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Feature Film - Small File Size


Dan Hasson
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Hello,

I'm not sure this is the right section as it seems quite an odd problem.

I am having to make a copy of my 87 minute feature film to a super small file size. It is for the US Copyright Office and they won't accept anything larger than 500mb.

I have managed to get a low res file down to 1.7gb but that's as far as I have taken it. I have tried compressing into a .zip (I use a MacBook) but that does not reduce the size at all.

A loss of quality isn't a problem as they just need a low res one to check. Has anyone encountered this and knows a way to really reduce the size?

 

Thanks,

Dan

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I tend to use ffmpeg for jobs like this, as you have fine control over everything. If you're comfortable with command line tools, you can do very well.

You probably want something like:

ffmpeg -color_range 2 -i INFILE -c:v libx264 -preset medium -crf 25 -pix_fmt yuv420p -c:a aac -vbr 4 -s 1280x720 OUTFILE

Adjust the crf parameter for less bitrate, higher is less. Run tests of a couple of minutes of footage to find a setting you like before committing to the lengthy job of compressing the whole thing.

There's probably a friendlier front end for it you could find and use that.

P

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8 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

I tend to use ffmpeg for jobs like this, as you have fine control over everything. If you're comfortable with command line tools, you can do very well.

You probably want something like:

ffmpeg -color_range 2 -i INFILE -c:v libx264 -preset medium -crf 25 -pix_fmt yuv420p -c:a aac -vbr 4 -s 1280x720 OUTFILE

Adjust the crf parameter for less bitrate, higher is less. Run tests of a couple of minutes of footage to find a setting you like before committing to the lengthy job of compressing the whole thing.

There's probably a friendlier front end for it you could find and use that.

P

Amazing, that all sounds great. I'll try that out. 

Thanks so much!

Best, Dan 

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20 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

You'll need a real encoder tool, something that can adjust frame size. 480x720 at 1.5mbps should be darn close. 

Hi Tyler,

Do you have any suggestions for one? I don't really know what a real encoder tool is.
Thanks,

Dan

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  • 2 weeks later...

HandBrake works pretty OK for heavy compressions too.

I would make it as low resolution as practical (for example about 400 something times 200 something pixels formats are still watchable) and the lowest audio bitrate possible (audio can take a lot of space at this small file sizes)

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On 6/11/2022 at 12:16 PM, Dan Hasson said:

I have tried compressing into a .zip but that does not reduce the size at all.

A "zip" compression is a true lossless compression. This is a rather simple and fast algorithm compared to lossy compression. Every lossy compression algorithm performs an additional "zip" type compression at the end of the process, as it has no drawbacks. Hence you will not gain anything significant trying to "zip" jpeg images or h264 video: the lossless compression has already been performed together with the lossy one.

For the same reason, you will gain almost nothing zipping multiple compressed images/videos. But this is an easy way to pack them.

Edited by Nicolas POISSON
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/22/2022 at 2:32 PM, aapo lettinen said:

For example if the master would be fullhd 1920x1080, one could divide the horizontal and vertical by 4 to get 480x270 final resolution. Should be perfectly ok as a low resolution screener

Thanks for this information. Sorry it has taken this long to get back!

Dan

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On 6/22/2022 at 3:14 PM, Nicolas POISSON said:

A "zip" compression is a true lossless compression. This is a rather simple and fast algorithm compared to lossy compression. Every lossy compression algorithm performs an additional "zip" type compression at the end of the process, as it has no drawbacks. Hence you will not gain anything significant trying to "zip" jpeg images or h264 video: the lossless compression has already been performed together with the lossy one.

For the same reason, you will gain almost nothing zipping multiple compressed images/videos. But this is an easy way to pack them.

Very useful information. Thank you for that. Sorry for taking this long to get back.

Thanks,

Dan

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