Video rendering, how I hate you so!

January 25, 2012 by Mushy in Gaming, General, Internet with 0 Comments

So I’ve recently been trying to get into video editing and rendering a little bit.

I decided a good place to start would be rated battlegrounds on World of Warcraft with my guild. So off we set, a little group of ten feminists (my guild is called Feministic Front) to have some fun inside of RBG. I set Fraps recording at 30 FPS and full resolution, I set Teamspeak recording as people in the guild said it would be cool to have it in the videos too.

Everything is going well, Fraps and Teamspeak (when I remember to do it…) are recording. I end up with 400GB of footage. No big deal, I’ve got two 2TB drives so plenty of space to store on. Then comes the rendering. Oh fuck a doodle doo comes the rendering.

Now being just a simple web developer this whole rendering thing is new to me. I remembered an article on Arena Junkies that Trunks had linked me to in the past and I’d bookmarked so I set off searching my bookmarks for it… and there it was. Great! I go through the steps in it on how to render using XviD two pass etc etc and how to keep the quality close to the raw Fraps footage. Sweet! Well, I either did something wrong, or my idea of close to raw is a lot different to that guides.

No harm, I’d only spent a short few hours rendering and stuff, I’ll just find a new article to follow. Wait, this is going on YouTube, which supports 1080p! Lets see what a YouTube search for YouTube 1080p rendering brings back! Ooooo a couple of nice settings videos for Sony Vegas! Perfect! Or not. I guess I did something wrong, again, as these videos take a fucktonne of time to render. 30 minutes for a 15 second clip in my trials case. Not great at all, but if the quality is perfect and stuff, I can leave things rendering while I sleep or go to work.

The clip finishes rendering. Hurrah! Lets see how it looks! Well fuck a doodle doo, it’s a fucking green clip. Nothing else. Well I lie, the very first frame was an actual frame from the Fraps footage, the rest of it is fucking green. Endure more 30 minute segments of fucking about with settings, Google Fu for Sony Vegas green render etc failing hard, and I’ve decided… fuck you Sony Vegas and whatever stupid retarded shit you’re doing, I can’t work it out! Back to trying to fix the XviD quality.

Now one thing I did notice was the difference in bit rate between the XviD guide saying 2,500 – 3,000 being where you want to go with higher having no noticeable effect on quality for a bigger file size. A quick Google later and an article mentions the same, they don’t recommend more than around 2.5k but in the table above high motion video at 1920×1080 (well, 1920×1028 in my case as I play windowed mode) should be done at 14,000 ish. Hmmm, OK, lets slam a render of this clip up to 14,000 and see what happens. On the plus side, the quality was great, pretty much the same quality as raw, what I was expecting from the guide previously! I did forget to check the file size however.

So that got me pondering, how much is the difference? When does it become “good”? Queue more rendering passes. 3,000, 4,000, 5,000. They all look basically the same. Some artifacting but decent quality, but not the quality the 14,000 bit rate one had. So now I have the joys of rendering in 1,000 bit rate increments to see the difference in file size, quality and rendering time. I wrote this post while I hadn’t done this whole process yet, however below is a screenshot of each bit rate, render time and file size. The video rendered was 1m 32s and 1920×1072 resolution.

Raw quality Fraps snapshot.2,800 bitrate quality render snapshot.3,000 bitrate quality render snapshot.4,000 bitrate quality render snapshot.5,000 bitrate quality render snapshot.6,000 bitrate quality render snapshot.7,000 bitrate quality render snapshot.8,000 bitrate quality render snapshot.9,000 bitrate quality render snapshot.10,000 bitrate quality render snapshot.11,000 bitrate quality render snapshot.12,000 bitrate quality render snapshot.13,000 bitrate quality render snapshot.14,000 bitrate quality render snapshot.

The articles / YouTube / Google Fu sources I was following are:

Arena junkies two pass XviD guide
YouTube Sony Vegas 10 1080p settings
YouTube Sony Vegas 11 Update settings
Bit rate chart

I decided to run with 5,000 bit rate in the end for the simple RBG clips I was uploading. It took about 2 hours to do both passes, the audio and the VirtualDubMod audio fiddle resulting in a watchable video quality and a 485MB file for a 13:13 video in 1920×1072 video and below is the clip.

YouTube link to the video: Feministic Front RBG 09/01/2012 EotS

About Mushy

I am Colin Charlton, also known as Mushy. I develop websites, ignore my blog and play games. I also have a kickass tattoo. I should really write more here and something more professional... fuck it.

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