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Compression settings for Vimeo

F Bulgarelli

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First post and all - sorry if this has been covered endlessly elsewhere, and sorry if it's Mac specific:


Something I've never understood with vimeo is exactly why, whilst publishing recommended compression settings, they re-encode everything you send them - even if you stuck rigidly to their requirements. Lately I've been having an issue with their re-enocding causing significant worsening of banding and artefacts - so much so that I've been on a hunt for a better quality H.264 encoder (than that found in Compressor).


Previously my typical Vimeo settings in compressor were:


Video: H.264 for QT


"Current" or specific fps to match source;

Key frames "auto";

Frame re-ordering;

"best" quality;

Multi pass encode;

Data rate "auto"

Streaming "fast start"


Audio: AAC


44.100 kHz

"best" quality

VBR set to "best"


I know that isn't very file size friendly but I've found that unless you give vimeo a very high quality file in the first place, their re-encode strategy can ruin a file.


However, I've recently started using x264 - which is a component for Compressor, that adds a new H.264 encoder, over which you have a great deal more control than you get with Apple's standard encoder - even to the extent of dictating exactly how long the cpu spends on the compression calcs. It's a bit of a mine-field at first, but if you stick to some of the included presets initially, you end up with files half the size of Compressor's and which have significantly better control of banding and artefacts. Here's a couple of screenshots:


This first one is Compressor, using the settings I talked about above - this was a 1.2gb file for a 5m06s video




and this next one is x264 - same sequence from Final Cut, this was 667mb for the same 5m06s video




I know it's not exactly the same frame in the images, but it's close enough - this improvement was noticeable throughout - so, now I'm using x264 to give vimeo much higher quality files, and I'm seeing a big improvement (or rather, I should say, not seeing such a degradation in quality) when they re-encode.


You can find info on the x264 component here: http://transpositionfilms.com/tech/best-compressor-settings-for-vimeo-v2 - they have a handy guide on how to get the component and some tips for using it. I've been using the "placebo" preset as I don't care too much about file size, more about quality.


Anyway, there's my two pence worth.


Cheers, Kieron.

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