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Choosing a format

From: Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Choosing a format

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.

Choosing a format

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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This video is part of

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Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics

82 video lessons · 20047 viewers

Chad Perkins
Author

 
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  1. 4m 11s
    1. Welcome
      56s
    2. What's new in the dot release
      57s
    3. Using the exercise files
      2m 18s
  2. 18m 54s
    1. Capturing ambient audio
      3m 12s
    2. Getting plenty of coverage
      1m 48s
    3. Telling a story with camera angles
      3m 18s
    4. The 180 degree rule
      2m 13s
    5. Framing shots
      3m 25s
    6. Allowing "emotional space"
      1m 40s
    7. Overcranking and time lapse
      3m 18s
  3. 11m 38s
    1. Why is metadata important?
      1m 40s
    2. Browsing and adding metadata
      6m 4s
    3. Creating metadata with Speech Search
      3m 54s
  4. 33m 12s
    1. When to cut
      7m 38s
    2. Avoiding bad edits
      9m 17s
    3. Using emotional cutaways
      1m 53s
    4. Fixing problems with cutaways
      3m 53s
    5. Pacing edits
      3m 49s
    6. Matching action
      4m 14s
    7. The power of suggestive editing
      2m 28s
  5. 26m 31s
    1. Contrasting targeting and selecting
      3m 17s
    2. Copying and pasting clips
      2m 36s
    3. Replacing clips
      4m 8s
    4. Editing to music
      5m 0s
    5. Using sample rate for precise editing
      5m 34s
    6. Creating J and L cuts
      3m 33s
    7. Working with subclips
      2m 23s
  6. 11m 17s
    1. Ingesting media
      1m 39s
    2. Examining P2 file structure
      1m 31s
    3. Importing P2 files with the Media Browser
      5m 15s
    4. Converting DVCPRO HD to standard 720p
      2m 52s
  7. 38m 11s
    1. Using the Reference Monitor
      3m 0s
    2. Using scopes
      8m 33s
    3. Primary color correction
      10m 11s
    4. Secondary color correction
      8m 28s
    5. Creating a vignette
      2m 28s
    6. Creating a day-for-night shot
      5m 31s
  8. 37m 19s
    1. Censoring video
      5m 30s
    2. Creating a waving flag
      6m 5s
    3. Creating a lens flare
      3m 36s
    4. Creating background textures
      6m 19s
    5. Playing with time
      6m 4s
    6. Using transition effects
      6m 13s
    7. Working with presets
      3m 32s
  9. 15m 30s
    1. Creating a garbage matte
      3m 56s
    2. Removing green screen
      5m 6s
    3. Compositing with blend modes
      3m 32s
    4. Nesting sequences
      2m 56s
  10. 15m 27s
    1. Creating 3D reflections
      5m 0s
    2. Creating growing vines
      5m 52s
    3. Creating a track matte
      2m 39s
    4. Using the History panel
      1m 56s
  11. 42m 25s
    1. Censoring audio using bleeps
      5m 16s
    2. Understanding sample rate
      3m 0s
    3. Normalizing audio across multiple clips
      5m 7s
    4. Recording audio
      2m 24s
    5. Removing audio problems with Soundbooth
      5m 43s
    6. Working with VST plug-in effects
      2m 3s
    7. Mixing audio
      8m 20s
    8. Changing volume over time
      5m 22s
    9. Working with surround sound
      5m 10s
  12. 23m 52s
    1. About this project
      2m 26s
    2. Performing preliminary edits
      2m 35s
    3. Working with multi-camera footage
      7m 27s
    4. Creating a visual "stutter"
      3m 12s
    5. Adjusting color
      8m 12s
  13. 6m 28s
    1. Transferring projects to another machine
      3m 24s
    2. Removing unused footage
      3m 4s
  14. 25m 46s
    1. Choosing a format
      5m 35s
    2. Understanding spatial compression
      2m 5s
    3. Understanding temporal compression
      4m 19s
    4. About HD standards
      5m 46s
    5. Changing footage interpretation
      2m 17s
    6. Getting the film look
      5m 44s
  15. 27m 10s
    1. Working with After Effects
      5m 56s
    2. Creating titles in After Effects
      5m 39s
    3. Working with Photoshop files
      2m 29s
    4. Working with Final Cut Pro
      2m 2s
    5. Working with OnLocation
      3m 12s
    6. Working with Encore
      4m 27s
    7. Introducing Adobe Story for pre-production
      3m 25s
  16. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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