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I'm trying to render video of something where the individual pixel color matters. I need whatever format and encoder I use to preserve the basic colors as much as possible. All of the formats in Blender seem to totally destroy the image at a pixel level (except RAW, but that is massive.)

For example, here is a test image. Above is the original .png. Below is that image rendered with the default MPEG output setting. enter image description here

The colors have been drastically altered, and it's added value into solid black pixels. I assume this is some feature of the codec meant to help interpolate between frames in a video or some such. But I'd like to just get regular video, same as an image sequence.

The base .png is 23.1kb (2400x600) so I'd expect to be able to get a video file that is 360 frames of that at ~8316kb. But it seems my only option to get this into video without destroying the quality is a ~460mb RAW file?

Is there some combination of format/encoding settings where I can just get the same thing as a PNG sequence but as a video without any added effects?

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  • $\begingroup$ You might want to render to png, then look at using ffmpeg to make the video so you get more encoding options. Check this answer $\endgroup$ – sambler May 3 '16 at 18:51
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The short answer is that you can't.

The longer answer is that it is an extremely complex series of transformations to take something from the RGB domain to the YCbCr domain, as outlined here.

Finally, even if you manage to leverage a 444 output stored in YCbCr that doesn't decimate your work, the output from Cycles is known as scene referred data. This data cannot be captured properly in a PNG nor any codec format. For a larger explanation into some of the nuances of this, see this question and answer.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not using this for rendering a 3D scene, just for processing some existing images and video footage. Does that make any difference? $\endgroup$ – Drudge May 4 '16 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ Same answer applies. It is always much more prudent, where possible, to stay in the RGB domain with still frames, then migrate to codecs for delivery. Same transformations apply as per the other thread. $\endgroup$ – troy_s May 4 '16 at 3:18

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