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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Lights...camera...action! » » Compressing Video (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Vandy Grift
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Inner circle
Milwaukee
3504 Posts

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Hello,

I have some video that I have loaded onto my CPU directly from my Camcorder. But the files are huge. Way too large to email. Is anyone willing to try and help out? I'm not very computer savvy. I'll post details (file sizes etc) if anyone is intrested in helping me compress these files. I've ziped them but they are still too big. These are only 3-4 minuite clips so it should be do-able, no?

Thanks in advance,

Vandy
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
Kevin Ridgeway
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V.I.P.
Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
1830 Posts

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Vandy...there are several options.

First keep them at their current size and use a third party site to email or get them to who they need to get to.

I use http://www.yousendit.com

It is free with no registration process. you simply load up to one Gig, add the email of the person you wish to receive it and that's it. They then receive an email with the link, as do you. Now the link will be thre for 7 days or for several downloads. So catually more than one peson can use the link.

Your next option is to use a video editing program or a video file compression program and compress the video. If you need held with this, I can help you as well as several others here, Scott Sulivan comes to mind first.

Hope that helps.

Kevin
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

Kevin Ridgeway &
Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini
The World's Premier Female Escape Artist

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www.livingillusions.com
Vandy Grift
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Inner circle
Milwaukee
3504 Posts

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Thanks Kevin,

Yousendit may be the answer, that site woukld take the file directly from my hard drive? The first time I tried to email them, I screwed up the email and IT had to come and work on my computer. Probably took him an hour to get it fixed. He said I was crazy to try and send a file that large. LOL. I was just talking to him and showed him the compressed file and he said they were still too large. I may be able to change the resolution on the editing program and get it to work that way. Thanks for the advice. Any other suggestions are appreciated.
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
Paul D
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Elite user
NY
455 Posts

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Use a webcam. Lots of options with compression. I use Windows Movie Maker to capture and edit all my magic videos that I send to friends.
Astonishment as Therapy...?
David Bilan
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Special user
Clarksville, TN
715 Posts

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A 4-minute clip shouldn't be a GB, especially if you want to send it to someone.

I won't offer specific software, but here are a couple of suggestions:

Create your clips as 320 x 240 size video file. Are you converting your video to quicktime, avi or something else? Usually you can look up the settings for the codec and play with the compression scheme.

Take a thirty-second clip and try compressing it at different levels. Review what you've created and decide what you are willing to live with.

PM me if you have other questions.

David
Yes, I am a magician. No I did not make my hare (hair) disappear... it just took early retirement.
ScottRSullivan
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874 Posts

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Great advice guys! I havent' used Yousendit, as Kevin mentioned, but it sounds like a good program. I'll mention some additional comments to the good info David mentioned.

You can save file space by compressing not only the size of the video to 320x240, but also the frame rate (to 15 frames per second instead of 29.97).

Also, the audio can be downsampled. Rarely will web or email video need super stereo sound. Bump it down to mono if the compression format allows it (some require stereo). Also, Digital Video samples the audio at 48kHz. You can save it at a sample rate less than 22kHz and still sound good. You'll save a ton of space just by doing this.

Finally, if you software compression program allows, do a 2-pass compression option. The software will do a more efficiant compression (the tradeoff is that it will take twice as long to compress it - but that's a once and done process).

Some good formats to compress to:

WMV (windows media video)- The newest versions are very good and work with high-def resolutions! Plus, like it or hate it, Windows accounts for 95% of the computer operating systems out there.

MOV (quicktime) - initially on Macs, now on both Win and Mac. It has an excellent compression algorthm, but not everyone has Quicktime installed. It's free to download, but that's one more step for whoever is watching your video.

MPG (mpeg). It's very common and most computers can play it, but it's not the best compression as it's very old.

RM (real media)

Hope this helps. As David mentions, try compressing a clip differently and see what works best. Also, burn all those files on a CD (NOT a DVD) and load them on a different computer and watch them.

Warm regards,
Scott Sullivan
David Bilan
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Clarksville, TN
715 Posts

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Scott,

Always a pleasure to read one of your posts...

Frame rate is one of those funny things, depending on how smooth the action needs to be.

One of my biggest headaches is the customer who is unhappy that the video CD won't play right. Data transfer rate or some gobbledygook... Copy from the files from your CD to your second computer, then try the playback.

One other thing comes to mind... good video at the start means better quality when compressed. Try to have a plain, single color background. Not only is it less distracting to begin with, but your software isn't trying to compress video of leaves blowing in the tree trees behind your stellar performance.

Best wishes.
David
Yes, I am a magician. No I did not make my hare (hair) disappear... it just took early retirement.
ScottRSullivan
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874 Posts

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David,

Interesting! I didn't know that. I'll keep that in mind in the future. I've been able to keep most videos to about 1 meg per minute of video when sized to 320, so haven't played around too much with variable frame rates. Thanks for the head's up!

Also, that's an excellent point regarding compression about the background. Very true and I honestly forgot all about that. As much as digital video is a wonderful thing for entertainers (cheap and high quality), it's also bad in other regards. For example, the tree comment. Digital video has that huge depth of field so the trees are in focus as is the performer. Using film (ah, the days of Kodak 8mm!) you can blur the background and have the performer in focus. Hmm, guess that's why the big guys still use film for movies. *wink*

Seriously though, great post! Thanks!

Scott
kpkilburn
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New user
Ft. Bragg, NC
23 Posts

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There's a really good website called Videohelp (used to be VCD Help then DVD Help) at http://www.videohelp.com

It may be more than you were looking for, but it has just about everything you need to know about video compression, editing, creating DVDs, etc. Lot's of freeware and shareware programs.
Jeff
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Inner circle
Orlando, FL
1240 Posts

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Quote:
On 2005-06-14 12:56, Vandy Grift wrote:
Hello,

I have some video that I have loaded onto my CPU directly from my Camcorder. But the files are huge. Way too large to email. Is anyone willing to try and help out? I'm not very computer savvy. I'll post details (file sizes etc) if anyone is intrested in helping me compress these files. I've ziped them but they are still too big. These are only 3-4 minuite clips so it should be do-able, no?

Thanks in advance,

Vandy

Download Windows Media Encoder from Microsoft for free.

Jeff
Available for order now:
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See new, used, and collectable magic and books for sale at:
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