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Wow! This is th firs post here in like 2 weeks. When I render for YouTube, I render to a wmv format with moderately low compression. The quality remains nice but the file size is small. I only do this for YouTube posts.
What do you mean by "easier to work with"?
Does anyone know the best way to compress video without loss of quality? I've tried VirtualDub, but that doesn't seem to work very well.
VirtualDub is just a tool that allows you to use a variety of video codecs for compression. VirtualDub isn't the problem- the problem is that you have a weak codec selected. You need to look into changing (or downloading new) codecs if you want to get the most out of using the program. If you go to [Video] -> [Compression] in VirtualDub, it will show you a list of all the codecs you have installed that it can use. Some will have restrictions listed (ie. the film must fit a certain aspect ratio, etc...) and some of them will have settings that can be adjusted to lower the quality for a smaller file size.
As far as recommending specific codecs, I'm afraid I can't be of much help. Lossless codecs (I believe I've used Huffyuv in the past) will give you better quality, but if you really want to dramatically lower the filesize you may have to settle for a little bit of quality deterioration. I've also used wmv compression for Youtube films, but even at low levels it tends to introduce more artifacts than I'd like. If you look around film sites or Google "best video codecs" you should get a better idea of the options you have. I'm sure more people will chime in here as well with suggestions.
What "production software" are you using?
Oh, man! If I knew that I'd have told you sooner! I'll get the specs for the videos I compress to make small for Youtube. It's in wmv format, which takes longer to render, as it stops at every 1 second mark to process something, but I have some settings that offer low compression and file size for the quality.
If the files are becoming too big in the editing process, you may want to look for a lossless codec that will allow you to make your files smaller without losing quality. Lagarith is the one I recently started using for editing with Sony Vegas, but it may not make your files much smaller. Another codec which gives you near to no quality loss while reducing the file size drastically is Avid's DNxHD codec, but I'm not sure whether this codec cooperates well with Sony Vegas.
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