Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Handbrake - a Great Way to Reduce Video File Sizes For Free!

Handbrake. Free to download.
What is Handbrake? Handbrake is a video transcoder,  a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. It's super useful for reducing the size of big video files without losing quality, and best of all - it's completely free.

What is Handbrake?
HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs.

How does it work?
Handbrake is a stand alone desktop application for Windows, Mac and Linux. Handbrake is open source and accepts all video formats, and transcodes them using the h264 (industry approved) codec.  It can accept a large video file, say a .mov file from Quicktime or a massive AVI file and reduce its size dramatically using a popular codec.

What do you end up with?
The end result is a mp4 video file that is the same size and very similar quality to the original - but much, much smaller - generally just a few Mbs in size.

Perfect for the 11 Second Club
What's it for?
Handbrake is needed when you need to reduce your file sizes. For example, it is ideal for the Eleven Second Club, FaceBook uploads and YouTube.

What makes it so great?

  • It will convert video from nearly any format
  • It is free and Open Source
  • It works on Multiple Platforms (Windows, Mac and Linux)
Where can you download it?
Start by going to the Eleven Second Club site and downloading the correct version of Handbrake. (Beware - there are many imitations on the web and not all are kosher) They have complete instructions, and even a little preset you can import to make it all as easy as pie - though this can be tricky to import

How does it work?
Click on the clapper button marked "source" and navigate to the movie file you want. Click on add to queue. When you are ready to go, press the green "start" button.

For more information on building a career in the animation and visual effects business, read our post on how to find a job in the animation industry, and check out our post about what not to do at a job interview. Also see our post on starting your own small animation business, learn how to create an invoice, and see how we are helping our students find work through our film co-operative Nano Films.  Download the free Escape Studios Careers in VFX Handbook. Take a look at how can help you find a job, and read our piece about how to survive as a freelance animator. Also, find out what Cinesite look for in a student's demo reel, and read our post on setting up your own animation business.

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