Design and Production ProcessVideo Production

The 4 D’s in e-Learning Video Compression for manufacturers

Observe these video compression tips to deliver great quality video for your learners

Many ELearning courses in the manufacturing world rely heavily on videos to explain a process or to show the steps in a procedure.  This can be a much more effective learning method than presenting  long paragraphs of text on screen or printed “how to” documents.  But even if you have a video that was well shot and edited, you need to make sure your final product is viewable by your audience and plays well on whatever device they are using to view it.

Data Rate
Data rate  controls how much data (visual quality) will be in the final video file.  In general terms, increasing the data rate will increase quality and file size, and lowering the data rate will decrease quality and file size.  The data rate needs to be adjusted so that your audience gets a good quality video without having to wait for a large file to play.  Usually for a good quality web video at a relatively small files size, I like to set this between 450kbps and 1200kbps.

Deinterlacing  is not as prevalent now since most HD video is  shot progressively (1080p, 720p). But if you are dealing with older footage or video that was shot interlaced, this will be a concern for you.  If you don’t deinterlace your video before adding it to your course, your viewers will see lots of jagged edges in scenes with a fast camera movement  or that show lots of horizontal motion, such as assemply lines or or conveyors.

This is usually easily remedied with just a check box in your preferred compression software, but not knowing about it can make for a poor viewing experience.

Device and Delivery Method
The method by which your viewers will be engagin with your course is very important to know before compressing your videos.  If they are watching your courses solely on a desktop environment with a high speed internet, then selecting a larger frame size of video, possibly 1280×720, with a higher datarate (even up to 2500kbps) is entirely acceptable.

However, if the course is being delivered to all your manufacturing facilities across the globe and you know some may be viewing your content on a mobile device using 3G data, then limiting the size and data rate to the lower end of the spectrum is a better option.

No matter what software you use to compress your video files for your courses, make sure you know who will be viewing the course and under what conditions,  Use that information to optimize your compression settings so your video clips can have maximum impact.

Ron Trilling
Author of Learning Lines | Founder and Partner, at Media Dynamics
Ron is a great source of information when it comes to eLearning. He has a background in instructional design and has worked with many companies to help develop their eLearning content and courses.
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