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H.264 to self-contained Quicktime file?
  • After all the help I got with converting HD to SD and formatting it on a DVD, the film festival I'm taking part in decides to change the guidelines just days before the start of it. They are now accepting HD and will take a USB flashdrive as long as it conforms to the following guidelines:

    A self-contained Quicktime file - codecs for HD: Apple Intermediate Codec, DVCProHD, HDV, Motion JPEG-A, Apple Pro-Res 4.2.2 (not HQ, LT, or 4.4.4), or H.264 (with a data rate of at least 16Mbps)

    So I'm using my GH2 on a PC, rendering in Vegas Movie Studio HD 11.0, shooting 1080p 24fps

    This is going to be shown a full-sized movie theater screen, so I want to maintain as much quality as possible. I wonder if there is any way of doing this without buying Quicktime Pro?


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  • I can convert files in MPEG Streamclip to quicktime mov files, but its hard to tell if I'm losing quality or not. They look okay on a monitor, but not sure how they'll hold up on a big screen.

  • Thanks a lot for that info Subco. Wondering a a mp4 file is considered a self-contained quicktime file or not...I could export as Motion Jpeg-A...thats going to be a monster sized file though.

  • Thanks Subco, so in your opinion...seeing as how this is going to be shown on a 40 foot you think I should go with Motion JPEG-A file, which will be about 7GB for a 6-7 minute film, or .mp4 which will much smaller file size. Do you think quality will be compromised?

  • Do you have ProRes 422? Just do that. If not, for simplicity do a h264 at 50-75Mbps.

  • I just talked with the guy who's running this festival and he said .mp4 is out of the question because it may be in a format they don't accept. He said it has to be in a quicktime...his response:

    "Note that often mp4 files aren't Quicktime files and sometimes we cannot convert them to screening format, which would lead to the film being disqualified. It's much better to give us a Motion JPEG-A mov or a H.264 mov than an mp4. Hope that helps!"

    I'm having a tough time with Handbrake. I'm so used to using Vegas Studio HD 11 and MPEG Streamclip...wondering if I output in Sony AVC/MVC Blu-ray 1920x1080-24p, 16 Mpbs video stream (which looks to be the best setting)...this will leave me with a 68mb .mp4 clip for a 20 second long test video. If I run that through MPEG Streamclip to export as a Quicktime gives me a list of options, one of which is a H.264 also gives you the option of a multi-pass, which I'm assuming makes retain more quality...that comes out about the same size 60+ Mb, but as a .mov that actually a H.264 mov file or have I already degraded the file to the point where it no longer retains its original quality.

    Sorry I'm not very technical savvy at this stuff, I'm used to doing small clips. I'm nervous about putting something on a big screen with no way to visually test it out first. Thanks again for the help.

  • Awesome, thanks a lot! I'm heading into work now too. I'll check it out later. Unfortunately I have Vegas Home Studio HD 11 and not some of the more expensive versions. It may be limited in options for outputting, but it does offer quite a bit of choices.

  • Thanks a lot Subco, I really appreciate you taking the time to help me. I just bought a 8GB flashdrive just in case I have to go with that Motion JPEG-A option.

  • Thanks again for all the help Subco!

  • What I ended up doing was rendering it out as "Sony Tablet 1080p"...which turned it into a .mp4..then I ran it through MPEG Streamclip as Quicktime .mov "Apple Motion JPEG-A" at 100% quality..I ended up with a really nice looking .mov 5.7GB file. The 48 hour filmmaking contest ended May 20th. Unfortunately my sound gear went out on me and I got the movie in a couple of hours past the deadline. Here is a trailer for it.