Choosing an Export Format

Most Premiere how-to books go through just about every type of export process, one at a time. That means repeating a lot of information. I think that's counterproductive and fails to paint the big picture.

Instead I want to give you a basic idea of the export formats and options at your disposal. Then I'll take you through only a few export processes, referring tangentially to the many options.

Your export format choices fall into two main categories: videotape and files. Exporting to videotape is remarkably easy, and I'll go over that process in a few minutes.

The file side of things has many more possibilities. You'll use this export process if you plan to use your project in any medium other than videotape. Here's how to see all the output formats under Export Timeline, Movie:

  1. Select Export Timeline, Movie. That opens the Export Movie dialog box.

  2. In the Export Movie dialog box, click the Settings button at the bottom of the screen. That opens the Export Movie Settings dialog box.

  3. As highlighted in Figure 19.4, click the File Type drop-down menu. Here are your basic File Type options:

    Microsoft AVI? Audio/Video Interleave is the long-standing Microsoft video format. It's still in heavy use but is being superseded by Advanced Windows Media.

    QuickTime MOV? This is the long-time Apple video format, released before AVI. It now plays on both Macs and PCs.

    Still Frame Sequences? Includes TIFF, Targa, GIF, BMP (Windows only), and PICT (Mac only). If you choose any of these you will create a collection of sequentially numbered still frames (one for each video frame). Choose your image format based on your needs.

    Animations? Includes Animated GIF, Filmstrip, and Flic. Each of these formats fit very narrow niches:

    • Animated GIFs generally are little graphic animations that play on the Web. The Animated GIF Artists Guild offers a slew of them at www.agag.com.

    • Filmstrip provides a means to send a sequence of video frames to Photoshop for rotoscoping (that is, adding graphic elements on a frame-by-frame basis).

    • Flic is an Autodesk Animator file scheme: FLI is the smaller frame size (VGA), and FLC supports higher-resolution SVGA. Both work best on graphic animations, not video frames.

    MPEG, Windows Media, RealMedia, and QuickTime File Exporter? As I mentioned earlier, these all create files that can play on most computers. But MPEG and QuickTime File Exporter are geared toward DVD production, whereas Windows Media and RealMedia work well on Web pages. I'll cover these export formats in Hour 20.

    Figure 19.4. The Export Movie Settings dialog box's File Type drop-down list displays all the video output formats.

    graphics/19fig04.jpg

Task: Export a Single Frame

This is a very simple process:

  1. Select Export Timeline, Frame to open the Export Still Frame dialog box.

  2. Click Settings to open the Export Still Frame Settings dialog box.

  3. Click the drop-down File Type list. As Figure 19.5 shows, you have four options: TIFF, Targa, GIF, and Windows Bitmap.

    Figure 19.5. The Export Still Frame Settings dialog box offers only four file types.

    graphics/19fig05.jpg

  4. Click Cancel to return to the Export Movie dialog box. Click Cancel again to return to the workspace.

Task: Export Audio

The audio side of things is a little different. It follows the same basic steps as exporting a movie:

  1. Select Export Timeline, Audio to open the Export Audio dialog box.

  2. Click Settings to open the Export Audio Settings dialog box.

  3. Click the drop-down menu. As shown in Figure 19.6, you have four choices, all of which are very similar. Windows Waveform creates WAV files and is the only audio-specific format. Microsoft AVI and QuickTime are the same as those found in the Export Video Settings window.

    Figure 19.6. Like the Export Still Frame Settings dialog box, the Export Audio Settings dialog box offers only four file types.

    graphics/19fig06.jpg

  4. Click Cancel to return to the Export Movie dialog box. Click Cancel again to return to the workspace.

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Yesterday's standard audio file types?WAV, AVI, and MOV?are today's "been there, done that" formats. Unless you have a compelling need to create an audio file using one of these file extensions, my recommendation is to ignore the Export Timeline, Audio process.

Instead, use Advanced Windows Media or Advanced RealMedia Export to create audio files. I'll cover these two plug-ins in Hour 20.




    Part II: Enhancing Your Video
     
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