FCP creating huge QT movies

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Luis Ortega, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Luis Ortega

    Luis Ortega Guest

    We are doing some stop-motion animations using digital cameras to take
    lots of still images and then editing the projects in FCP.
    Our digital images are prepared in Photoshop to be PAL DV in size (720 x
    576 @ 72dpi) before being used in FCP, and our FCP projects are also set
    up for PAL DV.
    The projects are only a minute to two minutes long but when we export
    the timelines as QT movies they become files about 1.5 to 2 GIG in size.
    This is ridiculously large and we need to create smaller QT files
    without losing the quality of the material.
    Can anyone please suggest the best way to keep the file sizes down and
    still keep the same quality when exporting from FCP?
    Thanks for any advice.
     
    Luis Ortega, Feb 5, 2009
    #1
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  2. Luis Ortega

    David McCall Guest

    Right after somebody tells me how to spend all of my money and still have
    plenty in the bank :)

    David
     
    David McCall, Feb 5, 2009
    #2
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  3. Luis Ortega

    Ma3rk Guest

    I don't have FCP but asked similar question to a company that does on-line training.  Although they're just doing screen capturing, they're simply outputting from FCP using the H.264 codec.  They're able to output at a much lower frame rate (~ 6FPS) which significantly drops the final file size but for instructional material you really can't detect that.  A typical 4 minute Quicktime file of 800 X 600 might be around 6-7 Mb.

    In your case where you need to maintain frame rate, I'd think you could get the file size down into the 15-20 Mb range.  Audio greatly adds to the final size too.

    Good luck.  I love stop motion animation and pleased that it's having a resurgence thanks to new technology.

    Mark


    Luis Ortega wrote: We are doing some stop-motion animations using digital cameras to take lots of still images and then editing the projects in FCP.
    Our digital images are prepared in Photoshop to be PAL DV in size (720 x 576 @ 72dpi) before being used in FCP, and our FCP projects are also set up for PAL DV.
    The projects are only a minute to two minutes long but when we export the timelines as QT movies they become files about 1.5 to 2 GIG in size.
    This is ridiculously large and we need to create smaller QT files without losing the quality of the material.
    Can anyone please suggest the best way to keep the file sizes down and still keep the same quality when exporting from FCP?
    Thanks for any advice.
     
    Ma3rk, Feb 5, 2009
    #3
  4. Luis Ortega

    Luis Ortega Guest

    I guess that I'm just inexperienced with FCP workflow.

    We used to use Premiere Pro for our projects and then just use adobe
    media encoder to produce wmv files that were small yet looked good.

    With FCP I got into all sorts of trouble using different compression
    codecs. The kids rendered their stop-motion photos into quicktime movie
    clips in FCP and used animation as the compression. Then they used the
    clips in FCP to edit the animation project and added sound. They
    exported those as quicktime movies and they were huge.

    I fooled around a bit with the projects and tried various exports and
    was able to reduce a 1.5 gig size to a 600mb size by just exporting in
    pal dv. This is still a lot for a 2 minute animation but it's progress.

    I'll try the h264 codec and see what that does to the file size.

    Compressor has a lot of options and I am not sure which to use.

    I want to keep the projects at full resolution (720 x 576) rather than
    make them a smaller pixel dimension.

    Our final use for them is simply to burn a whole class set of projects
    onto a dvd so that we can distribute them and they will play one after
    the other and look good. (I have about a dozen kids producing
    approximately 2-minute animations, so I need to put about 25 minutes of
    work on a dvd.)

    I think that if I just keep every element as a pal dv file, it may help.

    I realize that the animation compression is really for drawn and
    coloured animations rather than stop-motion animations that are
    essentially lots of photographic images.
     
    Luis Ortega, Feb 6, 2009
    #4
  5. Luis Ortega

    Ma3rk Guest

    I use Premiere Pro as well.  If you were using it, the simplest method would be to simply output the timeline to an Mpeg2-DVD using the Adobe Media Encoder, then import into Encore.  I recommend that method rather than using the Export to Encore menu item as there's some issue that Adobe never resolved with the resulting files.

    For less than 30 minutes, you shouldn't have any problem using maximum settings throughout.  There must be a similar workflow from FPC to burn directly to DVD.

    M.


    Luis Ortega wrote: I guess that I'm just inexperienced with FCP workflow.

    We used to use Premiere Pro for our projects and then just use adobe media encoder to produce wmv files that were small yet looked good.

    With FCP I got into all sorts of trouble using different compression codecs. The kids rendered their stop-motion photos into quicktime movie clips in FCP and used animation as the compression. Then they used the clips in FCP to edit the animation project and added sound. They exported those as quicktime movies and they were huge.

    I fooled around a bit with the projects and tried various exports and was able to reduce a 1.5 gig size to a 600mb size by just exporting in pal dv. This is still a lot for a 2 minute animation but it's progress.

    I'll try the h264 codec and see what that does to the file size.

    Compressor has a lot of options and I am not sure which to use.

    I want to keep the projects at full resolution (720 x 576) rather than make them a smaller pixel dimension.

    Our final use for them is simply to burn a whole class set of projects onto a dvd so that we can distribute them and they will play one after the other and look good. (I have about a dozen kids producing approximately 2-minute animations, so I need to put about 25 minutes of work on a dvd.)

    I think that if I just keep every element as a pal dv file, it may help.

    I realize that the animation compression is really for drawn and coloured animations rather than stop-motion animations that are essentially lots of photographic images.


    Ma3rk wrote:
    I don't have FCP but asked similar question to a company that does on-line training.  Although they're just doing screen capturing, they're simply outputting from FCP using the H.264 codec.  They're able to output at a much lower frame rate (~ 6FPS) which significantly drops the final file size but for instructional material you really can't detect that.  A typical 4 minute Quicktime file of 800 X 600 might be around 6-7 Mb.

    In your case where you need to maintain frame rate, I'd think you could get the file size down into the 15-20 Mb range.  Audio greatly adds to the final size too.

    Good luck.  I love stop motion animation and pleased that it's having a resurgence thanks to new technology.

    Mark


    Luis Ortega wrote:
    We are doing some stop-motion animations using digital cameras to take lots of still images and then editing the projects in FCP.
    Our digital images are prepared in Photoshop to be PAL DV in size (720 x 576 @ 72dpi) before being used in FCP, and our FCP projects are also set up for PAL DV.
    The projects are only a minute to two minutes long but when we export the timelines as QT movies they become files about 1.5 to 2 GIG in size.
    This is ridiculously large and we need to create smaller QT files without losing the quality of the material.
    Can anyone please suggest the best way to keep the file sizes down and still keep the same quality when exporting from FCP?
    Thanks for any advice.
     
    Ma3rk, Feb 7, 2009
    #5
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