Editing this material, which is not meant to be edited, but only watched, will always result in quality loss, unless you accept uncompressed with its space requirements.
I could see that there could be some loss but not so visible as what I'm getting. I've done this before in Premiere 6.0 as "make movie". It simply connected all the clips without growing the file 15x. I'm wondering if the project settings "DV NTSC" has something to do with this? I did not see a setting for plain avi video.
If you choose Microsoft AVI and select the normal DV settings, you get the same result as export movie in 6.x. Use NTSC DV and use the maximum render quality setting to minimize quality degradation. For the codec you can choose Lagarith which will make the size about triple normal DV. If you choose Uncompressed AVI, you get no quality loss, but the enormous size.
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To use "non-standard" Assets, you have a couple of steps and things to consider:
1.) your Project/Sequence Preset should be Desktop, and then you can "fill in the blanks" for almost every attribute. You may need to get and use the free utility, G-Spot, to get all of that info. Just note every attribute, and plug that into your Desktop's custom settings. These attributes need to match your source footage 100%.
2.) you can convert your source footage to DV-AVI type II w/ 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV (uncompressed) Audio, and then Import that into a DV-Preset.
Number 1, might still have problems, depending on what CODEC was used by your camera. This ARTICLE will give you some tips on "wrappers," the formats that we see as file extensions, and "peeking" inside those "wrappers." Next, this ARTICLE will give you some background on CODEC's, at a very basic level.
Now, once you have either chosen a Project/Sequence Preset (Desktop), that matches your footage, or have converted your footage to something that matches standard Presets (remember - these MUST match 100%, or problems will occur), you can then Export to almost any other format/CODEC and Frame Size. You could take an NTSC DV Project (with matching Assets), and Export to a tiny iPhone file.
Good luck, and hope that it helps,
Thanks Bill. I strongly suspected that I'm going to have to match settings 100%. Otherwise Premiere needs to recreate each frame of the AVI from scratch and that is where I believe the huge growth in file size comes from. I'll follow up on your leads and play with the settings some more.
I just have to believe that my 7 minute 640x480 30 fps movie made up of high quality (relatively speaking) AVI clips from the camera is not going to need a 15GB file to look in order to look as good as the original or, if I want to match the size of the original, have to settle for something with faded colors and/or significantly softened detail. Especially when 99% of the frames are unedited- There are just a few 19 frame dissolves connecting the clips together.
I wonder if I have all the CODECs intact. For Microsoft AVI, my choices are either none for compression or a bunch of mpeg like options where they ask for CBR/VBR settings.
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For DV-AVI, you should have the MS DV/DVC CODEC's. These are installed with most installations of Windows. Now, there were some flavors of Vista, that did not have the normal MS CODEC's. MS had something called a "Vista CODEC pack" on their site to add these. Note: I advise staying far away from any OTHER "CODEC packs," as they can cause so very many issues. I only will install a CODEC, when I absolutely need it, and then will try to "go to the source" to get it, even if I have to pay $, and there are free versions out there. Many of those will likely be hacked, or reverse-engineered versions of the original. If possible, I want the "real thing."
Once you have your Project/Sequence Preset matching your source footage, and your editing is done, should you have any questions about Export settings, just post those. Be very sure to provide us with the exact delivery scheme that you require, as that will dictate the format/CODEC and settings to use for Export. The more specific that you can be about what you wish to accomplish, the easier it will be for someone to give you the exact settings.
One other thing to take into consideration is that if you start with compressed source footage, and then edit that, regardless of whether you convert internally, or externally, and then Export to a compressed format, quality differences WILL be present. That is why so many here recommend using the highest quality source material going in, and choosing a camera to record in an ideal format for editing. Still, with some forethought, planning and proper selection of settings, one can get acceptable results with a lot of different footage - of course "acceptable" is in the eye of the beholder.
PS - BTW, large files sizes are just part of video editing. HDD space is a cost that we all must bare. The time/place to address smaller file sizes is with Export. Most shy away from any compression, until that very last step, even using lossless formats/CODEC's for all intermediate files.
Well it would appear that Premiere does not have the exact project settings to match the original source. So then it will recode the output based on movie settings in the project - and I will lose quality or have big files.
I've included some screenshots of the file properties of the original AVI movie clip (screenshot 1), and the output Flower Show file (screenshot 2). Also, you'll see the results of a scan that the Gspot utility did of all the CODECs on my machine. I'm very curious about the missing H264s as I see no problems playing or creating H264 files within Premiere. I do have problems with H264 files playing on other players though. I'll start a new thread on that one here http://forums.adobe.com/message/2591611#2591611.
In the end, I did find that H.264 produces a similar sized output to the sum of the original source clips while retaining high enough quality that a casual observer won't see any degradation. So that's going to be my method of choice in this case. However, I'd still like to get to the bottom of the H264 issues above.
For this footage, that probably came off a digital still camera, you best use either the MainConcept or Morgan MJPEG codec. What would the exported movie be used for, computer playback or DVD?