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jenny gold
Handbrake neat settings to share and your thoughts
on Sep 5, 2014 at 6:42:00 pm
Last Edited By jenny gold on Sep 5, 2014 at 6:43:36 pm

I had a file size once rendered in vegas pro 13 with numerous effects that was 785mb (12 mins) added into handbrake and was only 68mb when completed by handbrake and still neat quality from what I could see (as a newbie vegas pro and to video editing...)

This maye helpful what the chap used setting wise for others re handbrake hence my post but would like the pros to jump in and keen on their thoughts re his settings used see his video below.

So, I first rendered in vegas pro everything to MainConcept AVC using the Internet HD 720p template for web delivery and youtube.

I then used Handbrake on it ....I simply followed this chaps settings over on youtube he used for handbrake I was impressed BUT would like more professional opinions on his choice please and feedback on it see his specific settings at:







many thanks
Jenny


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Norman Black
Re: Handbrake neat settings to share and your thoughts
on Sep 5, 2014 at 7:25:39 pm

The size of your rendered file is completely dependent on the rendered bitrate chosen. It has nothing to do with the encoder you use.

That said, some encoders are better than others. The main encoder in Handbrake that people are suing is x264. This is an AVC/H.264 encoder just like the Mainconcept AVC and Sony AVC encoders native to Vegas. At lower bitrates the x264 encoder will look better than to encoders in Vegas, when all are outputting the same bitrate. At high bitrates they all look the same. Higher bitrate means higher visual quality within the same encoder.

I would recommend that if you use Handbrake, do not use the Advanced tab. The standard presets designed by the developers of x264 are good. They are smarter than you or I in what all the individual options do.

The standard presets go from faster to slower encoding speed. The standard recommendation is use the slowest you can bear. Does this faster to slower speed mean lesser to better visual quality. Yes and No. If you are using the CRF bitrate mode then NO. If you are using the average bitrate mode then YES.

With CRF bitrate mode you do not control what the resultant bitrate of the file is but are specifying a roughly constant visual quality.

So in CRF mode using a slower encode preset will give a smaller file than a faster preset.

There is so much to say about file encoding, but I'll stop here. There is stuff online you can read and you can ask questions here.

What do I do?
For uploading to Smugmug (my equal to Youtube), I render a file using Sony AVC at about 2X the bitrate that Smugmug re-encodes to (3.2Mbps main profile). That is excessive but this is still only 6.4-7Mbs bitrate at 720p30.

I have used Handbrake at High profile, fast/faster preset, crf 26/27. I have also used two pass average bitrate at about 5-6Mbps, High profile, medium preset. But these modes require I render a high quality intermediate from Vegas to use in Handbrake. The single render from Vegas is just quicker.

For files I playback on my media PC, I want MAX quality so I do use the x264 encoder and I use, High profile, Medium Preset, CRF 22. This results in high bitrate files.

For high quality intermediate files to use with Handbrake I have used the free DNxHD codec. You don't want to use "normal" type renders to Handbrake. Others you can use are XAVC-S (not XAVC) or XDCAM EX 35Mbps.


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jenny gold
Re: Handbrake neat settings to share and your thoughts
on Sep 5, 2014 at 7:59:08 pm
Last Edited By jenny gold on Sep 5, 2014 at 8:00:20 pm

Wow thanks Norman...useful feedback very kind of you and some a bit over my head huge newbie to all this )-:
So can I check in with you here please:

when in Vegas (I use pro 13) and it comes to render for using websites or youtube I presume I still use that to render and can carry on with the MainConcept AVC using the Internet HD 720p template I was using?
(any other settings to select while in this template or would you suggest another one and which one and settings)
Then I presume bring that render file into handbrake and use handbrakes the standard setting for it not any advnaced settings correct?

let me know
many thnaks
Jenny

Jenny gold


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Norman Black
Re: Handbrake neat settings to share and your thoughts
on Sep 5, 2014 at 10:14:09 pm

Mainconcept AVC Internet 720p30 is 8Mbps average bitrate. This works but is excessive, IMO. You can customize that template and go lower to get a smaller upload, like I do as previous described. Places like Youtube re-encode the file to around 2.8-3.2Mbps.

If you render a low bitrate like the "Internet" templates, then DO NOT re-encode this low bitrate file in Handbrake for something even smaller. You have already lost of detail and will lose more with a re-encode.

Either encode directly to something smaller by changing the bitrate in the template(s) and upload that. Or encode to a high quality, very large file, intermediate to feed Handbrake for you final encode. The encode to an intermediate loses basically nothing and then your final encode in Handbrake is the only place you get any loss you might notice. I gave some options in my previous post about intermediate encodes. Of course, you do get some loss since the online video service re-encodes everything we upload.

The templates in Vegas are good starting points, and the Internet ones are conservative, in my opinion, and you can get some smaller uploads. If that matters to you, then customize them for your specific needs. That is what I do as stated in my previous post. Additionally I bump the audio bitrate up to 192Kbps since the online services are going to re-encode audio as well as video.

Here are some page the online services give for guidelines for encoding.
https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1722171?hl=en
http://vimeo.com/help/compression

Take everything I say as a guideline for your own judgement and testing. The final and best judge is always your own eyes.


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Norman Black
Re: Handbrake neat settings to share and your thoughts
on Sep 5, 2014 at 10:48:43 pm
Last Edited By Norman Black on Sep 5, 2014 at 10:53:11 pm

Let me lay out how I came to my conclusions. The the sake of argument lets say the online service encodes to 3Mbps AVC.

I encode to XDCAM EX 35Mbps and this is my intermediate for Handbrake.

I encode using Sony AVC 720p30 to High profile 3Mbps. Save that.
I encode using handbrake to High profile 3Mbps, two pass.

Visually compare those. The Sony AVC will not be near the quality of the Handbrake (x264) encode. Both are using AVC/H.264 encodes. We all know that some brands of cars are better than others. The same is true for encoders, that are encoding to the same encoding "language". In this case AVC (H.264). x264 AVC goes farther on a gallon of gas (aka bitrate) than Sony AVC does.

Now I encode Sony AVC at a higher bitrate. Say 50% higher, 4.5Mbps, and compare that to the 3Mbps Handbrake encode. At some point the Sony AVC, with more bitrate (more gas) will look the same (drive as far) as the Handbrake encode.

x264 is the encoder that the online services use. I think Mainconcept is a little better than Sony AVC. x264 better than both. You can always get the same visual quality out of all of them. Some encoders need a little more bitrate than others for a "constant" visual quality.

As previously stated I am doubling the bitrate my online service encodes to. I use Sony AVC because it is faster on my particular machine. That is very conservative amount, and comes to about 6.5Mbps. If I REALLY wanted to get smaller uploads I could push it to maybe 50%, but I just do not want to bother. 6.5Mbps is a very manageable upload. Conservative and no worries, ever.

I compare the online service result to the video uploaded. The upload is always a bit better than the result. The result is fixed by the encoded bitrate. Uploading something twice as good as the result and 10 times as good will get the same results. The 10 times bigger one will just take longer to upload.

And as stated for my home playback, I do not care about file size and go for quality at CRF 22.


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jenny gold
Re: Handbrake neat settings to share and your thoughts
on Sep 6, 2014 at 1:34:23 am
Last Edited By jenny gold on Sep 6, 2014 at 1:38:12 am

Hi Norman,

ok so my understanding is from your reply (bare with me I am brand new to all this video editing sony vegas etc)

so you know I am needing final render for either websites or youtube

I have attached screen shot of my render adjusted bit rate settings...so are they correct to use final render to upload to youtube?
are there some other settings here also I should do - if so please let me know



You said no need to further use handbrake if my bit rate is adjusted as handbrake reduces even more so defeats the object
(UNLESS I use a very high render setting in Vegas and bring that in for handbrake to do its work and reduce it to final out put

from my understanding what you are saying Youtube adjusts the bit rate right down anyways and when it was originally set in vegas at 8mbps it was to high and overkill

My project property settings in vegas pro 13 has the option of:
pixel format 8 bit
or 32 bit floating point either (full range) or 32 (video levels)
which should I use?

I am a little confused need to clarify please

1) you suggested as an option if at all I was going to use handbrake then have high settings set for render in vegas and bring that into handbrake. Because handbrake will reduce this down and bit rate etc as final rendered version .

and my understanding what you were saying is that handbrake version ends up being a better quality then had I just used sony vegas pro main concept render setting and the 3mbps I may have even used?
have I got that correct in what my understanding you were saying ?

Which begs the question:
Is the final quality using handbrake final version noticeable quite bit compared to say only using vegas to render ?
(at the above settings and screen shot I have and 3mbps you suggested for youtube)




Jenny gold


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Norman Black
Re: Handbrake neat settings to share and your thoughts
on Sep 6, 2014 at 3:58:17 am

[jenny gold] "I have attached screen shot of my render adjusted bit rate settings...so are they correct to use final render to upload to youtube?
are there some other settings here also I should do - if so please let me know"


No, they are not correct, but more on that later in this post.

[jenny gold] "from my understanding what you are saying Youtube adjusts the bit rate right down anyways and when it was originally set in vegas at 8mbps it was to high and overkill "

Youtube re-encodes everything we upload to their specifications. I have not tested in a while but in the past it has been around 3Mbps, main profile. 8Mbps out of Mainconcept AVC or Sony AVC is just fine for upload, but many people want to minimize their upload time. The Vegas encoders do not need 2.6 times the bitrate to keep a similar quality to what YT will give. I have stated multiple times I have been using 2x with Sony AVC which is still a little overkill, IMO, but I am fine with that.

[jenny gold] "My project property settings in vegas pro 13 has the option of:
pixel format 8 bit
or 32 bit floating point either (full range) or 32 (video levels)
which should I use?"


Let Vegas match your project setting to your media settings. It will be 8-bit I am sure.

[jenny gold] "1) you suggested as an option if at all I was going to use handbrake then have high settings set for render in vegas and bring that into handbrake. Because handbrake will reduce this down and bit rate etc as final rendered version .

and my understanding what you were saying is that handbrake version ends up being a better quality then had I just used sony vegas pro main concept render setting and the 3mbps I may have even used?
have I got that correct in what my understanding you were saying ?

Which begs the question:
Is the final quality using handbrake final version noticeable quite bit compared to say only using vegas to render ?


I am not sure what you are asking here.
What I said was that if you want to use Handbrake for your renders then give Handbrake the best quality file you can. I gave a couple of encode options. XDCAM EX 35Mbps and XAVC-S (not XAVC).
Using Handbrake for your final renders is a common practice and I do it myself for some things.

[jenny gold] "(at the above settings and screen shot I have and 3mbps you suggested for youtube)"

I NEVER suggested a 3Mbps encode setting for Youtube. You have taken my 3Mbps comment WAY out of context. Which brings me back to the start. I am sorry I have failed trying to explain my encoding views. Apparently I have only confused you and I do not know how to state things any differently. Just because I understand things a bit and have tested things does not mean I can explain it. I was probably too pedantic which probably clouded what I was saying.

As for your settings screen shot. IF you want to go for an approx doubling of the typical video service bitrate which is what I have said that I normally do, then you can try these settings for MC AVC.

High profile, average bitrate 6Mbps, Max bitrate 12Mbps. I am not sure why you set both values to the same value in your screen shot. The default templates typically set the max bitrate to about 2x the average average. One would think that if you change the average you keep the same ratio between the two. You can set slices to 1. It can result in better compression and thus quality. Two pass should give a bit better quality but at twice the encode time. I normally skipped that. As per Youtube/Vimeo recommendations I would set the audio bitrate to something higher than the Vegas default of 128K. I personally use 192K. The YT page recommends 384k.

The MC AVC encoder will not give you exactly the average bitrate you request in the template. Two pass is closest, and two pass CPU only is very ideal. This is not too critical but I am being pedantic again.

Handbrake in average bitrate mode is always ideal. In CRF mode the resultant bitrate is unspecified and unknown. If encoding with Handbrake your upload file bitrate can be very nearly the resultant video service bitrate. This is because the Handbrake quality will be same or probably a little better than the video service encode. Not true for the Vegas AVC encoders at the same bitrate.

I upload 5-10 minute videos. It is quicker for me to encode once in Vegas and upload something a bigger, than encode in Vegas and then encode that result in Handbrake and then upload the file.

Your eyes are the one and only true judge as to what is good enough quality.


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Graham Bernard
Re: Handbrake neat settings to share and your thoughts
on Sep 6, 2014 at 5:29:57 am
Last Edited By Graham Bernard on Sep 6, 2014 at 5:40:21 am

Norman - thanks for all of your input. There's much there I can understand and use for myself - Thank you!
Question1: Have you tried the Upload to YouTube option, directly from within VegasPro? Have you any idea just what Vegas is using? What would YT then be using to re-encode - if it does?

Question2: I've been using the NEW automatic/One-Click Vegas >> Frameserver >> Handbrake >> Vegas that Marco has provided for us. I like it lots! Any thoughts on using your recipes to intervene to make a BETTER YT option?
TIA

Grazie

Video Content Creator and Potter
PC 7 64-bit 16gb * Intel® Core™i7-2600k Quad Core 3.40GHz * 2GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 560 Ti
Cameras: Canon XF300 + PowerShot SX50HS Bridge


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Dave Osbun
Re: Handbrake neat settings to share and your thoughts
on Sep 6, 2014 at 5:05:27 pm

+1 Graham!

I always learn when reading Norman's posts (and others as well), yet in the end I usually just feel even more stupid!

That's why you guys are the pros, and I'm just a hobbyist.

__
Dave


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Norman Black
Re: Handbrake neat settings to share and your thoughts
on Sep 6, 2014 at 7:56:39 pm
Last Edited By Norman Black on Sep 6, 2014 at 11:47:30 pm

[Graham Bernard] "Question1: Have you tried the Upload to YouTube option, directly from within VegasPro? Have you any idea just what Vegas is using? What would YT then be using to re-encode - if it does?"

I have never looked at that option in Vegas. Some online have said it uses Mainconcept AVC as the encoder, which I have every reason to believe. I have no idea what encoding settings it uses. I would bet they are probably conservative, much like the "Internet" templates.

Youtube uses x264 to re-encode. They always re-encode. All online services are like this. They do not officially state the encoded bitrate target for their result. They only give suggested upload specs, and these are higher than their result file. I have used capture programs to DL the streamed file and use MediaInfo to dig into the encode specs of the online host.

Since they always re-encode I like to upload something that will be a bit better quality wise that what I get back. My view is to let the encoder have enough information so that it makes the best compromise decisions to encode the video within the allowed bitrate.

[Graham Bernard] "Question2: I've been using the NEW automatic/One-Click Vegas >> Frameserver >> Handbrake >> Vegas that Marco has provided for us. I like it lots! Any thoughts on using your recipes to intervene to make a BETTER YT option?"

I to have also been frameserving from Vegas recently. But I have been serving to ffmpeg.

When using Handbrake (aka x264) to encode for online uploads I feel VERY safe getting my upload bitrate close to the result bitrate. I would not upload at the host result bitrate as I would like to be conservative. Maybe 25-33% above the online service bitrate. I know Smugmug. I have only experimented with Youtube a little while ago, but the bitrate was similar with YT being a little lower than Smugmug, but at better encode settings. Smugmug has recently improved their encode settings.

Online service 720p30 bitrates are around 3Mbps. When they do not spec the encode result it takes a little testing to figure this value out. They typically encode with two pass average bitrate mode. I would feel safe/conservative uploading something 4-4.5Mbps average, High profile, from Handbrake.

When I used Handbrake to encode uploads I used two pass at 4.2Mbps, high profile, medium preset. I later tried the single pass CRF mode (constant perceptual quality). CRF 27-29 gave about the same bitrate as my two pass in a few test encodes.

So my recommendation would be to experiment with CRF modes to get something close to a 4-4.5Mbps average bitrate, for 720p30, across a few test encodes of your source material. Or use two pass to be exact. This assumes an approx 3Mbps host result average bitrate. Adjust as necessary.

Use High profile. Main profile is good too. It encodes faster than High, but not as small. Never baseline profile. High is "safe" when you don't know what the host is doing. I know Smugmug now supports High profile in their 1080p files, but still only supports Main in their 720p files. I do not know what Youtube currently does. I know they have used Main profile at 480 and up. When trying to minimize your upload size, I think it important to have your settings as good or better than the host online encodes.

I don't think the "tune" options are useful with lower bitrate online encodes.

With CRF mode, using better/slower encode settings does not change the quality. Only the result bitrate (aka file size). The opposite is true for average bitrate modes. Fast, Medium (default) and Slow presets are all good middle of the road choices. I think it best to avoid the advanced panel. The x264 developers are smarter than everyone else and they have provided a wide range of presets and tuning options that intelligently select all those advanced controls for us.

There are a couple of schools of thought here with CRF encoding, and there is nothing right or wrong about either. Fast encode settings and bigger files sizes. Slower encode settings and smaller file sizes. It is a balance of the speed of your computer versus the speed of your upload.

This small file encode optimization only matters if you want to minimize your upload time. Otherwise upload something big and sleep well at night. I think with too much effort we can be more efficient.

For files I have on my media PC and watch on my 55" TV. I encode with slow encode settings. High profile, Slow preset, Film tune setting and a CRF appropriate for the camera output bitrate. Only with a few test encodes can you figure out what the "appropriate" CRF value is.

Those would be my guidelines, for you to do your own tests, with your own eyes on your own source material.


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Norman Black
Re: Handbrake neat settings to share and your thoughts
on Sep 7, 2014 at 1:47:38 am

Grazie,

I forgot to mention that with Handbrake and AAC output, you should use the FDK AAC encoder. It is much better, as they document. I output LAME MP3.

With all this talk about frameserving to Handbrake, I just played around with a little frame serving to ffmpeg (same x264 encoder) playing with settings for online upload.

I came up with CRF 28 at high profile for 720p30. I got about 4.5Mbps average bitrate. I tried Fast, Medium and Slow presets. Slow took twice as long as Fast but came in at about the same bitrate and looked the same. 2:50 versus 4:50 encode time.

That was with my source material. A GoPro mounted to a mountain bike. Unlike most other peoples source material. If I had to guess, with more common source material, you could probably use a lower CRF value for a similar bitrate. My material does not compress very well.

For what it's worth here is my ffmpeg script I use to frameserve.
cd d:\renders
d:

echo AviSource("server.avi") > server.avs

c:\systools\ffmpeg32\bin\ffmpeg.exe -i server.avs -threads 0 -c:vcodec libx264 -vf scale=w=-1:h=720:flags=lanczos -preset fast -profile:v high -crf 28 -pix_fmt yuvj420p -c:a libmp3lame -qscale:a 2 output.mp4

del server.avs

pause


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jenny gold
Re: Handbrake neat settings to share and your thoughts
on Sep 6, 2014 at 6:54:36 pm

Thanks Norman for trying to explain I have to have simple basic language all this techo talk to be honest I glaze over it goes right over my head !

For me how I learn is like this: ok in this option field select this or input this in this setting choose this etc
I think I understand some of what you said....anwyways and spent ages also looking at previous posts on this forum to see others and screen shots

wow everyone has an opinion of settings for same template especially over on youtube and their tuts and choosing settings


Some insists single pass other say do 2 pass ...some insist upload to youtube go for high bit rate others says rubbish so confusing

Even this forum and some of other kind forums main team who respond here for example Stephen Mann and his main concept settings via: http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/24/972308#972349

high bit rate he went for in his screen shot max 24,000 and average 12,000

oh well many thanks for your help Norman

Jenny gold


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Norman Black
Re: Handbrake neat settings to share and your thoughts
on Sep 7, 2014 at 1:37:55 am
Last Edited By Norman Black on Sep 7, 2014 at 1:58:48 am

[jenny gold] "high bit rate he went for in his screen shot max 24,000 and average 12,000"

One very important difference here, that is a 1080p30 template and NOT 720p30. Those settings are the same as the MC AVC Internet 1080p defaults. We have been talking about 720p files. 1080 has roughly twice as many pixels to encode as 720 has. Therefore 12Mbps in 1080 is actually a little lower relative bitrate than 8Mbps in 720. It is only a 50% higher bitrate for twice as many pixels.

For a lot of source material you don't need twice the bitrate, in 1080 vs 720, to maintain similar quality but it is something of a common convention. My GoPro cameras do this. Smugmug online video does this.


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Jane Kong
Re: Handbrake neat settings to share and your thoughts
on Jan 7, 2015 at 2:28:08 am

Thx for your posting. I used Handbrake a lot. But after all , this is a free app. And sometimes , I will turn to other paid apps to finish my conversion, recently, I would like to convert my videos into H.265 which the quality is better while file size is much smaller.


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