Ever used Adobe Premiere Pro to make an iPhone trailer?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by NicolasGB, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. NicolasGB

    NicolasGB New Member

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    Hi everyone,
    Can anyone help with some questions on how to use Premiere Pro to make a trailer for an iPhone game?

    Context : I'm a total noob in video editing, and now I have to use Premiere Pro on PC to make a trailer for our upcoming iPhone game Ski Champion. The trailer is meant to be posted on video sharing sites such as youtube, vimeo, dailymotion, etc. And embedded into forums such as this one.

    I am absolutely struggling right now. Here are some questions I have :

    1. What project settings do you recommend? My programmer said DV NTSC, 720x480.
    2. Anything else I should be setting properly upfront to avoid issues at the end?
    3. When I import still screengrabs from the game (taken with an iPhone 4S), they appear either cropped or stretched even though the resolution is the same (I resized them to 720x480). Any idea how to avoid that? Margins would be acceptable.
    4. I am planning to use Camstudio on my PC to record 960x640 footage within Unity, and then downsize to 720x480. Sounds like a good plan? Anything I should know?
    5. What is a good program (ideally free) to resize and rotate a video?

    Thanks in advance!
    Nicolas
     
  2. Sysiphus

    Original Member

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    It's a part of my job, all that above. Done in several job places, indeed. I'd offer to do it for you for a quote, but I know I don't really enjoy that kind of gig ;) Is one of those things I'd only would do if payment would be fine ;)

    Answers/advices from a non video professional:

    1. Can't you use Sony Vegas instead? Is quite easier for beguinners, IMHO. It's dirty cheap, also. You don't need to stick to a DV or any preset, but if you programmer requires it, he might have a reason. Just check well the settings, presets often produce quality loss. I tend to work in a lossless format, or if machine allows, in raw, non compressed even for storing between edits.

    2. Capture using a good codec in the format it saves. Camstudio plugin is ok, no loss and nice file size. Techsmith codec, if you bought Camtasia, will be in your system already. This makes files even smaller while you're storing for more edits. Just try to reduce saves to a minimum. I often just save only once or twice. Best way of work is import the media in software like the mentioned Sony Vegas, and what you save is its project files, but the effects are not performed over the imported media, the captured movies.(I mean, editing the raw source the less you can). A divx, xvid avi, mpeg, etc, all those will have loss in every save, similar problem than saving JPGs in a 2D software. The codecs I recommend have its issues handling keyframes and other issues, but are a good solution for most just video promos for the web.

    In Premiere, dig well in settings, also project settings, there can be defaults you really don't want for your project. The fps : Check that the fps (I mean, the fps of the avi saved, not the in-game fps your machine reaches) in capture are the same than in output of your rendered project. You have to set both, so you can set them to be the same. Depending on the machine, a something in the range of 30 - 60 fps setting could be ok. Youtube takes well MP4 files encoded with .h264, but basically will take anything. between a loss less yet ok quality output, I prefer xvid over divx. I trick I have to ensure youtube do respect the detail doing an HD video, is allowing video has at least a 720px height. Enlarging the video, no way, will blur it. I mean capturing at high resolution, if your machine and HD allows it. A fast HD is nice to have, or at least, ensure is not too fragmented. Graphic card has nothing to do here, is mostly cpu and disk. Also ram. There are many possible errors you will have, so a project tight in deadlines, being your first video, is not a lucky situation. But it surely will go well. Oh, pixel ratio will better usually be 1:1.

    3 How are you making the screenshots? Have you checked they are actually at that size? You can check it with Photoshop or Irfanview. Also, I hope you are not trying to resize non proportionally in Photoshop or the like...
    Your codec for saving you could have set as DV NTSC 720x480, but really, check well that your project size is actually those dimensions. Might be you have it there at 640x480 or something.
    If the machine allows, I prefer to capture at 1024x768, 1280x800, or whatever other desktop size where the height is 720 or more. The quality difference in image is huge. Still, might be bad idea for many user connections , or poor hardware, that might make the vid display with little jumps or would stream badly. In a typical 5 years old machine, it should paly nice, though. The thing is that if you capture at hi res, you can always reduce later to smaller sizes, the other way around is not a good idea.

    4 In my experience: Camstudio is not as good capturing as Camtasia, even old versions. Sometimes those wont capture well a game if it's 3D. Well, indeed, most times. For 3D games, Fraps, or the free Taksi (although never had luck with the latter) . I recommend instead of those, Gregion, or best and recent discovering for my workflow: MSI Afterburner capture utility : http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/download.htm
    Indeed, Gregion seems to have dissapeared, but the MSI tool gave in my latests tests such a better result in quality and performance. Still, I think only the latest ebta captures audio. It will be in the stable soon, though. If you need to capture audio, just try a beta having that. For a 2D game, I'd go ok with Camtasia, even an old one.

    5 How rotate? Just a flip or 90/45 º rotations? Or more fine rotations. There are many plugins to do this. I use Virtualdub for a lot of the editing, but then export to continue in Sony vegas or similar. Wax video editor is also free and it might have a plugin for that. Premiere for sure have a solution for it, is just been long years since last I used it.
    For resizing, any, the free Virtual Dub, your Premiere, Sony Vegas, all do it.
     
  3. NicolasGB

    NicolasGB New Member

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    Wow, thanks for recommending Sony Vegas! Downloaded the trial and it seems to work perfectly for what I want to do. They have short and practical tutorials too that are extremely helpful. I'll probably end up buying it since it's only around 60€ anyway.
    Our game Ski Champion is in 2D (http://www.majaka.net/iphone_ipad_android_games/) but I ended up using Fraps which seems to work nicely too.

    You've helped big time, thanks again !
     

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