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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

Help with file size


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jeffrey

 
Member Since: Feb 08, 2010
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I have a short film that is about 18 minutes long, that I cut in FCE. I saved it in Quicktime, it is 14.05 GB. I saved on with a lower quality, it is still 1.33GB and the quality is not good. I realize that a feature film is roughly 733 MB. My question is how do I compress it without losing quality? Which program do I need? I appreciate any help you can give me.
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xstep

 
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Most codecs are lossy which means you loose some information. There are a few that are lossless but you can't get nearly the same compression. Exporting via QuickTime Export you could choose 'none' or 'Apple Pixlet Video', or one of the two Uncompressed options. The files sizes will be huge.

If your purpose is to load this video to YouTube or send in an e-mail, you'll have to pick something more appropriate.

I've written a couple of guides that might be helpful to you.

CameraTime - Time lapse photography for novice and advanced users.

When asking questions, post the version of your software. You'll receive better answers.

Please post your results to the thread as it is good feedback.
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jeffrey

 
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x-

Thanks for the help. I'm about to take a look at your guides.
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Nethfel

 
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As usual xstep provides excellent information

Some things to keep in mind:

1) An export from FCE to quicktime will export it using the sequence settings - which means that if you are using a sequence configured for Apple Intermediate Codec, that's the output you'll get - AIC is an editing codec, not a distribution codec which is why you end up with a 14gig file (be glad it's not Final Cut Pro, the output file could be significantly larger! ).

2) A "feature length" movie at 733mb is dependent on certain things (basically what X was referring to) like:
a) being heavily compressed using a distribution codec potentially causing severe loss of quality and/or
b) resized to a significantly lower resolution allowing for a lower bitrate which allows for a smaller file yet a crisper image (less resolution can deal with a lower bitrate to maintain image quality).

3) To get the size/resolution/etc. that you want, I'd strongly recommend taking the export from FCE and then using a different program to convert it to an output codec. Although FCE offers export using quicktime conversion, there are tools that make the job more convenient - ie: take a look at something like mpegstreamclip. Even when I used FCE I would never do my recompression thru FCE - I'd export the sequence at its settings and then either use compressor (from final cut studio) or mpegstreamclip to get my final output for distribution.

Aside from the fact that using quicktime conversion thru FCE seemed to guess my framerates wrong often (ie: setting for 30 when it's really 29.97 - causes nice audio drift), it's nice to have a master file that you can run multiple compressions on at different settings without having to have FCE open - especially as you're trying to find settings you like or if you need to do a run later. Programs like mpegstreamclip are up and ready to convert/compress a lot faster then launching FCE just to do another export - especially if it's not a recent project and you have to then load the project after launching FCE (plus dedicated conversion software usually have smaller memory/cpu footprints then a tool like FCE does so more resources can go to your conversion then to keeping the FCE interface up on your screen when you don't need it).

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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jeffrey

 
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Nethfel-

Thank you so much. Very helpful!
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