Official - Google Has Open-Sourced The VP8 Codec As WebM!

Turns out the rumours were true - today Google announced the open sourcing of the VP8 codec (rival to H.264).

Offically named the WebM Project, all details can be found on the project’s site:

This is a pretty big deal for the future of internet video and quite a slap in the face of the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) who are hoping to make big bucks from their H.264 format as the main internet video codec.

Any ideas/news on what would be involved in implementing WebM/VP8 as a codec in Blender?

indeed great news!

just a guess by me: the FFMPEG project will implement VP8 support and this way it’s coming to blender as well.

Too bad that it doesn’t really offer a better bit/quality ratio than h.264. Additionally, one of the main advantages of h.264 is that it’s hardware accelerated. VP8 is more open than h.264, but the initial reaction that I’ve seen seems to suggest that it’s not actually any better (eg: In fact in many respects it is worse - the video prediction is less advanced for example.

Lastly, though the codec may be open source, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t patent encumbered, just like Theora - in fact VP8 is likely more so, being much more similar to the patented h.264.

You’d also think with the billions of dollars Google has lying around they could afford to hire a competent IP lawyer…

That is what I was reading about as well.

It is too bad because high capacity compressions are very important.

However I am curious if a giant like Google who also owns youtube
would not be interested in furthermore pushing and improving that
algorithm to improve it.

I’ll bet the majority of users on the Internet will not be concerned at the supposed inferior quality. Look at the quality of the average You Tube video :slight_smile:

Besides Google has plenty of resources to improve the codec and players

thank you Google

fobsta has a legitimate point…I (and my family) don’t even watch TV anymore, not the actual TV that is…

Most consumer users buy 1000$ 50" HD TVs to watch stretched non hd video and don’t even realize the difference. So the small difference in quality between VP8 and h264 won’t matter. What matters is the spread of the codec.

I cannot wait for this to become widespread. This is a great step in open technology. I am very thankful to Google for using their eminence to push the hand of Apple and Microsoft into allowing the web to become more open. I hope I can ditch adobe flash player soon; it is the only non-free software I have on my computer, and it happens to be the most dysfunctional.

It’s inferior to h.264, but Google will continue to improve the codec.


that is why I do not use youtube but other video services because they offer a better quality.
if you look at services like hulu and others they offer very decent results.

but true question is to how many this might concern.

To an old guy like myself, this sounds strangley like the history to how VHS spread past the Betamax format…

this is very true

in theory also MP3 was leading to a decrease of sound sensibility among the majority of population since most use a low compression quality.

anyway I just wanted to throw in that Google also opened Google Wave now.
Wave is mh a mix of forum and email for collaboration.

It is quite nice to work with.


From the code analysis in the blog ( ) it seems like this codec is just begging to have somebody file suite. It just has too much in common with the mpeg patents.

And it appears there are lots of bugs that are not going be fixed for backwards compatibility.

The DCT based algorithms are too common. There is just no way to implement a DCT based codec without totally walking all over quite a few patents.

If anybody wants a high quality, high compression codec that is un-encumbered by patents, they’re going to have to do some R&D in wavelets. It has a lot of potential, but hasn’t really been utilized well because there are still many issues with it that do not have solutions yet. (hence, no patents…)

Is it just me or are there three groups of open-source promoters…

  • The geeks who do it for the love of it.
  • The companies who do it to get free brain power to solve problems that will further their commercial goals
  • The companies who have a product they can nolonger support, but don’t want it to disapear and are happy to lose control in exchange for knowing their work was not wasted?

I get the feeling we are seeing a few companies open sourcing parts or all of their code for entirely selfish reasons, whereas others are doing it for entirely selfless reasons. It’s good to see more open source stuff, its a mentality which I love. I guess survival of the fittest will dictate what projects make the cut.

revision #23165 of FFMpeg has support. it’s just a waiting game until it turns up under export in blender.

if I where you and publish ANY material you made yourself commercially on the web in h264 I would re export it with this new matroska codec.

to avoid any nasty licensing h264 issues coming 2015

Yeah the h.246 license is really nasty, but the release of WebM might force MPEG-LA to change their license to the better…

Do you know what the funny thing is about the moment this was announced? It’s that Blender had a presence right up there on stage as WebM was being demoed for the very first time.

Check out this vid (it’s a few mins in - start watching at about 2:50):

Does the movie trailer being used look familiar? It’s Project London directed by the mighty Ian Hubert, which used Blender to render nearly all its 3D special effects! :slight_smile:

Good spotting Dekard!

QFT… Same with audio codecs as well, but in this case, I’m happy that a high quality (Vorbis) codec is being forced down our throats for once :stuck_out_tongue: