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Encoding : where to go from here...?
#1
Guys, I'm stuck at the encoding step of a few finished projects.

I tend to end my edits with DN-HD outputs (which are about 120gb for a 90mn film), which I then encode to h264/blu-ray or other more lossy formats to share online. However, I still haven't found the right encoding method to deliver satisfying results for those "more lossy" formats, especially h264 and BD-related encodings. No matter what softwares and settings I use, I keep finding the resulting videos disappointing compared to the original source, and at this point, I feel like I've tried pretty much everything.

An example HERE


You can see the BD encode has greatly softened the grain, even though the settings used were tentatively as high as can be for the desired output size/format.
Obviously, quality loss is to be expected, but not to that level (?).

I'm open to your suggestions and advices as to what method should be used to properly encode to "general consumption" formats.  Humble thanks !
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#2
I just had a look at your Exorcist II release. You have Reference frames set to 2, whereas you should have it set to 4 for best quality. What program are you using to encode the release? Many default encoders that come with BD software are lower quality. I confirmed this myself recently by testing Microsoft's Expression Encoder. It's a discontinued product now, but its encoder was significantly slower and produced much lower quality encodes than the x264 encoder.

Here's some screenshots of Blurays encoded with x264: Deep Read 4K (Arrow), The Hills Have Eyes 4K (Arrow). Both were encoded 3 ReFrames @ 35.0 Mbps VBR, Max Bitrate 38.0 Mbps. They would have achieved slightly better encoding with 4 Reference frames of course. Here are the settings they used:

Code:
...................................The Hills Have Eyes...................................
Writing library                : x264 core 128 r2216 198a7ea
Encoding settings              : cabac=1 / ref=4 / deblock=0:-1:-1 / analyse=0x3:0x133 / me=umh / subme=10 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.15 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=24 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=2 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=1 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-3 / threads=12 / lookahead_threads=2 / sliced_threads=0 / slices=4 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=1 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=1 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / weightb=1 / open_gop=1 / weightp=1 / keyint=24 / keyint_min=1 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=24 / rc=abr / mbtree=1 / bitrate=35000 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.00 / qpmin=4 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / vbv_maxrate=38000 / vbv_bufsize=28500 / nal_hrd=vbr / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00

........................................Deep Red.........................................
Writing library                : x264 core 142 r2479kMod dd79a61
Encoding settings              : cabac=1 / ref=4 / deblock=0:-1:-1 / analyse=0x3:0x133 / me=umh / subme=10 / psy=1 / fade_compensate=0.00 / psy_rd=1.00:0.15 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=24 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=2 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=1 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=0 / chroma_qp_offset=-3 / threads=12 / lookahead_threads=1 / sliced_threads=0 / slices=4 / nr=0 / decimate=0 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=1 / constrained_intra=0 / fgo=14 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=1 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / weightb=1 / open_gop=1 / weightp=1 / keyint=24 / keyint_min=1 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=24 / rc=abr / mbtree=0 / bitrate=35000 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.00 / qpmin=4 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / vbv_maxrate=38000 / vbv_bufsize=28500 / nal_hrd=vbr / filler=0 / ip_ratio=1.40 / pb_ratio=1.14 / aq=1:1.00
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#3
Yes, very strange that the grain is wiped out at 40mbps... where I noted it could be retained almost perfectly at just 16/18mbps, using x264...

You can take a loot at the settings I use, and also to the ones Valeyard posted in the previous post, then decide which would fit better your needs: https://forum.fanres.com/thread-97.html
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