I cut clips from high-quality variable bitrate videos. What I'm wondering is if aiming for the same bitrate as the source video would result in a transparent-quality video. For example:


Source video: kmaccaroni.mp4

Bit rate mode : Variable

Bit rate : 26.0 Mb/s

Maximum bit rate : 37.0 Mb/s


I understand that data-loss is inevitable when transcoding. I simply want to minimize it in a reasonable manner.

•In this case, would it be enough to set my encoder settings to the same bitrate values?

•Would there be any benefit to using the same target rate but 50.0 MB/s for the Maximum rate?

•If not, should I increase the bitrate by a certain amount?

•What do you think of Premiere's "Adaptive High Bitrate" option?

•Is there any meaningful gains if I set the bitrate to 50.0 Mb/s CBR?

Thanks for reading.

  • 1
    What's done with the extracted clips?
    – Gyan
    Jan 24 '18 at 7:10

The answer is no. You need lossless encoding. The good news is, the file size will be of a reasonable size if you use the H.264 encoder (and also H.265 or VP9, but those are not as popular and widely extended as H.264).

I am not used to that software you mention, but there must be an option called either "H.264" or "MPEG-4 AVC" or "MPEG-4 Part 10" (not to be confused with "MPEG-4 ASP" or "MPEG-4 Part 2" !), with the settings to "lossless" or "Constant Rate Factor equals zero".

Here are the settings in case you are using Blender: enter image description here

Since you seem to be at the beginning of your learning curve, I recommend you switch to Blender. It is a professional alternative that was released as free software at some point and is maintained and upgraded by a very active and serious community. It is free, and there are awesome tutorials (Google for Mikeycal Meyers in YouTube).


You want to use lossless encoding only for the intermediate steps (e.g. cutting clips from other videos and putting them together as it seems you are doing). But once you are satisfied with the final form, for practical purposes you want to convert the last lossless compilation to a lossy format, e.g. H.264 with constant rate factor between 18 and 22 for visually good results. I use ffmpeg for this, although it can be done in Blender too.

  • 2
    Mephisto - the rest of your answer is fine, but that final para adds nothing useful, and would be likely to attract downvotes. Please do not post things like that - they are irrelevant to this site.
    – Dr Mayhem
    Jan 23 '18 at 18:05

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