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Encoding 101 - simple encoding to upload to YT

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Post by DijiDori Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:57 am

Sooooo people don't really know how to encode. That's what this is for! \o\

What is encoding?:
in this context it's pretty much just adding your audio file to a video in a fast and efficient manner. In reality it's a lot more complicated then that and I don't want (or know enough) to get into it.

Why should you listen to me?:
I spent a decent chunk of time in a fansubbing group, so I picked up some things about how they go from a 20+ GB raw video stream to a 2-300 MB file appropriate for downloading.

What these instructions are useful for:
  • Creating an AVI file that can be uploaded to YouTube
  • Adding an MP3 or other audio file to a pre-existing video
  • Adding the audio file into a render from AE if you forgot to check the audio option
  • Compressing a lossless video render from multiple gigabytes to a few megabytes

Programs and stuff:

NicoFox plugin for Firefox: (Highly Recommended)
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/nicofox/
Used to download the video file directly from NicoNicoDouga. Should download an exact copy of the video (need to test still)

VirtualDub: (required)
http://virtualdub.sourceforge.net/
The program used to encode

This plugin pack for Virtualdub: (Required/Recommended)
http://www.videohelp.com/download/VirtualdubPluginPack2.zip
These plugins for VirtualDub allow it to open a wider variety of formats. They also occasionally block VD from opening some times of videos. To install, just drop them into the Plugins folder in VDs folder. If a video isn't opening, try dragging them out of the folder, restarting VD and opening the video again

K-Lite or CCCP codec pack: (Required. I think. Probably not. Try it without it first and tell me the results <<;Wink
K-Lite: http://www.codecguide.com/download_kl.htm
CCCP: http://www.cccp-project.net/
This should give you the codecs you need for VirtualDub to open the file. Once it's installed it drops to a passive role and you shouldn't need to worry about it.

x.264 video codec: (Highly recommended)
http://sourceforge.net/projects/x264vfw/files/x264vfw/
The codec that I recommend encoding with. Significantly faster then wmv. Also, it's the video codec NicoNicoDouga likes

Step 0: Install everything:
Self-explanatory, I think.

Step 1: Download/Render video.:
If you're making a video, render it out.

If you are using the original video from Nico Nico Douga, download it with NicoFox. You might need to rename it to get rid of any Japanese characters to keep VirtualDub from complaining

Step 2: Open the video and audio in VirtualDub.:
Launch VirtualDub, go to File -> Open Video File and choose the video.

By default, it loads the audio included in the video you open. To add your cover or something, go to Audio -> Audio from other file… and choose your audio file

Step 3: Add filters (Optional):
Video -> Filter -> Add

This is where you do things like resize the video and add subtitles. In general you shouldn't need to do anything here.

Regarding Video Resolution:
If you upload an AVI file, YouTube seems to be much nicer to your video's audio quality if you upload a 720p (maybe 480p as well) video as opposed to something smaller.

Aside from audio quality there is also NO benefit to making a video 720p or 1080p just for the sake of a "prettier" video. Enlarging the video from it's original resolution won't be any prettier than if you just full screen a 360p video.

Also, please remember that larger is not always better anyways. Larger videos take longer to encode. They are also bigger which means they take up more space on your computer, take longer to upload, and take longer for people to load on YouTube. And no one likes waiting for videos to buffer. Conversely, smaller videos are faster, but you sacrifice video or audio quality for it.

Step 4: Choose your codec:
Video -> compression -> x264vfw blahblahblah
Configure -> profile -> main
Make sure the "VirtualDub Hack" box is checked.

If you think it isn't high enough quality:
Configure -> Ratefactor -> lower it a step or two.
A lower number here means higher quality, but a larger video

Step 5: Save as .AVI:
File -> Save as AVI

Wait a bit and you're done!
Depending on the video, the encode should take anywhere from 3 to 30 minutes

I probably forgot some things I need to explain somewhere. If you have any issues just ask.


Last edited by Ciel on Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:17 am; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : Rewrite - trimmed out a lot of words and added download links)

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Post by Cherysh Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:03 am

THANK YOU! I've always struggled with encoding (I use Vegas or avidemux + Nico encoder) so this is a big help and really insightful *A*

Could this thread be stickied?
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Post by harumia Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:25 pm

This is a good guide, though I am wondering, how do I lower the file size? 15GB won't upload to NND obviously...
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Post by DijiDori Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:14 pm

see "Step 4: Choose your codec"

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Post by harumia Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:22 pm

Oh woops I had the thing set to high....

I uploaded the finished thing to NND and it was still terrible quality... I'm not sure what I did wrong
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Post by DijiDori Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:54 pm

Had what thing set to high?

NND follows a whole other set of rules and requires more complicated instructions then are in this thread. I'll write it up... eventually.

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Post by Ciel Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:20 am

Stickied the post for people's references : D
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Post by konoame Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:37 am

Just sharing small things I've tried neko

I *never* encode my video for upload neko

Assuming you are using existing PVs from NND without any modification or editing, there's no need for encoding. In fact, we should avoid it. We're not dealing with GBs of raw HDTV broadcast dump if we get our source video from streaming sites, they've handled it for us and the rest should be much easier.

The magic here is called 'muxing', we won't re-encode the video, a process which will degrade the quality. Let's imagine a video from NND reprinted to YT, in this process YT will re-encode that video. Then, you download the YT reprint, and using VirtualDub re-encode it to avi, upload it to YT where they'll do yet another encoding. That's a re-encode of a re-encode of a re-encode. More blocks, more color bands, uglier video Sweat
Indeed, encoding is a difficult art which takes years to master (I can't do it well either).
Instead of encoding, we'll keep the video intact, discard the original audio and then put your mixdown in place of the original audio. You'll save much time if you avoid encoding. Muxing only takes several seconds while encoding takes at least several minutes on a dual core PC/laptop with 50% or more workload for the CPU.

First, prepare your final mixdown as 160kbps AAC (that's the max for typical streaming sites, you can set it lower if you only have low quality off-vocal and/or low quality recording result). If your DAW can't export AAC, export it as .wav (or .flac) or other lossless format. We'll do it in such way that there's no lossy-to-lossy audio encoding.

You'll need to download the video from NND using any flash downloader of your choice. It has to be from NND for the best result, not YT reprint.

To 'mux' the video, set your video converter settings as explained below:
Video codec/compression: 'copy' (not x264 or other)
Audio codec: this depends on your mixdown, but we'll need AAC audio. If you already export the mixdown in AAC format, set it as 'copy', if not, set it as 'aac' 160kbps. AAC encoder in a professional DAW might be better than one in your free encoding software, so you should have your mixdown prepared as AAC if you're using AA or other pro-tools.
Output format: mp4. AVI doesn't handle x264 well and it's the preferred upload format for streaming sites.

As for detailed procedures, it depends on which video converter you are using. The easiest shortcut is using mkvmerge-GUI (just works out of the box since it can only mux without any encoding features), but you'll get an MKV file instead of MP4. YT accepts MKV files but I've never tried submitting MKV to NND.

If you want to add subtitles, overlay your artwork etc you'll have no other choice but to encode the video. It can be quite costly, depending on what stuff you're putting on the video. For example, we'll have to adjust CRF value by -2 for adding typical printed subtitle (hardsub), this significantly increases the final output file size and encoding time.

CMIIW. Needs more help and explanation from experts here neko

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