Updated FFMPEG commands for transcoding?

I’m “DIY” transcoding a ton of material for Shotgun and have been struggling on deciding on best option for quality. Original footage is 8k R3D, I had planned to use RedCineX to get to ProRes for editors and then use ffmpeg to create some web playable material of those proxies to upload to shotgun.

The existing ffmpeg command Shotgun uses creates H.264 720p 2mbps footage.

I’ve been flip-flopping on potentially going to 1080p, with a CRF of somewhere around 24 - 26 and limiting max bitrate. I feel I may get some space saving doing it this way overall if a lot of our shots are fairly static (they are).

Has anyone else found more optimal ffmpeg settings that are more modern to squeeze out a little more quality without overkilling on space?

Do we know if I’d be able to play H.265 encoded files in web browser / client review page?


Hi there,

As you’ve already noticed, transcoding is indeed a trade-off between filesize and quality. A good starting point for 1080p is probably around 23 or 24 crf. You can go up or down from there, or add a cap on the max bit rate as you suggest, depending on how happy you are with the quality-to-size ratio.

Support for h265 varies between browsers, but you might be able to play it depending on your setup.

Hope that helps.


Hi @distinctrubeu,

I just wanted to give you the heads up as well, if this will help save you any time and energy, that we will be turning on new transcoding in the near future. So if you want 1080p, you could see how that goes before investing in your own.



Thanks for info Beth!

I just had good success with a 1080p H.265 .mp4 properly tagged in ffmpeg (-tag:v hvc1) in latest version of Safari. Has a pretty good combo of encode speed, quality, file size (same as 720p 2mbps current transcodes) I’ll probably go this route for now but will definitely check out what your team came up with.

Thanks! While browser support is limited for H.265 I can ensure Safari / Edge Beta for Windows users.