Sound presets for output: That WORK

Have you ever wanted to output a file with audio (muxed)?

Not sure what Codec to use?
Not sure which settings to change?
Can’t work out the values for all those confusing Mux rates and Bitrates?

Maybe others can help!

If you can please leave a reply with your sucessfull settings.
Please include as much information as simply as possible. The following is a sample from the DV preset.
Render Settings : MPEG
Format: DV
Bitrate: 6000
GOP Size: 18

Rate Min: 0
Rate Max: 9000
Rate Buffer: 1792

Mux Rate: 10080000
Mux Packet Size: 2048

Audio Codec : PCM
Bitrate: 384
Samplerate: 48000
Volume: 1

I don’t know if any of these export problems are platform related? I’m using macs and have had a real problem finding export settings that work for Quicktime. h.264 export seems to be broken for me, since 2.5. I did manage some success exporting via mpeg and then using the mp4 preset much like yours. This was a 720p 25 project that I exported recently…

Render Settings : MPEG
Format: mpeg4
Bitrate: 6000
GOP Size: 15

Audio Codec : AAC/MP3
Bitrate: 192
Samplerate: 44.1

Is there a way to just export the sound file?

Don’t think you can export just sound from 2.5 yet, but in 2.49 just hit Mixdown under the sound context of the scene tab.

Having a “Book of Mux” cook-book style is good, but it’d also be very good to know what the choices mean in terms of overall performance and quality of presentation. That would make optimizing an output setup much more intelligent than just plugging in numbers that work, but which may not be the most efficient. For example, my FLV “recipe”:

Output: MPEG (required for audio/video multiplexing, aka “muxing,” in Blender)
Format: Flash
Bitrate = 3000
GOP Size: 18-72 depending on the subject matter – generally, lower numbers = better quality = larger file size
Rate: Min = 0, Max = 9000, Buffer = 1792
Mux: Rate = 1008000, Packet Size = 2048

Audio Codec = AAC
Bitrate = 224, Sample Rate = 48000, Volume = 1.0

From my tests I know that Bitrate affects both file size and quality of both video & audio, as does GOP (group of pictures). The rest, well I’d like to know more about what they affect so as to make more informed choices. The goal of course is the best possible quality coupled with multi-platform playability and reasonable file size.

Agreed, I guess ffmpeg guides will have more detail there. But it does seem to change over time with variations to codecs and app iterations. I just thought a goto guide would be a handy start, for those that don’t want to know details just need output.

Yep, “cookbooks” are almost always useful, even more so when there’s some explanation of why the recipes work well for certain target uses of a final output. It’d be helpful for those with slim experience to learn how to choose a suitable recipe or “ingredient” (DVD? FLV? MOV? AVI? MP4? MP3? AC3? AAC? etc., etc., etc.), or even how to mix up their own.

I also notice that I generate a lot of “Failed to initiate video stream” errors, when something (to many fps or pixels) about the Codec mismatches with frame size.

Makes me wonder what are the limitations of various Codecs, other than ability to mux.

This has been a pet peeve of mine for a while.
Blender can still not output a standard video file with audio (by standard I mean it will play in something other than VLC). At the moment the only way to do it is with an external app like avidemux, quicktime pro or by knowing the right ffmpeg line.
Much like VLC and ffmpeg itself, there are too many options and most of them don’t work properly.
I’ve been advocating for a while that Blender should have much less options for output formats, and limit them to ones that work in standard players. For example, why offer the choice of a quicktime if quicktime itself can’t play the file?

BTW, I was the chump who was landed with the thankless task of encoding Sintel. Believe me, ffmpeg is a minefield, I’m no expert, and every “expert” I asked gave me a different opinion.

These days I render a PNG sequence and mux it into a standard quicktime using the following ffmpeg line:

ffmpeg -f image2 -r 24 -i frames/preview%04d.png -i audio/audio.wav -acodec libfaac -ab 128k -ac 2 -vcodec libx264 -vpre slow -crf 22

Wouldn’t it be nice if Blender just offered maybe 2 or 3 solid, dependable options? Those who want more exotic formats can roll their own with whatever dedicated encoding options they choose.

Well there are those few built in presets DVD DV etc. But all I wanted was a small footprint HD file muxed for Vimeo delivery. … 30mins later I gave up.