Compressor: Video Retiming

In Apple Compressor, video retiming allows you to video from one frame rate to another (such as with conversions from NTSC to PAL or vice versa) or convert video to a new speed. With retiming controls in Compressor, you can choose to play frames in a video at a faster or slower frame rate. Or, if you want to create slow-motion effects, Compressor can generate intermediate frames to make the sequence seem more realistic. Although it sounds a little complicated, using the retiming in controls in Compressor is actually really easy, and this step-by-step guide will show you how.

What You Will Need

  • A computer with Apple Compressor installed
  • A movie or video file for editing

Step 1: Open the File to Be Edited

Once Compressor is open, browse to the video file you want to edit and open it.

Step 2: Open or Maximize the Inspector

By default, the Inspector pane should be open; however, if you have disabled the default behavior of Compressor when it opens, you will need to open the pane by going to the 'Window' tab on the menu bar or opening it with the 'Spotlight' feature, which is in the upper right hand corner of your main Compressor window. Once the Inspector pane is open, click on the middle icon in near the top of the pane. The 'Frame Controls' icon looks like a small camera.

Step 3: Locate the Retiming Controls

Once you have the "Frame Controls' tab open, look for the 'Retiming Controls' section of the tab. The Retiming Controls will be located in lower part of the tab, and you will see the following adjustable settings: 'Rate Conversion' and 'Set Duration to'.

Step 4: Choose Method of Changing Video Frame Rate Speed

Apple Compressor offers you several ways of changing the speed at which a newly encoded video file will play. In order to change the speed of video, choose from the following methods: enter a percentage; enter a duration; or force the frames to play at the encoder specified Frame Rate setting.

Step 5: Enter a Percentage

In order to use the percentage method to determine the length of a video, you can enter a specific percentage amount or choose from one of the preset settings. There are six preset settings, and they are:

  • 24 @ 25: Use with 24 fps video to convert to 25 fps for PAL distribution.
  • 23.98 @ 24: Use with 23.98 fps video to convert it to 24 fps.
  • 23.98 @ 25: Use with 23.98 fps video to convert it to 25 fps for PAL distribution.
  • 30 @ 29.97: Use with 30 fps video to convert it to 29.97 fps.
  • 29.97 @ 30: Use with 29.97 fps video to convert it to 30 fps.
  • 24 @ 23.98: Use with 24 fps video to convert it to 23.98 fps for NTSC DVD distribution.

With the preset options, Compressor does not create intermediate video frames - the original frames are simply set to play back faster or slower.

Step 6: Enter a Duration

If you have a video file that is somewhat longer or shorter than you would like, entering a duration period is an easy way to change play back speed without adding or removing frames. To change duration, simply entered the desired duration of the clip in the duration field. In the event you want to make the clip much longer than the original, Compressor will add intermediate frames as needed.

Step 7: Force Frames to Play at Encoder's Frame Rate Setting

Use this option when the original file's frame rate is different than the Encoder pane's Frame Rate setting.

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