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Old December 7th, 2011, 05:10 AM   #1
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HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

Over in the http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasoni...thread-30.html thread of the "Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders" forum, Roger Shealy posted a very nice video shot with his Panny TM900. However, the Vimeo embed suffered from blocking artifacts. I asked the question, "Have you tried HandBrake for h.264 encoding?" So, rather than further hijacking that thread, I suggested we continue the discussion here.

The basis for this discussion is the following tutorial (which I've posted here before).


I was involved in this project, but he primary credit goes to "musicvid" of the Sony Creative Software Forums.

So, Roger's question is "what advantages would you expect to see following this method? [i.e. HandBrake for rendering Progressive source]"

Cutting to the chase, I did some testing, comparing Sony AVC, MainConcept & HandBrake renders at low bitrates (where differences in quality are most apparent). The results are here: HD Video for the Web - Guide for Vegas Users

Now, to address Roger's question directly - Why HandBrake? There are three reasons HandBrake renders are superior to renders directly from Sony Vegas:

1) HandBrake uses the superior x264 codec see: Sixth MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Video Codecs Comparison - Short Version
2) HandBrake resizes the image using the Lanczos resizing algorithm (Sony Vegas uses Bicubic or Bilinear).
3) HandBrake deinterlaces using yadif (Sony Vegas uses Interpolate or Blend). Although there is a yadif plugin available: yohng.com Yadif Deinterlace for Sony Vegas

Obviously, Roger's source is progressive, so point 3) doesn't apply, but 1) & 2) do.

So, that was rather long winded and rambling, but I encourage discussion and other's experiences.

...Jerry
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Old December 7th, 2011, 05:52 AM   #2
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Re: HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

Do you have some good examples of your best attempts of same footage with different codecs posted to Vimeo?
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Old December 7th, 2011, 06:38 AM   #3
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Re: HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

Here's a couple examples (I don't have a Sony AVC example).

First the MainConcept:


Next the HandBrake:


And as I mentioned earlier, at higher bitrates the difference in encoders is not as visually apparent. I'm particularly interested in low bitrate encoding because I post a lot of videos as locally hosted using JW Player - and I want to get he best quality with the lowest bitrate.

In any case, this entire subject has been discussed in excruciating detail here: Sony Creative Software - Forums - Vegas Pro - Video Messages If you're not a member there, suggest you sign up so you can view the embedded images.

...Jerry
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Old December 7th, 2011, 07:00 AM   #4
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Re: HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

One more thing, HandBrake is free and open source, and can be found here: HandBrake

...Jerry
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Old December 7th, 2011, 02:43 PM   #5
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Re: HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Amende View Post
...Why HandBrake? There are three reasons HandBrake renders are superior to renders directly from Sony Vegas:

1) HandBrake uses the superior x264 codec see: Sixth MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Video Codecs Comparison - Short Version
2) HandBrake resizes the image using the Lanczos resizing algorithm (Sony Vegas uses Bicubic or Bilinear).
3) HandBrake deinterlaces using yadif (Sony Vegas uses Interpolate or Blend). Although there is a yadif plugin available: yohng.com Yadif Deinterlace for Sony Vegas...
As a close follower of various other threads, I can say that I've put these methods to the test, with comparisons to various other h.264 encoders/codecs, including MS (expression), Sorenson and Apple, as well as Sony and MainConcept. x264 is superior in quality for a given bitrate, as well as very fast on the encodes. The resize and deinterlace methods are also demonstrably superior, as Jerry says.

The takeaway for me is that Handbrake provides a superior MP4 with minimal pain. The batching ain't bad, either. I still use other encoding products that are more versatile than HB, but that one workflow is very broadly applicable for current methods of online distribution.

I've incorporated use of Handbrake into the college class I teach on compression and streaming, and use it myself for iOS, Silverlight, and Flash distributions.

HB is not the only product to use the x264 encoder, but it's really very good, not a bad GUI, and free!

Jerry may not have done all the benchmarking and examination of alternative vegas workflows, but he's done a lot of them and has been very involved in getting the word out - thanks!
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Old December 7th, 2011, 06:41 PM   #6
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Re: HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

I'm a big fan of the "Better" method; but I use somewhat different settings. Partly this is because I start with progressive video - all of my recent clips come from a pair of Panasonic cams that shoot progressive. If I must include older or imported interlaced video, I use the Smart Deinterlace plugin from within Vegas 32-bit versions (usually Vegas 9e) so that all my clips on the project TL will be progressive. By sending progressive clips into Handbrake, there is no need for the Decomb filter (nor any other filters) in the Video Filters tab.

I also use Sony .MXF instead of DNxHD. The latter is technically superior, and it does support stereo - the .MXF files use one or the other of the stereo channels, but not both. However, the file size is much smaller with .MXF, and the render is a bit faster, as I recall.

The lack of stereo? Not a problem for me, as I want to post low-bitrate video and I don't want to waste extra bits on audio for minimal benefit. For that reason, I set my Audio tab to 32 kbs mono when I'm going to post to my own website:

http://www.torealize.net/files/HB-Au...rMyWebsite.jpg

I also have had problems with high-motion areas becoming torn with the settings shown in the Advanced tab of the tutorial video. Instead, I use these settings to avoid that problem - both for sites such as YT, and for my own website:

http://www.torealize.net/files/handb...dvancedTab.jpg

For greater control of bitrate, I use the Average Bitrate option instead of the slider:

http://www.torealize.net/files/Handbrake-videoTab.jpg

For ordinary 720p videos, I set it to 500 kbps for my own website playback (2500 if uploading to YT or Vimeo). You can see a sample of the picture quality at the 500 kbps bitrate here (be sure to click the full-screen button):

Encounter with

You can also see the same video on Vimeo (worse image quality, even though higher bitrate - as I recall):


Last edited by Larry Reavis; December 7th, 2011 at 06:51 PM. Reason: added vimeo link
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Old December 16th, 2011, 07:38 PM   #7
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Re: HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

I finally got the JWplayer to give me video that my daughter's iPhone can play by means of HTML5. I also got the Levels to work, so now start with the .MXF file from Vegas which I then encode to 3 bitrate .MP4s in Handbrake - typically 500 kbps for 1280x720 video, 150 kbps for 640x360 pixels, and 80 kbps for 360x208 pixels (someone on this forum once said that some internet cafe WiFi connections are that slow).

And, instead of coding directly into my (free) nVu HTML editor, I use Notepad (the trouble with nVu is that it sometimes allows the coding to continue in long lines that run beyond the edge of the screen - requiring scrolling). Here's a sample from Notepad (from which I then select all, copy, then paste into nVu):

-------------------------------

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<html><head>


<title>"Kriya Yoga and physics"</title><meta name="title" content="This is the explanation of Kriya Yoga in terms of quantum physics.">

<meta name="description" content="I finally was able to accept the claims of Yoganandaji by studying quantum physics.">

<link rel="image_src" href="http://www.torealize.net/images/Yogananda.jpg%20">

<script src="http://ajax.microsoft.com/ajax/jquery/jquery-1.4.4.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="js/jquery.simplemodal-1.4.1.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="/jwplayer/jwplayer.js"></script></head>
<body topmargin="0" leftmargin="0" style="margin: 0pt; color: rgb(0, 0, 102); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);" alink="#006600" link="#0000cc" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" vlink="#ff0000">
<div id="container">Loading the player ... <script type="text/javascript"> jwplayer("container").setup({ autostart: true, flashplayer: "/jwplayer/player.swf", volume: 80, height: 270,
width: 480, skin: "/skins/modieus.zip", image: "/images/Yogananda.jpg", levels:
[ { bitrate: 80, file: "http://www.torealize.net/video/2physics360.mp4",
width: 360 }, { bitrate: 200, file: "http://www.torealize.net/video/2physics640.mp4",
width: 640 }, { bitrate: 800, file: "http://www.torealize.net/video/2physics.mp4",
width: 640 }], provider: "http", "http.startparam":"starttime" }); </script> </div>

</body></html>

-------------------------

Notice that I put each bitrate paired right next to the .MP4 filename - per the .PDF that comes with the JWplayer download. I do it this way just to keep it easy to keep track of all the parameters in one place for each bitrate.

In order to use these low bitrates, again I emphasize how important it is to clean up all noise in Vegas with Smart Smoother or some similar noise-reduction plugin before rendering. By doing that and rendering some really low bitrate .MP4s along with the higher bitrate ones, your video should play on almost anything (Flash-enabled browsers or HTML5), play almost everywhere even if the web connection is slow without buffering except for the first few moments, and look really sharp on fast web connections when watched full-screen.

incidentally, I could not get video on the iPhone until I added the skin - I know not why. The skin that I downloaded, modieus, is free for non-commercial work. Just put the .zip file into a folder named "skins" in your root directory, and it will automatically load.

Here's what the above coding looks like:

"Kriya Yoga and physics"

Last edited by Larry Reavis; December 16th, 2011 at 07:42 PM. Reason: added comment regarding skins
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Old December 17th, 2011, 06:32 AM   #8
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Re: HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

Good stuff, Larry - you might also check out the JW Player "modes" parameter.

JW Embedder Modes | LongTail Video | Home of the JW Player

btw, one of the real complications in this lack of standardization is that one must have a cadre of devices to test on - ipads, Androids, tablets, etc. etc.

...Jerry
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Old December 17th, 2011, 07:23 PM   #9
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Re: HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

Jerry: thanks for the "modes" tip.

Yes, I wish I had a tablet so I could test on the latest Android. Unfortunately, the phone version of Android only goes up to 2.3.7 - which I just installed on my cheap GT 540 (the HTML5 wouldn't work on it).

However, Android is now near the end of updated a unified version 4 that works on both the phones and the tablets - no longer will Android have two versions. Hopefully, some brave soul will modify it so that it will work on my phone - the way that a fellow in Bulgaria released the ROM that I just installed. As I recall, it was 18 steps and some who have tried this (and similar unofficial) upgrades have bricked their phones. But all went well for me, even though I was disappointed that it still would not play my HTML5.

Fortunately, Android claims that V4 will finally get all HTML5 to work properly. I hope I can get it soon . . .
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Old December 24th, 2011, 09:24 AM   #10
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Re: HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

Sadly Vimeo files will not play on an Android Tablet as of today. Will Vimeo play on an Ipad 2?
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Old January 6th, 2012, 06:04 AM   #11
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Re: HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

If I start with 1080p footage shot at 24 (well 23.976) fps from a Canon DSLR (7D and 60D), what settings should I use? The tutorial said 1080i 145 8-bit, but the only options for 1080p 23.976 that are close are 175 8-bit or 115 8-bit. Which one should I use?

Also why are settings for your own website playback different than for YouTube or Vimeo?

Thanks!
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Old January 6th, 2012, 01:29 PM   #12
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Re: HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

In the DNxHD configuration there is a setting "1080p/23.976 DNxHD 175-8bit" - use that. Then create a custom Quicktime Template that looks like the attached image (i.e. 24.976 progressive).

Of course, when you get to the HandBrake steps, you must, once again use the 23.976 framerate, and, of course, there's now no reason to deinterlace.

"Also why are settings for your own website playback different than for YouTube or Vimeo?"

I assume you're referring to the fact that the locally hosted web videos are at a much lower bitrate than recommended in the tutorial?

When you upload to YouTube or Vimeo, you should render at a higher bitrate and let the YouTube/Vimeo processors reduce the bitrate (and quality) to something that will pseudo-stream properly. In other words, start with a very high quality video and let YouTube/Vimeo degrade it.

When hosting a video on your own website, you must manually set the bitrate to balance of video quality and the ability to progressively download. Thru trial-and-error I've found that about 1200mbs works well for this video. It could be different for other footage - depends on many things - motion in video, transitions, quality of audio, etc.

...Jerry
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Old January 7th, 2012, 07:18 AM   #13
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Re: HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

I tried the "Better" method, which while better than something like .wmv straight from Vegas, still wasn't significantly better. Compared to the Sony AVC method, which I found actually preserved color vibrancy instead of making everything dull and muted/flat, the Handbrake version just wasn't as pleasing - though I did 1080p 23.976fps 175 8-bit instead of the 1080i 60i 145 8-bit recommended setting because I had footage from a Canon DSLR. In fact, the Handbrake's colors seemed pretty similar to a straight .wmv render, both of which were significantly flatter than what I saw after color grading inside Vegas's video preview window.

Sony AVC render method here (though I changed it to 16,000,000 bitrate instead of the recommended 4-6million). Ultimate Sony Vegas Render Settings - Kodak HD forum on Vimeo

Also, it's unclear to me when I should apply the Levels filter for Computer RGB to Studio RGB and when I should not. And how does this differ from the Broadcast Colors filter? Thanks!
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Old January 7th, 2012, 04:05 PM   #14
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Re: HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

Zhong,

If you go back to the first post in this thread you will see the three advantages of HandBrake:

1) HandBrake uses the superior x264 codec see: Sixth MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Video Codecs Comparison - Short Version
2) HandBrake resizes the image using the Lanczos resizing algorithm (Sony Vegas uses Bicubic or Bilinear).
3) HandBrake deinterlaces using yadif (Sony Vegas uses Interpolate or Blend). Although there is a yadif plugin available: yohng.com Yadif Deinterlace for Sony Vegas

At a high bitrate (16Mbps in your case), item 1) is much less apparent, if at all. Since you start with progressive footage, item 3) does not apply. So, the only advantage you get is with 2). And if you don't resize your frame size, you wouldn't even see that. So... I'm not surprised that you are not seeing a huge improvment.

Re: when to apply the cRGB to sRGB Levels FX, the short answer is use it when the ultimate render is h.264/mp4 (as it is YUV color space). Do not use it for WMV as that is RGB color space. Note: this applies to Sony Vegas only. I understand other editors handle this automatically (although that's not first hand knowledge).

...Jerry
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Old January 7th, 2012, 09:43 PM   #15
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Re: HD Guide for Vimeo, YouTube and the Web

Thanks Jerry! Makes sense.

However, why was the AVC version (at 16,000,000 bitrate...best quality of this trio) so much better with the colors compared to both the WMV (worst quality) and the Handbrake version (second worst)? In fact, the wmv and Handbrake versions, as far as colors go, seemed to be almost the same to me - both significantly worse than the AVC.

Also, now I'm trying to turn my 1080p 23.976 project into a DVD (standard def) file for DVD Architect, which requires rendering as .mpeg2 and .ac3 or .wav for audio.

But the .mpeg2's colors now seem way off again (similar to the wmv or Handbrake colors). How can I make it more similar to the AVC vibrant colors? I mean, the .mpeg2's colors seemed okay on playback from my local hard drive straight after rendering from Vegas, but when I stick it into DVD Architect and press preview, the colors are so much duller again.

Some examples:
dull wmv color: Rachel + Dan: Wedding Highlights (Ring Shot Version) WMV Version - YouTube
vibrant AVC color: Rachel + Dan: Wedding Highlights Film - YouTube
It seems that my Sony Vegas Preview window splits the difference between wmv and avc. Here's a screen shot of it (top left is wmv, bottom right is avc, upper right is Sony Vegas preview):
http://imageshack.us/f/42/colordifferences.jpg/


And here's a pic of the color differences between AVC uploaded to YouTube vs. .mpeg2 rendered at CBR 9,800,000 and put in the DVD Architect Preview Window:
http://imageshack.us/f/705/dvdacolordiff.jpg/

Last edited by Zhong Cheung; January 7th, 2012 at 10:49 PM.
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