I am certainly no master of compression techniques, however, i would appreciate the help of someone who is. I am attempting to archive videos, mostly graphics and animation and use compressor to cut down the file size. What i'm hoping for is building a preset that is absolutely the best quality i can get outside of the original pro res hq. everything i've tried so far from apple's presets really tears up the reds. i recognize i have some high contrast images, so i can't expect miracles. just hoping i can get as close as humanly possible to the originals. basically, file size is less important than resolution, though still important.
Up front applying a lossy codec is not really "archival."
Loss is permanent.
Storage is relatively inexpensive.
The time it takes to transcode is an expense since, if you're professional, time is money.
[Tom Dempsey]"absolutely the best quality i can get outside of the original pro res hq"
There's no such "absolute" technically speaking.
Generally the best H.264 encoding is with x264, High Profile, CABAC entropy, multi-pass variable bit rate. Higher data rates and higher key frame frequency can help but there are diminishing returns on that.
Generally It makes much more economic sense to just buy more storage.
If you insist on lossy compression, what's acceptable is subjective and what you think looks great today may subjectively look bad a few years from now... even compared to H265 or maybe VP10 as it becomes more widely implemented.