DIY Transcoding - how to disable automatic transcoding

Hi @pixelconductor,

Nice to see you back - these are the details we have at this time:

Video Resolution: We have increased the resolution of our transcoded media from 1280x720 to 1920x1080.

We will also stop upscaling media that is lower than 1080. Previously, the transcoder would take any media and force it to 720. This has been changed, meaning we’ll maintain any resolution below 1080

Video Compression: Remains MP4, h.264 encoding. We also increased the quality level in encoding.

WebM: We’ll no longer transcode into WebM.

Filmstrip: We increased the frame count from 25 to 50, which should give more detail for longer movies.



Hi Beth,
thank you for the details.
Referring to that page…

…it seems like these are the parameters you were using for ffmpeg are:

vcodec = “-vcodec libx264 -pix_fmt yuv420p -vf ‘scale=trunc((a*oh)/2)2:720’ -g 30 -b:v 2000k -vprofile high -bf 0"
acodec = “-strict experimental -acodec aac -ab 160k -ac 2”
ffmpeg -i #{src_file} #{acodec} #{vcodec} -f mp4 #{dest_file_mp4}
vcodec = " -pix_fmt yuv420p -vcodec libvpx -vf 'scale=trunc((a
oh)/2)*2:720’ -g 30 -b:v 2000k -vpre 720p -quality realtime -cpu-used 0 -qmin 10 -qmax 42”
acodec = “-acodec libvorbis -aq 60 -ac 2”
ffmpeg -i #{src_file} #{acodec} #{vcodec} -f webm #{dest_file_webm}

Do you have the new command lines you are using at hand?



Hi @pixelconductor,

As DIY transcoding is for client’s customized image quality, it could be based on client’s test. We don’t have any new parameters to update this document.




Hey Beth, thanks for the answers.

One question about this, does it mean that if we keep our videos at 720 they won’t fill the frame and will have a black frame around them?
ie. Because they’re not the full 1080 and not being upscaled to fit, will the overlay player/screening room display them smaller?

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Perhaps slightly off-topic but relevant to the original posting:
In order to truly decouple the shotgun transcoder from our pipeline, it makes sense to excise it from publishedFile creation as well.
Is there a way to avoid thumbnail creation when the register_publish method is called? I know you can do a dry run that sends back a dictionary of what will be published. Is this dictionary enough to create a new publishedFile record in Shotgun and then just upload thumbnails in my own way? What else does register_publish do that I need to be aware of? We’ve had many issues with the shotgun transcoder in the past and we just want to use our own and remove all dependencies to it.

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Hi everyone!

I am following this thread out of curiosity since we already successfully implemented the DIY transcoding on some selected Versions in our studio. An important piece of the puzzle is that there is another field on the Versions called sg_uploaded_movie_transcoding_status, which tells you in what status the Shotguns transcoding currently is. It has 3 possible values:


The way we use this is the following:

  1. First we upload to the regular sg_uploaded_movie field, which will kick off Shotgun’s transcoding process (So we do not have to deal with thumbnails, filmstrips, etc.)

  2. We create the higher quality mp4 and webm movies.

  3. We poll the sg_uploaded_movie_transcoding_status field and if it turns to 1 (Success), we simply upload to the sg_uploaded_movie_mp4 and sg_uploaded_movie_webm fields.

Doing it this way keeps the download field in the client review working and gives us the high quality playback we need.

Hope this helps a little :slight_smile:



The output for 720p will still fill the frame :+1:

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Resurrecting this old thread but I realized I was actually still using the SG transcoder for thumbnails when the intention was to avoid it and use my own transcoded thumbnails.

So for instance, if I have the proper dimensions for a thumbnail and filmstrip image, I try to upload to the field names “image” or “thumb_image” for a non-filmstrip image.

When I look back at the version, it thinks there’s a thumbnail there but it never shows up. I can even click “view image” and it comes up (saved to the s3 url) but I still can’t see it.

Is there some other step to make the thumbnail viewable on the version?


I haven’t tried this with a filmstrip yet but I imagine the result will be the same.

Any thoughts?

Hey Fabian Thx for sharing your solution. Could work well for us. Would you mind sharing an example of how you are polling the status? We have many versions going up regularly so I’m concerned about spamming bandwidth.

Hi @theDon !

I can dig up some code if you want but it was not super complicated. We basically queried the status everyone 30 seconds for a maximum of 30 attempts. So overall we tried to upload our own versions for 15 min before failing the job. That did happen from time to time when SG had issues with transcoding or we had overly long shots. So I would definitely build the mechanism with that in mind.
A couple of other notes on this topic:
We actually did stop doing our own transcoding since SG moved from 720p to 1080p for all of their Versions. SG also rendered the webm movie irrelevant in the meantime, so you do not need to generate that anymore.
Hope that helps! :slight_smile:

Hey @Fabian Thx for the quick reply. I can probably script up something with that in mind.
Just about everything we’re doing these days is UHD so hoping AD will bump the max height to 2160 sometime. Have a great week!


If you DIY transcode you can bump up the resolution yourself altough I’m not sure if the player supports mp4’s with higher res.
Would be interesting to test.

The player does appear to support it. At least it does with UHD.

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