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Trouble making small MP4s similar quality to large MOVs

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Daniel Obzejta
Trouble making small MP4s similar quality to large MOVs
on Jan 17, 2014 at 9:12:13 pm

Hey everyone,

I know similar problems have been fleshed out before, but the unique kinks of my issue have been frustrating enough to convince me to ask you all for your advice.

I'm delivering some animations for a client who needs the videos to be MP4s at H.264 so that they can stream on their site. The target aspect ratio is 1440x810. These clips are in the 5 - 10 second range, and should be 3 - 6 MB large for the final delivery.

I'm working on a Mac running OS X 10.9.1. I did the animations using keyframes in Adobe After Effects CS5. The composition settings were 1440x810, square pixels. I exported the videos at best quality, full resolution, same size, quicktime format, and I chose the H.264 codec (instead of animation).

From there, I've been trying a slew of settings in both Adobe Media Encoder and MPEG Streamclip, to mixed results-- none of them acceptable to deliver to my employer. The closest I've gotten is with Media Encoder with these settings:

Format: H.264
Multiplexing: MP4
Stream Compatibility: Standard
Profile: High
Level: 5.1 (So I can change the aspect ratio to be 1440x810 instead of 1280x720)
Target Bitrate: 5
Maximum Bitrate: 7 (Low enough so the file size stays around 3 MB)

I've tried many different versions of those settings, and viewing in them in Quicktime, MPEG Streamclip, and VLC shows the videos to be overly pixelated, with choppy motion, and with the last split second cut off (I have already made sure to select "entire clip" for the source range).

I don't know if my issue is arising from these export settings, or if it goes back far enough to my composition settings in AE.

Any help is appreciated!!

Thanks so much,
Dan


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Eric Strand
Re: Trouble making small MP4s similar quality to large MOVs
on Jan 17, 2014 at 10:38:37 pm

You're double compressing your videos - once when you export them as H.264 out of After Effects and then again in Adobe Media Encoder or whatever other program. Try exporting out of After Effects as an animation or ProRes4444, then give Handbrake a try; it uses a better implementation of the H264 codec. It might give you problems when trying to set the size at 1440x810 though, not sure. If your file is 10 seconds and you're shooting for 6MB, calculations show you're going to want a 4.6-4.8 bitrate. Then set the x264 tune drop down to animation.

@ericstrand11


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Daniel Obzejta
Re: Trouble making small MP4s similar quality to large MOVs
on Jan 17, 2014 at 11:14:33 pm

Hey Eric, you're totally right about the double compression, and you're totally right about handbrake handling H264 better. Thanks man, I really appreciate your help!


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Eric Strand
Re: Trouble making small MP4s similar quality to large MOVs
on Jan 18, 2014 at 8:19:15 pm

Awesome, glad to hear it, and thanks for checking off the solution button.

@ericstrand11


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