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Re: Converting High Quality ProRes 4444 to MP4 for web

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Ryan Holmes
Re: Converting High Quality ProRes 4444 to MP4 for web
on May 27, 2015 at 2:54:08 pm

[Don Mick] "Ideally, I want the highest Quality .mp4 file from this file so that we may send off to festivals, both for prepping a dvd and for ftp/cloud uploads to festival servers. I would also like a decent filesize."

So these 2 things are in constant struggle. Quality vs. file size. They aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, but the bigger the file size generally the better quality your final product.

[Don Mick] "I wanted to export as a high quality mp4, so i matched most settings except putting level at High 4.2. can anyone tell me if this is a good recipe and if not, please recommend ideal settings to get a high quality MP4, codec H264 from a Quicktime, codec ProRes 4444?"

There's no magic bullet for this stuff. The presets in Media Encoder are a good place to start and you can tweak from there. Match settings is fine, but you'll want to focus on your data rate. The Mbps is telling the software how many bits to throw at an image. The more bits the better the image, but the larger the file size. The level is a specification dictating what the data rate range can be, and also what devices the file can play on (older devices can't play the newer, higher levels).

You'll also want to take a look at CBR vs. VBR - or Constant Bit Rate vs. Variable Bit Rate. In general a CBR will give you the best quality and the biggest file size. VBR typically will give you acceptable quality and a smaller file size. A CBR approach is going to take the data rate you've set and indiscriminately through it at the image. So if you specify 5Mbps, all 5Mb's will be used all the time. In a VBR setup, the software will attempt to use only what is necessary to define the image. So if it can use less, it'll use less. Tradeoffs for VBR - sometimes the quality isn't as good, and it takes longer since it's doing more estimation than a CBR).

These are all very general rules. There are caveats to all this, but hopefully that points you in a direction. Also take a look at YouTube and Vimeo's compression guides. Vimeo has tutorials on their site for all encoding software. This may give you some additional help:

Ryan Holmes

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