V – Audio and Video Compression

Our video is finally filtered and, hopefully, it looks better than it did when we began. If it doesn’t, you done goofed somewhere in Step IV, go back and try again.

Releasing a 20GB+ video file is a little unreasonable. We want to compress the video, and probably the audio while we’re at it. Most of the animu community uses x264, and with good reason – it does a nice job, and x265 isn’t quite ready for prime-time (at least at the time I am writing this).

Open up our fully filtered video in Virtualdub. Go to the “Video” dropdown and select “Full processing mode,” if it isn’t already selected, and then select “Compression” to bring up the codec list. Select “x264vfw” and hit the “Configure” button to the right.

Don’t panic. The picture below shows recommended settings, followed by step-by-step explanation.

x264vfw config

We will be using two-pass compression. The first pass will analyze the video and generate stats files (x264.stats and x264.stats.mbtree). The second pass will use those stats files to perform the actual compression.

In the “Basic” section, set the “Preset” to “Placebo.” Set the “Tuning” to “Animation.” “Profile” and “Level” are on “Auto.”

Under the “Rate control” section, select “Multipass – 1st pass.”

I set the Target bitrate to 1000. The lower the number, the more the video will be compressed, but detail is being thrown out in the process…!

I recommend setting to path of the stats file to wherever your video is – I like to keep things nice and organized. But you can put the stats file anywhere you like. A half hour of footage will generate around 45MB of stats.

Under the “Output” section, set you “Output mode” to VFW, your “VFW FourCC” to “H264,” and check the “VirtualDub Hack” checkbox.

Hit “Ok” at the bottom – you are ready to begin! Don’t worry about the audio portion yet – we will deal with that during the second pass.

Save your AVI. As usual, this will take a little while, but x264 utilizes multicore a lot more effectively than AVISynth plugins, so that should help a lot. Well, if you have a lot of cores, anyhow.

If you open your new AVI, you will see – nothing. You have done nothing wrong, so again, don’t panic. All we did in that last step was generate stats. You can safely delete the blank AVI file if you like, we don’t need it for anything. We just need those stats files.

With your filtered video still open in AVISynth (open it back up if you closed it), go back into your x264 configuration. This time, change “Multipass – 1st pass” to “Multipass – Nth pass.” Leave everything else the same.
Lame MP3 setup

This time around we want to deal with audio compression as well. Back in Virtualdub’s main screen, select the “Audio” dropdown, select “Full processing mode.” Then from the same menu select “Compression.” Select “Lame MP3,” and choose your bitrate on the right. I usually go with “48000 Hz, 192 kbps, CBR, Stereo.” Hit “Ok.”

Your audio compression is set, as well as your second-pass video compression – save your AVI.

This is your final product. Congratulations, probably.

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