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What size frame did you chose? If you export as 320X240 you should be able to get a 1024K data rate and have it be a decent size.
I tried many export sizes, including some as small as you suggested, but still got very large files. I also tried lowering the quality of the export but then it was poorer quality than I wanted to put on my web site.
The higher the data rate, the larger the file. You just need to use a larger file or settle for less quality. Maybe you could reduce the frame rate. It depends on the footage.
> You just need to use a larger file or settle for less quality
This is not always exactly true. There are many things that can affect the perceived quality. In Premiere's case:
1.) Deinterlacing: If your sources are interlaced, Premiere (by default) will deinterlace them before scaling down for web export. Premiere's deinterlacer is as bad as it gets. If you are doing a ratio >= 2:1 (such as 480i -> 240p) it is probably better to untick the "deinterlace" checkbox, as the line-pairs will be blended on output anyway because of the large scaling ratio.
2.) Soft scaling: Premiere's Bicubic resampling is not really ideal for large ratio reductions. Unfortunately, there is not much way around this without using other tools.
3.) Noise: Video noise can greatly reduce the efficiency of encoding -- and therefore, when using a set data rate, it makes lowers quality output. Premiere does have a noise reduction filter option in AME, but it is quite slow and not the most sophisticated solution. You may want to experiment with it anyway: It can potentially make low bandwidth encodes look much better.
4.) Frame rate: It seems like a basic concept, but many people forget that you can greatly increase your spatial quality by reducing the frame rate. If you can live without the motion smoothness of 30 fps, you can get much higher quality with 15 fps at the same data rate.
5.) Two-pass Encoding: Unfortunately, Premiere does not have 2-pass for FLV VP6 which, IMO, is probably the "best looking" web output. You should look at other tools like Sorenson Squeeze or On2 Flix. In these cases you'll need to export a lossless intermediary AVI file to maximize quality.
Thanks, Dan. I'll give Sorenson Squeeze or On2 Flix a try.
Thanks for your help, too, Stephen.
I use a program called V2F to make web videos. Works very well.
Beat me to it Dan. Good advice in there.
I will say though, what one person determines to be reasonable quality is not necessarily what someone else thinks is decent quality. I'm happy with widescreen 400x224 at 180kbps for video, but to others that's junk.
Of course, a lot of it has to do with what's in the frame. If your shots are all moving around, or they have a lot of contrast detail, or even contain fire or water, it will compress far worse at the same bitrate than a talking head shot against a plain background with the camera on a tripod.
The fact is, you should be able to get a great quality file, using any one of a number of different formats, for a 2 1/2 minute video well under 10MB.
Sorenson, or any dedicated encoding application, is a nice place to start, because, as Aharon Rabinowitz once said, "using your NLE to encode web video is like hammering a nail into the wall using a shoe".
My trailer has a lot of movement, water, and Spanish moss on trees so it does not compress well. Web files I created with Premiere Pro CS3 all have artifacts except for the Quicktime file that is 41 MB.
I looked at the Sorenson, On2 Flix, and V2F sites. The Sorenson has a lot more flexibility but is $499 which is a lot after paying $1,600 for the Production Premium. On2 Flix ($39) makes .flv files and V2F ($97) makes a self-contained video in a Flash player.
I'm showing my ignorance now but I have Production Premium CS3. If I learn how to use the Flash CS3, will that make a good web file?
For two and a half minutes 41MB strikes me as excessive. Do you know what the bit rate and resolution of these files you're exporting are?
What sort of quality are you after? Mobile? YouTube? Broadcast? HD?
Using Media Encoder in CS3 you should be able to get an acceptable file using something like the Flash Video "NTSC Source to 512kbps" preset and tweak settings (resolution in particular) from there.
I tried so many settings that I'm not sure of the bit rate. I did set the resolution quality at 4 or 5. Next time, I'll keep a spreadsheet log. I just want to take my beautiful trailer and have it available to view on our web page without the trees in it looking very out of focus.
I'll try the Media Encoder tomorrow.
Thanks so much,
Sorry, by resolution I mean frame size, e.g. 1024 wide x 576 high. The standard settings will need to change if you're working in widescreen.
Yes, I tried smaller frame sizes. I'll try the Media Encoder today.