VSE and lossless video output - how?

I have a video recorded through Gear VR (mp4) and separate audio track for it. I need to add a few splash screens and render out final video with sound track.

The problem is that video that Gear VR outputs has just right amount of compression. After uploading to YouTube, quality slightly degrades, but still good enough to keep small details looking sharp enough.

How do I need to approach this and what settings should I use to get lossless video output, identical in quality to original video ?

Thanks beforehand

This is a good question, and I may have found an answer. In the Output section of Properties, choose H.264 as the format from the drop-down, and H.264 under Encoding. Then check the “Lossless Output” option that appears – this seems to be available only with H.264. I loaded one of my .mp4 videos made with Handbrake, and using the default settings in Blender, the VSE output an AVI file of very high (I venture to say nearly identical) quality but at a higher compression ratio.

For your additional video I recommend creating high-quality .mp4 to edit in with your Gear VR strips, to insure consistency. Or you can be adventurous & mix things up. Audio is encoded separately using different codecs so will not affect video output.

This seems to be as close to a thoughput treatment as I could manage, though there does seem to be some re-encoding given the file size difference. Then again, I used Blender’s default specs for bitrate & the like, which were much less than I put into my .mp4s for uploading to Vimeo. So setting higher quality parameters should insure even better results.

The only drawback may be the .avi container that H.264 uses – I could not find a way to change that. But since it’s just a container format, it shouldn’t present issues (crosses fingers & knocks on wood).

That’s the thing - it’s impossible to create higher quality source material. Video is captured on the smartphone, when VR rendering is happening. I believe it’s the best it can get given hardware constraints. That’s why it’s important to be able to preserve quality of the source material.

I could merge sound track and video using ffmpeg, without recompression/loss of quality, but then I wouldn’t be able to match audio to video precisely, or add any splash screens.

It seems the Lossless Output option in the H.264 format is intended for just that – preserving max source quality by not re-sampling for compression. I think it does re-compress, possibly using a more efficient algorithm than Handbrake, because of the different file sizes of input & output, but does not resample the video data. Otherwise why call the option “lossless?” So you should be able to edit your splash screens and audio in the VSE, then output to an AVI file with little or no video quality loss. All you can do is try it & see if it meets your standards.