Creating and using the ASSETS LIBRARY

I've set up an Assets Library folder. Find it in the File Cabinet, under the "Share" tab.

There's a 250 MB limit here at Groupsite, but no reason not to get started. The ST:JAN project is also set up at www.wreckamovie.com and they are promising file hosting with no limits (coming soon), so we can move the library eventually.

I've started by exporting the same clip in two different ways.

First, I used Apple Quicktime Player using the "trim to selection" command. It doesn't re-compress the clip, just trims it to the new length. MPEG Streamclip converted the episode from the VOB file using Apple Motion JPEG A, and that yields a good looking clip. But a 2-second clip of Kirk is almost 11MB. 

 

If I open the episode in FCP, set in-and-out points and export a clip from there, it applies H.264 compression and the same 2-second clip is a fraction of the size: around 1.75 MB. 

 

The H.264 clip is just a bit washed out compared to the Motion JPEG version, and you can see a bit of image degradation (look at Kirk's collar) if you zoom in to the image. 

 

But the savings in disk space and upload/download time is so huge, that the slight loss in quality seems to me acceptable.

Comments?

Edited Fri, Apr 30, 2010 12:01 PM

Replies to this Topic

Yes, one clip is a little better quality than the other, and yes, a ratio of roughly 5:1 in size is a lot for a small quality difference. My (admittedly annoying!) response is to ask if there is a third alternative...?

Certainly! There are so many friggin' video codecs. But H.264 is a good one. And by nature this project will never be high-res. I may burn the final film to DVD but the vast majority of viewer will be watching it in lower quality (YouTube) anyway. Moving on!

Re: the Assets Library - big problem, right from the get go here:

Files don't display in alphabetical order!

Files uploaded into the folder stack in the order you've uploaded them. And there's no way to re-order them! I expect we'll have several hundred files eventually and with no way to sort them it will be almost impossible to find what you need. So it will be pretty useless to build our library here.

www.wreckamovie.com is promising file hosting, coming soon. If that's not forthcoming, I'll have to start looking elsewhere on the www.

-JOhn

Yes -- not being able to re-order files is a complete non-starter. Has anyone told Groupsite about this?

Nope! Feel free. Doubt they're going to rush to fix it in time for our needs.

Wreckamovie may get it together, and I'd prefer not to have a THIRD place people have to log into to use. But as an alternative I'm looking at this site now: http://www.mediafire.com/

I've told 'em. But from what I know about mediafire, there's no structure to speak of there either. Maybe things have changed since I used it last...?

I guess so. I created an account there and uploaded some files to test it.

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=32225e245a8805b7ed24a2875c7fa58e98da75d6de5cec1fb878de785cc0f59e

or try this: http://tinyurl.com/3yb4eno

You can sort by name, file size, date of upload, or number of times a file has been downloaded. You can also rename files, organize them into folders, and add descriptions and tags - which might prove useful.

Another feature is that each file comes with a URL for direct linking. Again, might come in handy - "where's that damn file?" "Right here" (link)

One downside: non-JPEG images get no previews. Video files and PICT stills are represented by a generic icon. But we could use JPEG format for the stills. And my plan is to have one identically-named JPEG still alongside each video clip uploaded, so that will help people identify what clip they're looking for.

Weeeellllllll.......it's a list, isn't it? A list doesn't have any structure to speak of. Is a list all we need? JPEGs are lossy files, too, but as long as we're not re-using them I guess it will be alright. Some sort of file description protocol might be important to work out before uploading thousands of files, too.

Lot to think about.

I think this Mediafire system will work, if we are consistent in how we name files. For instance, if every shot of Kirk is named "Kirk_something-or-other" all shots so named will appear consecutively in alphabetical view. Except of course, if it's a shot w/more than one character in it. (i.e. "ArexKirkSulu...") But that's where the search function comes in. 

Here's a file naming protocol I'm suggesting:

Sulu_CU_Bridge_SeatedLooksUp_1-1.mov

1       2       3         4                     5

 

  1. Person/persons or object featured
  2. Camera Angle
  3. Location
  4. action or any additional description
  5. DVD disk # and episode # the shot comes from

If things get too chaotic, we could start creating folders and subfolders. But that probably limits the search function's effectiveness. Better to use good file naming and tags, so the search function can do the work for us.

I'm getting impatient with Wreckamovie ever getting their file hosting implemented, so right now MediaFire is looking better than ever.

You make a good point about JPEGs. The stills would be used for storyboards & in the animatic, so quality isn't an issue there. But if someone wanted to modify an image to build a new background plate in Photoshop, they might want to pull a clean frame from one of the QT movies. 

 

I like the file naming protocol. I'l start work on producing a storyboard in thunbnail format first so we can bat about ideas regarding staging and composition. When that's been signed off, I'll start on the storyboard proper (Unless Mr Baumgarten has other ideas? Don't want to tread on anyone's toes...).

I do believe Mr. Baumgarten was interested in taking a crack at the storyboard as well. Maybe you two can split the script down the middle. Division of labor, that's what this whole thing is s'posed to be about. John B, you there?

I'll keep pumping files into the library as time permits. Remember to refer to those when storyboarding, since repurposing/tweaking existing shots is always preferable to creating new ones.

I'm planning to make some casting decisions in the next week or two as well.

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