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TOPIC: Converting HEVC from GoPro and iPhone with Handbrake

Converting HEVC from GoPro and iPhone with Handbrake 1 year, 10 months ago #166802

  • hugly
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Lightworks doesn't support h.265/HEVC codec (High Efficiency Video Coding) as import format yet (V14.1).
Footage recorded in this format must to be converted prior to import in Lightworks.

GoPro recommend Handbrake to transcode their HEVC recordings and explain how to, here:

gopro.com/help/articles/how_to/how-to-convert-gopro-hevc-videos-to-h-264-using-handbrake

The format created by Handbrake, AVC, isn't best possible choice for intermediates in terms of quality and editing performance, but Handbrake is well known, easy to use and available on all supported platforms. I’m sure Handbrake will be used and, it’s suitable to convert HEVC recordings from other devices as well (e.g. iPhone 8 ).

From my point of view, they recommend meaningful settings, in general (see link above).
For editing with Lightworks I'd like to add the following points:

1. Downscale the footage to the export resolution planned to use with Lightworks, e.g. to 720p when using the Free version. There's no benefit in terms of quality when using higher resolutions, as of now (V14.1), but there are drawbacks in editing performance.

2. Shorten the keyframe interval in Handbrake to 60 for 720p (30 for HD, 15 for UHD) to increase editing performance by adding this line to "Extra Options:" in "Video” tab of Handbrake:
keyint=60

3. Users of the Pro version might wish converting to higher resolution than 720p. AVC is a comparably demanding codec, so it might be necessary, especially with 4K/UHD, to use internal proxies to improve editing performance.

4. For recordings in variable frame rate mode (webcams, mobile phones, e.a.) select a frame rate explicitly, instead of using "Same as Source" in “Video” tab of Handbrake.

5. Before converting a large number of videos, make a few tests with different settings to see what looks and works best on your machine and under your viewing conditions.
It's better to travel well than to arrive...
Last Edit: 1 year, 9 months ago by hugly.

Re: Converting HEVC from GoPro and iPhone with Handbrake 1 year, 9 months ago #167594

  • hugly
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Off topic: Those who are familiar with FFmpeg and like the comparably small file sizes created by AVC/h.264, but prefer using uncompressed PCM audio instead of compressed formats created by Handbrake, might wish to make some tests with the command line below using x.264 encoder library:

ffmpeg -i "<INPUT>" -vsync cfr -pix_fmt yuv420p -vf scale=-1:720 -g 60 -c:v  libx264 -preset fast -crf 20 -c:a pcm_s16le -ar 48000 -f mov -y -threads 4 "<OUTPUT>.MOV"


Parameters to adjust explained:
-vf scale=-1:720
Scales to 720 vertical pixels and keeps aspect ratio.
Set as needed. To keep original dimensions set to -1:-1 (or remove).
- g 60
Sets keyframe interval (GOP) to 60 frames.
My recommendation: 60 for 720p and below, 30 for HD, 15 for UHD/4K.
-crf 20
Sets Constant Rate Factor (very specific to x.264 encoder, basically a mixture between bitrate and quantizer settings, trying to keep quality constant). It influences overall quality and bitrate/file size (and also encoding speed, to some extent).
Recommendations: 16-20 for SD, 18-24 for HD and 22-28 for UHD/4K - the lower the better.
-preset fast
Sets various internal parameters which influence encoding speed and quality (mainly blocking/banding artifacts caused by motion prediction/estimation).
Recommendations: "very fast" or "ultrafast" for testing, "faster", "fast", "medium", or "slow" for conversion - the slower the better (beyond preset "slow" it's kind of placebo, in my view). Personally, I use preset slow on a regular basis, with very good results.

Please note: Both, "CRF" and "Preset" settings influence quality, but they don't target the same x264 encoder parameters. As long as B-frames and P-frames are created (GOP >1) you can't compensate (completely) by increasing CRF (bitrate) for artifacts created by too fast encoder preset. In other words CRF 2 and preset ultrafast will blow up file size dramatically with lightning fast encoding, but it won't look nice.
It's better to travel well than to arrive...
Last Edit: 1 year, 7 months ago by hugly.

Re: Converting HEVC from GoPro and iPhone with Handbrake 1 year, 9 months ago #167830

  • hugly
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As an example, Handbrake settings explained earlier summarized in screenshots showing Handbrake V1.07 with 1080p29.97 source video:

Edit: At the end of this post I've attached the settings shown below as preset file created with Handbrake V1.2.1. Since Handbrake has changed the file format of its presets to .json, it will not load with versions which use the .plist format.

Red: Mandatory
Green: Recommended - modify if you know what you're doing
Yellow: Adjust to meet your needs


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Please note: Quality "crf 20" and encoder preset "medium" with 1080p sources will create high quality at reasonable encoding speed and file size for most practical purposes. Nonetheless, there might be critical footage (e.g. animation, grainy film scans, fine color gradients) which might need different settings and even encoder tunes. Testing different settings with the footage used is always a good idea.

For a explanation of basic parameters and recommendations how to use them, please see the post above.

Edit: This is a preset file for Handbrake V1.2.1 and later. It creates the settings shown above. Download and unzip the file. Start Handbrake, import some video and use 'Options.Import from file', lower left hand side. It'll show up as 'h.264 High Medium' under 'Custom Presets'. Select the preset and start encoding.
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Last Edit: 8 months, 1 week ago by hugly.

Re: Converting HEVC from GoPro and iPhone with Handbrake 11 months, 3 weeks ago #188602

  • borntodeal
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Could I trouble you to export the Handbrake settings and post a link here so I can import it for converting my iPhone 4K footage? I would be grateful.
"Don't use a hammer if a screwdriver will do..."

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Re: Converting HEVC from GoPro and iPhone with Handbrake 11 months, 3 weeks ago #188612

  • hugly
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Helllo,

The text above is so long, because I tried to explain that there isn't one preset for all needs with Handbrake, nor any other lossy format with other transcoding software, unfortunately. With some tests, based on the information above, you'll have to find out a good balance between encoding speed on your computer and visible quality which meet your needs and available time for waiting to finish encoding on your computer, in particular when encoding 4K to 4K without downscaling to HD and with high frame rates.

What I can do, if you post a Mediainfo report of your actual footage, your computer details and the resolution and frame rate you plan for the final video, I can post some settings I would start testing with.
It's better to travel well than to arrive...
Last Edit: 11 months, 3 weeks ago by hugly.

Re: Converting HEVC from GoPro and iPhone with Handbrake 11 months, 3 weeks ago #188640

  • David Rasberry
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I would not set a keyframe interval larger than 15 frames for fluid editing response in Lightworks.
Lightworks has to decode and buffer to ram the entire GOP between keyframes on the editing timeline. That can slow things down considerably with longer GOP's if you don't have a very fast multi-threaded CPU and lots of ram to work with, at least 16GB or more.
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Re: Converting HEVC from GoPro and iPhone with Handbrake 11 months, 3 weeks ago #188644

  • borntodeal
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Thanks for having a look.

I am going to edit this 4K video of my mom and post it on YouTube.

Hoping to have someone share a preset export that I can import that would work well for this intermediary transcode project.

Anyone willing to share their preset export file? Let me know!
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"Don't use a hammer if a screwdriver will do..."

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Re: Converting HEVC from GoPro and iPhone with Handbrake 11 months, 3 weeks ago #188651

  • hugly
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Thanks.

A Youtube video of your mom in 4K 60 fps. I hope she'll enjoy it.

First, you should be aware that 2160p60 is very demanding due to high resolution and frame rate and it will take time to convert, to create proxies for fluent editing, and to export. Personally I wouldn't capture in this format with an iPhone, 1080p30 or even better 1080p24 instead.

Anyway, I've attached a preset to start with. It will be listed as "iPhone 2160p60" under "Custom Presets". It doesn't change resolution and frame rate. I used most recent Handbrake 1.1.2 to create and tested it with some iPhone footage I have here. Because Handbrake presets are not fully compatible across versions, you should upgrade to 1.1.2, if you run an earlier release. After converting and import, create internal proxies in Lightworks for fluent editing.

Tell how that works and looks for you.
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Last Edit: 11 months, 3 weeks ago by hugly.

Re: Converting HEVC from GoPro and iPhone with Handbrake 11 months, 3 weeks ago #188674

  • borntodeal
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***awesome community response***

Thank you! I will try this in a few days. I'm working on this later in the week.

Feedback will follow.

[EDIT] Hi hugly, I wanted to update you. I used your amazing Handbrake settings. They worked so well. I am very grateful to you. I apologize for the length of time it takes me to get things done. My work backlog is enormous but I am methodical about handling it. FIFO etc.
"Don't use a hammer if a screwdriver will do..."

Christopher Matthew Spencer
Global Business Team
kathy ireland® Worldwide
Last Edit: 10 months, 2 weeks ago by jwrl.

Re: Converting HEVC from GoPro and iPhone with Handbrake 11 months, 3 weeks ago #188682

  • briandrys
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I've moved this thread and made it a stcky here because it has a good number of views, so is proving of interest to users. The old location has a quite a few sticky threads, so this appears to be an appropriate location for the topic.

Re: Converting HEVC from GoPro and iPhone with Handbrake 10 months, 2 weeks ago #190797

  • hugly
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Hello again,

I appreciate your feedback and good to hear that the preset worked well for you.
It's better to travel well than to arrive...
Last Edit: 10 months, 2 weeks ago by jwrl.

Re: Converting HEVC from GoPro and iPhone with Handbrake 10 months, 2 weeks ago #190801

  • jwrl
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User borntodeal branched off into another topic at this point. I have put that into its own thread at How do I highlight something in Lightworks?
Last Edit: 10 months, 2 weeks ago by jwrl.

Re: Converting HEVC from GoPro and iPhone with Handbrake 8 months, 1 week ago #194297

  • hugly
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Since Handbrake has invented 'Production' presets, users can try one of those. Some may not be happy with the resulting bitrates and file sizes.

Starting from 'Production' presets, setting "Constant Quality' to 20, 'Encoder Preset' to 'Medium' and replacing the line in 'Extra Options' with 'keyint=30' creates the preset shown above (with 320 kbps for the sound which can be lowered to 160 in most cases). This provides much smaller file sizes at comparable quality (with most sources).
It's better to travel well than to arrive...
Last Edit: 8 months, 1 week ago by hugly.
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