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Chapter 17. Output > Movie Files and Compression

Movie Files and Compression

When you select QuickTime Movie or Video for Windows as the format, pressing the Format Options button opens a dialog box for choosing compression settings. To choose the settings most appropriate for your output goals, you need to know something about video compression in general as well particular compression schemes, or codecs.

Generally speaking, your playback equipment, image-quality goals, and data-rate limitations will dictate your compression choices. For example, if your movie file is destined for use with a nonlinear editing system, such as an Avid or Media100, you would render it using the system's native codec. On the other hand, if you wanted to output an uncompressed file to maintain the highest image quality, you could deliver it to a postproduction facility to be transferred to tape or film (assuming your own hardware isn't able to play back such a large file in real time). Alternatively, you might need to present your movie on the Web—in which case choosing settings that produce a small file with a low data rate would be your top priority.


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