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Compressing HD feature film to under 5GB

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Josh Beck
Compressing HD feature film to under 5GB
on Dec 23, 2013 at 8:10:14 pm

I need to compress my film from 128GB down to 5GB for a private Vimeo link for festival programmers.

The official Vimeo compression guidelines recommended encoding at 10,000-20,000 kbit/s for HD but since my feature film is 97 minutes, this would make a file WAY too large for the 5GB maximum my account is allowed.

In Compressor the file size estimate is never accurate so I made a guess and compressed in H.264 at 7,000 kbit/s which gave me a 4GB file. Many of the darker scenes in my film were very pixelated, so I tried to compress again at 7,200 to try and inch my way up to 5GB but the new compressed file size is even smaller than the first one. How can this be?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressing HD feature film to under 5GB
on Dec 23, 2013 at 8:38:52 pm

What were your settings in Compressor besides bit rate.
Compressor 4.1 now has High Profile CABAC encoding which might make it a bit more efficient.
Also are you targeting 720p in your encodes instead of 1080?

Alternately you can use something like HandBrake
http://handbrake.fr
which uses x264 which is more efficient (better quality at lower bit rates) than Apple's H.264.



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Josh Beck
Re: Compressing HD feature film to under 5GB
on Dec 23, 2013 at 8:51:28 pm

I was using compressor 4.0.5 so maybe I need to run an update to get that new feature.

My compression settings were very basic, but it should not matter, right? because I used the same settings for both encodes and the one with the higher rate gave me a smaller file which goes against everything I understand about compression.

Also, does compressing down to 720 really give better quality? Seems like just more work for the compressor which means more compression and lower quality rather than leaving it at native 1080. I could be totally wrong about that.

I might try handbrake though, thanks for the suggestion.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressing HD feature film to under 5GB
on Dec 23, 2013 at 8:59:34 pm

[Josh Beck] "does compressing down to 720 really give better quality?"

At the same bit rate, generally yes. More bits per pixel if you have fewer pixels.
720 at 5000kbps will look better than 1080 at 5000kbps.



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