HandBrake to encode HD video for Youtube

I’ve just defeated a problem I had with Youtube not accepting my videos encoded with Handbrake.

I usually encode videos using the High Profile preset in Handbrake but for some reason Youtube wasn’t very happy with that. It uploaded fine but after converting it it only displayed the first 30 seconds of my video. And that in fast forward speed. Not what I wanted.

By default Handbrake use the x264 encoder. If you select FFmpeg in the Video tab it works fines. I also increased the quality to QP:5 which seems to be ok for Youtube.

Making screencasts for Youtube with CamStudio

Yesterday I needed to find a simple and robust solutions for recording a screencast. It turned out to be not as easy as I thought.

To get a similar workflow as with my other video editing I wanted it to work like this:

  1. Record a 1280 x 720 section from my screen to a high quality format
  2. Open and edit the recorded file in Sony Vegas Platinum 8
  3. Render it from Vegas to a lossless format
  4. Re-render it using HandBrake
  5. Upload the file to Youtube

Record with CamStudio

I started out with the latest beta of CamStudio. It a nice, simple and easy tool that does what I need.

My first attempt was to save an AVI file with the included Microsoft Video 1 codec. The quality was pretty low so I tried to use the CamStudioCodec (from their web site). I got a nice looking AVI. However Vegas didn’t really like this file. It worked, but it was very slow.

Then I tried to use the Huffyuv codec that I had installed recently when I optimized my HDV workflow. It created a BEAUTIFUL HUGE file that I could work with in Vegas. I edited the file, normalized the audio and rendered the video almost exactly the same way as I render all my other videos (described in my HDV workflow). I just lowered the resolution from 1440 x 1080 to 1280 x 720.

Re-render and upload to Youtube

I opened the file in HandBrake and selected the High Profile. I exported the file the same way as in my normal HDV workflow. It created a good looking file. I uploaded it to Youtube. Everything went smooth. Until I looked at the video on Youtube. It came out gray. No video at all. I made a test upload to Vimeo. No problems. I tried with different codecs and settings. Both in Handbrake, Vegas and CamStudio. All came out gray on Youtube.

I tried really hard to understand why this didn’t work but I couldn’t get it to work so I resorted to Avidemux. I opened the file in Avidemux. Selected the MPEG-4 ASP (Xvid) codec for video and MP3 for audio (I increased the quality on both). I exported the file and boom. It worked fine on Youtube.

I’m not sure what went wrong. Or why. And I ended up yet another tool in my belt. But I almost reached my goal of having similar workflows so I’m pleased.

Sony Vegas Platinum 8 HDV workflow

I’m using Sony Vegas Platinum 8 to make my video editing. It’s some years old but I like it a lot. I just updated my camera from standard definition to high definition (one Canon HV20-PAL and one Canon 550D). It gave me some problems. But I think I’ve found a decent workflow. There is a never version available that might work better with HDV but I’m sticking with my 8. For now at least.

Capture

To capture from the HV20 I use HDVSplit. It captures to M2t files. And with the 550d it’s just to copy the MOV files from the memory card. To get Sony Vegas to accept the MOVs you must install QuickTime. I used the free version and that worked fine. The video I have been working on doesn’t have that many files from the 550D so I cannot tell how good it performs yet.

Project settings and editing

Start Sony Vegas and let it automatically detect the project settings by opening one of your M2t files. It should then detect the format automatically. Open the project properties. It should look something like this.

I use Deinterlace methodInterpolate fields. I tried all the different options in Vegas. I tried to deinterlace in Handbrake but this way seemed to give the best results.

The Platinum version of Sony Vegas only allows 1440 x 1080 which is the maximum resolution from the HV20. The 550D does 1920 x 1080. Vegas automatically converts the clips so they work together. I’m not really sure what happens with the 480 pixels but the video looks good so.

When that’s set up you can start editing. If you get performance problems Eugenia has some tips you can try.

Rendering

When you are done it’s time to render your video. I started out by following Eugenia’s guide but Sony Vegas kept crashing on me. I tried some different methods and I ended up with the following.

Start out by following step 2 & 3 in another of Eugenia’s guides. The only thing I changed was that I’m using Pixel aspect ratio: 1.0000 here instead of 1.3333 as before. I’m not sure why but the videos turned up wrong otherwise.

This will export a HUGE file in a lossless format.

Once that was done I had to convert the file to some other format. I tried with some different tools but I found Handbrake to be the easiest to use. All you do is to open the file in Handbrake and select a preset profile and render the video.

Viola! That’s all. Maybe not optimal but it works.