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Use a Preset that reflects what the end use is.
eg a Training Video, probably on DVD therefore a NTSC/PAL DV preset will probably do it.
Bring in the wmvs (not the best source material for editing but whatever) and scale them down to fit the project.
File size will be biggish... and quality may be a bit sucky and encode time may take a little while but that is due to your souce material (wmv)
How long is the program?
>I don't understand why I can't just save it back out how it is.
Because Premiere simply isn't designed that way. With your media, Premiere may not be the best tool for the job. Maybe try the free Windows Movie Maker.
The Program is a half hour and it is to be stored on a website and downloaded by customers to view
Does anyone know why the source files become so large and then have to be compressed?
>it is to be stored on a website and downloaded by customers to view
Compressing video for the web takes knowledge, some experience with compression in general and time for trial and error. You're not going to be finished any time soon.
>Does anyone know why the source files become so large and then have to be compressed?
Because you are decompressing the small .wmv files into (I'm guessing at your export settings) uncompressed, full frame video. Since that won't do for web delivery, they have to be re-compressed.
Basically, Premiere works with DV-AVI files. When you feed it something else, it will essentially convert your file to DV-AVI for its workflow, when it can. That is why some file types do not work so well. It also takes PP a while to do this. Then, when you Export to whatever, PP has to then Transcode the file and apply the specified compression to it. I believe that there are now exceptions for HD material, but I'm talking SD for DVD output.
Is your output going to be the 1024x768 for the Web?
I always take non-DV-AVI material, and convert outside of PP, with a 3rd party program. Mine can do batch conversions, so I load up all non-standard Assets, set the conversion specs., and go about other business, while it does its thing. Then, when done, it is the converted DV-AVI that I Import into PP, edit and do whatever. Yes, the converted files will be larger, but that is the nature of video editing. Depending on which WMV CODEC was used, the files may be very much larger.
Also, when using heavy compression CODEC for output, it does take a long time to Export.
The suggestion to use MovieMaker is not a bad one. It is designed to work with WMVs natively, and can output to tons of different formats, like WMV, and with a bunch of CODECs, provided that you have them on your system.
[Edit] As an example, I just looked at a WMV, that I converted to DV-AVI, for work in PP.
Original WMV = 50,797 KB
Converted DV-AVI = 1,489,441
Now, frame size was a little smaller in the WMV, while the DV-AVI was full DVD-spec, plus the PCM/WAV 48KHz 16-bit, so your sizes may differ from a % standpoint.
Hey thanks everyone for all the great feedback. Well, it was to be 1024 x 768 but mainly because when I've exported it at any other frame dimension it looked blurry. Well, I guess I'll give movie maker a try but.. last questions .. I tried movie maker before but it didn't seem to let me change the project output to 1024 x 768 and whenever I do anything less, it looks crummy. Can this be done in movie maker or should I try to convert the file to something else first? What do you use to convert the files. winavi or something?
Again thanks everyone for all the quick responses.
John, I agree with Bill's approach, but I have successfully edited wmv. How did you modify the settings? did you do a custom desktop project to match your import (size, frame rate, etc).
I also suggest considering flash video as the delivery.
Having a problem exporting my edited video into Adobe Encore to burn on DVD. When I attempt the export it is tellin me that my content will not fit the target media and to adjust my settings. I have been trying to use the NTSC High Quality format for a 8564.49 MB file. I got the MPEG-2 setting too usin a DVD Single Layer. Any suggestions to compress or find the right settings?
Let Encore handle it, if you do not know your way around settings and bitrate calculators.