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Old 7th February 2024, 06:45   #1  |  Link
MeoLessi9
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New in the encoding world , where to start?

Hello, long time ago I was immersed in video compression, I used software like MeGui, eac3to, mkvmerge, etc... But I've been disconnected for many years, and I would like to start compressing videos again, but I don't know where to start.
I have 20GB, 30GB, or larger files, and I would like to compress them with minimal loss of quality. In the past, I remember extracting the audio from the videos and compressing them separately with eac3to but I don't know if there are new methodologies? better ways to encode video. Is MeGui still used? What should I use to compress with the H.265 codec? What software should I download? .
For example, in a post I've seen the following:
"My current settings are;
10-bit. CRF 17. Slow preset.
selective-sao=2:no-strong-intra-smoothing:rskip=2:rskip-edge-threshold=3:aq-mode=3:aq-strength=1.2:deblock=-3:-3"

Where am I supposed to write those settings? What software is being used there?.

I hope you can help me and help me encode videos from scratch.

Thanks in advance for your responses.
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Old 7th February 2024, 08:37   #2  |  Link
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It depends on your needs. A all-in-one UI or CLI like HandBrake or StaxRip or FastFlix might be enough, or you can go down the rabbit hole of CLI utilities and Avisynth.
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Old 7th February 2024, 10:53   #3  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoLessi9 View Post
"My current settings are;
10-bit. CRF 17. Slow preset.
selective-sao=2:no-strong-intra-smoothing:rskip=2:rskip-edge-threshold=3:aq-mode=3:aq-strength=1.2:deblock=-3:-3"
Also, those aren't great settings for general use. There's never any reason I'm aware of to have strong-intra-smoothing off; people just turn it off because it sounds scary. And deblock -3:-3 would be carried over from some old H.264 setting. selective-sao 2 and the rskip parameters are good. I generally recommend starting with --preset slower, and adjusting from there if more speed is needed, or a few extra percent compression efficiency.

Is there a particular kind of content you're working with? Optimum tunings can be different for cel animation versus grain movies versus a "first do no harm" setting that might not offer maximum compression efficiency but will do a good job with most content. HDR settings can be quite different than for SDR as well.
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Old 8th February 2024, 06:39   #4  |  Link
MeoLessi9
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Originally Posted by Ritsuka View Post
It depends on your needs. A all-in-one UI or CLI like HandBrake or StaxRip or FastFlix might be enough, or you can go down the rabbit hole of CLI utilities and Avisynth.
Hi Ritsuka,
Which one is better, all-in-one UI or CLI ? . In the past I used UI , but I always had the impression that CLI utilities were better, but I never tried. If CLI utilities are better, I would like to try with them, but where should I start? . I'm a complete noob and I would like to compress some big files (basically movies) with the codec h265.

Thanks for your response.

p.s.: Is Avisynth just valid to use with .avi files or you can use other codecs , like H265? Is .avi files still use for people???

Last edited by MeoLessi9; 8th February 2024 at 11:09. Reason: add lines
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Old 8th February 2024, 07:41   #5  |  Link
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Originally Posted by benwaggoner View Post
Also, those aren't great settings for general use. There's never any reason I'm aware of to have strong-intra-smoothing off; people just turn it off because it sounds scary. And deblock -3:-3 would be carried over from some old H.264 setting. selective-sao 2 and the rskip parameters are good. I generally recommend starting with --preset slower, and adjusting from there if more speed is needed, or a few extra percent compression efficiency.

Is there a particular kind of content you're working with? Optimum tunings can be different for cel animation versus grain movies versus a "first do no harm" setting that might not offer maximum compression efficiency but will do a good job with most content. HDR settings can be quite different than for SDR as well.
Hi Benwaggoner,

Well, those lines were just an example. To be honest, I have no idea what they mean. In what software do you write those lines? In cmd?

I need space on my hard disk, and I would like to compress some large files (30 GB, 40 GB or more), basically all kinds of movies (animation, classics, black and white, etc.). What would you recommend for me to start?
Thanks in advance for your help and advices.

Last edited by MeoLessi9; 8th February 2024 at 07:48.
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Old 8th February 2024, 12:39   #6  |  Link
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Originally Posted by MeoLessi9 View Post
Hi Benwaggoner,

Well, those lines were just an example. To be honest, I have no idea what they mean. In what software do you write those lines? In cmd?
Yes, those are parameters for the x265 command line binary.

They are remarkably well documented for an open source video tool: https://x265.readthedocs.io/en/master/cli.html

Quote:
I need space on my hard disk, and I would like to compress some large files (30 GB, 40 GB or more), basically all kinds of movies (animation, classics, black and white, etc.). What would you recommend for me to start?
Thanks in advance for your help and advices.
If you're looking to just save space, it is almost always cheaper to just buy a bigger external hard drive for your existing files than reencoding. And reencoding to lower bitrates always entails at least some slight generation loss, with a much bigger risk of noticible degradation the more space you're trying to save.

Optimally reencoding a wide variety of content involves some trial and error to determine your own tolerance for quality loss, and different parameters for different kinds of content.

I just bought myself a rugged 5 TB portable HD for $150. You can potentially spend more than that just in your electricity bill reencoding enough to save 5 TB.

If you're in this to enjoy the intellectual challenge and don't mind a couple of months of learning encoder tuning, okay. Otherwise there are much more pragmatic ways to have more storage.
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Old 8th February 2024, 18:29   #7  |  Link
MeoLessi9
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Originally Posted by benwaggoner View Post
Yes, those are parameters for the x265 command line binary.

They are remarkably well documented for an open source video tool: https://x265.readthedocs.io/en/master/cli.html


If you're looking to just save space, it is almost always cheaper to just buy a bigger external hard drive for your existing files than reencoding. And reencoding to lower bitrates always entails at least some slight generation loss, with a much bigger risk of noticible degradation the more space you're trying to save.

Optimally reencoding a wide variety of content involves some trial and error to determine your own tolerance for quality loss, and different parameters for different kinds of content.

I just bought myself a rugged 5 TB portable HD for $150. You can potentially spend more than that just in your electricity bill reencoding enough to save 5 TB.

If you're in this to enjoy the intellectual challenge and don't mind a couple of months of learning encoder tuning, okay. Otherwise there are much more pragmatic ways to have more storage.
X265 ... Interesting...Is it like FFmpeg or better? I will check the documentation, and yes, I see this like an intellectual challenge. Buy more hardware is not an option, I already have a few XD .
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Old 8th February 2024, 18:51   #8  |  Link
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Dude! Why make it complicated? Just use Ripbot264, Staxrip or Hybrid for encoding. Underneath they all use x264/x265 so the end result will be the same. It will take a lot of time if you first have to learn the CLI and most/all x264/5 options before encoding
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Old 9th February 2024, 01:24   #9  |  Link
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Originally Posted by MeoLessi9 View Post
X265 ... Interesting...Is it like FFmpeg or better? I will check the documentation, and yes, I see this like an intellectual challenge. Buy more hardware is not an option, I already have a few XD .
It certainly sounds like you're VERY new to this "world"...but we all have to start somewhere.

x265 isn't like FFmpeg, it's a codec, FFmpeg is a powerful multimedia framework that provides users with the ability to process and manipulate audio and video files.

It's pretty much the work horse behind most encoding apps.

Like microchip8 said, start with something like RipBot264, Handbrake, Staxrip, even Fastflix, etc.....Hybrid is VERY complex.

Not wanting to sound biased, but my fave app is RipBot, I have been using it for years, and there's even a "special" build (that I had something to do with), which offers users a LOT more encoding & filtering options (see my sig for links to 3 variants)

But which ever app you choose, you will have a learning curve before you get any of them to do exactly want you want, or need.
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Old 9th February 2024, 05:39   #10  |  Link
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Originally Posted by microchip8 View Post
Dude! Why make it complicated? Just use Ripbot264, Staxrip or Hybrid for encoding. Underneath they all use x264/x265 so the end result will be the same. It will take a lot of time if you first have to learn the CLI and most/all x264/5 options before encoding
Thanks for the advice
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Old 9th February 2024, 05:42   #11  |  Link
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Originally Posted by TDS View Post
x265 isn't like FFmpeg, it's a codec, FFmpeg is a powerful multimedia framework that provides users with the ability to process and manipulate audio and video files.
I thought x265 was a framework and h265 a codec
Sorry, my mistake.

Last edited by MeoLessi9; 9th February 2024 at 06:52.
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Old 9th February 2024, 05:44   #12  |  Link
MeoLessi9
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Originally Posted by TDS View Post
It certainly sounds like you're VERY new to this "world"...but we all have to start somewhere.

x265 isn't like FFmpeg, it's a codec, FFmpeg is a powerful multimedia framework that provides users with the ability to process and manipulate audio and video files.

It's pretty much the work horse behind most encoding apps.

Like microchip8 said, start with something like RipBot264, Handbrake, Staxrip, even Fastflix, etc.....Hybrid is VERY complex.

Not wanting to sound biased, but my fave app is RipBot, I have been using it for years, and there's even a "special" build (that I had something to do with), which offers users a LOT more encoding & filtering options (see my sig for links to 3 variants)

But which ever app you choose, you will have a learning curve before you get any of them to do exactly want you want, or need.
Ok, I will check the links and try with those framework first. Thanks for your advice as well.

Thanks to everyone!
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Old 9th February 2024, 14:22   #13  |  Link
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Originally Posted by MeoLessi9 View Post
I thought x265 was a framework and h265 a codec
Sorry, my mistake.
Also, ffmpeg and other tools use x265 under the hood for their HEVC encoding. So the same parameters and tuning can be used in a variety of tools to get the same results. Syntax can vary, but there's always a 1:1 mapping and the same names used.

Lots of use use x265 directly (often piping from ffmpeg) so we can pick the build we're working with, and easily isolate between what the encoder is doing versus the preprocessing upstream of the encoder itself.

That's not the way that most people use it, or should. But it is how a lot of the people here who give advice do.
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