Monday, May 16, 2011

Using MPEG Streamclip for best web uploads

Find your copy of MPEG Streamclip, or download it here, and load your video you wish to compress and go to FILE, Export to MPEG-4

There are a whole bunch of considerations here.  I like to know how the clip was edited and what codec was used for the edit before I proceed but I will try to walk you through a DV Cam to H.264 conversion.  You will do things differently if you shot HD or if you know you edited in Pro Res or in progressive mode...

1. Make sure H.264 is selected

2. Set your quality slider to 100 percent

3. Set your Data Rate to 8 Mbs

4.  I said, "Mbs" not the alternatives.  This means "bits" not "Bytes."  You DON'T want Bytes, that would be super big and would be re-compressed depending on which service you are using.

5.  I shot and edited at 29.97.  For some reason I always compress at the same rate that I shot and edited.  It works for me that way.  Check to see what your frame rate of the file you are converting is and then type that frame rate here.

6.  The Frame Size will differ depending again, how you shot and edited.  My video was DVCam 4:3 so I will use the slightly smaller 640x480.  I could also use the 720x480 DV-NTSC without problems.  If you shot 16:9 you will want to make sure this aspect stays the same.  If you shot HD and want it to play back in HD then you would want this to be one of the 2 HD sizes...if you shot 720p, keep it at that.  The same for if you shot 1080.

7.  Again whether you check the deinterlace box depends if you edited in "i" or "p."  DVCam is "i" so I will want to deinterlace my video (essentially changing my video to be progressive, or "p").  For playback on a computer it will always look better in progressive mode as computers monitors (well almost all) are now progressive.  If you shot/edited 720p you will not need to deinterlace.  If you shot/edited 1080i, you will need to deinterlace.  If you shot/edited 1080p you will not need to deinterlace.

8.  Finally, select Make MP4.

Name it something you can understand and select Save.  Now look at the file.  Does it look good?  If it does not then you will need to mess with the settings.  If it looks strange first check the data rate, then the interlace/deinterlace option, then the frame rate and then the frame size.  Resubmit and evaluate again.  When it looks good, upload that to your favorite video service and be amazed at the quality!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A GREAT piece on Creativity from the Radiolab folks

The podcast is here. About mid way through they talk about the idea of being visited by genius (creativity) as opposed to "being" a genius. Ideas are all around!