to be a lighter weight file, come down here to the bottom of the Video tab and you can actually set the Bitrate and so you can select Bitrate and you could actually lower this value, if you need to. So if you wanted it to be like 500K a second as the Bitrate, that will make a lower quality file, but it will also make it so that the file is much smaller. Now if you are looking for a really high- end file, under Video Codec, so you can take this to Animation.
This is what I would recommend for most situations where you need a really high quality final result and uncompressed video, which is a little bit too unruly. Especially, if you are working with HD, you might well consider working with Animation, because HD Video is so big to have it uncompressed, that could be almost too difficult to tame. Now personally I prefer working with QuickTime, because of the codecs that are available, especially Animation and H.264, are just fantastic. I don't have Windows Media here because I am on a Mac.
If you are on a PC, you'll be able to use the Windows Media format AVI or WMV. I don't prefer to use these, because Microsoft is kind of competing with H.264, which is really a standard. It's the standard for Blu-ray players as well as on the web, on iPhones and iPods and things like that. So Microsoft kind of has a competing format and I find that the codecs that come with the AVI aren't as easy to use. Although, if you are using Windows, you might want to look into the DivX. That's.
DivX is very similar to H.264. And of course, if you are going to be outputting to the web, you might want to consider outputting to FLV or F4V. FLV will result in bigger files, but it is more standard. It's more popular, so we can have more compatibility there. F4V is a little bit newer and so it won't be as supported, so you might have a lot of people that will have to get an update before they watch your stuff, which can turn them away and be not as good of a thing. But F4V is a more optimal compression scheme, so it'll create smaller file sizes with better quality.
Now of course Premiere exports to a whole host of formats. There area a bunch of image sequence formats like TIFF and TARGA or Audio Only file formats or even like a P2 Movie or MPEG2 for DVD Blu-ray. There is whole host of options here and if you are outputting to a specific medium, then they'll have specific requirements for you. But for general outputting rules, I use a QuickTime format. For a high quality, I use the Animation codec. For a lower quality, for a web stuff, I would use the H.264 codec.
No doubt there are tons of other options out there. Those are just my picks.
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