Specific Video Compression Settings for CD
Here are some good settings to try if you want to put high-quality video on a CD-ROM. The files can be big (maybe 200MB for just a few minutes) but the picture quality is great, and these CDs should play back on recent model PCs or Macs without a hiccup. Consider this a starting point, because iMovie (and QuickTime Pro) have many very good video compressors, called codecs, for making desktop movie files.
I describe the process using iMovie, but you can do the same export from DV (or other formats) with QuickTime Pro on Windows. Very nice. I’ll talk about Audio file compression another time.
Note: As with all video compression, results can differ widely depending on what makes up the actual video content.Caveat Compressor. (YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary).
It’s a three stage process: Import, Trim (or Trim and Edit, if necessary), and Export to QuickTime.
Import Using iMovie, import the footage. Always start your import a little before the actual starting point you want, and let the import go a little past the ending point you want too. Once it’s imported you easily trim off the extra.
Trim Here’s how: place the playback head (the inverted white triangle under the monitor window) at the first frame of the portion you want to keep. Before your next step, note the timecode of the frame. Choose Split Video Clip at Playhead from the Edit menu. This splits the clip at that point. Repeat to trim off the unwanted beginnings and endings of your clips. Just delete the portions you don’t want to keep.
Export to QuickTime Under the File menu, choose Export Movie… and in the dialogue box that comes up, change Export: To Camera to Export: To QuickTime. Once there, change the default Formats: Web Movie, Small to Formats: Expert….
Now comes the Extra-Neato Cool Secret Whiz-Bang Expert Stuff. Here’s a list of the settings to put in:
Click the Settings… button. Enter these values:
Compressor: Photo-JPEG and Best Depth
Quality: Medium or High (Higher means better picture but bigger file sizes. Remember, YMMV).
Frames per second: 15
You’ll like the results, I think. If you need smaller file sizes but still want the good picture quality, try 10 frames per second, or lower quality, or a frame size of 240×180. It’s all relative. Have fun.
[I’m indebted to Steve Martin of dvcreators.net (see Linkage to the right), who showed these settings in a DV Revolution workshop in January (remember, where my head blew up?)]——-