Step 5. Encoding your Video for Later Playback

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There are many ways to encode your video so that others can play it back. The two main ways are:

  • Encode as a DVD which is professional looking, but which you cannot distribute over the web easily.
  • Encode as a computer-playable file which is good for distribution, but can be frought with difficulties if you use the wrong codec.

I recommend people encode their project as a standard Windows Media Player (WMV) file, at high resolution and very good quality. This means your video will be large (e.g., 30-100Mb), but since we are going to burn it to a CD, who cares?

Encoding takes time. Consequently, make sure you are happy with your video before you bother to do it.

Method 1. Encoding with Windows Movie Maker (Recommended)

Unfortunately, the Premiere Pro encoders do not do a good job producing vanilla WMV files - at least I haven't found a way to do it. So I do a two step process:

  1. Export the file as a (very large) AVI file with Premiere.
    • Select File - Export - Movie
    • Save it as a different file name e.g., name-out.
    • This will save it as a file called name-out.avi
  2. Import the AVI file into Windows Movie Maker and export it as a WMV file.
    • Open Windows Movie Maker (free program installed by default on Windows XP)
    • Make sure the Movie Tasks sidebar is visible (raise it by clicking on Tasks in the toolbar)
    • Select Capture Video / Import Video from the sidebar and browse to your name-out.avi file. It will now appear in the main storyboard window.
    • Drag and drop this video onto the empty timeline.
    • Select from the Sidebar Finish Movie / Save to my computer. A wizard will appear.
      • Create a file name, e.g., name-out-completed and a place to save it. Click Next.
      • Select Show More Options and select the Other settings radio button.
      • From the pull down menu next to other settings, choose ''Video for Local Playback (1.5Mbps NTSC)
      • Click Next. THe file will render.
  3. Try it out - find the file and play it. If

Method 2. Encoding within Adobe Premiere Pro

I am not sure if this will work well to produce a WMV file playable on all computers, as it may require a special codec. Its also hard to test if it will work on other computers, as it will play back fine on a computer with Adobe Premier installed. But you can try...

  • Select File - Export - Adobe Media Encoder
  • If you are using the University machine, select the Preset '581' and render the video.
  • Otherwise, you will have to create a custom Preset. To do this,
    • select WM9 1024K download
    • Select the Video item in the left window pane:
      • Codec = Windows Media Video 9
      • Allow interlace processing is unchecked
      • Encoding passes is TWO
      • Bitrate mode is CONSTANT
    • Select the Audio item in the left window pane
      • Encoindg Passes is TWO
      • Bitrate Mode is CONSTANT
    • Select the Audiences item in the left window pane
      • Frame Rate = 30 fps
      • Frame width / height = 720 x 480
      • Maximum Bitrate (kbps) = 3000 (approximately) IMPORTANT!
      • Image Quality = 85 (Approximately) IMPORTANT!
      • Audio Format = 64 kbps, 48 kHz, stereo
    • Save it as your setting (e.g., myname-581)