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Thread: Help! What Format is Best for Source Video?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    153

    Help! What Format is Best for Source Video?

    I have a client who is getting their 11 minute video digitized. Then, they are sending it to me so I can break it into smaller clips and save them out as Flash MX, Real and Windows Media for posting on their web site (and possibly onto a CD at a future date).

    I am using Sorenson Squeeze for the Flash MX version of the video and Cleaner 5 for the Real and Windows Media versions.

    The company doing the digitization will be taking the Beta master tape and convert it using an Avid deck. They will then output the digitized video from Cleaner 5 in a size and format I specify. Trouble is, I'm not sure what to ask for!!

    1) What format should I request?
    One company I talked to suggested MPEG-1 and another suggested Quicktime. What format would be best for me to start with?

    2) What size should I request?
    As I understand it standard NTSC MPEG-1 is 352x240 pixels but the pixels are not square and this could cause issues when outputting to Windows Media format since it plays as if they were square. If I request 320x240 instead will this resolve the problem by making the pixels square? 320x240 would be a fine size for our web use.

    Would it be possible to get the video at 640x480 in MPEG-1? This would be good if we decide to also create a CD using the video. Or, would this create a HUGE file that would be overwhelming to work with?

    3) Are there any specific Cleaner settings I should request? Are there compression settings that should be left turned off (since I will certainly be compressing the file again later when I output it to other formats)?

    4) Any idea what size an 11 minute MPEG-1 320x240 digitized video would be?

    Thanks in advance if anyone can provide any advice on all this!

  2. #2
    Wildform Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    2,070
    Hi.
    For converting video to Flash you are best off using Quicktime or Avi files with one of the well known codecs. In general these work better than mpeg (fyi, Squeeze can't convert Mpeg's to Flash, though our software, Flix, can). You can also use uncompressed video, but the file sizes can become too huge to work with effectively.
    In terms of image size, you should pick an image size that is at least as large as the size you want to create and at the same aspect ratio that you want to create. Your source video should always be at least as large in dimension, framerate and bitrate, and preferably larger, than what you are trying to create.
    As for your question on the file size for an 11 min. mpeg video, it all depends on the bitrate selected. Digital video size is always dependent upon the bitrate.
    You might find some elements of this tutorial useful:
    http://www.wildform.com/tutorials/vi...093d0a4&ref=#3

    jb
    http://www.wildform.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2002
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    "You can also use uncompressed video, but the file sizes can become too huge to work with effectively."

    I understand the problem with file sizes but if I start with compressed video, won't I be degrading quality substantially when I compress an already compressed video?

    I thought I needed to work with a large size, uncompressed source file and then use that to create my Flash MX, my Real, my Windows Media, etc. That is what the video professionals are telling me.

  4. #4
    Wildform Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    2,070
    What are you using it for?
    The important issue is that the source video should be "better" than what you are encoding for. Larger image size, higher framerate, higher bitrate.
    It's true that compression adds artifacts and the more you compress, the more potential for artifacts, however based on my experience, I think if you use a good codec with a high bitrate, you can get really good results.

    jb
    http://www.wildform.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    153

    Re: Help! What Format is Best for Source Video?

    Originally posted by 1a2b3c4d
    I have a client who is getting their 11 minute video digitized. Then, they are sending it to me so I can break it into smaller clips and save them out as Flash MX, Real and Windows Media for posting on their web site (and possibly onto a CD at a future date).

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