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I almost never get stuck with things like this and kinda figure things out myself... but I'm at a complete loss here.

I've used Handbrake, X-Media Recode, and lots of other encoders and they're great.. but they just don't have clearly defined options for maximum and minimum bitrate control in VBR. That, or I just can't find the options. Is there a GUI I could use for this? Or is it only possible through command-line in x264 core? I've only been able to work with constant bitrate so far and I REALLY need to use variable bitrate.

I found these extra options and I think they might be for variable bitrate.. but experimenting and encoding with that still produces a result with constant bitrate:

VBV buffer size, VBV maximum bitrate, VBV initial buffer and Bitrate variance.

Any help would be appreciated.

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What you are looking for is a way to achieve the "Bitrate range" I suppose? –  Power-Inside Dec 5 '11 at 9:28
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From http://ffmpeg.org/ffmpeg.html , you can do this in CLI.. not sure about GUI.

‘-maxrate bitrate’

Set max video bitrate (in bit/s). Requires -bufsize to be set.

‘-minrate bitrate’

Set min video bitrate (in bit/s). Most useful in setting up a CBR encode

Eg: "ffmpeg -i myfile.avi -b:v 4000k -minrate 4000k -maxrate 4000k -bufsize 1835k out.m2v"

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