Can I export in lossless with reasonable size?

Hey everyone, :film_projector:
Is there a way to export in visibly the same quality as original, but without getting an enormous size?
I often do just minimum video editing (few cuts, maybe a transition, some audio adjusting) and if I export in lossless quality (H.264 quality 100%) - it becomes about 4 times larger than original video, despite that the edited one is cropped, it’s shorter. For example: 2 min length video of 1280x720 resolution takes 180mb and after few cuts, when exported, it takes 810mb (exported in H.264 codec quality 100%).

I was wondering, how is it with all the films we download, those with couple GB size and decent quality. For me a 12min edited minute video can take 6 GB… If I’m lowering codec quality settings it seems to make a visible difference to me… Maybe there’s some other way to play around with exporting settings? :slight_smile:

Thank you!

That’s way lower than mine, one of 44 sec 1080x1920 video took 7.68GB of storage.

Btw, I don’t even notice anything more above 80% quality. So actually just reduce the quality, probably nobody would even notice the 100%. Unless they are very professional.
My advice is not professional, I am just telling my way of reducing storage and maintaining the visual looks. Others here might have better Ideas.

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That’s not true, the original vids usually are hundreds of gigs or even terabytes in size, you can ask a movie theater near you. The consumer available version is exported at a lower quality, hence lower file size. Surely if you are going to project you 4k 3gb consumer available movie on 60ft screen, it is definitely going to look bad.

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I had the same question before but maybe I figured out why it happens like that.

The key is - original video file is encoded. It is not raw picture. There was an original picture (png for example, or bmp) and it was encoded as frame in videofile (or even diff-data with previous frame).

Then when you try to make it 100% quality and lossless, you have to save information as “pixel-in-pixel”.

In normal case original video file has instruction “apply function to that frame” and it return result with noise and color defects (our eyes is ok with that). It has low file size because it’s a codec work, not a raw picture.

In new file with 100% quality - it’s impossible. You have to save all the noise, all color defects as raw information to preserve quality of this noise and color defects perfectly.

That’s why new file with 100% quality weight so much in comparison with original file.

P.S. I hope I was not mistaken. Please inform me if I placed wrong information.


thanks for the explanation :slight_smile: I still don’t see how to solve this size problem, but now It makes some sense what’s happening…

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Okay, so I may ask a local movie theater… :smiley:
I was writing about those 2GB films that we may watch on computer screens, for with nice quality. Because If I save to such size proportions, quality looks like 360p… It says 1920x1080 in codec settings ( and 30fps). But it looks lower visually.

Yeah, so I’m doing the same, playing around with settings and then dealing with these solid sizes. But how then, for example, upload a 4k video to usb to watch it elsewhere?

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Perhaps, by what @Spacewalker said an I understand by him is. You can export the png sequence and audio seperately. Than later render the image sequence with audi as a video. Perhaps that can do something.

I don’t exactly know, but I guess this reduces size.

To understand exporting options to reduce file sizes, it’s better to read about it in Wikipedia, that has excellent explanation.

Yeah, several films we see at the theaters are available for a consumer to buy and see at home. I don’t exactly know how they maintain such good quality, they might have some proprietary solutions to it. And yes, i am not a professional, i am a random guy on internet with basic knowledge.
Like the vsdc (paid software) encoder can somehow keep the file sizes at 10mb of a 4k 60fps 15 mins video with clear (93%) quality, i am sure they have proprietary solutions to it. And even with that, the interface is just bad, however the encoder has some kind of wizardry.

It’s better to see a dedicated tutorial about rendering to understand these stuffs and to reduce file size. And actually, 6GB for 12 mins is respectable size. You can try lowering the bitrate to see what happens.

For uncompressed 10 bit 720p, you’re looking at 80-90GB, so 6GB is still approaching 15:1.

But why are you using 100% H.264? At those bitrates, you could use something like XDCAM HD, DNXHR or similar. (Or encode with H265 using a better constant quality setting).

As for cinemas, they use uncompressed cameras and post production, then use 250 Mbps JPEG2000 in a different colour space for delivery to cinemas. That’s not something the average user can afford.

They achieve high quality in small file size using two techniques:

  • Use HEVC or AV1 for compression, which makes smaller files than H.264 at the same quality level.
  • Use a tool like av1an that breaks a movie into scenes, then applies custom compression settings for each scene, then stitches all the encoded scenes together to get the final movie. This ensures every scene is compressed as tightly as individually possible, rather than using one generic encoding setting for the entire movie, which may be too much or too little quality for each individual scene.

That second point makes a huge difference in file size. But it takes much longer to encode due to all the tests needed to find optimal settings per scene.

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