View Full Version : Best Demo Reel Codecs?

03-26-2004, 04:04 AM
Hi All,

My demo's nearly ready to be put on the web. I was just curious what tips you all have about what file format/codec etc. for making my demo reel available on line. Remember, I'm thinking more about potential recruiters than I am about general viewing. Not sure if that makes a difference, but that's why I'm asking a question that's probably been asked a few times before.

03-26-2004, 04:13 AM
Personally I used to love divx because it's free. The only drawback is that a person has to download the codec and install it. Now I use Sorenson 3 Pro. All you have to have is Quicktime 5 or better and it doesn't require someone to have to go to a site and download the codec and install it. As long as they have quicktime then they can view your work. Plus Sorenson3 Pro really does a way better job at compressing files than the Standard version of Sorenson3. Go to www.sorenson.com (http://www.sorenson.com)
and try the Sorenson Squeeze compression suite. If you try it then you will be eligable to buy it for a discount.

03-26-2004, 06:08 AM
Sorenson Pro wins for the "it just works" factor.

(to be honest MPEG-1 is playable ANYWHERE, but it's not a great codec for internet purposes)

03-26-2004, 06:24 AM
$300?! Ouch. Heh.

03-26-2004, 07:07 AM
I heard xvid is good and small and could be included in a zip.
or not>?!??

03-26-2004, 08:15 AM
Use this one, TMPGEnc:

The free version can encode mpeg1 and if you use variable bit rate you can get extremely good quality (as good as divx/xvid with only a slightly larger filesize).

Best of all, everyone can see the film without any problems, Mac, PC, Linux, create a VCD for that matter and play it on a DVD player (if it supports the VCD format that is).


once again:




03-26-2004, 11:40 AM
I'd say the high quality version should be DivX (available for Win, Mac, Linux), medium quality version should be WMV9 (available for Win, Mac) and low quality version either MPEG or QT.

My low interest for QT comes from the fact that its compression/quality ratio is just too low for internet. MPEG also has too much limitations that keep it away from the "medium quality level". DivX is the one that can be adjusted to extent so that's why I'd choose it for the high quality version. WMV9 is almost as good as DivX, but it doesn't have as much adjustement possibilies as DivX so that's why I'd use it for medium quality version.

Just my .02 cents :)

03-26-2004, 01:25 PM
Thanks for the link to TMPGEnc, Patterms! I like it!

Work In Progress I used for a test (http://www.Carm3D.net/TheHuntWIP.MPG) (230kb!)

I had to crop it down to a resolution evenly divisible by 16, but with DFX+ that was a snap! :p

03-26-2004, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by dmaas
Sorenson Pro wins for the "it just works" factor.

(to be honest MPEG-1 is playable ANYWHERE, but it's not a great codec for internet purposes)

Personally I have never been able to get another codec to match MPEG1 in terms of quality to size ratio. (other than maybe Divx)
Not sure why you would say it's not a great codec for internet, but that's not the first time I have heard that. Just curious as to why that might be.

I use TMPGE and export most stuff to MPEG1. You can adjust the bitrate to change the size/quality of the file. I have to agree MPEG1 is the "safest" format.

03-26-2004, 02:23 PM
Just be safe and encode to multiple codecs. If you hit sorrenson, divx and quicktime .mov, not many people will be left in the dust. For something has important as your demo reel, can you afford not to encode to multiple formats? Pretty simple.

03-26-2004, 03:26 PM
Try to explain to a 50 year old non technical customer that he needs to get the DivX or Xvid codec. The answer would be something like "I dont want a codec, I just want the movie".

Just set TMPGEnc to use Automatic Variable Bitrate (CQ_VBR), go to settings and set high quality and low maximum bitrate of 1024 kbps or so. Also, set a high quality on the Motion Search Precision setting on the bottom.

Compressing a movie is just as much an issue of settings and rendering as raytracing an image. The more time the machine gets to spend calculating the image, the better the quality.

You can also go into audio settings and set its bitrate a bit lower than the default, especially if the sound is secondary to the demoreel's content.

All computersystems (as far as I know), come with default support of mpeg1 playback. No codec issue would arise.

03-26-2004, 03:31 PM
A 50 year old non technical customer is not someone looking to give him a job. Just use widely used codecs, give multiple choices and you're set.

03-26-2004, 04:05 PM
Mpeg1 at the very least.

As others have said, its viewable no matter what player, codec, or OS you have.

Then you could provide a high quality divx. Just make sure you have at least one that anyone can watch.

03-26-2004, 04:33 PM
Agree with you jeremy. Do an mpeg1 for low/med res version as primary choice, and a highres divx/xvid as secondary for the "pros"

A 50 year old got me the current work I have. Fun and well-paid, working on 3d stills/animations and realtime graphics for the offshore industry. So dont underestimate the "dumb" 50 year old fogies, they tend to be managers. Some of them might even be working in the graphics industry and still have problems understanding why they need a codec, when all they want is a movie.

If a movie doesnt work (for whatever reason, wrong version downloaded or codec missing), and a manager is about to take a look, then the chances for him/her going through the hassle of installing software to make it work is slim...

Better safe than sorry, stick to mpeg1 as primary choice.

Edit: mpeg1 movie of 640 x 480, 25 fps, 1150 kbps CBR, 192 kbps stereo sound, 1,1 MB for 7 seconds = 18,8 MB for 2 minutes. With variable bitrate, and less spent on sound, that size will be much lower:

03-26-2004, 06:44 PM
25 fps 640x480, 2 pass VBR 768 KBps average, 192 KBps stereo sound, 632 KB total file size:
(compression of an already compressed file so the quality is lower than what it would be if I had the uncompressed AVI).

This is a settingsfile for the setup used in TEMPGEnc:

03-26-2004, 10:12 PM
I hate to say it but I am starting to like the WMV 9 codec. I hate microsoft.:p I get a good image and the size has been very small and they have a free encoder program to download. But I do not think a Mac user would be able to see it. You could offer it in many forms. Divx is always a good choice too.

03-26-2004, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by RichardHertz
I hate to say it but I am starting to like the WMV 9 codec. I hate microsoft.:p I get a good image and the size has been very small and they have a free encoder program to download. But I do not think a Mac user would be able to see it.

Oh but yes they can! Clicky! (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/software/Macintosh/osx/default.aspx) :)

03-27-2004, 08:01 AM
It's just easy.

Maybe use both DivX and Quickrime, that way your'e safe.

03-27-2004, 10:38 AM
I like to use the divx codec for the pc and sorenson 3 for people who use that mac or qt. I think that these two codecs are farily standard now.

03-27-2004, 04:13 PM
Sorenson for MAC folks, and DivX or WMV for Windows.

Allow for both options!

03-27-2004, 04:14 PM
Doh. I just realized I only have QT on my site.

*Fires up the PC to create a Windows version*

03-27-2004, 05:09 PM
Quicktime MPEG-4... Will play in any free version of QT and the quality is superb.

03-27-2004, 05:23 PM
Can someone please provide me with some decent divx settings for an animation reel., Everything l get seems really chopy abd bitty, despite the high bit rate

03-27-2004, 05:49 PM
You should try DrDivx (http://download.divx.com/divx/drdivx/DrDivX104.exe) (download trial from that link), I've heard it's great tool that can help any user compress their videos to DivX easily with best possible quality.

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