How to improve quality of rendered H.264 mpegs?

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    • #85301

      Hi there,
      I'm editing small videos already for a while (checkout my videos on youtube) and think I mastered the basics of video editing. Somehow I'm always frustrated about the quality of the material I rendered. Even when using ridiculous huge bit rates, that result in GB-files for some two minutes viedo, the look is rather poor quality.

      I tried around with several file formats (actually just containers) and codecs even several softwares (MAGIX, Vegas Studio, Vegas Pro now).
      Look at this professional kitesurfing movie. The resolution is 720p and the bitrate just 2.500kBit/s with H.264, the logos and font at the beginning of the video look super sharp and the footage is brisk. What do the professionals use to get this results?
      I would understand if my footage is poor quality from cheap cams, but I did some filming with my Canon 60D recently and the original files from the cam look awesome. They are super sharp, extreme colors and just like any professional video you find in the web. As soon as I try to work with it, it looks muddy.

      I already tried a lot of different ways and encoders in Sony Vegas that can create H.264 mpeg and also played around with all the attributes. Especially setting everything to extreme quality (vs file size) and still it looks poor all the time.
      Any advice? I wouldn't even mind buying some expensive software, because it's quite frustrating, spending thousands for camera equipment, weeks at the set and then destroying the awesome footage with poor render quality. πŸ™

      Is there some external H.264 encoder that I can purchase, that will give better results? Or is it the editing software, destroying the quality? I can export uncompressed video material, but I can not check the quality, as my computer can not play it, as the data is just too much.

      I wouldn't even mind switching to Premiere Pro or similar, if I can be sure that the results will be much better there (but I do not believe without proof πŸ˜‰ )

    • #212056

      First of all, h264 is mov, not mpeg.

      I get great video out of Vegas Pro 12 by using the free Video4YouTube extension from the folks at Vegasaur.

      You can encode at 720 or 1080.

      Here's just one examplew of a video I shot and edited with Vegas Pro 12 and encoded using this tool.



    • #212071

      H.264 is a compression scheme. MP4 and MOV are containers. When I render my source using H.264 (Adobe Media Encoder) I render to an MP4 file.

    • #212090

      I'm having the same problem using H264 codec/Quicktime container in Premiere CC on the PC.


      I render at max bit depth with best quality at data rate of 7000kbps and it looks nowhere as good as original source material from GH4. Besides, I use UHD source files to render FHD and only few shots are exposure adjusted. The overall footage looks lightter with more noise cutting through, and it also seems less fluid even though I don't change the framerate.


      Could the problem be with how footage is interpreted regarding colourspace?  Anything else I could try?

    • #212127

      Another thing I noticed is that darker scenes generally retain contrast and colour much better than the lighter ones which will become even lighter and contain distinct grain. It's really weird, no idea what's going on — guess will have to try exporting lossless and then encode it with external x264.

    • #213241
      Space Racer

      I keep wondering the same thing because on YouTube I have seen video from 20 years ago that looks magnificent and recently posted videos shot on nice cameras that look like hell OK Videomaker staff, ball is in your court. What are the specific secrets to great-looking YouTube video??? What is the priority? Are lens is more Important than Codec? Does one brand of camera work better? Howl about bit rate?

    • #213328

      You have to remember that with YouTube, when you upload a video, it gets recompressed by YouTube. So if you are uploading an HD video at a bit rate of about 12 or 13 Mpbs, Youtube will recompress it to where it might only be in the 4-5 Mbps range, maybe a little higher at 6-7Mbps.

      Whenever I upload a h.264 HD file, I usually have my bit rate up in the 25-50 Mbps range so that when YouTube recompresses it, it’ll be in the range of a high-end DVD or low end Blu-Ray, usually in the 8-13 Mbps range. For SD I upload a DV-AVI, but as a progressive, as YouTube does a terrible job with interlace footage, and YouTube usually compresses SD to the 2-3Mbps range.

      Also, you have to remember that h.264 is a MPEG compression, just like DVD’s MPEG-2, so it uses intra-frame compression, rather than the inter-frame compression used by DVCPROHD. And intra-frame does not like to be recompressed, as you’ve already taken away a lot of information.

      But on the editing front, whenever I have to edit AVCHD or MP4, I always convert it to DVCPROHD (or if it’s standard definition, DV or DVCPRO50) or an uncompressed file so that I’m not working with an intra-frame copy, but rather I am working with each individual frame in inter-frame, and then exporting from a higher quality format. AVCHD & MP4 are good for final export, but are not good for editing.

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