So I've been working on this project that requires frequent approvals. I ran into a problem. The rendered files are large, so I exported them at a lower setting via Quicktime pro, but this comprimised the quality so drastically that it produced artifacts in the animated material that were not actually in the original version. This of course is bad news when you are trying to show your work. This might not have been such a major issue if the scene were animated objects, but since the object has animated material with text and very fine detail it became problematic. We decided that I would send my current progress on cd or dvd through good old fashion snail mail. Before I mailed them out I decided to preview them and noticed that when ran off of the disks the .mov's were sticky and jumping frames. So I hit the cg boards. Members suggested that I drag the footage from the cd to my hard drive and run it from there instead of from the cd. This worked. Somewhere in the recess of my mind I knew this from a previous experience but it just hadn't registered. But I'm not upset about it because there was an instant solution. Gotta love those boards!
Board members also suggested some compression programs. One was Sorenson Squeeze 4.1 which is about $449.00. I held out, and luckily another post mentioned DigitalAnarchy's Microcosm codec that is supposed to save lossless Quicktimes. I took a look at the product webpage and it sells at $99.00. I thought to myself "I was at DigitalAnarchy a week or two ago when I bought Text Anarchy" for After Effects (I was trying to resolve a scrolling text problem). The thing is with animation, you don't always know what you need until you need it! I'll probablly get it, give it a shot and let you know how well it compresses. If it does well enough perhaps I can by pass the snail mail in the future and send smaller files for approval via the web, which would be a lot more convenient. : )
Update: (4/19/05) Today I installed Microcosm into my Quicktime Pro program and exported a test file at 24 Frames per second. The footage was compressed from 2.92 Mb (the original size) to 1.48 Mb (the new microcosm size). I opened up the two files and placed them side by side, the quality of each is equal!