Now That’s Just Cool

I love stumbling upon a cool technology trick.

Working out compression settings for video distribution is part art, part science, and a whole lot of witchcraft. Compression is just often difficult and can be very frustrating.

Well, tonight I learned that if you take a movie file that has already been compressed (select one, of course, that looks really good because it was well compressed) and drop it into the “Custom” folder under the “Settings” tab in Compressor 3.5 (part of Final Cut Pro Studio), Compressor will think about that file for a second (depending on the speed of your machine) and then create a custom preset of the compression settings used to create that finished project! And the description tag becomes the name of the movie project you dropped into Compressor.


Compressor reads the metadata from the file and figures out how the file was compressed and then returns those settings as a preset you can use for your own project compression. Now, even with good compression settings, if you have poor quality source video, you will get poor results. But the problem is often the opposite way around: you have a great project and can’t get the compression output to serve a good finished product.
HD.pngAnd here’s another little tidbit: if you take a Compressor Droplet (a little preset “stand alone application”), right click on it, select “show package contents,” open the “Settings” folder and drop the .setting file onto the “Custom” folder under the “Settings” tab in Compressor 3.5, Compressor will again create a custom preset of the compression settings used in the droplet.

Why would you ever want to do the later? You can’t get to the setting details of a droplet any other way. So if you want to tweak them but don’t have the original settings saved as a preset in Compressor, this lets you get to those settings as well as save the settings as a preset in Compressor if you choose. It’s just one of those things you will never need until you do–and then you will be pulling your hair out trying to figure out how to do this. :o)

Thanks to Brian Gary and the helpful folks at rippletraining, just a few miles from my home, for these two helpful tips.