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Encoding advice for downloadable videos

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Johnny Allen
Encoding advice for downloadable videos
on May 29, 2015 at 8:42:30 pm

I record and upload gameplay videos for YouTube and am considering hosting some videos for higher quality downloads for those who are interested. However, I'm having some trouble finding a happy medium for very good looking videos vs reasonable file sizes.

The videos will be 1920x1080, 60 FPS and tend to have quite a lot of movement. I've tried lowering the resolution to 1280x720 but wasn't happy with the clarity, possibly because the original recording was as 1080p?

I'm using Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12 and have mostly been experimenting with the MainConcept and WMV codecs. VBR 40/30 Mbps looks great (duh) but obviously create very large files (about 200 megs/minute.)

Should I be using different codecs? Any other settings I should be looking at to improve my quality:size ratio?

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Norman Black
Re: Encoding advice for downloadable videos
on May 30, 2015 at 12:44:06 am

Your best bet for smallest size, and universal playability, is probably AVC/H.264 video. Mainconcept AVC is a choice here. Use two pass mode to possibly improve the quality.

To get the absolute best quality at the smallest file size you should use the x264 AVC encoder. x264 is a much higher quality encoder than anything else. The Handbrake utility uses x264 and is easy to use.

Your best option here would be to use the CRF encoding mode. You need to find a CRF value that gives you the general visual quality you like from some tests, then use that for your encodes and the file size will be whatever it comes out to be. CRF is a constant visual quality mode so the final bitrate is unknown.

You will want to use some high quality intermediate format to encode from Movie Studio and feed to Handbrake.

If you can drop to 30p from 60p you can save a bunch of file size on fast moving action.

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