Alright, so I'm at the stage with a bunch of questions and a few ways I can answer them/directions I can take. Most of them are pretty inconsequential to me, but they can impact how you guys will be consuming my content in the months/maybe years to come.
Of this is of course stated in the assumption nothing bad happens that causes me issues IRL.
The Filesize Conundrum
I'm recording or going to be recording several games that cause serious complications for my existing approach to file compression. The reason why games like Darksouls 3 and similar ARPG's have been handled pretty well is due to the relatively low motion and low contrast colors. As originally encountered in Hunted and UT3, high motion and contrast gave me a lot of issues for filesizes.
To be clear, if I could, I would gladly upload bluray quality video and not give a shit. However, I have to think about the host and my bandwidth, both of which are not exactly infinite. One thing is for sure, though - some of these releases are going to be larger than average, and this is why.
High compression on contrast causes eyestrain with high response displays
Divinity: Original Sin 2 and some other games have a lot of areas with overly bright grass and forests in relatively high contrast. My traditional settings of 28 look ok on my primary, but my secondary, which is a newer and superior quality benQ with a little higher update and better colors, brings out some microstutter-esque "lag". With extended viewing this was causing me eyestrain. I got a second opinion from someone with a 27" display and the results were effectively the same. Reducing the CRF (effectively raising the bitrate) was significantly more effective than just increasing motion estimation settings and similar, as I am already using near-placebo levels for these videos. Basically, I have to give the encoder more data for it to handle this video effectively. Yes, these kinds games are unusable on youtube, it destroys them.
I've basically reached the point where I am going to have to break away from the old trends of my previous videos where I typically considered 1gig an hour a good breakpoint. I still think this is attainable with many videos, but many games, even console titles at 720p, have handed me issues in the past and I am getting tired of making compromises. This is the Current Year where you can sexually identify as a table and have Canadian law back you up, so why can't I pursue high-quality video?
Size to Length
They say size isn't everything, but it is here. Divinity: OS2 is encoding at an average of 8-10gb per 2:45 hours. Dark Souls 3, which is an atypically large run at 10gb for 4 hours for the last segment, gets totally blown out of the water by this. It's exclusively due to the differences in contrast and colors.
However, that exact divinity segment is basically unwatchable for me, because every time the camera moves it gives me eyestrain in those bright spots. The reasoning why still kind of escapes me because documenting how exactly x264 and various features of the encoder, such as B-Frames and i-Frames, function on terms that anyone besides a mathematician understands isn't exactly something that anyone thought about. The most layman way I can think on why the eyestrain occurs is because of how the compressor is bouncing between frame "types" and how those types handle compression. Some frames only accept data that is different between each other. In any event, changing these settings has 1 of 2 effects - tremendously bloated filesize with very little gain, or tremendous increase in encode time with little gain. Given that I encode most of my videos at 3-6fps, anything that results in, at best, placebo quality increases but drops my encoding speed even lower is undesirable.
The inescapable conclusion of my tests is that I have to increase the filesize by increasing the quality to escape the eyestrain. This is something I am going to do for these problem videos regardless of how I release them, because anything I can't watch myself isn't worth doing, right?
However, there's a few ways I can combat the problem of releasing super large videos on an American file host using third-world internet from Canada. Here's two major considerations, though the poll has more.
The context is long runs. For short runs I am not likely to nitpick the sizes so much. We're talking 50+ hour projects.
1.) I can drop the video resolution. Many upscalers, such as madVR, gracefully upscale low-resolution videos, and what you're going to get is something that is like 1280x800p that is effectively supersampled (from 1920x1200). Not the busted version like the first Hunted run. That said, it's definitely not as sharp as the source. I don't like this option, but the file sizes, even at a comparatively higher quality setting than the 28crf fullsize, is significantly smaller than normal.
2.) I can release the larger videos in smaller pieces. If I decide to stick with 26 CRF fullsize for OS2, which to me is the most likely solution, I can cut the files into smaller pieces so Americans aren't swallowing 15gb at a time and don't destroy their phone's data. Everyone else uses DTA anyways so it's not like downloading a few more files is a super big issue, but I like having as few files as possible to make sorting easier internally. Your choice, here. Keep in mind that DKS3 was a whopping 24 segments (~170gb) and OS2 is going to easily be just as long of a run at probably double the size if I keep it at native resolution.
"But the host says space and bandwidth are unlimited. Why be concerned?"
In the assumption that 2018 is more active, if I run the games I intend to run I could be looking at anywhere from 1-4tb worth of releases using my current configurations. That exceeds all existing releases combined by a considerable amount. I always take what people say with a grain of salt - nothing is unlimited, and I would be testing something I really don't want to test if I decide to start making 200-300gb runs the norm. Not to mention that I can't actually upload that much.
Reference data? Here's some Divinity encodes at various configurations.
http://www.gameproc.com/meskstuff/apex_ ... ngs28b.mkv - Divinity baseline settings.
http://www.gameproc.com/meskstuff/apex_ ... ngs26b.mkv - Divinity baseline settings @ 26crf
http://www.gameproc.com/meskstuff/apex_ ... ngs23b.mkv - Divinity baseline settings @ 23crf
http://www.gameproc.com/meskstuff/apex_ ... ngs23c.mkv - Divinity 800p @ 23crf
The poll is mostly to garner a more general idea on how you want me to approach these releases. I am aware that Guests can't vote and most people don't want to make accounts - feel free to e-mail me at malkor (at) gmail (dot) com with any opinions or comments you may have.
Ok, ignore the eyestrain thing. I figured out what was doing that. It's so stupid I can't even put it into words. The rest of the stuff still applies.
The source for all things IskatuMesk and then some. From projects, to articles, and even Let's Plays- it's all here for the taking.
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