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My First Steps With HD Video



April 14th, 2009 21:32 pm | by Ed |

I've been making videos more frequently of late. I'm discovering how much I enjoy making them. From that first idea of a script through every stage of production, editing, special effects and finally uploading the finished video to Youtube (and others).

My most recent project is something that I have to admit isn't much to look at however the content of the video isn't nearly as important as the fact that I managed to create one that qualifies to have the "Watch in HD" link on YouTube.

To get that link, the video must be in 1280 x 720 resolution and it must have a bit rate higher than 1000kbps. I found that getting Wax 2.0 to output a video at 1280 x 720 wasn't a problem. Unfortunately it came out at like 800kbs, not high enough. So what I ended up doing was taking the .avi file that Wax created and dropping it on MediaCoder, where I set the bitrate control to "quality based" and then set the quality to 100. This resulted in a bit rate that was at least 20 times higher.

The only problem is that when you get the bit rate you want, the file size is multiplied as well. The file I uploaded to Youtube for the video at the end of this post was just over 40mb for a measly 16 seconds of Hd video.

In another test project, one that didn't get uploaded, I had a seven and a half minute video that when finished, was over 450MB!! Simply put, the better the video quality, the bigger the files are going to be. Sure, compression can make up for a lot but when the compressed file is over 450MB for a seven and a half minute video, imagine what it's going to be for a 30 or 60 minute movie!

What's ironic about this is that there was a time not too long ago that I thought my 250gb HD on my desktop machine was one of the biggest drives out there and now I find space disappearing at an alarming rate with every video I make.

While it's true that I can burn completed projects to cd or dvd to clear them off of the drive, it's also true that I tend to have anywhere from five to ten (or more) projects in various stages of completion.

Raw source files tend to pile up, other files created in intermediate stages pile up quickly. Then there's what I call the "Stock footage' library. I keep it on the HD because I don't want to have to sort through a pile of CD's or Dvd's looking for a clip when I need it. The video, audio and still clip library I'm building is (gasp) actually organized to some degree and putting it all offline would mess that up seriously.

The answer is of course obvious. I need more hard drive space. Lots of it. That 250gb drive is down to about 60gb free and counting. Sometime soon I need to grow enough green to hit the sale pages and start shopping for something bigger.

Actually, I have been window shopping a bit already and I've found something that sounds just great. It's a Western digital external hard drive with TWO TERABYTE capacity.

And while you might think to yourself, "He couldn't possibly fill that sucker up too quickly.", what I'd like to do is get TWO of 'em and use one as a working drive for all the video stuffs and the second one to serve as a backup of the first. This way I not only get an enormous amount of storage, I also get a constantly updated backup copy of everything.

Just for the heck of it, here's that test video. It was made entirely with Wax 2.0, with MediaCoder used to transcode the output for the higher bit rate.

Technorati Tags: hard drive space, western digital, terabyte hard drive. two terabyte, making video, video, sound library, hd video, large hard drive, large files, making hd video, clip library

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