What are the best practices for Annotations, Captions, Transititions, etc to reduce gigantic MP4 file size?

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  • Updated 1 year ago
What are the best practices to reduce MP4 file sizes?

I found postings that cover the production wizard settings:

But I haven't found any postings that cover best practices during the movie creation process to reduce MP4 file size.

I will give an example:

I created a simple MP4 consisting of a project with 5 images, no audio, no video:

image1.png    600 KB
image2.jpg     209 KB
image3.jpg     210 KB
image4.png    132 KB
image5.png     28 KB
Each image, the duration is 5 seconds.
For each image, I added Zoom-n-Pan (scale to fit) at the beginning of each image.
Finally, I added Fade (Transition) for each image
Publish MP4 #1.
Next, removed all Fade Transitions
Publish MP4 #2.

1) MP4 #1 with transitions (Fade) for all images       -   7,423 KB
2) MP4 #2 without transitions (Fade) for all images  -    699 KB

I used the same custom production settings for each MP4
file type               MP4
Controller            unchecked (produce with controller)
Size                    1280 X 720 (keep aspect ratio checked)
Video settings
Frame Rate        30
Keyframe            5
H.264 profile       Baseline
H.264 level         Auto
Encoding mode  60%
Color mode        NTSC

I now understand how Transitions will greatly increase a published MP4 file size.
In my project, Transitions resulted in a 10 fold increase in MP4 file size. 

I would like help from the community in determining which features in Camtasia Studio (Annotations, Transitions, Behaviors, Animations, Cursor Effects, Audio Effects, Visual Effects, etc.) are the biggest culprit of making the MP4 size gigantic.

Thanks in advance
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  • confused

Posted 1 year ago

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Naomi Skarzinski

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Personally, I don't worry about any of the above and create a video for what is needed, using what is needed for the content I am presenting. I then use Handbrake to compress the file to a more manageable file size.  I think there are so many variables to what makes a good video and each video has its own specific requirements.  If I was forced to make a choice of removing one thing from my videos, then I guess it would have to be transitions.
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Brian Nystrom

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I  recently installed it to transcode a video, but I haven't experimented with anything else yet. For now, video size has not been a constraint, but it may be at some point.
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Naomi Skarzinski

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Bnystrom, an example of one file I compressed went from 173,778 KB to 50,049 KB.  As Ed said, you would need to experiment. I usually stick with the defaults. I have not felt there was any loss of quality when I keep the Constant Quality between 15 - 25.  Anything below 15 is not useful as it gets into what they call the Placebo Quality and will only create with far less compression.  Anything over 25 I begin to see some lower quality.
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Brian Nystrom

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Thanks Naomi, I'll play around with it and see what works best for me.

BTW, the "B" in Bnystrom is for "Brian".
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Rick Stone

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Seems to me that video is a large area where "dark arts" are practiced.

You see so many variations. One site will play utterly smooth and crystal clear video that almost never even has a hiccup while other sites constantly pause and buffer and the video clearly degrades, then clears back up briefly only to degrade again.
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Brian Nystrom

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That typically depends on bandwidth at both ends of the connection, i.e., what their server can provide and what your internet connection can receive.

One advantage of previously having a slow DSL connection was I knew that if I could watch my own videos, pretty much anyone could watch them. With a faster connection now, I can't be so sure. That said, there's no way I'd ever go back!

I do agree with your "dark arts" statement, BTW.