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Stomp your video into submission

Compression software from iShowU's creator By Michael Smith
 Stomp is a video compression program, that allows you with a few click, to turn a large video file into a more managable one.  Offered by SHINY WHITE BOX software, it was created by Neil Clayton, who also created iShowU, which is a video screen-capture program.  There are many reasons that you'll need compression software for the video you've created, most notably for presenting on what you're looking at right now... internet delivery.

If you're at MacWorld Expo, you're going to see plenty of options for video compression.  And you'll want to make notes and pay attention to the details - because there are many things that you can take into consideration these days when thinking about video compression.  Seeing it in person is really the best way to evaluate it.

Upon launching Stomp, you are presented with a very nice, and easy to read interface.  At the top, there are two buttons presets and Filters.

Since the presets pane is open automatically, I'll start there.




With Stomp, comes some built-in presets for you to choose from.



As you can see from the screenshot, you are presented with a wide range of choices, with the option to create your own customs presets, or, by unlocking the padlock, modify a current preset, which can be done in the box below the presets.



To the right is the player, where you can preview your clip.



Below that is the area where you can see your information about the files you're about to stomp.



Also there are 6 buttons, which you can Add a track, remove a track, Remove Missing Recordings, Preview, Stop and Process.

Onto the presets tab.



At first glance, there doesn't seen to be many fliters, but when you click on the plus button... wow, there are more fliters there than I knew existed.    Upon clicking on the plus, you are presented with a list of 12 categories of filters, then within each of those categories there are  several filters to choose from.

The 12 main categories are:
  • Colour Adjustment
  • Colour Effect
  • Sharpen
  • Blur
  • Halftone Effect
  • Distortion Effect
  • Stylise Effect
  • Tile Effect
  • Geometery Adjustment
  • Composite Operation
  • Gradient
  • Generator

Here below are a couple of examples of the filters in action

Before



Bloom



White Point Adjust



As I said above, this is just a small selection of the many filters that come with Stomp.
Adding clips is as simple as clicking the plus button, or dragging and dropping a file into the recordingds list.

From the player view, if you want to trim your clip length you can set your in and out point for there.

This isn't as easy as I would like it, since it's  not just a simple matter of moving hte play head to where you want it to start and press I for in point, which I am used to doing, and obviously place the play head at the end hwere you need it and press O for an out point.

  To do this in Stomp, you have to move the markers along the bottom.

This might be just a personal preference, but it would be nice to be able to put in and out points using keyboard short cuts.  And if you want to add some filters, it's quite simple to do. Then when you're ready, just need to select which compression setting you wish to use.  As I noted earlier, there is a good range to choose from, and if you want to chage some settings you can easily do so.

One thing I would point out, is that by default, is that it is set to multi-pass compression, which is a good thing, but if you looking to get a file comrpessed quickly, you'll need to unlock the setting and change it to single pass.

Conclusion:

Stomp is a very good program with a wide range of settings which you could lose yourself in trying, which isn't necesarily a bad thing.  At the price of $29.95 or $20.37 if you have iShowU already, or $42 price, for both together, I would say it's money well worth spending.  There are plenty of presets so you don't really need to know much about compression.

I can see amateur film makers using this program.  It's a useful application for anyone looking to deliver compressed, economic video files.  I'll definitely be using it.

Check out STOMP at the upcoming MacWorld Expo in San Francisco.  If you can't make it to the Bay Area for the convention, you can just as easily check it out online at http://www.shinywhitebox.com/stomp/stomp.html

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Michael Smith is a student at the University of Derby / Devonshire Road. Currently living in Buxton Derbyshire, England, Michael works on several aspects of digital video projects using a Mac. In addition to Apple's hardware and software, Michael relies on a Canon MVX250i camcorder, a Behringer mixing board and a variety of microphones. Michael is also a featured writer and part of the NinjaCrayon community.
Related Keywords:product review, tutorial, mac compression software, macworld, ishowu, stomp, video

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