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TX Biennial shop talk: video compression

I’ve been gathering all my materials for my Texas Biennial submission
the last couple of days, a process that has been slower than I expected
because of the  specific requirements for uploading video. Five minutes
or less and smaller than 10MB. Now, 10MB sounds like nothing. I could
only fit 2 seconds in that much, you might think.
 
Here are some practical tips for getting an internet-bound video of about 5 minutes that small that I figured out when the Austin Video Bee did the Loops Project:


  • Resize: Nobody needs a DV size for the internet. If your final
    destination isn’t a television set or projector, make it smaller.

  • Pick a compressor wisely.
    I would recommend using H.246 at medium
    quality. It’s pretty damn great. It’s what Vimeo suggests you use. In
    fact, their tutorial for making videos small is pretty good. Check it
    out here.
  • Make your sound MONO. Who cares if there’s two channels. Probably
    it’ll be seen on a computer and heard via tiny little speakers, so
    there’s no point in having stereo.

 

If you still can’t get it under 10MB then play around with sound
quality, video quality in compression and key frame rate (less keyframes = less MBs). The video won’t necessarily
look amazing, but we’re all bound to show shitty versions of our work
for an online submission form. Remember that the people looking at your
submission know this, and that everyone’s on the same boat.



Here’s the settings I used for my compressed video:


Compression settings sweet spot



In Final Cut, you get to these options by exporting using Quicktime Conversion.



Finally, some last words of advice with compressing video:



  • Don’t wait.
    Do it now. It’ll take about twice as long as you thought it would.

  • WATCH THE WHOLE THING BEFORE SUBMITTING.
    Make sure it works. This
    sounds obvious, but video fails at the most inopportune moments.

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1 Response

  1. chrisjagers

    Ivan, this is all sound advice. Internet based media can be very small and still look decent. However, 10MB is very small. Even compressed perfectly, that is barely a few min of video. I think they would be wise to raise this limit to 20MB and upgrade their video processor so it uploads quickly.

    Chris Jagers
    SlideRoom CEO
    http://www.slideroom.com

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