How can I make video output smaller, or what would be a better codec to use? Currently 31 seconds of video is 127MB and at that rate, videos longer than a few minutes would be impractical because I'd have such large files. I used AVI JPEG because it seems to open in more video players, not sure if anything special is needed on client's PC to display videos made in the other formats.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic because it should be on another SE: Video Production $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented Apr 24, 2014 at 22:57
  • $\begingroup$ Even though the question is not exclusive to Blender, I'd like to chime in. There are two ways to smaller files: 1-Reduce the number of pixels by making the frame smaller. 2-Reduce the data rate when compressing. BTW. You'll get smaller files by compressing to H.264, and is quite compatible with most computers. $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 0:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ this question is about what options to select in Blender. video production in general may not accurately provide a response, particularly if the tips pertain to non-blender tools in which case the options would be of no use. (not that there aren't shared options, but explaining application specific parameters from another application may or may not necessarily work.) $\endgroup$
    – ZCoder
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 1:26
  • $\begingroup$ @ZCoder It sounds like you are asking something like "what format should I use for a small compatible video file?", which isn't really specific to blender. If your question is something more like "how to export/render to format x?" that would be blender specific. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 2:58
  • $\begingroup$ that's mostly what it's about, but if it's put in general I might be given an answer that is a smaller format but doesn't work in blender. $\endgroup$
    – ZCoder
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 11:11

3 Answers 3


AVI is both large and not the most common format. It is generally played natively only on Windows, although other software packages can also open it (such as VLC). As such, it is not a good choice.

The format you are looking for is MP4 with the H.264 codec. It is the most common format and codec that plays on almost everything. It also has a relatively small file size.


As an additional tip, you should watch this tutorial on the best practice for rendering animations (you should render the individual frames as PNG images first, then encode the frames into a video file).

  • $\begingroup$ tried h.264, but it does not open in WMP and I had an occasion where I needed to have the video available for a presentation, unfortunately the only computer available only had WMP which was incompatible. $\endgroup$
    – ZCoder
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 1:27
  • $\begingroup$ Windows Media Player supports H.264/MP4. $\endgroup$
    – Keavon
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 1:32
  • $\begingroup$ being told it's an invalid file format whenever opened says otherwise. $\endgroup$
    – ZCoder
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 11:12
  • $\begingroup$ It sounds like it's corrupted somehow, then. Please try rerendering it using the tip I provided at the bottom of my answer. $\endgroup$
    – Keavon
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 13:40
  • $\begingroup$ Can you explain this IN DETAIL? There are 3 places where I can choose between MP4 and H.264. And really, choosing mp4/h.264 from what I could interpret from your post, made my video 6 TIMES BIGGER. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 3:54

Use Mpeg Output with Mpeg-4 encoding. It produces very small, but crisp video file.

After that, if you want, you can convert it into avi or anyother format, but the size will remain the same. (i use formatfactory to convert my videos, if required).

usually, a 6 sec video, with 25 fps @ 1280 * 720 takes up 3-4 mb space (without audio). The sizes changes with audio (depends on the audio tracks etc, i guess) inclusion as well.

This is as far as i know and it works great for me.

  • $\begingroup$ I suggest using FFMPEG with FFE as your file converter. $\endgroup$
    – Keavon
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 23:49

I think you have to play around with the settings a bit yourself because I followed the other answers on this question using Encoding: MP4 + H.264 and it resulted in a file twice the size (20MB)

These are the settings I found that created the smallest file size useful for sending family and friends...

Resolution 512 x 288 @ 25 fps
Output: Xvid
Encoding: AVI + MPG4 Divx
File Size: 10MB

This is video taken with a Canon 7D


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