Compressor: Optical Flow

Apple Compressor now uses optical flow technology to help format and perform conversions to various video file formats in less time and with better results. Optical flow is a state of the art technology that uses pixel by pixel motion analysis to create new frames in the video with smooth results.

With optical flow analysis, Compressor is able to scale video, interlace or deinterlace videos, as well as change frame rates and create retiming effects. Using optical flow technology in Compressor is very easy, and this how-to guide will walk you through the process.

What You Will Need

  • A computer with Apple Compressor
  • A movie or video file to be edited

Step 1: Open Video File to Edit

Open Apple Compressor and then use the 'File: Open' feature to browse to the movie or video file that you wish to edit. Alternatively, you can browse directly to the folder that contains the file you want to edit, and then drag the video file onto the Compressor new project area.

Step 2: Open the Inspector Pane

By default, the 'Inspector' pane should be opened, yet minimized, on the lower portion of your Compressor screen. However, if you change the default settings for Compressor, you will need to find the 'Inspector' pane using the 'Spotlight' feature in the upper right-hand corner of your Compressor screen, or click on the 'Window' and open the 'Inspector' pane that way.

Step 3: Open the Frame Controls Tab

After you have the Inspector pane up on your screen, you will need to find the 'Frame Controls' tab. You can access the frame controls tab by clicking the middle icon near the top of the Inspector pane. There is a strip of five mini icons located just beneath the 'Name' and 'Description' fields on page. The middle icon resembles a small camera.

Step 4: Turn on Frame Controls

Once on the 'Frame Controls' page, you will need to enable frame controls for the editing project. To do this, click the star in the small square which is located to the right of the frame controls option box. By default frame controls are turned off; therefore, you'll need to switch the option box to 'On'.

If you'll be uploading videos to popular video sharing sites, you want to definitely make sure that you enable the 'Frame Controls' option. Most video sharing sites don't accept files that are interlaced. If you're unsure if a video file is interlaced or not, enable the 'Frame Controls' option - just to be safe.

Step 5: Choose an Output Field that Supports Optical Flow

On the 'Frame Controls' page, you will notice various settings that can be applied to your video file. However, the only settings that are associated with optical flow technology will be those listed under the 'Resizing Control' section of the page.

In order to use a deinterlacing method that uses optical flow technology, choose either the 'Better: Motion Adaptive' or 'Best; Motion Compensated' setting for the deinterlacing your video file. You can then use the retiming controls on the page to either increase the number of frames or even apply slow motion effects your video. Once you have chosen the desired settings, simply click on the 'Save' button and continue working with your video file.

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