The lowest static image video size possible

estceashzed wrote on 5/10/2019, 8:58 AM

Hi guys! What's the best rendering option/config I can choose in order to have the lowest video size possible (acceptable youtube format) with a 720p image and decent audio (192kbps) ? I don't plan on using any effects, my goal is to make a minimalist video file using one image and an audio track. I would highly appreciate your help. By the way, I'm using Vegas Pro 14.0.

Comments

john_dennis wrote on 5/10/2019, 9:27 AM

These settings in Vegas 14 should give you a good clean static image.

Remember, that youtube will re-encode the video and audio so you don't want to be at the minimum for your upload. Throwing a few extra bits at the problem won't hurt anything.

The file properties for the rendered output are shown here:

3POINT wrote on 5/10/2019, 9:39 AM

I think, user just wants a static image with good quality audio. So no bitrates needed for the video (one picture) but only for the audio. Tip: make project settings with a framerate of JUST 1 fps. Then also change rendertemplate to 1 fps. The resulting file is hardly larger than the original audiofile.

 

Last changed by 3POINT on 5/10/2019, 10:00 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

3POINT, Theo Houben, Vegasuser since version 5

Recware: DJI Osmo Pocket, GoproHero7Black, PanasonicFZ300/HCX909, Sony PXW-X160.

Software:VegasPro16/VegasMovieStudio16/PowerDirector16

Hardware:i7 4770, 16GB, GTX650ti, 1920x1200 display

Playware:Philips 55PFL7108

john_dennis wrote on 5/10/2019, 9:59 AM

This was the unfortunate result of my 1 fps effort on Vegas Pro 14.

4 fps went to completion but had slowly changing squirming artifacts at the 368 kbps.

I'm over trying to make every bit count for more than one bit. I'd upload uncompressed video and audio and blame the resulting artifacts on youtube.

3POINT wrote on 5/10/2019, 10:10 AM

Probably you did something wrong, I used a 1080p1 projectsetting added a song and a FHD picture, rendered with a Magix AVC Internet 1080p25 Template changed to 1080p1 (even with the standard 1080p25 bitrates unchanged) and got a 1080p static image with perfect audio. That I did this in VMS16, must make no difference.

Last changed by 3POINT on 5/10/2019, 10:16 AM, changed a total of 2 times.

3POINT, Theo Houben, Vegasuser since version 5

Recware: DJI Osmo Pocket, GoproHero7Black, PanasonicFZ300/HCX909, Sony PXW-X160.

Software:VegasPro16/VegasMovieStudio16/PowerDirector16

Hardware:i7 4770, 16GB, GTX650ti, 1920x1200 display

Playware:Philips 55PFL7108

Musicvid wrote on 5/10/2019, 10:56 AM

In the case of still images, it makes no real difference unless there are fades and transitions as well.

In interframe compression, only the differences between consecutive video frames are encoded. This is important to understand as being different than traditional intraframe compression. If there are no differences between consecutive frames, mp4/x264 will encode only one i-frame, then about 300-400 "predictive frames" that are just instructions with no real data, so frame rate, bit rate, and resolution are essentially nonplayers with stills.

You can try this yourself. Encode a still image (no fade or transition) at 2,500 kbps, and 25,000 kbps. Both may come in around 250 kbps using x264. Frame rate obviously affects kbps requested, so a lower fps does not have a large effect on the final size. The encoder does not waste bits on air. Of course, this is not true with all-Intra, which encodes all frames, even if identical.

This is only one of the interesting things about long-GOP encoding. A search will reveal other interesting features of this clever scheme.

john_dennis wrote on 5/10/2019, 11:10 AM

"Probably you did something wrong,"

Per the OP, "I'm using Vegas Pro 14.0." Are you doing that in Vegas 14?

3POINT wrote on 5/10/2019, 11:12 AM

"Probably you did something wrong,"

Per the OP, "I'm using Vegas Pro 14.0." Are you doing that in Vegas 14?

John, I did it with VMS16, but I assume that this makes no difference.

3POINT, Theo Houben, Vegasuser since version 5

Recware: DJI Osmo Pocket, GoproHero7Black, PanasonicFZ300/HCX909, Sony PXW-X160.

Software:VegasPro16/VegasMovieStudio16/PowerDirector16

Hardware:i7 4770, 16GB, GTX650ti, 1920x1200 display

Playware:Philips 55PFL7108

john_dennis wrote on 5/10/2019, 11:55 AM

4 FPS (edit: actually 3 FPS based on further testing) appears to be the minimum frame rate for Vegas Pro 14 Mainconcept and Sony Internet Render Options. There are significant artifacts until about 2 Mbps. Sony drops an IDR every three frames which can't be good for low bit rate.

HOS (x264 Good Quality Medium CRF 23 AAC 192) produces a file that is excellent at about 213 kbps after a one or two second start-up defugalty.  

PS

As Musicvid says, Looooooooooooooooooooog GOP really excels with no-motion video.

Musicvid wrote on 5/10/2019, 12:23 PM

HOS (x264 Good Quality Medium CRF 23 AAC 192) produces a file that is excellent at about 213 kbps

As Musicvid says, Looooooooooooooooooooog GOP really excels with no-motion video.

Glad to have this confirmation, having been about a decade since I tested it.

Now, the downside of this way of doing things. Try encoding Blade Runner or Fargo with h264. File sizes are humongous, and bitrates peg out at near maximum from beginning to end. Often unwatchable.

Reason? Motion complexity in the orange fog and film grain eat up all the encoding power, leaving not much for the subject matter. In this case, we employ a lot of smoothing and noise reduction first to get the encoder to look at the subject, not complex noise. x264 has "Film" and "Grain" Tunes that help, but not eliminate this wasteful tendency.

john_dennis wrote on 5/10/2019, 1:17 PM

Further testing with Vegas Pro 14 and the Sony AVC/MVC Internet 720p render option using 3Point's low frame rate suggestion at 3 FPS, the lower threshold for minimal artifacts appears to be 768 kbps.

  

This should pass muster for all but the most demanding large screen viewers. No one using a hand held device should ever complain.

*****BAC*****BAC*****BAC*****BAC*****BAC*****BAC*****BAC*****BAC*****BAC*****BAC*****BAC*****BAC*****

Youtube is going to re-encode your video and will probably mess it up.

The youtube result of my encode can be seen here:

Here is the Mediainfo report for the file I uploaded:

estceashzed2 wrote on 5/11/2019, 3:35 AM

Wow! Thank you so much guys.
I tried the 1fps tweak but It couldn't render (error window kept popping out). When I somehow got it to render on 1fps, the video was 1second long, and on 2fps, the video was 2 seconds long (hmm, interesting...). So far the one that's working is 3fps like john_dennis pointed out. Hats off to you sir!

I tried what 3POINT suggested: changing project setting to 1fps (I couldn't) and choosing the Magix AVC Internet 1080p25 Template and changing to 1fps before rendering (I don't have that template on my Vegas Pro 14.0).

(I'm using this account to get back to you because I can't login into my first one)

Musicvid wrote on 5/11/2019, 7:42 AM

I would be interested in how much smaller the 3fps file is than the 25fps file.

The guess implied in my previous post is, "not much."

estceashzed2 wrote on 5/11/2019, 8:12 AM

I experimented with a 20 seconds long project. The 3fps file and 25fps file have an identical size of 2.25Mb, I'm baffled. However, the 25fps rendering took longer than the light-speed 1fps rendering. Both have 768,000 bps setting.
So what's the variable at play in making the smallest static-image video? Is the 3fps rendering option suggested by john_dennis the best I can do?

Musicvid wrote on 5/11/2019, 8:24 AM

Welcome to the forum. Your question shows that you are thinking , and that's really all it takes to become recognized around here.

estceashzed2 wrote on 5/11/2019, 7:12 AM

I experimented with a 20 seconds long project. The 3fps file and 25fps file have an identical size of 2.25Mb, I'm baffled. 

I tried to explain the concept of interframe compression in my post above to the best of my ability. Feel encouraged to reread that post completely and post back with any specific questions that may come up.

In interframe compression, only the differences between consecutive video frames are encoded. 

The encoder does not waste bits on air.

With interframe compression, identical consecutive frames do not use any bits.

The "frames" are merely road signs that do not use any video data.That's it in a nutshell.

Wikipedia a good place to start learning these unfamiliar concepts, and how to utilize these concepts in your workflow.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inter_frame

Musicvid wrote on 5/11/2019, 9:07 AM

So what's the variable at play in making the smallest static-image video?

Bitrate and length. That's it.

estceashzed2 wrote on 5/11/2019, 9:28 AM

Thank you Musicvid for your clarification, I read your post but I got lost since most of the things you mention are unknown territory for me. It's indeed fascinating and I'd love to learn more about this.

I have this thing in the back of my head, if I take an mp3 file and add a cover to it, its size will be the mp3 file size + the image file size. I wonder why no one thought of making a specific video format for this kind of static image video. You could reply to me by saying, just upload on soundcloud, why bother with youtube. But, I'm just a curious (and ignorant in this field).

3POINT wrote on 5/11/2019, 9:45 AM

I have this thing in the back of my head, if I take an mp3 file and add a cover to it, its size will be the mp3 file size + the image file size. I wonder why no one thought of making a specific video format for this kind of static image video. You could reply to me by saying, just upload on soundcloud, why bother with youtube. But, I'm just a curious (and ignorant in this field).

That was the same idea I had. Since the shortest possible Videoproject is 1 Fps, which works at my VMS16 (and not 3 Fps). This indeed renders lightspeed, also with songs larger than 20 seconds...has 24 frames less per second to work through.

3POINT, Theo Houben, Vegasuser since version 5

Recware: DJI Osmo Pocket, GoproHero7Black, PanasonicFZ300/HCX909, Sony PXW-X160.

Software:VegasPro16/VegasMovieStudio16/PowerDirector16

Hardware:i7 4770, 16GB, GTX650ti, 1920x1200 display

Playware:Philips 55PFL7108

john_dennis wrote on 5/11/2019, 10:16 AM

I've given you the best you can do in Vegas Pro 14. If you want to do the encoding outside of Vegas Pro 14, the parameter to work with is the "group of pictures" and the number of index frames since index frames are the only full frame in a group of pictures.

Remember I said, "HOS (x264 Good Quality Medium CRF 23 AAC 192) produces a file that is excellent at about 213 kbps after a one or two second start-up defugalty." That's Happy Otter Scripts that will allow you to encode x264 from the Vegas timeline and give you more control over the parameters that you need for your goal. You could also render an intermediate file then do the final encoding from Handbrake. Both of those options require more understanding of how the encoders work.

estceashzed2 wrote on 5/11/2019, 10:22 AM

I was thinking another video format, for instance instead of .mp4. The idea is to have a format specific for static-image videos that would be as light as an mp3+image size, something like looking at an image and listening to a song in the background format, but not mp3. I need to learn more about encoding !

john_dennis wrote on 5/11/2019, 11:19 AM

Why is minimum video bit rate so important to you? Google (youtube) allows people to upload the most trivial videos at whatever bit rate their camera phone produces and Alphabet still manages to make a profit. Like I said earlier, "I'd upload uncompressed video and audio and blame the resulting artifacts on youtube."

If you're curious to learn how encoding works, that a different matter.

estceashzed2 wrote on 5/11/2019, 11:28 AM

Because my internet is extremely slow (I live in a third world country) it makes it difficult to upload large files. My goal making this thread is to find a way to render at the smallest size possible so I can upload quicker, while maintaining decent audio of course.

Musicvid wrote on 5/11/2019, 1:24 PM

Experimentation is a great thing. It is where new ideas are born. From hobbyists.

However, we are constantly beset by the way things have been, how they have evolved, and ultimately how deliverable and playable the result is to the mainstream majority of consumers. That is the job of a producer.

Occasionally, a brilliant creative type comes along, who doesn't have much use for convention, protocol, or standards; especially those that may seem to inhibit the creative process. Hobbyists need to be taught to hold the reins back a bit, should they ever wish to share their masterpiece, rather than be a master of their own art, not to be viewed by others.

Case in point: mp4/h264 at conventional resolutions, frame rates, and AAC audio format is for all purposes universally deliverable, whether for streaming, home viewing, bluray production, whatever.

3fps with mp3 audio is not universally deliverable, although "some" players, media servers, or streaming services "may" accept it. It's simply a crapshoot, with accessibility being the uninvited dinner guest.

mp3 audio is not a standard for Video production. Will "some" players accept it? Sure. Will Joe Blow's player handle it? Well, we can't be sure.

AAC audio is the recognized universal standard audio format for mp4 video production. It is newer than mp3, has better compression, high frequency retention, and less quantization noise than mp3. Same for AC3, which won't play at all on legacy Apple devices.

There us no "manual" or playbook, only lots of experience and trial-and-error can get us close on the first try.

Now that you've explained your need for such low bandwidth, I think you are already there without much need for compromise. HEVC, for instance, takes much longer to encode and process. There is always a tradeoff.

My suggested starting point for you, as a producer, is 15fps mp4/h264, 720p, with 192kbps AAC stereo audio since you like good audio. That will meet your needs, as well as being universally deliverable. It is also the smallest practical format, look no further. As far as going beyond that, look up the delivery standards for any format on Wikipedia. There are some differences, but it takes more than unfettered imagination to get in the right ballpark.

Along the same lines, encode your still video with the Studio RGB Levels effect. That will conform it to colorspace standards, and it will look the same contrast as you saw in the original photo.

Keep asking questions, try different things, and realize that the artist and producer have to be on the same page for others to enjoy it. Look forward to continuing our discussion soon.

Are you on a 64k dialup by chance? I understand your frustration.

 

estceashzed2 wrote on 5/11/2019, 3:44 PM

I have to admit, you're on a whole other level. I'll take your advice and keep experimenting as well as learning. I'm literally still a fetus when it comes to producing and understanding this technology.

I don't know about the 64k dialup but I have an old router linked with my landline, my upload speed is around 35kbps in the best circumstances.

Thank you all for your contribution and insights, hats off to you !

Musicvid wrote on 5/11/2019, 4:38 PM

Aw, I understand completely. Can you afford 4G where you're at?