Archive for compressor

Latest Adobe Connect Session – Tapeless Workflows with CS4

Posted in Connect Recordings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2010 by evanbutson

Here is the link to my latest Adobe Connect Session – Tapeless Workflows in CS4. Looking at working with P2, XDCAM, RED, AVCHD and HDV footage natively in Premiere Pro CS4 as well as dynamic linking.

Adobe eSeminar – Premiere CS4 for beginners

Posted in Connect Recordings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2009 by evanbutson

Here is the link to the Connect Session I filled in for Premiere CS4 for beginners.

A very quick runthrough on some of the features that people new to Premiere may not be aware of.

Adobe Connect Session – Encoding to multiple formats

Posted in Connect Recordings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2009 by evanbutson

Here’s the link to my latest Connect Session – Using CS4 to encode to multiple formats such as H.264, FLASH and BluRay

Adobe Connect e-Seminar – Using CS4 with Final Cut Pro and Media Composer

Posted in Upcoming Connects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by evanbutson

Its been a while but I have another Adobe e-Seminar coming up this Friday, this one is on using Adobe Creative Suite 4 with Final Cut Pro and Avid Media Composer

– Importing Final Cut Pro Projects into Adobe Premiere, using Dynamic Link with AE for finishing.
– Importing AVID Projects into Adobe Premiere, using Dynamic Link with AE for finishing.

As always, these Connect Sessions are free, and are on a 12:00pm Friday (Australian Time), to register just go to

Hope to see you there.

Adobe eSeminar – Editing for the Web

Posted in Upcoming Connects with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2009 by evanbutson

OK so another Adobe Connect E Seminar is on its way this Friday,

Learn how to create content specifically for the web, including best shooting formats, framing and camera movement, editing and encoding to get the best results. We will also look at encoding and the minefield that is H.263, FLASH and other formats.

As always its free, just head on over here to register


H.264 the CODEC to rule all CODECSs?

Posted in Technology with tags , , , , on July 3, 2009 by evanbutson

For a long time now there has been a major battle of CODEC’s, for different purposes you would choose different CODECS, if you were delivering to the web you might choose FLASH, for DVD’s you would choose MPEG 2, CD-ROMS might make use of Quicktimes and cellphones, had a variety of propriety CODECs. This meant that not only did an editor need to know how to edit, but they had to be a master compressionist, knowing a wide variety of CODECs and their uses. However, recently, there has been a new CODEC that seems to possibly fit the bill as the CODEC of choice for the vast majority of cases, that CODEC is H.264. So why is H.264 so great, well to quote the creators of DIVX ‘the standard’s flexible bit stream control enables H.264 to deliver high-quality video to a variety of devices ranging from low-powered cell phones to high-powered Blu-ray devices. That’s why the H.264 standard is set to supersede some of the formats that are commonplace today such as DV, the standard used by many consumer video cameras, and MPEG-2, the standard for DVD video and some types of cable TV and digital broadcast. In a nutshell, H.264 is suited to any platform — handheld to high def.’

This means that the one compression format can be used to deliver a file suitable for playing back on a cellphone, another that is suitable for an iPod or Sony PSP, another that is suitable for playback within a FLASH presentation via F4v FLASH files all the way up to BluRay. Tricky isnt it.

Now chances are you have seen H.264 before and havnt even known, most Podcasts that are comressed for delivery to iPod videos and iPhones use H.264 compression (in fact when you watch a YouTube video on an iPhone, as the iPhone doesnt have FLASH support, you are actually watching a H.264 file.)

So, wow, H.264 is awesome and will rule the world right? Well not exactly, there are still some issues, the first being cameras. All those new snazyy small solid state video cameras that record to AVCHD actually compress the files with a version of H.264, problem is, H.264 is easier to read than it is to write, (ever tried to export a file to H.264, those render times are fun right) well, as most editing and effects are effectively the process of decompression a video, creating an effect (say a transition) an then re-encoding the file again back to the compression format, editing H.264 or AVCHD files is, for want of a better word, a pain in the ass.

Then their is compression, those of us used to faster than real-time encodes to MPEG2, FLASH etc, will discover that high quality H.264 compression, even on a fast system, takes time. As with MPEG2, and MPEG 1 before it, there are hardware options out there to offload the task to specialized chips. Matrox has their Max (not to be confused with the MAX options for the DigiSuite of years gone by) and their are plug-ins for NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards that can make use of the GPU on your graphics cards to accelerate encoding.

So if you deliver video, in any way shape or form, I highly recommend you get to know H.264 in all its incarnations, a good start is here, this Primer from Adobe gives you a good overview

Flash Video on Websites

Posted in Technology with tags , , , , , , on June 10, 2009 by evanbutson

So I have been getting a lot of work recently that has involved deploying video to websites, normally as FLASH videos. I have always used the built in Flash interface that ships with Adobe Flash. Recently, I decided that for a new site I was working on I wanted a bit more control, a short websearch later and I came across Flow Player

Flow Player

It is a remarkably easy to deploy FLASH player that is in my opinion faster and easier to implement than the built in Adobe player.

Here’s a sample of it in use

The one thing it has brought into sharp focus for me is, traditional delivery methods such as VHS tapes, DVD and even BluRay are becoming more and more uncommon. I cant even remember the last time I delivered a master or a job as a DV tape, BetaCam SP or even Digital Betacam. Clients are embracing web video, especially in today’s painful economic climate. Web delivery is seen as a low cost solution that still gets the message out. That being said I am still amazed at how badly some webclips are encoded. I think that a lot of editors, just choose the default setting on their encoder of choice and that’s it, there is no finessing of the settings to get as good as possible an image within the desired limitations. I think I can best sum it up with a job I did recently where the client, a supposedly web savvy person, demanded that a 40 minute video be 10 meg or less. Now despite the fact that a 10 meg, 40 minute video will look like ass, I had real trouble getting the point across that the file size doesn’t matter, that the bitrate was the only important figure, the file could be 30 seconds long or an hour long, the bitrate was the important number. So what did I do, I ignored her instructions and created a file that looked good, had a bandwidth that meant the file would play well over their intranet and did I mention it looked good.

Moral to the story, if your an editor, learn the dark art of compression, never use a built in preset without looking through the settings and making sure they are the best for your particular need. And test, test, test. Encode a 1 minute file at a variety of bitrates, frame sizes and frame rates to see what happens, that way, when a client requests you deliver a file, you will already know what you can and cant get away with.