Additionally, Compressor 3 also offers a redesigned user interface and incorporates enough technical improvements that the most die-hard users of other solutions turn their eyes to the Apple application.
Compressor’s new window design provides faster access to frequently used tasks.
With over 100 presets for different devices, Compressor now allows you to customize the settings to suit any need, including applying custom sizes for projects such as video web banners, presentation graphics, or digital signage. You can also reuse settings from previous rendering sessions by accessing the new History palette. Additionally, Compressor 3 allows multiple versions of the same video to be processed simultaneously: for example for the iPod, the Web, the Apple TV, the iPhone or even for BluRay and HD-DVD formats, all in the same processing batch.
The new plug-in architecture of the program allows developers to create dynamic coding tools. Compressor 3, in conjunction with Telestream’s Episode Pro plug-in, provides professionals with drag-and-drop encoding capabilities for various broadcast formats, such as MPEG program data stream. This process simplifies the broadcast process in the ever-growing market for broadcast-quality production, where the use of tapes is disappearing apace.
Version 3.0.1 incorporates several new features in terms of features. The Automatic Center Cropping function allows you to crop your widescreen video directly to the 4: 3 format commonly used on TVs and iPods, or to output any of the five supported LetterBox formats. Additionally, the new Pixel Aspect pop-up menu in the Geometry panel in the Inspector window allows you to define a specific pixel appearance to suit the output file during the compression process.
5.1 surround sound production has also been dramatically improved in Compressor 3. No more need to define speaker positions in other applications, or use DVD Studio Pro to properly program settings for program channels for surround sound and Dolby compression settings. However, since the Mac Pro’s optical output currently only supports stereo output, surround sound monitoring requires the use of another application as well as the installation of third-party cards so that all can be heard correctly. the channels corresponding to the mix.
Transcoding between formats is a simple process; Compressor 3’s standard presets allow material to be converted from the CPU-intensive HDV format to the less compressed DVCPro HD or ProRes 422 format. This process offers the advantage of improved real-time video playback , as well as the ability to apply a greater number of effects in real time while editing in Final Cut Pro.
While not achieving the same quality offered by Blackmagic’s DeckLink or AJA Video’s Kona video capture cards, Compressor’s convertibility provides a fast and inexpensive way to transcode content, a tangible benefit for users who are using a Mac based on PowerPC architecture and cannot capture HD material directly with the new coded ProRes.
The program’s new Optical Retiming feature, derived from a Shake feature, allows users to change the base frame rate per second of video. I have used this feature to convert 1080 60i HDV video (1,440 x 1,080) to 720p24 DVCPro HD (960 x 720 pixels). Considering that converting from interlaced video to progressive video has always been a source of concern, Compressor performed the conversion task quickly and with higher quality results than I would have expected from a purely software-based procedure.
These types of conversions allow you to create smaller files for DVD playback (with fewer frames) or convert 1080i content for playback together with the 720p format whose image size is smaller (and also with smaller files) , a fairly common technique for producing high-quality HD files for laptop presentations.
However, this process can create an inconsistent number of duplicate frames when converting content from 24 frames per second to 30 or 60 frames per second. A similar problem also occurs in Final Cut Pro 6 when working with different speed materials (frames per second, or codebase) when using the new Open Format Timeline feature.
Adding adjustment filters to video as part of the final output is a straightforward process in Compressor 3. An example might be incorporating professional-looking watermarks into video, which is the most visible form of copyright protection. Additionally, Compressor 3 also allows the same copyright information to be embedded as metadata in the output of the file.
In general, rendering in Compressor 3 is decidedly faster when using the default settings. Modifying these settings is not really necessary for most users. However, changing any of the values to “Best” when resizing or changing the base code of the video greatly increases the rendering time for the project.
Creating a multi-machine based rendering network requires the installation of the AppleQmasterNode software supplied with the program (in the Extras folder on the installation disc). The new rendering configuration, called AutoCluster, allows you to create a render farm on a single multiprocessor Mac or to distribute the rendering process among several computers with a single software license.
Motion and LiveType elements sent directly from the Final Cut Pro edit lane, without having been previously rendered in FCP, will also increase render times in Compressor and will actually frustrate users who have forgotten that such elements should be rendered before the compression process can start. Uncompressed video files offer the fastest compression times because the CPU does not need to decompress the clip prior to applying the new compression settings to each frame.
Compressor 3.0.1 is a recommended update over previous versions and offers the fastest rendering times over multiprocessor Intel Macs. Apple has added a new, highly polished interface and simple tools for rendering management that increase the processing power of the program. The History palette, which allows you to manage or confirm previously used settings, and new optical flow features are bound to be among user favorites.