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Forums Compression Techniques Compressor weird file sizes! WTF!

  • Compressor weird file sizes! WTF!

  • Scream

    February 10, 2006 at 8:18 am

    Hey all,

    Here’s my problem:

    Once I have finished editing with Final Cut Pro 5.0.4, I am exporting a quicktime reference to compressor.

    I put in all my settings as per usual in compressor (a long piece of footage about 2hours) & then I make sure the file size is around 3GB (on the overview page) as I have some other footage that I need to fit on my DVD-5.

    Everything is all good I go to encode then a few hours later (Roughly) it produces my MPEG2 file as a whopping 4.8GB to 5.2GB (I’ve done it a few times) WTF!!!

    I always produce a nice quality MPEG-2 file (2 Pass variable bit rate)

    I can’t understand it…

    Can anyone shed some light on this!

    Thanks Sandro

    Dual 2.3GHz, 4.5GB Ram

  • Charles Simonson

    February 11, 2006 at 3:43 am

    Basically, that is Compressor’s way of telling you that the bit rate you have set is too low for it to encode to and it is going to set its own bit rate that will keep the file size low and still provide good quality. At 2 hours and a target file size of 3GB, you must be setting your bit rate to about 3200kbps. Anything under 3500kbps (4500kbps really) chokes Compressor, and the results you are receiving seem logical (to Apple).

    Here are a couple things that you could try. Download an app like DVD2OneX. I often use this app if my initial encodes and project size ends up being just a little too large to fit on a dvd-5 and I don’t want to go back and re-encode the assets. With DVD2OneX, just simply build your disc like normally, allowing the data overflow to occur, and then use the VIDEO_TS folder generated to fit your target size. This is a fast and simple solution. The second option, because you may find that the quality of MPEG-2 at 3200kbps to be too poor, is to re-encode your assets at 352×480. This may sound strange, but if your target playback is going to be on a television (SD), then you will very likely not notice much of a difference between 352 encoded video and 704 or 720 encoded video. Most of the resolution an encoder cares about is stored in the vertical lines, and thus horizontal resolution is very expendable when it comes to attaining low bit rates and small file sizes.

  • Scream

    February 12, 2006 at 12:04 am

    Thanks Charles

    But what I can’t understand is that apprently compressor uses the same engine (or encoder) as quicktime and when I use to use Quicktime (before they got rid of the export MPEG 2 command in 7.04) I used to be able to encode onto a DVD-5 project, footage at about 2.5 Bit rate & the quality was not bad. Now I cant understand why compressor wont just make my footage to be around the 3GB file size.

    Some people say compressor does a nice job, even on some of my jobs that I can make the bit rates higher as in 6 Bit rate average when it gets to a dissolve it makes it all blocky. Its does a pretty average job if you ask me.

    Does anyone suggest any other encoders as I am not sold on Compressor.

    Thanks in advance.


  • Charles Simonson

    February 13, 2006 at 2:10 am

    The QuickTime MPEG-2 export component that was included with FCP4 and DVD SP2 is not the same as the exporter included with FCP5 and DVD SP4. It has been re-engineered to offer much better performance and quality, especially on two passes. Other good alternatives on the mac include MainConcept, Compression Master 3, and BitVice.

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