Best settings to compress vertical videos of different sizes

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Best settings to compress vertical videos of different sizes

Post by Diramel »

Description of problem or question:
Hi. I'm new here, don't have any experience in video editing and was basically just looking for a tool to reduce some videos in file size without too much loss in quality. But it turns out to be not as easy as I thought.

So, I have several MP4-videos (that I didn't film myself) with different vertical aspect ratios (e.g. 1080x1920 and 404x720). The problem is that they are huge, the FHD files for example have data rates around 15.000 kBit/s and file sizes of around 100 MB per minute (or 1 GB for a 10-minute video). I basically want a tool that I can tell: Keep the original aspect ratio, width, length, file format, sound quality, etc, but lower the quality so much that I receive a reasonable file size for the respective resolution.

First, I just let the standard settings as they were (Fast 1080p30). HandBrake then said under "Summary" (in case of a vertical FHD video):
Size: 1080x1080 storage, 608x1080 display (source: 1080x1920)

After conversion, the meta data (Windows) say the resolution would be 1080x1080. Nevertheless, when I open the video with VLC, it still has exactly the same aspect ratio. So, this is a point that I don't understand. I've never seen a MP4 video file before where the metadata were inconsistent with the actual aspect ratio.

Although I was confused, I just wanted to find a solution. So I thought, maybe I just have to use a 4K preset and went with "Vimeo YouTube HQ 2160p60 4K". As all my footage has less than 60 FPS, I changed the frame rate to "same as source" and let everything else as in the preset. That worked quite well in the sense that the values for source, storage and display were all the same.

But there is still something I'd like to understand: I used both presets (Fast 1080p30 and Vimeo YouTube HQ 2160p60 4K) for the smaller videos (e.g. 404x720) as well, as I really don't want to look up new presets for every aspect ratio but want to have one "don't change anything but compression" preset for everything. Fortunately HandBrake is intelligent enough not to scale videos up, so with both presets I received files with the original aspect ratio, FPS, file type etc. But nevertheless the "Vimeo YouTube HQ 2160p60 4K" files are about 20% bigger than the "Fast 1080p30" files, although in both cases constant quality was set to 22 RF.

So, how can that be? What causes the difference? Is there maybe a preset that fits my purpose better that I didn't find? In the end I'd like to have settings that can handle any aspect ratio and have the same compression at 22 RF as the "Fast 1080p30" does.

Really hope someone can give me advice, I really thought "just changing compression" shouldn't be a big deal, but so far it turned out otherwise...

HandBrake version:

Operating system and version:
Windows 10
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Re: Best settings to compress vertical videos of different sizes

Post by musicvid »

1. Handbrake autocrops by default. You can turn that off if you wish.
2. Given the difference in resolution and framerate, differences in file size to achieve equal quality is understandable and perfectly normal. If you want a bandwidth-centric encode, use ABR.
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Re: Best settings to compress vertical videos of different sizes

Post by mduell »

It sounds like you're running into issues with vertical video vs presets configured for horizontal video, and then confused by anamorphic.

To preserve the resolution you should make your own preset with no resolution limit. As a workaround, you can indeed use the 4K presets (at least until you get 4K vertical video).
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