7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 11, 2009 5:39 AM by Rick Gerard

    Lossless compression format -- is there such?

    DC B. 09 Level 1




      Maybe I'm not calling it right, what I'm looking for is a video format that allows compression of file size but preserves the 100% video quality. Is there such?

        • 1. Re: Lossless compression format -- is there such?
          TimeRemapper Level 4

          There are a few of them. Some you have to pay for. One you get with Quicktime (and a very popular one) is:


          Quicktime Animation Codec at Best Quality and Full Resolution.

          • 2. Re: Lossless compression format -- is there such?
            Todd_Kopriva Level 8

            Another lossless codec included with QuickTime is PNG. As with Animation, you have to have the quality set to the maximum to have lossless compression. QuickTime movies encoded with PNG are smaller then QuickTime movies encoded with Animation unless the source video is very cartoony (large expanses of flat color)---in which case Animation can give smaller files.


            One thing to keep in mind is that the math required to losslessly compress video is hard---even for your computer. Decoding these files takes some serious computer power, and reading the data from a disk or network can be a drag. So, trying to get real-time playback of movies encoded with lossless codecs can be a challenge. Lossless codecs are good for intermediate/interchange files and archive purposes, but not for distribution or playback.

            • 3. Re: Lossless compression format -- is there such?
              Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              In addition, uncompressed formats are also lossless (of course).


              There are also "near lossless" formats if you need to save space or reduce data rates:


              Quicktime ProRes HQ

              Quicktime Photo JPEG (at high quality levels)

              • 4. Re: Lossless compression format -- is there such?
                DC B. 09 Level 1

                Thank you, guys. I need this for my original footage that I intend to work on in AE. It had the 1920x1080 resolution that slowed my laptop to a crawl even to play it back without anything applied to it, so I was trying to shrink it down to a manageable size (I did 640x360, I believe) but I needed it to remain lossless to reduce compression artifacts. Unfortunately what happened is that the size of, say, 10 minute clip ballooned to something like 5 GBytes, that also started to slow down my system (I have only 4Gigs of RAM), so I thought any file size compression would help, but I was wrong.


                Here's my verdict. I tried the QuickTime Animation with 100% quality and it produced a file, maybe 300K smaller, which was really a drop in a bucket but the render times in the Preview window (or fps values) shrank two times! So I decided to stick with uncompressed AVI file, even though it's big.

                • 5. Re: Lossless compression format -- is there such?
                  Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                  Quicktime Animation uses a file shrinking technique that works very well for content with areas of uniform color (as typically found in animation and motion graphics). It won't produce much or any file size savings when you have video footage or photos taking most of the screen. In those cases, Quicktime PNG will produce much better file sizes. Quicktime PNG will also be difficult to playback at full frame rate at HD resolutions, but given how this is usually meant to be used as a production master from which you make other versions, it could still be very useful.

                  As Andrew said, Quicktime PhotoJPEG at 90-95 per cent qualiy will produce near-lossless files with very manageable file sizes and it's also quite fast to decode.

                  • 6. Re: Lossless compression format -- is there such?
                    DC B. 09 Level 1

                    Thank you guys. I tried QuickTime PhotoJPEG and PNG and here's the sizes breakdown:


                    34 Second clip:

                    640x360 res


                    Uncompressed AVI: size 700K  --- renders @ ~29.97 fps (original)

                    PhotoJPEG: size 228K  --- renders @ 10-15 fps

                    PNG: size 346K  --- renders @ 8-15 fps


                    I think I will still stick with uncompressed for the sake of speed, don't you think?


                    PS. I can always zip the work files in the project for archiving purposes later to save space on the HDD.

                    • 7. Re: Lossless compression format -- is there such?
                      Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      You might want to look into the Microcosm codec for archiving. It's lossless, supports multiple bit depths and alpha channels.