Any movie can be converted to another format using the convert movies feature in this software. If SportsCode can view the file, it can be converted in some way to another format using this system.
The common formats for captured movies is DV, HDV, Apple Intermediate. These formats create very large files, approximately 15GB – 20GB of hard disc storage per hour of video. These files will fill up an internal hard disk very quickly. To save space, we recommend converting the files into an alternate format. Follow these instructions for a simple and fast method of converting any movie to a H.264 format that is suitable for coding, editing, analysis, and presentation.
- Open an Instance movie from a timeline that has video linked to it.
- Choose File > Export > Movies > Convert movie… in the main menu bar. This opens the Save exported file as… window where you can set-up all the options for the conversion.
- Choose Movie to Quicktime Movie from the Export drop down menu in the window. Then, press the Options button to configure the specific movie conversion settings. The Movie Settings window will open and the Video, Audio, and Internet settings can be changed.
- In the Video area of the Movie Settings window, click on the Settings button. The Standard Video Compressor Settings window will open. In this window, configure the following
- Compression Type = H.264
- Frame Rate = Current
- Key Frames = Every 5
- Frame Reordering = Selected
- Data Rate = Restrict to 3600
- Encoding = Faster encode (Single-pass)
NOTE: Frame rate will be the same as the original. Every 5 frames will be a key frame which converts a file that can be easily edited.
Click OK to save the settings.
- In the Audio area of the Movie Settings window, click on the Settings button. This will open the Sound Settings window.
- Set the Format to MPEG-4 Audio, the Channels to Mono the Rate to 44,100khz.
NOTE: These audio settings will create less than CD quality audio track in the converted movie. If audio is not important, uncheck this option in the Movie Settings window and no audio will be exported. This will make the resulting file smaller, but when compared to video tracks, audio tracks are extremely small in size. So, in the long run, not choosing to use audio saves negligible hard disk space.
- The last area in the Movie Settings window are the internet streaming options. If you are going to use the movie to stream from a file server on the internet, then you should select the appropriate settings as defined by the host of the server.For this example, uncheck Prepare for Internet Streaming options. For general use these settings should be turned off.
- With the Video and Audio check boxes checked and the Prepare for Internet Streaming unchecked click the OK button in the Movie Settings window.
- In the Save exported file as window, type in a name and target location to export the file.
- Click OK to start the conversion process.
In the save dialog, there is an option “Include overlay text”, selecting this option will “burn” the overlay text information into the movie. There is also an option “Place export inside a movie package”, if the selected movie is a timeline movie, this option will create a new package once the conversion is complete.
After the conversion is complete, these settings will be saved as the default settings. So, in most cases, they do not need to be set up again.
Permanent custom options in the movie format drop down menu can be configured for individual users. Contact Sportstec for help doing do this.
This movie conversion example is very basic and does not fully explore all the options that are available. This is a very complex topic and for the purposes of this manual, we will not offer an explanation for every compressor and its various options.
Using the settings described, you will likely find varying results over time. Some movies will be smaller in file size even though they are similar in length. Other times you will see quality differences in two similar movies. Because each movie is different in shot, composition and length, you will have varying results when translated by the compressor’s algorithm automatic settings. But using automatic settings is a good way to start understanding how to convert movies.
Here are a few tips to experiment and find what will work for you best for your particular purpose.
- Use a short instance to experiment with different settings. Waiting for long conversions is tedious and you will not always get the desired results.
- Set the frame size of the instance movie first. SportsCode will use the instance movies window size for the conversion size. The frame size has a great impact on the conversion time. So, experiment with various sizes.
- If file size is most important, try setting manual data rates. This will guarantee the file size and forces the conversion to use the same amount of data per frame. Start with 6400 kbps. Automatic settings will find the best data rate which can vary greatly from movie to movie.
- Try using different compressors. Use H.264 or MPEG-4 to convert a small clip and compare the results. Some compressors are better for different types of video. H.264 and MPEG-4 are popular compressors, so sharing these formats will be compatible with any system running Quicktime 7.0 or greater.
- Adjusting the key frame intervals can make a big difference when video quality and size are concerned. Try setting the keyframes to 25 instead of all or 1 frame. Key frame settings greater than one every frame creates movies that will not be suitable for coding, editing, and slow motion analysis. Spreading out the key frame intervals, is recommended when the video will be distributed for playback only via internet or email.
- Video acquisition is probably the most important aspect to converting movies. If the video is poor quality to begin with, converting it will not make it better. Try to get the best copy of the video possible or get proper training on how to use your camera. Fast panning or zooming can cause conversion results to look very pixilated. To achieve the best results, avoid quick camera motions.A quick and easy way to create reference movies for batch converting is to drag from the video in the movie window and drop onto the desktop. This will create a reference movie on the desktop with a time and date stamp included in the name. As you drag and drop, rename the movies, so you don’t forget what video is in each one. Remember to select the segment of the movie in the instance movie timeline for which you want to create a movie clipping.
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