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Compressing Final Cut file

VulgarisMagistralis

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Hello everyone, this is my first time posting here. I've made a small edit to a film and I intend to post it at some point. I'm not going to lie, I don't have all requirements yet to publish my edit here, so this post has the double purpose of accruing some posts and answering some questions.

So, I am on a macintosh and I used Apple's Final Cut Pro for editing the film. The original, main video file is from blu-ray, it has 6 channels sound and it has an 1080p resolution. As I replaced some scenes that were edited by someone I don't know and the quality for those scenes is 1080p, I didn't care for trying anything larger than that.

I have plans to change some bits of the soundtrack later on, but for now I'll stick to the original sound.

I'm happy with the results, but the original file had around 7GB and the final edition has almost 13GB! I kept an eye out for the specs of the files, and they are basically the same. Same framerate, same sound settings, same video resolution, etc. But it's bigger than necessary. The editions are not so dramatic that justifies 6GB of extra content, so I reckon Final Cut did some mischief there and I need to find a way of compressing it without losing quality.

Now, I don't have a surround system at home and my telly is nothing impressive, yet I'd like to deliver a good enough video to those people who would prefer a better setting than mine.

What do you suggest I can do to reduce the size of the file and keep the quality untouched? I've been playing with HandBrake, and I've read somewhere that the console client for HandBrake is more powerful than the standard client and can make some stuff under the hood than cannot otherwise be done with the normal app. I am open to using other tools, if you have any in mind.

What would you do?

Thanks for helping!
 

DigModiFicaTion

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I don't use Final Cut, but I would believe the main thing is the bitrate you chose. The original file was probably encoded at 9mb/s and resulted in a 7gb file. You probably used a setting that encoded at 15mb/s resulting in a 13gb file. I'd check your render settings and adjust them. You can see the bitrate of the video and audio by using Mediainfo. Hope that helps!
 

VulgarisMagistralis

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I don't use Final Cut, but I would believe the main thing is the bitrate you chose. The original file was probably encoded at 9mb/s and resulted in a 7gb file. You probably used a setting that encoded at 15mb/s resulting in a 13gb file. I'd check your render settings and adjust them. You can see the bitrate of the video and audio by using Mediainfo. Hope that helps!

Oh right! Thanks DigModiFicaTion. Right on target! I'll try and reduce the bitrate. Cheers!
 

VulgarisMagistralis

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Quick update: not only it reduced the size of the file, it decreased from the original to ridiculous 2.76GB. After a quick analysis it looks okay to me, but I'm suspicious of the small size.. I just hope it doesn't look odd on a bigger screen. Anyway, I had to use HandBrake, HQ output, because for some odd reason Final Cut won't let me mess with bitrates. I've read that Apple suggests using a completely different application called "Compressor", but reviews are very very unfavourable and it's an expensive piece of software, apparently.

Well, I'll make a backup of the original project just in case. Thanks for the help!
 

robulon

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No need to purchase Compressor. You can do plenty for free with Handbrake!

That file size does seem very small for a feature length 1080p file. What bitrate did you settle on with Handbrake? Is there a chance you encoded as H265 instead of H264?
 

VulgarisMagistralis

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Let me see.... I don't recall how I did this, but I tried to match the original files as best as I could. I didn't save the preset because I think I can improve it. Anyway, I based my preset on "Fast 1080p30" preset and added some changes. I **think** the HandBrake settings were these...

Summary:

Tracks:
H.264 (x264), 30 FPS PFR
AAC (CoreAudio), Stereo
Foreign Audio Search

Filters: Comb Detect, Decomb

Size: 1920x804 Storage, 1920x804 Display

Video:

Encoder: H.264 (x264)
Framerate (FPS): 23.976 (NTSC Film)
Quality: Constant, RF 22 (I didn't know the original rate factor, so I left the original value)

(at the bottom it says..) x264 Unparse: level=4.0:ref=2:8x8dct=0:weightp=1:subme=6:vbv-bufsize=25000:vbv-maxrate=20000:rc-lookahead=30

Audio:

Bitrate: 192
Samplerate: 48
Mixdown: 5.1 Channels
Codec: AAC

Sigh... maybe I'll try again. It's rather hot and my mac fans go berserk when I do this. What do you think? Did I mess something up?
 

robulon

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Let me see.... I don't recall how I did this, but I tried to match the original files as best as I could. I didn't save the preset because I think I can improve it. Anyway, I based my preset on "Fast 1080p30" preset and added some changes. I **think** the HandBrake settings were these...

Summary:

Tracks:
H.264 (x264), 30 FPS PFR
AAC (CoreAudio), Stereo
Foreign Audio Search

Filters: Comb Detect, Decomb

Size: 1920x804 Storage, 1920x804 Display

Video:

Encoder: H.264 (x264)
Framerate (FPS): 23.976 (NTSC Film)
Quality: Constant, RF 22 (I didn't know the original rate factor, so I left the original value)

(at the bottom it says..) x264 Unparse: level=4.0:ref=2:8x8dct=0:weightp=1:subme=6:vbv-bufsize=25000:vbv-maxrate=20000:rc-lookahead=30

Audio:

Bitrate: 192
Samplerate: 48
Mixdown: 5.1 Channels
Codec: AAC

Sigh... maybe I'll try again. It's rather hot and my mac fans go berserk when I do this. What do you think? Did I mess something up?

There's nothing that jumps out at me from those settings. It does seem to be pretty much the Fast 1080p30 preset.

With CRF the resulting file size depends on the source - the amount of movement, grain etc. It could be that Handbrake finds your source file to be very easily compressed. You could then try increasing the CRF to 20. There's plenty of room for improvement without breaking the bank on file size and 22 is on the lower end of the quality scale for H264.

Also you don't mention this in your settings but make sure it's set for Constant Framerate instead of Variable. The presets all have Variable selected by default. I'm sure you've noticed this but thought I'd say just in case.
 
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