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Thread: Export mp4 without further compression.

  1. #1

    Default Export mp4 without further compression.

    Hey guys, first post

    I'm starting a let's play and I want to find out the best way to store my files without buying new harddrive space. I'm recording with dxtory and using the lagarith lossless codec. The files are way to big (70gb per hour) to store in large chunks before editing (10-20 hours), so I've used the Handbrake to compress to mp4 with good results, both in size and quality. What I wanted to know is, if it's possible to edit these mp4 files with a prgram like sony vegas or preimere pro without further diminishing the quality before the opload to youtube. If I Export from mp4 to mp4 in premiere will it just use the files as they are, or will it compress again?


    Ps. I know that youtube compression sucks, but I can clearly see the difference between a good video capture and a bad one in the let's plays i watch.

  2. #2


    When premiere pro (and just about every other NLE) edits, it reads the source file, totally uncompresses each frame to an internal buffer, applies what ever effects or edits you want then on export recompresses to the chosen container / codec. At no time are you editing in a source codec, it's always decoded prior to the edit.

    If you're not pushing and pulling things around too much in colour correction (which would require you to decompress anyway) then you're unlikely to see significant loss as far as YouTube is concerned. Just make sure you export as a reasonably high bit rate (10mbps is usually plenty) and you should be good to go.

    A lot of people worry about degradation but remember the viewer didn't see the original pristine footage anyway, so they have no idea what visible degradation (if any) occurred prior to the upload.

    More than that.... if you're viewers are more bothered about the pixel level quality of your video than the content they are supposed to be watching then you have a lot more to worry about than simple codec issues.

    Worrying about recompression tends to be a noob thing. Seriously, don't sweat it.
    Last edited by David Partington; 09-29-2014 at 04:00 PM.

  3. #3


    Thanks. I think you're right. It's stupid to get hung up on small matters like this and I tend to do that.

    Another question, my handbrake compression is a 2gb mp4 video, but when export it, with premiere without any significant edits it's 7gb. I exported it to h.264, because that was the only format which seemed to match the video's aspects and is generally what people use for youtube. Is there a better format for the mp4 files or should try to compress directly to h.264 with premiere instead. Remember I want to store alot of files before starting the edits.

  4. #4


    Not all H264 encoders are created equal.

    Firstly, check the bit rate you are exporting through handbrake and the bit rate you're exporting through Premiere Pro.

    Next, realise that the Handbrake codec is very efficient and uses the X264 encoder, rather than the (not quite as good) H264 encoder that Adobe licensed.

    You should be able to find a free X264 encoder plugin for the Adobe Media Encoder too. I've got one installed on my mac but TBH I can't remember where I got it. This means you can export using the X264 instead of H264 encoder directly from Premiere Pro. Google should help you find it.

    Worst case, export from Premiere Pro in something like the Animation codec (which will be huge) then run it through Handbrake to get the smaller file. The extra encoding steps won't (shouldn't) be visually noticeable but the resulting file will be smaller. Once you have your H264 for storage you can delete the intermediate large file.

  5. #5


    Thanks, that did clear up alot of things.

    But there is one thing I'm not sure I made clear. I want to store before I edit. I want to record for weeks/month and then sit down and do the editing. This has to due with my work schedule and so on. So just to be clear, what I should to do is compress with handbrake, edit my movie, then export with premiere to x264 (or use the alternate method if I can't find the plugin)?

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