|Tutorial: - Using
Compressor to Encode HD Content for Vimeo
Compressor to Encode HD Content for Vimeo
has been a great source of entertainment for those who like to
see a child accidentally hit their father's nether regions during
batting practice. YouTube has also been a significant factor
in the proliferation of videographers hoping to share their projects
and media to others around the world. Never the less, I have
not been a fan of what I see there as, in more cases than not,
the image quality has been deplorably poor, loaded with artifacts,
scaling and poor resolutions.
Not too long ago I discovered the
Vimeo.com website where one can post their own films as well
as view others. The basic vimeo service allows up to 500 MB of
download per week, or for $59.95, you can get 2 gigs of downloads,
weekly, for a year. The quality of Vimeo's SD uploads is far
superior to anything I've seen on You Tube, and many of the films
I have viewed show an incredible amount of creativity and professionalism.
For those who might be initially
trying it out, the conundrum of getting your multi-gig project
down to size so as to download your film in HD might be problematic.
Thus, the purpose of this tutorial, which will be based upon
using a five minute sequence. .
Our first step is to open Compressor.
Here we click on the Settings tab, and then scroll down to the
Custom Folder where we will create a custom setting for encoding
HD media for upload to Vimeo by clicking on the Add/+ button
and go down to Quicktime Movie.
Once done, you can provide your
new preset with a name that will help you recall just which setting
it is for, for future uploads. "Vimeo HD Encode" is
as good as any.
Once named, in the Encoder tab,
2nd tab from the left, we will change our video settings. Click
on the settings button. This will bring up our window where changes
can be made. We will first change our Compression Type to H.264.
Under Data Rate we will change from Automatic to 'Restrict to
and type in 5000 kbits. We then adjust our Key frames to every
'30' frames and keep our Compressor quality setting set to High
and encode using Best Quality (multi-pass). Click on OK.
Next we go to the Audio settings
and change Audio Format to AAC, and the Sample Rate to 44.1.
We will keep the Target Bit Rate at 128 and click OK.
Next, while still in the Inspector,
we go to the Frames Control tab (3rd tab from the left). To activate
'Frame Controls', we must first click on the little gear icon
which is found to the right of the Frames Control drop down menu.
Should you forget to do this, the Frames Control menu will be
grayed out. Set the Frame Controls drop down menu to 'On', change
our Output Fields to 'Progressive' and then go to the Deinterlace
control and change it to 'Better' (Motion Adaptive). Change the
Frame Control's drop down menu to 'On'.
We are almost done but still have
a bit more to do. My HDV video was shot with the Sony A1U at
1080i. As I want to reduce my file size yet maintain high quality,
I'll need to reduce the width of the the video frame from 1080
to 720. Click on the Geometry tab (2nd from the right) and type
in the new frame size, 1280x720. Reducing the frame dimensions
retains the highest resolution of your HD media while reducing
the file size so that it will be small enough to run from Vimeo.
We will leave the Pixel Aspect at its default for size setting.
In the Action Tab, (far right)
you can set your destination to either Source, where you may
have your media file, or back to desktop. Another option is to
set your Default Destination in the Compressor preferences to
either a specific folder or desktop. I have it set to 'desktop'
so I needn't bother with this step.
Click on 'Save' which will now store your Vimeo HD Encode setting within your Customs folder for current as well as future use.
Since most films downloaded to
Vimeo vary in length, we will start with a short 5 minute sequence
as our demonstration example. While there are advantages and
disadvantages to exporting from Final Cut Pro either as a Self-contained
movie or as a Reference movie, I have always preferred exporting
from Final Cut as a Self-contained movie directly to my desktop.
Once you have exported your
sequence, you can check the size of the video file by clicking
on Command/I and we can see that this specific export comes in
at 4.36 gigs which we now have to compress down to under 500
I've imported my self-contained
movie into Compressor by using the 'Add File' button but you
can drag it in from your desktop or from whichever folder you
may have exported it to.
Since I have already created and
saved my Vimeo HD Encode preset to my customs folder, I only
now need to drag my new preset up to the Batch Window, drop it
in and submit. The end result for my 5 minute sequence resulted
in excellent quality video and a greatly reduced file size from
the original 4.38 Gb to 195.70 MB. This is well below the file
size limit allowed by Vimeo.
You can also create a droplet of
this preset and save it to your desktop for future encodes as
well. Well, there you have it, an easy way to encode HD files
for upload to Vimeo.com's excellent website, a source for you
to have your films viewed by public with opportunities for feedback
and comments. If you prefer to share your films with only a few
chosen friends, your Vimeo settings tab will allow that as well.
I hope this little tutorial comes in handy for you.
Steve Douglas is a certified Apple Pro for Final Cut Pro 6 and
underwater videographer. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater
Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater
Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International
Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan
Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver
of the Year', Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The
Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's
Atlantis production, and productions for National Geographic
and the History channels. Steve is also feature writer for Asian
Diver Magazine and is one of the founding organizers of the San
Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition. He is available for both private
and group seminars for Final Cut Pro and leads both underwater
filming expeditions and African safaris with upcoming excursions
to Kenya in Aug.09, the Red Sea and Egypt for Nov.2009, Truk
Lagoon and Yap in Micronesia for July, 2010. Feel free to contact
him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of these exciting
copyright © Steve
This article first appeared on www.kenstone.net
and is reprinted here with permission.
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trademark of their creators/owners/publishers.