My goal is to get a high bitrate video to a friend of mine, so he can then use the video and edit it for another use.

I am to the point where i need to export the video.

What export option is going to keep the best quality and bitrate but still be under 2 gigs? My video is currently 12 minutes long, but i can shorten it into 4 minute sections.

So, what is the best export option to keep a high bitrate and quality and get 4 minutes under 2 gigs. 1080p @ 60fps.


Screenshots of lightworks pro export options. It is not all of them, but let me know if you would like to see more of the options.

Picture of the format options:

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Image Sequence

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  • 1
    What about mailing your friend a hard drive of the media, and the project files? Sometimes works out faster than compressing and downloading.
    – stib
    Feb 11 '14 at 11:28
  • I have also considered that as an option. Just wanting to see if i can get it done without having to ship something first.
    – prolink007
    Feb 11 '14 at 15:18

Depending on your definition of high quality, this is impossible. For comparison sake, DV video (at standard definition) takes a gigabyte per 4.7 minutes, which is at a good, high quality level of compression. You are trying to do 60fps 1080p video and get it under 2GB for 4 minutes. That's over 12 times the information and you are trying to fit it in just over twice the space.

If you want to see how it works out when you use the highest possible quality that will fit your size requirements, you can simply calculate the data rate. Create a 2-pass VBR encoding with an average data rate determined by the size and time. The file size is equal to the data rate times the number of seconds in the video. 2 pass VBR will ensure that the best possible use is made of that space.

You mention that you can break it up in to 4 minute sections to send over. Why is it that you can't split the files (using file tools rather than video tools) and have them reassembled on the other side? Is it a file size limitation or a file transfer limitation? Also, is there a reason you can't send the original files along with the project files? Each additional time that you encode, there is a slight bit of quality loss, so it is preferable to work from the original assets whenever possible.

Another possibility if you are working collaboratively and have issues with moving a huge amount of data. It is possible to output low quality copies of the original video files and substitute those files for the high quality versions when working on them remotely. Your friend would take your project files and the low quality assets, do any editing he wants, and then send the project files back to you. You could then render the final output based on your friend's editing decisions but using the original, full quality assets.

The reason you don't want to go to a smaller file size in-between is that each time you encode a video, quality is lost. The lower quality the source you are working from, the more is lost in each additional encoding, so if you move to a mid-range format early on, then the final output will suffer. If you run the render from the originals however, you get maximum quality.

  • I would like to send the original files, but that would be 100gigs of information. I have made 4 minute videos before that are around 20mb bitrate @ 1080p and are under 2 gigs. And they appeared to be very good quality. And i was only using windows movie maker. I am very new to lightworks, just wondering if there was a way that i could get similar quality or better at a similar size with the pro version.
    – prolink007
    Feb 10 '14 at 16:10
  • @prolink007 - for final output, it is possible to get decent quality HD video at 60fps at as low as 15mb bitrate or so depending on the amount of action. The problem is the intent to re-encode. If the person you are giving the assets to intends to work with them and then export again, then they will run in to quality problems. Your comment does make me think of another possibility though. I will update my answer accordingly.
    – AJ Henderson
    Feb 10 '14 at 16:31
  • That is interesting. I believe he will probably be adding new assets and parts though. So, he might then run into the issue of having to send me originals. I actually found a way that i can get 50G to him easily. Is there a render option that would give me good quality at that size? Basically i just need to go into the video and cut certain sections out and then export the video. Basically reducing the length of the video and maintaining original quality.
    – prolink007
    Feb 10 '14 at 16:44
  • @prolink007 - that's a trickier question and probably drifting a bit from the original question. Depending on format, you may be able to clip portions of the video out without having to recompress anything. That would give you the maximum quality. Even if you do have to recompress, 25 to 50GB still gives you plenty of space for a high quality re-encode for the amount of footage you have. Assuming this is footage of a game that was captured in real time, the type of compression used isn't very optimized. Running a high quality 2 pass VBR compression on it can still reduce file size.
    – AJ Henderson
    Feb 10 '14 at 16:51
  • You can use VirtualDUB to see if the source files can be split. If not, using a data rate of around 183mbps (about 1.4 gigabytes per minute) VBR 2-pass All I Frame video should be very good quality source video at a much smaller file size than you currently have.
    – AJ Henderson
    Feb 10 '14 at 17:02

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