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Videopad exports low quality files


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I originally posted this by accident in the Wavepad forum, but it is a query about Videopad, not Wavepad.

I recorded an 878MB MP4 file called "Tom Tit Tot Original.mp4" (which  I have uploaded to Google Docs here). 

I then opened the mp4 file in Videopad, and in the storyboard pane I deleted the last couple of seconds of the video, saving the project as "Tom Tit Tot.vpj"  (which I have uploaded to Google Docs here).

I then tried exporting the resulting video as an mp4 - but no matter what settings I selected in the "Export File Settings" dialog, the file size of the resulting video was dramatically smaller than the file size of the original video, even though the exported video was less than 2 seconds shorter than the original one in terms of playing time - and the quality was noticeably inferior to the original (as you'd expect given the much smaller file size.)

The largest file size and best quality video I could get was by selecting "HD 1080p" in the "Preset" drop-down of the "Export File Settings" dialog. Doing this produced a 281MB mp4 file  - a third of the size of the original file - even though in the "Export File Settings" dialog it said the estimated file size of the exported file would be 832MB! I named the exported file "Tom Tit Tot.mp4" and have uploaded it to here
 

If instead of selecting "Export Video" on the File menu I selected "Export lossless video",  then in the "Export File Settings" dialog, the "Estimated file size" it displays is only 49.37MB!! Because of this I didn't think of trying to actually export using this method, because I assumed the dialog's estimate would be reasonably accurate.

However, after accidentally posting to the wrong newsgroup last night, I did try using the "Export lossless video" option instead of the "Export Video" one, and lo and behold it exported an 891MB file with the same quality as the original 
 

So I have a solution to my original problem now, but I still have two outstanding questions:

1) Why is the  "Estimated file size" in the  "Export File Settings" dialog, when one selects "Export lossless video", so incredibly inaccurate - nearly 20 times smaller than it should be?

2)  Why does selecting "Export Video" and then selecting "HD 1080p" in the "Preset" drop-down of the "Export File Settings" dialog (which is actually a higher resolution than that of the original file) produce an exported MP4 file  with a third of the file size and significantly reduced quality compared with the original?

Many thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

Dave

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Don't have direct answers for you, but someone else here might.  Observations...

Estimates of file size are historically inaccurate and shouldn't be relied upon

Original video is 720 at 10fps, so export at a higher resolution would tend to reduce quality.

Lossless - essentially a pass through - results in the same quality and size as the original..

The 720 H264 output (even at 30fps) compressed the 878MB original to about 229MB.
But at that original resolution there's was no apparent degradation IMO - certainly not a dramatic one.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi borate

Sorry it took me so long to reply. All is as you say - many thanks.

However, part of the problem was the fact that the estimated file sizes displayed in the export video dialog are so incredibly misleading, as a result of which I didn't select the options I should have selected because I was put off by their incredibly innacurate estimated file sizes. If reasonably accurate estimates can't be made, it would be far better for it not to give estimates at all. Please could this be fed back to the developers?

Also, it's not obvious to me (as a layman who doesn't really understand video at at technical level) why increasing the resolution and/or frame rate would actually reduce the quality. I would expect the software to use some sort of clever interpolation to increase rather than reduce the video's quality - a bit like Photoshop does if you resample an image to a higher resolution. Given that increasing the resolution and/or frame rate actually reduce the quality of the video, I don't understand why the developers have made the option to do so available, as no one would ever use that option if they knew they'd get both reduced quality and a larger file size! I think the developers should remove the option altogether to increase the frame rate and resolution, but at the very least they should display a warning if you attempt to do so, that doing this will reduce the quality of the video as well as increasing its file size! Please could this also be fed back to the developers?

One final question: given that exporting it using the video's original resolution and frame rate results in an mp4 file with a file size less than a third of the file size that exporting lossless video results in, and yet with no discernable loss of quality, do you know how it does that? I.e. do you know what it is doing in order to reduce the file size by so much without reducing the quality? Is it just using a far more efficient compression algorithm than was used by the program that created the original video? 

Many thanks again for your help.

Dave

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A small image loses detail when blown up;  it doesn't have the content.  For that reason, folks who plan to crop or scale up shoot high resolution.  More pixels to work with.

As to your last query, my guess echoes yours.  Lossless passes the file as is, irrespective of how it was encoded.  Re-encoding applies an algorithm that throws away some content, resulting in a smaller file.

Agree that estimates are not accurate, and that's been acknowledged by the developers.

But do pass along your thoughts, and refer to the URL of this thread.  Suggestions are read.

https://tinyurl.com/r89tpcw  or here...   https://www.nch.com.au/suggestions/index.html?software=VideoPad

Stay tuned.  Perhaps someone knowledgeable will share their expertise.

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Hi again borate

I recently got a higher spec laptop and recorded a 12 minute FHD version of the same folktale at 30fps. The mp4 that was produced was 3.2GB which seems ridiculously large for a 12 minute video, even though it is in FHD.

I assumed that if I exported it using Videopad the file size would go down dramatically as it did when I exported the previous 720p recording that you looked at earlier in this thread, but it didn't and I don't understand why.

The original 3.2GB FHD recording, Tom Tit Tot Original.mp4 is here.

I used Videopad to remove a few seconds at the start and end of the recording and to add a title screen, using the project file Tom Tit Tot.vpj, which I've uploaded to here.

I first tried exporting it as a lossless video and the file size of the  resulting mp4 file was 3.17GB, which is what I'd expect.

But I then tried exporting it without choosing the lossless option but choosing the settings that Videopad's export dialog defaulted to (1920 × 1080, 30fps), expecting the resulting mp4 to have a file size of less than 1GB (given that the compression algorithm that Videopad used when saving the previous 720p video that we discussed earlier in this thread had reduced the file size of that recording by a factor of three compared with the lossless version of the same project).

However, with the FHD recording, using the export video dialog instead of the lossless video dialog produced an MP4 file of exactly the same size as the lossless version - 3.17GB. I've uploaded the file, Tom Tit Tot HD.mp4, to here

Have you any idea why Videopad is failing to compress the clearly bloated FHD video, when it was so effective at compressing the 720p video? Are there any settings I should have changed in the export dialog in order to get its compression algorithm to work effectively?

Using the same project file I then tried exporting the same project in 1280 x 720 resolution at 30fps - and that produced a 432MB MP4 file, which is much more like it. The difference in file size between a 1920 × 1080 version of a project and a 1280 x 720 version of the same project shouldn't be a factor of 7.3, which is what it is. Clearly Videopad is compressing the HD version effectively but is failing to compress the FHD version.

What am  I doing wrong? 

Dave

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What you got with default FHD settings was auto-detected as lossless. 

To re-encode, click the Default Quality/Filesize blue link on the export screen and choose OFF.

Using your original file with the VPJ, the result is 1.24GB with the H264 compressor and 562MB with MPEG4.

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Many thanks, borate - that was the solution! Not at all user friendly, and I don't know how anyone who's not an IT wizard could be expected to work that out on their own, but the product itself works great, it's just the interface that could be a lot more user-friendly. I'll feed back to the developers when I get a bit more time. in the meantime, many thanks for your help.

By the  way, if I choose the option to save it to Youtube, which involves giving Videopad access to my Google account, is that definitely 100% safe?

Dave

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  • borate changed the title to Videopad exports low quality files (RESOLVED)
On 9/16/2020 at 8:25 PM, borate said:

What you got with default FHD settings was auto-detected as lossless. 

To re-encode, click the Default Quality/Filesize blue link on the export screen and choose OFF.

Using your original file with the VPJ, the result is 1.24GB with the H264 compressor and 562MB with MPEG4.

Thank you, borate! This solved an issue I was having.

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  • borate changed the title to Videopad exports low quality files

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