How Codecs Work by David Kong

Vimeo Info:

If you work with video, it’s vital to understand how codecs work and how they change your image. In this tutorial, I over all of the big concepts behind codecs, breaking it down into understandable pieces. While the nitty-gritty of compression algorithms can get complicated, all of the main ideas are quite simple.

Here’s an overview of the topics covered:

– What a codec is – And how it differs from a container.
– Different types of codecs – And why I frequently use 4 different codecs on a single project.
– Bit Depth – What it means and why it matters.
– Chroma Subsampling – 4:4:4, 4:2:2, and 4:2:0, and when it becomes an issue.
– Spatial Compression and Blocking – One of the most common artefacts you see with normal work.
– Temporal Compression – Long-GOP codecs, inter-frame compression, and ALL-I codecs.
– Lossless vs. Lossy compression – How image compression differs from data compression.
– Bit Rate – How to calculate bit rates and the differences between kbps/kBps/Mbps/MBps.
– Raw – Briefly, the difference between Raw, compressed, and uncompressed video.

Take a look at the companion post on as well!


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