Add and remove effects

Compressor provides a variety of video and audio effects that you can use to improve the quality of the video and audio in the transcoded file. Video effects modify specific visual aspects of your source media, such as brightness and contrast, color, noise levels, and interlacing. Audio effects modify sound aspects in your source media, such as dynamic range, peaking, and equalizer effects.

To add an effect to an output file, you add the effect to a setting and then use that setting to output your source file. You can view both the source file and a preview of the transcoded file in the preview area.

Important: As with other properties you add to a setting, effects you add to a built-in setting are not saved for future use. If you want to save the effects you apply to a setting, you must create a custom setting by duplicating the built-in setting that contains the effects. For more information, see Create and work with custom settings.

Add a video or audio effect

  1. Do one of the following:

    • In the batch area, click an output row to select a setting that is part of a job.

    • In the Settings pane, select a custom setting from the Custom area. (If the Settings pane is hidden, press Shift-Command-1.)

  2. In the Video inspector or Audio inspector, choose an item from the Add Video Effect pop-up menu or from the Add Audio Effect pop-up menu.

    If the inspector pane is not visible, click the Inspector button in the upper-right corner of the Compressor window.

    After you choose an effect from the pop-up menu, its adjustable properties appear at the bottom of the inspector. For detailed information about these properties, see Video effects and Audio effects. You can apply multiple video and audio effects. When you add an effect, a checkmark appears beside the effect name in the pop-up menu.

  3. Preview effects that you’ve added to a setting by clicking the Play button in the preview area.

    Because effects may interact in unexpected ways, be sure to preview the transcoded file each time you add an effect.

    Note: Depending on your system, the source media file type and the number of effects in the job, the preview area showing the filter settings may update at a lower frame rate than the source frame rate.

Change the order in which effects are applied to a source file

Because effects are processed one by one during transcoding—starting with the first item in the list—it’s important that you order the effects appropriately. For example, it’s sensible to place a text overlay effect last in your list of effects so that its text color isn’t modified by other effects.

If you preview the transcoded file and don’t like the results of an effect, you can try reordering the effects in the effects list to improve the results of the transcoded file.

  • Select an effect and drag it to new location in the list of effects at the bottom of the Video or Audio inspector.

Turn an effect off or on

After adding an effect to a setting, you can turn its properties off or on. This can be useful when previewing an effect.

  • Click the activation checkbox next to the effect properties. When the checkbox is highlighted blue, the effect is turned on. When the checkbox is black, the effect is turned off.

Remove an effect from a setting

  • Choose a checkmarked item from the Add Video Effect pop-up menu (at the bottom of the Video inspector) or the Add Audio Effect pop-up menu (at the bottom of the Audio Inspector).

    The effect’s properties are removed from the list below the pop-up menu.