Handbrake Compression: A Tutorial

Discussion in 'FRAPS General Discussion, Guides, and Tutorials' started by Thalmor Wizard, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Thalmor Wizard

    Thalmor Wizard Moderator Staff Member Site Contributor

    So you have an awesome video file that's just been rendered from a video editing software and the file size is huge? Don't bother trying to upload large HD videos to youtube. Not only will your ISP kill you for wasting their bandwidth, you'll have to leave your PC on for a long time and this is not a good idea. There is a solution however: Handbrake!

    Handbrake is a tool used to convert rendered videos from a video editor into a much smaller and uploader friendly format that can be used anywhere. The best thing about it is that the video quality will not be lost in the new mp4 file. How cool is that?!

    To use handbrake, follow these steps:
    1) Download and install Handbrake from the official website here: http://handbrake.fr

    2) Before you can use Handbrake, you need to set the output folder. Click the Tools option on the menu bar and select Options. If you don't know where the Tools option is, see the screenshot below:

    2) In the Options tab, there will be a section for setting the Output file. Select any valid location for the files to be sent to and close the window. I recommend you have the "Always use iPod/iTunes friendly file extension (.m4v) for MP4" checked as this will help. See the image below if you aren't sure.

    3) Now it's time to encode the video! Click the Source tab and select video file. Find the video you want on your computer and click Open. The page should change to something like this:
    Please note the following:
    * If the Display Size is NOT the same as the Source (in the image, the Source is 1280 x 720 while the display size is 1280 x 718), do not start the encoding process! This usually happens because the cropping bit on the right automatically detected the video should be cropped.
    • The simplest solution is to change Cropping to Custom and change all the values in the 4 boxes to 0, then changing Anamorphic to None and back to Strict. This solves the problem. Please note that you should only do this if you do not want your video cropped: if you want Handbrake to crop the video, then you can just ignore this step but in most cases, Fraps won't place black bars and your video editor shouldn't place them either for Handbrake to even require videos to be cropped.
    * Make sure your preset is set to Normal for the best results.
    * Web Optimised should be checked for uploading to YouTube.

    If you suspect the output from Handbrake will be above 4GB, or Handbrake produces a video which does not play, check the option for "large file size": this causes Handbrake to use the 64-bit mp4 container, rather than the default 32-bit container.

    When you are happy with the options, click Start. The software will begin encoding your video at the settings chosen. Please note that the drop in filesize is based on your bit rate. Larger bit rate files will have a much larger drop in file size than a file with a low bitrate.

    It should also be noted that certain video editor programs (aka Pinnacle Studio) are rendered to an exact bit rate and that using Handbrake on any videos rendered by the Pinnacle Studio programs will have no useful gain (you might get a couple MB drop but nothing useful).

    I hope this post is helpful to those not sure on using Handbrake :)
  2. I tried this guide now with a BF3 fraps video 1680x 1050 . The fraps file was 3,47 GB and after I followed this guide the file is 228 MB. I cant tell any difference in quality.
    1. I wonder how is it possible to lose that much in size and the quality is the same or almost the same?
    2. I suppose the quality is decreased slightly but it cant be much? or is the quality the same just less space?
  3. Thalmor Wizard

    Thalmor Wizard Moderator Staff Member Site Contributor

    The quality is not lost at all. It's because Handbrake uses the MP4 container, which is way smaller. However, Handbrake is NOT for use on raw footage: you must run the raw footage through a video editor first.
    FrapsisFunbutBig likes this.
  4. raffriff

    raffriff Moderator Staff Member Site Contributor

    >1. I wonder how is it possible to lose that much in size and the quality is the same or almost the same?
    A lot of complicated operations are done, like: chroma subsampling, discrete cosine transform, adaptive Huffman encoding, motion compensation, and interframe difference encoding. In other words a lot of work by a lot of smart people over many years. It's fascinating stuff :)

    >2. I suppose the quality is decreased slightly but it cant be much? or is the quality the same just less space?
    It fools the eye into seeing almost exactly the same images, but they are not really the same.
    FrapsisFunbutBig likes this.
  5. If I have like 50-100 videoes that I should make smaller with Handbrake, can I do it a faster way or do I have to manually do 1 and 1 video?
  6. Thalmor Wizard

    Thalmor Wizard Moderator Staff Member Site Contributor

    You can only do it one by one. As I stated previously, you shouldn't be using Handbrake for compressing raw fraps footage: use a video editor like WLMM first and then use Handbrake to compress the output WMV.
  7. Can you tell me the reason why use a video editor like WLMM first and then use Handbrake to compress the output WMV?
  8. Thalmor Wizard

    Thalmor Wizard Moderator Staff Member Site Contributor

    Handbrake can become overloaded if it's asked to process a file with an insane data rate. All the fraps videos produce an insane data rate that almost no editor can cope with for extended periods of time. Using a video editor lowers the data rate and makes it easier for Handbrake. Last I can remember, you said you had no intention of uploading any of your videos, so I really don't see why you even have Fraps at all if you plan on doing nothing with the videos.
    FrapsisFunbutBig likes this.
  9. I gonna uppload some, but the main issue was that fraps videos take alot of space and I almost have no space left because of that. But now I can get more space back thanks to you guide :)

    Is there anything negative about the handbreak file vs fraps file? I can delete fraps video if I have it in Handbreak?
  10. Thalmor Wizard

    Thalmor Wizard Moderator Staff Member Site Contributor

    Nothing negative at all about the Handbrake file. It's best to delete the Fraps videos once all the videos have been split up into parts and then uploaded.
  11. Its possible to open Handbreak several times and therefore manage several videoes at the same time, but I suppose this is not a good ideas since maybe the computer will get overheated and cause lagg in video? Or is this a faster way to do it if you got several fraps videoes you want to make smaller?
  12. Thalmor Wizard

    Thalmor Wizard Moderator Staff Member Site Contributor

    No, it's not possible to open multiple instances of Handbrake. The process HandbrakeCLI.exe uses a lot of memory when it's encoding, probably about 500MB I think.
  13. If I have a 12 GB movie with DTS sound and Handbreak it, will the picture be the same but the sound not that good? Or will the sound still be DTS?
  14. ETAdmin

    ETAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    I believe handbrake has an audio-passthrough option which would preserve the audio format and just encode the video. I could be wrong, though.
  15. While this is a very interesting tool there is a bit of misinformation going on, some of it not really intentional.

    This can be true and not true. It depends on your ISP. If you ISP has small caps then yes you do not want to be uploading any video at all. If you ISP enforces their caps then yes you want to have smaller video files when uploading. There are several ISPs though that have large caps and do not enforce them. Cox in Arizona, or at least in Phoenix, has a 250GB cap but does not enforce it.

    It also depends on your connection speed. I can upload appx. 10GB of video (5 videos for two walkthrough projects) to YouTube in about 8 hours. I hardly have Cox's fastest connection type, just a 15mbps connection. The bit about leaving the computer on for long periods of time is purely subjective. If you buy a quality computer or build a quality computer you can leave it on forever without many, if any , issues.

    This can also be true and false. It has nothing to do with the editing program nor fraps and everything to do with your personal computer's setup. If you have a low end-ish computer good luck trying to do anything with fraps, let alone rendering out video, for modern games. It is true though that some editors cannot deal with frap's custom codec but that has more to do with the codec itself and not the video files produced.

    If you have a mid to high end computer things get a bit more complicated though. For a mid range computer on a 32-bit (with the max of 3.5GB of ram and a mid-range dual core processor) you can do some rendering but you should not push it more then 3 to 4 hours at a time.

    If you have a high end computer with a 32-bit OS you can do a bit more because the processor will spit out more frames per second during rendering; 5 to 6 hours, maybe 7, will be the max you can get out of it before the renderer will crash or your PC locks up from over-allocating memory (happened to me a lot on my previous PC which was a high end but 32-bit system).

    If you have an ultra high computer with a 64-bit OS the sky is your limit. I have been, so far, able to render out mountains of footage with no problems with my current rig, 8 hours of fraps footage and an hour of HD camcorder footage in one sitting, or rather over night, with Sony Vegas. Again you have to have a very high end computer to be able to do this (current setup: Win7 ult 64-bit, 16GB DDR3 1600mhz ram, I7-3930k overclocked to 4.2ghz).

    I have been using fraps to record game walkthroughs for about 3 years now. My general end-render file sizes are around 1GB with using highest quality settings, a 10meg video bit rate, and a custom SAVC/ACC profile in Sony Vegas. All of this really depends not on the footage, the program, or file size but on your system's strength and what your ISP does in terms of enforcement of caps and your connection speed.

    Still this is a good program for those that want to have smaller file sizes or need to have them, though it could be tedious if you are like me and process terabytes of video every month to have to put all of the resulting video files through a secondary stage so I do not recommend it for general use if you are worried about the time between recording and uploading. This is still an informative thread even with the above problems I had with the suppositions made, I had never heard of handbreak before and I may look into using it for some of my more specialized projects.
  16. Thalmor Wizard

    Thalmor Wizard Moderator Staff Member Site Contributor

    The bit about leaving your PC on and having your ISP's kill you was mainly directed at those who live in the UK. We have terrible connections here so HD uploads HAVE to be done overnight.

    I know that in countries who are NIC's, they have insane upload speeds. Most of your comment here seems to relate to USA based ISP's, which are at least 10x better than the ones we have in Europe (UK specifically)

    My ISP has unlimited downloads / uploads, but there's the Fair Use Policy that we have to adhere to. If you come to the UK and use one of our ISP's, then you'll see exactly why I mentioned what I did at the beginning.
  17. *facepalm* Keep forgetting that there are some developed countries that have crappy broadband providers. But I did add in that it is both true and false, so I did not forget them either. I felt the need to comment because I hate when people leave out the other side of a statement/argument/comment. Meant no disrespect to you post exactly just felt the need to present a little more informative comments in response to the parts of your post I mentioned. Also to point out here in the US we have our fair share of really bad ISPs (some have caps as low as 5GB for all of their tiers) and we suck at penetration; many rural communities are still on dial-up/low speed dsl.
    Thalmor Wizard likes this.
  18. I wonder why I cant handbreak TS video (.ts)?
  19. Thalmor Wizard

    Thalmor Wizard Moderator Staff Member Site Contributor

    Never heard of the .ts extension and most likely it's unsupported. What are the errors you get ?
  20. I simply cant drag the video into handbreak. Then I tried fraps video and that worked like a charm.
    billman likes this.

Share This Page