Author Topic: A quick guide to preparing videos for the web  (Read 5146 times)


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A quick guide to preparing videos for the web
« on: April 20, 2016, 08:27:56 pm »
Firstly, I wasn't sure exactly where to post this, so please feel free to move it if necessary.

Right - you've got a video of something (a project you're working on, a promo video, something completely random, etc.) and you want to post it online.  The first thing we need to do it cut the file size down as much as possible.  Decreasing the file size doesn't only reduce the time it takes you to upload the video, but it also reduces the time others take to view / download it.  Reduced file sizes also help if you are using a service which restricts the total file size of all your uploaded videos - thus saving the need to pay for additional space, or set up multiple "free" accounts.

Fortunately the answer to all this is quite simple for Windows, Mac OS, and Ubuntu systems, and best of all, the software is FREE.  I will only give you a very basic introduction on how to use this software here, so please read the online manuals for more details if you would like to tweak the settings further.

Step 1:  Download the software.
Download Handbrake, and install it.  It may ask you to install VLC, if so please do - it's another free and very light-weight video player (i.e. better on low-spec systems than Quicktime and Windows Media Player by far!) (It's also available for OS/X, Windows, and others, including most Linux, *BSD, Android, Solaris, QNX and OS/2, of all things! - DPvC).

Step 2:  Set up your output path.
With Handbrake running, click on the "Tools" menu, and select "Options".  Then select "Output files" from the list on the left, and click on "Browse" next to the "Default Path" entry box - navigate to your chosen directory and click on the "Select Folder" button in the bottom right of the window.  Now click on the "Close" button at the bottom of the currently active window, and you should end up back at the main screen / menu / options (whatever you want to call it) that you started at when you first ran the program.

Step 3: Convert your video.
This can be a LOT more complicated if you want to dig into the details, but fortunately, this time it will be easy, because I have pictures (everyone loves pictures!).

First select your source file (i.e. the video you want to reduce in size)...

Then enter your output file name, and select the following options (as required)...

Then it's simply a case of clicking on the "Start" button / icon at the top of the window to get the ball rolling.

Please note:  The time taken for your video to process will depend on what options you have selected, what settings you have set in the various menus (if you've been playing with them outside of this guide), and your computer specifications.  Generally, the guide shown above should only take a small amount of time longer than the actual video's play-length.

However, if there is the need to downsize your video, see "Step 4"...

Step 4:  Downsize your video (optional).
If you've been recording at 1080p (or something higher / slightly lower), then you may have to reduce the resolution of your video in order to be able to reduce its file size to your needs.  This is also quite simple in Handbrake.  First select the "Picture" tab in the middle of the window on the left side.

Now, this is what you should see for a 1080p video...

So to reduce its resolution, follow the guide in the following image...

Then hit the "Start" button / icon, and off you go to a better video file size ;)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 09:39:38 pm by von Corax »
"People call me a "Doctor", but only for my skills.  I know nothing of healing the flesh.  Metal, steam, and what I discover in the wastelands are the tools and techniques for my creations in the new world." - Dr.B.Goodall, Wasteland Explorer