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Old 7th August 2012, 14:55   #1  |  Link
zerowalker
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Tweaking x264 for Dark Games.

Okay i would like to know what the good settings are for Dark Games, as x264 is known to be a bit bad with the wrong settings and will blur the darkness to much, and will also do some really nasty Banding.


What settings should be on to reduce this?
Film Tuning?
No-Fast-p-Skip?

A minimum on B,Reference Frames?

Thanks!

(Size isnīt a real problem, i can do 1-2gb for 20min if necessary.

We are talking 720p and 1080p*

Last edited by Guest; 7th August 2012 at 16:31.
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Old 7th August 2012, 23:38   #2  |  Link
LoRd_MuldeR
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Yes, I think the "film" tuning is a good idea for this kind of footage.

In order to avoid the banding, going with 10-Bit x264 probably is the best idea. Either that or using GradFun2db() at playback time.

About the "no-fast-pskip" option:
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.ph...29#post1384029
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Old 7th August 2012, 23:57   #3  |  Link
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10 bit is sadly not an option as Youtube doesnīt support it (atleast they didnīt when i last tried?).

And yes i know Youtube till kill the bitrate and add banding, but itīs better to have a clean picture getting crushed, than a crushed picture right XD?

Is Debanding really a good idea?
I mean the Banding is there on gameplay as well, but to a lesser degree of course, isnīt it meant to be banding?
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Old 8th August 2012, 00:04   #4  |  Link
Dark Shikari
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If it's just being re-encoded, you're best off just encoding at a relatively high bitrate. There's not much else you can do except give it good input.
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Old 8th August 2012, 00:04   #5  |  Link
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Yes, as far as I know Youtube will always re-encode.

All you can do is uploading the best quality source you can, but the big quality loss is going to happen in their re-encoding. And there's not much you can do about that, as you have no influence on what they do.

And debanding/dithering is a good idea. But an 8-Bit encoding won't be able to retain the dither. So when encoding at 8-Bit, you'd have to do the debanding/dithering at playback time...
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Old 8th August 2012, 11:26   #6  |  Link
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Yeah sadly they donīt allow us to encode without re-encode.

But there isnīt some Golden Rule for best allowing Dark stuff to remain?
like MB-Tree off or something?

And of course Very high bitrate. (what bitrate are we talking, 720p at 8k?)

Hmm, will look at the debanding, but not sure if i will use it, will see how it messes with the video

Edit: seems pretty nice wiht debanding, though it "Kills" the color in the places, though that doesnīt matter as the color are like bad painting or something (banding stuff).

But is GradFun2db() the Best in terms of speed/quality?
I though the 3 was out?

Last edited by zerowalker; 8th August 2012 at 11:31.
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Old 8th August 2012, 12:35   #7  |  Link
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Why do you worry so much about the details of your encode, if they are going to re-encode anyway and the "real" loss is going to happen on their side?

Alos I think using GradFun2db() or a similar dithering tool is pointless in this case - the dither probably isn't going to survive your 8-Bit encode. And, after that, there will be a second re-encode!

After all, I would simply go with "--tune film" plus a sufficiently low CRF value (or even "lossless" mode, if Youtube can process that) and then hope they won't screw it up too much...
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Old 8th August 2012, 12:45   #8  |  Link
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I know itīs weird, but itīs like this:

Before i had slow upload, so i did, Slower Preset and tried to make the best with low size.
Now i have fast (800kilobyte up or something), so now i can make much better and faster preset.

So now i want to encode it as "lossless" as possibly, so that Youtube wonīt Crush it more than necceserry.
I know itīs not Black and White difference, but it will reduce the blurring of details to some degree if itīs left as intact as possible.

oh, so GradFun2db() is wasted? if so i will just skip it.


Yeah but what is suffient for dark stuff?

I canīt really go lossless (20gb for 20min is a Bit to much;P).

I currently use Medium Preset, Tune Film, and CRF 16.
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Old 8th August 2012, 13:08   #9  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerowalker View Post
like MB-Tree off or something?
That's what I'm doing when there are a lot of dark scenes with Preset=Slower, Tune=Film and a CRF between 18 and 22. I wouldn't say it's a magic rule but it's working fine for me

http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.ph...33#post1476033
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Old 8th August 2012, 15:06   #10  |  Link
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just dedicate more "bits" to the background to lessen banding ...

I find --aq-strength between 1.1 and 1.3 beneficial to reduce dark banding and blocking (and to counteract the MB-tree affect) ...

I also find --no-dct-decimate to also preserve a little more dark detail ...

However, if you are not constrained for filesize than the absolute best way is reducing CRF (I find I have to go as low as CRF 16 with the above mentioned features on some 720p footage to reduce banding and dark blocking) ...

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Old 8th August 2012, 15:32   #11  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerowalker View Post
So now i want to encode it as "lossless" as possibly, so that Youtube wonīt Crush it more than necceserry.
Does youtube support lossless H.264, as created by x264, as input?

If so and if you have the required bandwidth, then going lossless is a good way, because it ensures there is absoloutely no quality loss, before Youtube starts to re-encode.

But on the other hand, I doubt you will be able to spot the difference from their final encode between a lossless H.264 source and a source that was compressed with CRF~16.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerowalker View Post
oh, so GradFun2db() is wasted? if so i will just skip it.
GradFun2db() can improve things quite a lot. And probably if you take your source, apply some GradFun2db() and directly watch the result, you will be able to improve things.

But, as said before, once you pump the GradFun2db()-processed video through the encoder once, the effect will be pretty much gone - the dither simply won't survive when encoding with 8-Bit precision.

It might survive the encode if you really could use lossless H.264 or 10-Bit, but then the re-encode done by Youtube will kill it. After all, the only option is applying GradFun2db() when watching the final result.

(Of course this isn't possible with Youtube's player. But you can download the clip from Youtube and use your own player)

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerowalker View Post
I currently use Medium Preset, Tune Film, and CRF 16.
That sounds reasonable. Using a slower Preset would only mean that you might be able to get away with an even lower bitrate (after adjusting the CRF value accoridngly) for the same quality.

If you still see some degradation with CRF 16, try an even lower CRF value until you are happy with the result.

But always keep in mind that trying to retain tiny details, that Youtube is going to destroy with their re-encode anyway, is pointless. So don't be too pedantic

Or in other words: If you change your x264 settings, you always have to judge the difference after that video has been re-encoded by Youtube. If it makes no difference on Youtube, you don't need to care.

As long as the source doesn't show obvious artifacts already before the upload, it should be good enough...
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Last edited by LoRd_MuldeR; 8th August 2012 at 15:39.
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Old 8th August 2012, 15:50   #12  |  Link
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Yeah have found that AQ 1.3 is really good, should i have that and Mb-tree on?

I am not sure if it supports Lossless (CRF 0) but i think i does, i may have tried it before.

But itīs as you say, when going as low as CRF 16, itīs already "Transparent" more or less that it wonīt matter, so onlything is to prevent nasty banding, but it seems that low enough CRF will prevent that aswell
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Old 8th August 2012, 15:51   #13  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoRd_MuldeR View Post
Does youtube support lossless H.264, as created by x264, as input?
No, it doesn't.
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Old 8th August 2012, 15:56   #14  |  Link
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Messing with your settings when it's going to be re-encoded anyways is staggeringly pointless. Pick a low CRF and be done with it; if you're spending more than 15 seconds thinking about it, you're wasting your time because it literally won't do anything at all, except perhaps make you feel better.
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Old 9th August 2012, 11:20   #15  |  Link
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Old 11th August 2012, 17:54   #16  |  Link
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He means that the same CRF doesn't give exactly the same quality across different settings, which is a common misconception among new users. Slower presets always improve the quality/bitrate ratio, however. Comparing settings when using CRF takes much more work than just a look at the file size, since quality may also change.

Last edited by nm; 11th August 2012 at 17:58.
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