Video Production/Lesson Encoding Video for the Internet

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Video Encoding

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This is the key point of Internet distribution. Once your positive content is encoded it can be copied and distributed all over the world without limits. You can be the person to set that video free! We look at how to use a Mac and Microsoft to encode Video for the Internet and DVD's using Free Software. If someone wants to bring a linux computer that can capture Video, get in contact, and we can have a go at that too afterwards. This is a key workshop for putting video online in any format even youtube!


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Minimum - One Windows PC, One Mac with OSX 10.3.9 or later, Camera for capturing.


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Look at You Tube, and and Democracy player.

Different ways of encoding Video:

  • For immediate viewing [ aka streaming ] - see You Tube
  • For download. This can be used for screening from a laptop, putting onto DVD, or as a podcast. - See and Democrasy player

Demo Democrasy Player and the Democrasy Now programme. The story behind the station and the technology used for podcasting.

Capturing Video, Converting from a DVD or File, or Exporting from a Video project

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There are 3 main ways you will probably have video that needs encoding

  • On a tape: You will need to "capture" the file to the computer's hard disk
  • On a DVD or digital file - you will need to convert it to a suitable file format to put up online
  • As a video project you are editing, you'll have to export the file from the Video editing program.

From Tape

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Aims and background info

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To capture video from a video tape to a hard disk. Normally this would be as a DV file. "DV" stands for Digital Video, and is a way of compressing the video into a file. DV files are high quality and very large, taking up a lot of room on your hard drive. They are normally used for editing. We are going to use them as a source file for video encoding. It is best if the original file is as high quality and as compatible as possible. DV files are both high quality and very compatible.

On PCs, DV files are usually "avi" files which have a ".avi" extension. On Macs, DV files are usually "mov" files, with a ".mov" extension (and sometimes a ".dv" extension).

Windows Capturing and saving as DV file from tape / Premiere Project

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Free Software - Stoik Video Capture - Download Stoik

Premiere Pro [paying software]

Saving as a DV avi

Capturing from tape / Saving to Dv file Mac

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You would normally do this with iMovie or Final Cut Pro More detailed help with screenshots to come

Saving to Dv file Mac from Final Cut Pro

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This guide is aimed at those using PAL Video. As such you should have Default PAL setting for your FCP project.

To set this up: File > Audio / Video Settings >

Your Sequence Preset should be DV PAL 48 kHz And Capture Preset should also be DV PAL 48 kHz

Then when you export your project, the default settings will be correct.

File > Export > Quicktime movie

Give the file a .mov extension

Encoding Video for the Internet from a file

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Summary and Background Info

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There are many formats in which you may wish to make your video available. For this lesson we are going to concentrate on two types:

  • flv - flash compatible format for streaming
  • xvid / mpg4 / mpeg for preview/ full screen sharing

We assume that you have a DV file of the video you want to encode. If not, look elsewhere on this page for how to create a DV file from Tape or your video project.

Windows Encoding with Super

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Where to download and help / guides

Using FFmpegx to change a DV file to mp4 or flv

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We are going to create a flv file and a mp4 file from the DV .mov file exported from FCP

There are guides for using ffmpegx here

More to come...

Encoding from a DVD

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Aims and background info

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Encoding a file ready for the internet from a dvd used to be so much hard work. There were about 4 different programs needed to do it. Now the process is getting easier with some tools that use free software command line tools and give you one front end [gui] to make using them easier.

For this lesson we are going to make a xvid in Gordian Knot and an mp4 in Handbrake. These are aimed at creating a file of screening quality.

Windows: Auto Gordian Knot

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Tutorial on Installing and using Auto GK

Mac: Handbrake

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Although there is a newer version these help files concentrate on Handbrake 0.7 as it can be used by more operating systems i.e. 10.3.9 and up.

Download Handbrake 0.7.1 :

Tutorials for using Hanbrake 0.7 For Ipod: