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Forums Compression Techniques Need to Export HUGE Files As Fast As Possible

  • Need to Export HUGE Files As Fast As Possible

  • Lillian Young

    May 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    I need to export six movies that are about 769×576-ish in dimension and at least 1 hour each.

    These are web captures of text and static graphics with minor frame designing done in After Effects, hence the export from AE vs. another program.

    The client wants these videos by 5pm tomorrow, so I have a little over 24 hours to complete them.

    My method

    1. Export in the render queue (Animation codec) so that I have a master mov copy

    2. Export an FLV (high, 700kbps, AAC audio, speech only) from that master mov

    The problem with this is that my first export of a master mov from AE is estimated to take over 4 hours. That puts me into the evening for ONE video.

    Then of course there’s a chance for an error (like a memory error). Not to mention the time it’ll take to render the FLV from that huge file!

    I’m used to these high settings for videos with visual elements like scenes, people, etc. and shorter durations. I have never exported an hour-long screen-captured webcast from After Effects, and maybe I don’t need my normal high settings (mentioned above, #1) for this webcast?

    Any suggestions?

    Work Machine Specs

    Mac OS 10.5.2
    2×3 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    4GB 800 RAM

    Exporting to a Lacie 1TB drive


    On a website inside of a video player.

    File size of the FLV request is TBD, hence the export of a master mov animation codec from which to test various compressions.

  • Daniel Low

    May 18, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    4 hours for 1 hour is pretty slow but it’s a bit too late to go get another transcoding application or start experimenting with FLV settings.

    Sent from my iPad Nano.

  • Lillian Young

    May 18, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    I’ve requested an extension for delivery.

    Given that, do you have any suggestions for a faster render?

    I’m leaning toward exporting the next video as an h.264 single pass. These are just powerpoint-style slides of business chart images and text. However, some of the text is very small, so I’m trying to retain the quality in the mov file by exporting in animation.

  • Craig Seeman

    May 18, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Matrox CompressHD card will compress H.264 in real time or faster.

  • Lillian Young

    May 18, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Thanks, Craig.

    I’m not using my own machine, so I have no control over that, but I’ll make the suggestion for future reference.

  • Chris Blair

    May 19, 2010 at 1:35 am

    If the final use is for the web, I’d export using something that’s faster to render out to… that’s still reasonably good quality…like say DV. I would think it would be faster than an uncompressed file using the animation codec and it will still give you good enough quality to make good looking FLV files from.

    Other options could be JPEG 2000, Apple Component or the H264 you mentioned, all of which are better quality than DV and might be faster than doing what you’re doing now. I’d do a quick test of a 1 minute segment and see. You already know the animation codec is taking 4x the length of the program…so 1 minute would render in roughly 4 minutes. So if one of those codecs above renders twice as fast, then you can assume you’ll save twice as much time.

    Chris Blair
    Magnetic Image, Inc.
    Evansville, IN
    Read our blog

  • Lillian Young

    May 19, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Hi Chris – Thanks for your suggestions. After a 14-hour render that resulted in a crash, I re-tried with small samples.

    I found that h.264 was the quickest, but resulted in the most noise. However, for time’s sake, I’m going to go with that as the file size was a fraction of the other codecs. If a higher quality is desired, I’ll just give a heads up that it’ll take a LONG time!

  • Tom Laughlin

    May 20, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    You may want to try and use a different codec version of H.264, you want speed and you mentioned that your speed in encoding is achieved using Apple’s H.264, but why don’t you try downloading “X.264” plug-in, and dragging that into your plugins folder, restarting Final Cut or wherever you’re exporting out from, and change the export option from H.264 to x.264. I found that these “X” versions of h.264 are far superior in quality than Apple’s codec encoder version. It’s better quality all around and it may actually be faster.

    I’d also try and change the current time-line compression settings first then exporting, instead of changing it after. If you change your time-line to lets say, DV or HDV, or the equivalent, export out from that, and that may be a way to export faster.

    I’d try changing the timeline, then either batch exporting out of FCP, or Compressor to the exact window size you need, and that may also yield some more speed. And the reason I say this, is because a lot of people export out different sizes for web, but only export out to a size tht you know is the exact size of your window, like for me, I export for web video knowing the website’s video player window size, that way all the encoding is based on that, instead of encoding to a smaller or much bigger size that in the end, will be seen at a much smaller window size anyways. Just my 2 cents.

    Tom Laughlin
    Salt Lake City, UT
    FCP7/Sony EX-3/Mac Quad-Core Intel

  • Lillian Young

    May 28, 2010 at 3:30 am

    Thanks, Tom. I’m giving the x.264 a try.

  • Tom Laughlin

    May 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    There are several really good “How To” articles on creative cow as well as youtube, and some other areas, where you can read up more on x.264 and how to use it. I think there is an article on it, where you can access the download, a techie went through the settings and you can follow along and do the same. Let me know if you still have issues, and I can help you out.

    Tom Laughlin
    Salt Lake City, UT
    FCP7/Sony EX-3/Mac Quad-Core Intel

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