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Terrible animation compression issues on Vimeo + Youtube

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Anita Fontaine
Terrible animation compression issues on Vimeo + Youtube
on Oct 27, 2015 at 2:52:45 pm

Hi everyone! This is my first post :)
I just finished an animation and I'm having real trouble getting it look good on Vimeo (and youtube), it's looking ultra compressed! We have tried following all the Vimeo guidelines here to no avail :( And we have even tried re-rendering the video and in After Effects blurring the background. I'm pretty desperate at this point as the project is set to go live next week, and tempted not to put it on Vimeo (or online!) at all because of this.

If you think you can help in anyway, here are the videos I have put up so you can check them out >
Would love if anyone has any suggestions at all?!

https://vimeo.com/142927579 - 1080p export from media encoder
https://vimeo.com/142794639 - following vimeo guidelines
https://vimeo.com/143029229 - blurred background version

all passwords= bae

Thanks a million,

Anita
http://www.anitafontaine.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Terrible animation compression issues on Vimeo + Youtube
on Oct 27, 2015 at 7:23:48 pm

Ideally compressors may need to be tweaked for animation because there's large expanses of similar colors.

Handbrake might offer you more control but someone with animation experience might know the specifics. A long while back I had a friend who was the compressionist at the Cartoon Network and he said it would take hours of testing to come up with a custom setting.

Of course Vimeo and YouTube bulk encode so no matter how good you do, they'll butcher it.

You could try uploading a ProRes version but I'm not sure if that would really be an advantage.

Also it's not clear what settings you actually used. I had to make assumptions and even when you say "Vimeo guidelines" I can't be sure you've interpreted them correctly. Of course I think their guidelines are for "live action" more so than your live/animation mix.

I do think you should have a look at Handbrake but keep in mind there's little you can do to prevent the Online Butcher, if that's where the problem lies.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Terrible animation compression issues on Vimeo + Youtube
on Oct 27, 2015 at 7:32:14 pm

Vimeo Guidelines for those who need the reference.
https://vimeo.com/help/compression

For 720p25
10,000 kbps
CABAC
High Profile
1 KeyFrame/s



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Craig Seeman
Re: Terrible animation compression issues on Vimeo + Youtube
on Oct 27, 2015 at 7:42:14 pm

I downloaded what Vimeo identified as your source file from your "following vimeo guidelines" link.
The data rate is certainly extremely high at about 185.5Mbps. It's 1080p25
But it's not CABAC and it's Main not High Profile.

It looks like it might be all I frame as well as opposed to a GOP (IBP with an I frame once per second) so that's not the most efficient use of bits.

Maybe I don't have the correct source file but this file wouldn't be Vimeo Guidelines.
I'm looking at bae-test-01.



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Anita Fontaine
Re: Terrible animation compression issues on Vimeo + Youtube
on Oct 27, 2015 at 8:28:20 pm

Thanks for your reply Craig!
There's a possibility I was confused, but hearing so many different things.
I tried exporting as the "vimeo" settings option in media encoder I think to get that one.
As you stated Vimeo guidelines are :

For 720p25
10,000 kbps
CABAC
High Profile
1 KeyFrame/s

But are you saying you know of a variation of this for animation specific work?

Thanks!


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Craig Seeman
Re: Terrible animation compression issues on Vimeo + Youtube
on Oct 27, 2015 at 9:46:29 pm

I looked at your Media Encoder version and it looks like it hits Vimeo specs.

My hunch is, unfortunately, that the problem might be on Vimeo's encoding.
I see it struggles between the character's skin and the animation backgrounds which have flat blocks of color. You're own encode looks good and it doesn't seem bit starved in any way that would make those frames worse off.

I think their encoder may be facing problems trying to handle two extremes in a single frame, parts of solids (background) and subtle gradient detail (skin) as well as the edging.

You may want to bring this up in Vimeo's support forum.

I can post the specific frames where it's easy to see the problems and you can show them but I'm not sure if you want me to post your before and after frames which make the problem clear.



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Anita Fontaine
Re: Terrible animation compression issues on Vimeo + Youtube
on Oct 28, 2015 at 8:49:26 am

Thank you Craig, really appreciate your help!

Did you also see this version? final-blur-v4..I'm also thinking this version where we blurred the background is maybe the best?

These were the comments I got from vimeo support yesterday on the matter by the way..

One thing to keep in mind is that not all kinds of video compress the same. You may notice that the following types of videos result in higher levels of artifacts or other visual imperfections:
+ Slow, gradual pans
+ Abrupt motion, or prolonged rapid movement
+ High levels of grain
+ Moving or shifting particulate
+ Fades in and out

Wondering if there's anything left to try- You tube version looks even worse..
Maybe I can find a custom player which looks better to at least post on my site?

It's so disappointing! :(

A


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Craig Seeman
Re: Terrible animation compression issues on Vimeo + Youtube
on Oct 28, 2015 at 8:04:44 pm
Last Edited By Craig Seeman on Oct 28, 2015 at 8:08:12 pm

[Anita Fontaine] "One thing to keep in mind is that not all kinds of video compress the same. You may notice that the following types of videos result in higher levels of artifacts or other visual imperfections:
+ Slow, gradual pans
+ Abrupt motion, or prolonged rapid movement
+ High levels of grain
+ Moving or shifting particulate
+ Fades in and out"


Basically an encoder looks within and across frames to toss out repeated data to reduce file size. If there's rapidly changing data from frame to frame (and this include grain/noise) it will try to preserve those but only within the limits of the targeted data rate with some variability (based on Variable or Constant bit rate settings).

This means areas where there's large amounts of change from frame to frame are most susceptible to problems. Upping the data rate often fixes that. Your encodes certainly look good so it's their encode that seems to be the problem. I'd say this especially since you've tried both meeting their spec and doing a very high all I Frame encode as sources for them.

In your case I believe the issue goes beyond that though. In addition, I believe encoders uses analysis of the content to do its work. Mixing flat and and gradient (your subject's skin for example) in a frame can also cause problems. That's why I think you should show them the specific frames but, my hunch, they're not going to tweak their encoder for your video. I can post parts of two frames if you'd like but, again, I don't think they're going to accommodate the issue.

[Anita Fontaine] "Did you also see this version? final-blur-v4..I'm also thinking this version where we blurred the background is maybe the best? "

It does look the best because the blur makes the background most similar to your character since the background is less flat.

[Anita Fontaine] "Maybe I can find a custom player which looks better to at least post on my site?"

You should be able to host your own encodes if your website host supports that or, otherwise, find a professional service beyond Vimeo (or YouTube). There are services that support custom encoding.



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Ivan Myles
Re: Terrible animation compression issues on Vimeo + Youtube
on Nov 18, 2015 at 11:30:43 pm

I agree the issue is bitrate starving. Low bitrates on Vimeo/YouTube can't keep up.

Anita, you can upload and embed high bitrate videos using the Internet Archive (archive.org).


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