This is a guide that will teach you what kind of compression is best, how to use this compression, and why to use compression :)
Ok, we are gonna skip a few steps and presume you already have your whole movie finished.
Now, you have tried exporting it, but either the file was H U G E, or the quality just sucked? then this is the guide for you!! off we go!
We will be using DiVX compression for our example moviefile here :) The example file will be a preview of my upcoming UT movie. The movie file is 3 minutes in length. It was edited in Adobe Premiere. What I did forehand to maintain maximum quality was working with .jpg instead of .avi. with .avi files you either get an enormous file, or a small file with crap quality. This is all assuming you are using MovieUnreal2002. and to those people I suggest stepping back to MovieUnreal++ in the first place ;) its never good to compress an avi file to an avi and to another avi, you are bound to loose some of the quality, which is unneccecairy. Anyway, if your movie is finished and you came here for the compression you are already too late :p but we'll try and work some miracles. First of all, you are going to need the huffyuv lossless codec. Its a codec that works somewhat similair to winzip/winrar, only then for video files. This will export your movie with the same quality as "No Compression" but instead of a 10 gig file you will get a 2 gig file. Why am I doing this first? theres a good reason behind that. Whilst premiere is a good and easy to use program for editing, its compressor kinda sucks. so we wont start compressing this file untill we open VirtualDub, which is by far the best (and free on top of that!) program for compression. Once you have opened VDub, go to "file > open .avi file". Now we will select our big videofile. Next up is "Video > Compression". Select DiVX 5.05 from the menu.
Press the "Configure" button, which will give you this screen:
Just make sure the settings are the same in your screen as they are here :) Now I will explain you something about First pass and Ssecond (Nth) pass, AKA the multipass method. Before we continue I want you to go to the Audio dropdown menu and set "Direct stream copy" to "Full processing mode".
Because premiere cannot export as .mp3, it will export as .wav, increasing the music size by 50x!! using .mp3 over .wav can reduce your final videofile size by 70 MB, or even more! go to "Audio > Compression" and take the settings shown in the pic:
Lets say you export an avi file as First pass, DiVX will not export your movie but it will in fact look where it can reduce the image quality without noticable quality loss. For example during a transition of 2 or more clips, there might be a black screen for a second or so, and in that time its kinda useless to have 2400 byte per second wasted on that right? that is what multipass will prevent. But anyway, now you exported this file, and its 10 kb or so, but what am I going to do with that? its easy. after its done exporting, repeat these steps, but instead of "Multipass, First pass" you will now select "Multipass, Nth pass". now this might sound weird, but you have to overwrite your old .avi file! DiVX will use the old one to see where it can reduce image quality :) If you have followed these steps correctly, then I can congratulate you because you have succesfully compressed your movie, making it about 20 MB per minute. If you still think the filesize is too large you can change the setting "2400 kbps" to "2000 kbps"
You still understand the words that are coming out of my mouth? good, because we are going in deep, and we have only scraped the edge now. On to some size/quality/length
There are a few things you have to keep in mind. You can make your movie 600 MB and then 10 minutes. In one way this attracts people (quality-wise) but there are loads of people that really dont want to download files with that size. Not only that, its also gonna be difficult to find a host for that behemoth of a movie. Here are a few examples of things that are do-able:
5 Minutes and 125 MB
Its pretty big considering the length, but as a download its do-able. This gives you max downloads and max quality.
10 Minutes and 125 MB
Now we ourselves a situation... Some people think "Nice, small download" whereas others will say "darn, image quality must suck for that length!". I suggest to either release a Medium Quality and High Quality version, or just a High Quality version.
10 Minutes and 200 MB
This is very nice. 10 Minutes of movie means that you can use multiple songs and that its varied. You wont hear people complaining that the size is too big or that the movie is too short. In my eyes this is one of the two ways to go. Way two is coming up
6-7 Minutes and 150 MB
If you are really good at editing and you've made a movie that is considered really good, then you can do this. At first people might think that the size is not worth it, but if the movie is good the word will spread and people will download it. Or you just dont mention the length of the move :)
20 Minutes and 200/400 MB
Stop. There are a few problems coming up here. One of them is this: Tests have proven that the average human being can be totally focussed and concentrated for 15 minutes. With a movie of 20 minutes people tend to look away from the screen, no matter how good your movie is. Its better to make two different movies, and spend a little more detail on them! And secondly: To obtain good quality the movie can get very big :)
Explanation of PAL and NTFS
More coming soon!
I really hope this guide helps others, because I had to figure this all out by myself which of course took a long time because as you can see you have to do some things that might sound very illogical!