Rendered file quality is very good, but YouTube ruins it

RobiePAX

Well-Known Member
Site Contributor
After hours of testing, testing, testing, experimenting I finally found a satisfying video rendering quality with reasonable file size overall, using WMV format.

The rendered file quality is very clear, little difference with a RAW file. However when I uploaded the video, YouTube ruined the quality quite drastically. It's not "awful" yet I find it very sad how much quality the video lost and I'm not satisfied with it. Popular YouTubers have a lot better 1080p quality of this game than this.

Screenshot:
How it looks on rendered video: Good
How it looks on YouTube: Bad

Basically I'm asking if anyone knows why YouTube ruins so much quality, what did I do wrong and how to get similar quality like popular YouTubers get of this game because I give up trying to find the best settings on my own. Just when I thought I found it, it all went back to the start.
 

billman

Well-Known Member
Site Contributor
Youtube ruins footage because they transcode your footage to a low bit rate footage.
Youtube Encode Settings
Keeping the quality of your footage is not an easy task. Many have different methods.
My method is to use encode to Mainconcept MP4 at a Variable bit rate between 12-26 Mbit.
This results in VERY large files, up to 1GB for 5 Mins but these produce beautiful youtube videos.
Others will limit there encode to 8Mbit before uploading as this is the approximate bitrate youtube uses.
I find this is much faster for youtube to process but fine text becomes hard to read.

The more footage is transcoded the worse it will get, I have never had good results sending WMV's to youtube. However some people swear by it. So I'm sorry to say but even more experimenting and testing for your specific videos is required. I uploaded about 60 videos before I had any clue on the best encode settings.

If you don't have Sony Vegas, output your video from WMM into a lossless format, then compress using handbrake.

Here are two guide made by Shukaku
Windows Movie Maker
Handbrake Compression
Should help get you on the right track.
 

RobiePAX

Well-Known Member
Site Contributor
Thanks billman but I'm done with MPEG4. It compresses the video way too much, no matter what setting I use.

I guess I just needed a long night sleep. This morning I found a pretty satisfying quality by slightly increasing rendering resolution for WMV which allowed to use even higher quality bit rate.

The "1080p" quality is still quite cranky, but needlessly still better than it was. While "Original" quality is pretty much awesome. Going to still research for ways how to make 1080p better since most of people watch in that, but for now going to stick with this "Original quality" method.
 

Thalmor Wizard

Moderator
Staff member
Site Contributor
since most of people watch in that
That is not true and is simply your opinion.
but for now going to stick with this "Original quality" method.
I wouldn't do that as many people are just going to be pissed off if they have to have a high download speed to watch your videos without pixellation.

I would highly recommend you take a look at my WLMM and Handbrake tutorials, as well as another guide that raffriff posted about Sony Vegas and Handbrake.

@billman: MainConcept does not work and it should not be used or even recommended on this forum. We've proven it on this forum that it's useless.
 

RobiePAX

Well-Known Member
Site Contributor
That is not true and is simply your opinion.
Opinion is based from experience of watching other people use YouTube in my area(friends and family). I'll read your 2 guides right now. Though Windows Movie Maker... I thought that thing burned in hell long time ago.

billman video looks good but..... it's GTA:SA man -_- Comparison with something more modern is needed.
 

billman

Well-Known Member
Site Contributor

I bumped up the bitrate on this one as it is fast paced.

Just Cause 2 MP modern enough?
 

raffriff

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"What works on Youtube" is a moving target as Youtube can change the way they choose to reencode your video any time they please - possibly even hour to hour, depending on their server workload. (This is my conclusion from testing and from the fact that YT does not disclose their reencoding methods - thus reserving the ability to change them)

It's been 8 or 12 months since I did my extensive tests, but in general I find that
  • The video needs to be cleanly encoded. Minor noise or artifacts in
    your upload file cause degradation on the reencode. This is because
    these things are hard to compress and consume more than their
    share of the total bitrate.
    .
  • High bitrates are needed, and also low complexity. If your encoder is
    using "tricks" to lower bitrate, YouTube's decoder *may* choose to lower
    quality for the sake of processing speed / memory usage.
 

RobiePAX

Well-Known Member
Site Contributor
Unfortunately I'm just a beginner when it comes to all this. Not complete idiot, yet not too bright either when you start talking about all these ticks, codes, complexities, etc...

What do you raffriff suggest to render video in? I think I've seen your post about getting best rendering quality somewhere, yet you posted so much on this forum it is worse than unsorted library sometimes when a newbie comes in and tries to find something.

I know for sure that you can achieve ultimate gaming quality on YouTube. Here's an example video(scroll to 6:50), this guy has a truly amazing "Original" quality, looks like a raw fraps quality while 1080p version doesn't show any pixels either. I think I tried over 30 different times to render in different formats, custom settings yet my 1080p is always pixeled. I'm clueless what am I doing wrong.

Could it be that Cyberlink PowerDirector(video editing software I use) simply renders that awfully and I wasted money on bad editor...
 

raffriff

Moderator
Staff member
Site Contributor
> What do you raffriff suggest to render video in?
I suggest this method: exporting losslessly in Vegas, then compressing the lossless file in Handbrake. This takes more time and disk space, but the advantages are:
  • Handbrake makes a much better looking and/or smaller file than anything else.
  • Rendering to a lossless format takes much less RAM than full compression, if that's an issue for you.
  • You have the lossless intermediate file to re-edit if you want it. Fully compressed files don't edit well.
> yet you posted so much on this forum it is worse than unsorted library
Ha, yeah. Check my sig for Fraps Forum Tag Cloud or Raffriff's links page , they are both good places to start.
 

RobiePAX

Well-Known Member
Site Contributor
*suicide*

What the hell is going on... I've made a clean re-installation from Windows 7 to Windows 8 since I planned to upgrade long time ago. Installed everything back, Fraps, my video editor, etc... and what the hell.

I rendered a video in MPEG4, quality is significantly better even without going over 2K resolution. Same for .WMV quality highly improved for some reason, even though I rendered in exactly same settings when I created this thread. I understand I should be happy, but it angers me that I don't understand how did Windows re-installation helped and what affected this change...
 

raffriff

Moderator
Staff member
Site Contributor
Robie, if you still have some raw Fraps files hanging around from when your quality was better, and also some compressed files, it might help if you post some screenshots of each for comparison. Pick a similar scene, and save in JPG at 100% quality, or use PNG. I have a vague idea that something is adding a small amount of noise to the video before YouTube gets it, which would make the file harder to compress, therefore uglier.
 

RobiePAX

Well-Known Member
Site Contributor
Unfortunately I no longer have any videos right now anymore. However after my previous post I did multiple tests. Nearly every single rendering configuration I tried .MOV, .WMV, , .AVI, .MPEG4 is no longer being ruined by YouTube. The quality I get from rendered video files remains the same now when I upload it on YouTube.

It might be nothing, but when i used Windows 7 I used VLC as primary video player. On Windows 8 I didn't install VLC and installed "K-Lite Codec Pack" and use it player instead since it works faster and doesn't make my Fraps videos "dark". I don't know, maybe VLC had something to do with my issue, though unlikely since K-Lite Codec was installed as well just not as primary player.

Also thanks guys for introducing me to HandBrake, it truly is amazing piece of software. A 400MB video file drops down to 100MB, while quality remains exactly the same. What is this magic, I have no idea.

I'm still confident that WMV is better format since at least on my tests I don't see any visible pixels on the final video unlike MPEG4 for example. Color also suffers a bit on MPEG4(at least for me).
The final configuration that I will be using is 1080p .WMV + HandBrake. Here's the final quality I'm satisfied with, without going over 2K resolution to "Original" quality.
 

ETAdmin

Administrator
Staff member
Just clarifying here - Microsoft's WMV is series of codecs, and MPEG-4 is a standard. Both have gone through many revisions over the years.

For example, a video encoded with the XviD codec uses MPEG-4 Part 2, but a video encoded with Handbrake (which uses x264 to encode) would use MPEG-4 Part 10/AVC. Both commonly get called an MPEG file, but they are vastly different from each other in terms of filesize and quality output. This is why when someone tells me "I'll send it to you in AVI format" I generally facepalm and hold my breath, waiting to see what I actually end up with.

In addition, AVI and MOV are containers that can hold many different formats of media. You can even stuff an MPEG-4 Part 10 encoded video into an AVI container (though that is a terrible idea and you should never do that).
 
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