Advanced Video Encoding Tips

NOTE: Videos should be encoded as mp4’s now to accomodate all the different devices and browsers available.

I asked Ben Van Hook how he encoded his excellent looking directors reel and here’s what he had to say:

First I would consider this article by Ken Stone to be a must read for anybody trying to get video to look good on the apf site. :
http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/compressor_h-264_movies_fcp.html

He says at the end of the article that getting good video for the web is a bit of a black art, and I agree. Even after reading the article you have to test small pieces of video (by setting in and out points on the timeline in Final Cut Pro) and see how the video looks played back after compressing it.

H.264 compression is the way to go and I really like compressor for performing this task as opposed to just using quicktime conversion out of Final Cut. Compressor allows you to save custom settings, and has something called frame controls and filters that let you tweak the video even further.

I’ve attached 4 screenshots that are looks at the settings I use for HD material I’m saving for the web. Notice I’ve gone into frame controls and set the resize filter to Better, the output fields toProgressive, the deinterlace to Better, and the rate conversion to Better. All this keeps the size down, but the video still looks good. Notice also i’ve gone into the filter pane and clicked on blackwhite restore and moved the slider to 7.5 on the black, also gamma correction is checked and it should be set to 1.2 (this really helps keep the punch in the video because the compression sometimes washes out the color/look of the vid.

I know the whole compression thing is a lot to bite off for most folks, but if they methodically just go through the steps, you can get good results… in my mind it should really be simpler, but unfortunately it’s not!

summary1 summary2
frame-controls filters