Handbrake Cheater’s Guide! The Content Creator’s BFF and not so secret Secret Weapon

an easy way to use handbrake to compress video

Welcome to the fast and easy CHEATER’S GUIDE to Handbrake software! WITH PICS!

If you are not using Handbrake yet-or have not even HEARD of it-then I am going to fill you in on WHY it is your new BFF. So many content creators RELY on this handy little piece of software and guess what? It is totally FREE. That’s right! One of the most useful things you will ever download to create content is totally FREE. Read on for a short how-to and why-to use this beloved desktop gem. And before you ask, YES it is totally sex worker friendly.

handbrake is the content creator and clip artist's best friend
This is how MY version of Handbrake appears when I choose to open the software on my PC. Yours may look different but should function the same.

Clip size too big? Compress with Handbrake!

The reason I started using Handbrake was to COMPRESS my clips into a smaller size. Have you ever needed to do this? Let me give you some examples of WHY you might want to do so:

  1. To take up less space on your computer/device. Compressed files= smaller files
  2. To make uploading them easier. Some sites (niteflirt, for example) will not let you repeatedly upload large files
  3. To change file types. This is not exactly about size, BUT some devices and cameras only let you export files as MKV because it is a smaller sized files usually. Handbrake lets you easily convert the MKV file to MP4 for editing.

As I mentioned Handbrake is totally FREE to download and use. CLICK HERE for the OFFICIAL HANDBRAKE SITE for their FREE download!

Handbrake has a FREE download for PC and Mac!

Need some basic tips for using it? Here is MY quick cheater’s guide for using Handbrake. Before you try any of this I suggest you also do some basic research on your own. There are TONS of “how to use Handbrake software” blogs out there. Not to mention YouTube has TONS of videos explaining each and every nuance of using Handbrake. Be sure to check out those user info videos there. 

I suggest that you PRACTICE using Handbrake a few times on a file so that you can SEE what kind of results you want. If you compress a file TOO small it will drastically affect the quality of the file. Overcompressing it can make the video look pixellated and “unclear.” You need to experiment a little to find that “sweet spot” that can make it appear the way you want and be SIZED how you want…

Here are easy tips for using Handbrake to compress your videos

So here are some VERY BASIC tips on using Handbrake to compress a video. I am going to use a 1080p video as an example but you can of course use other sizes of video as well. These tips in NO WAY will show you all the wonderful things Handbrake can DO. I am just giving you a sort of “cheater’s guide” for using this compression software on your content.

And oh yeah, I am including IMAGES to help you, my sexy friends! YW:

STEP 1: upload your file of choice that needs to be smaller:

upload to handbrake for compression
I only like to do my files one at a time. I have found that doing an entire folder does NOT usually work out how I want it to. I recommend doing only a single file to begin with

STEP 2:

Select the SIZE of your file. This is NOT how you “compress” it. It is simply asking what you filmed in so it can compress THAT. For example did you filme in 1080p OR was it in 720p and so on. The GOOD news is that it automatically is set to 1080p as its preset. So most of the time I just leave this part “as-is.”

be sure to select the correct preset on handbrake
Most of the time I do not change this-I simply leave it the way it is because most of my video is filmed in 1080p

STEP 3:

Select it to be “web optimized.”

select your video to be web optimized when using handbrake
Select it to be web optimized. Im not sure WHY, just that it needs it to look right on some devices…

STEP 4: Check the dimensions tab on Handbrake. Make sure it is showing as the dimensions your film is supposed to be. In this case mine is SUPPOSED to be 1920 x 1080p. Sometimes it “cuts” out the borders or crops my video to another size because of how it LOOKS. so always make sure to check this. What do you do if it DOESN’T show the dimensions you want? Change them.

First on the left change those 2 boxes to what it is supposed to be…then to to RIGHT check the “custom” box and make sure all 4 of the boxes next to it say 0 (zero). And yes, I mean the boxes that say Top, Bottom, Left, Right. This means you want ZERO cropping and want it to appear the size you selected in those two boxes to the left. I have found that MOST of the time I do not need to change anything in the dimensions tab. But you DO need to check it JUST IN CASE or it will change the borders to another size in the finished product.

pic for how to use handbrake to compress video. this one helps with the dimensions tab
I normally do not have to change anything here BUT it pays to take the 2 seconds to check JUST IN CASE!

STEP 5: This is an IMPORTANT STEP!!! This is the step where you actually choose how compressed you want your video. Go to the video tab and choose the “Avg Bitrate” button found on the right side. Then fill in a number that helps it choose the AMOUNT to compress it. This is where some trial and error might be required in order to figure out your own preferences. Nonetheless there IS a general rule. The smaller the number is that you put in that box, the smaller the compressed file size will be in the end. However, the smaller the file size the more grainy and pixellated the video will appear, which is NOT GOOD. So you have to find that “sweet spot” where the video is small enough BUT still looks like the original.

HERE COMES THE BEST ADVICE, DO NOT SKIP THIS:

IN the average bitrate box I NEVER put a number smaller than 900. I have found that I prefer the number to be in the 1200-1500 range. That range gives me the BEST results without looking too grainy. I have done SOME videos as high as 1800 and they looked GREAT. Their file size was still pretty damn good too. I truly recommend you take a few minutes to try some examples and tinker with the Avg. Bitrate box on the “Video” tab. It can really pay off and helps you know what settings YOU like for it!

how to use handbrake to compress video
THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP- choosing the Avg. Bitrate helps you figure out how small to make the file size. Choosing too small of a number can make the end result look bad. For your 1st try I recommend putting that number at 1200. Trial and Error is your friend in this part!

NOTE: The Avg Bitrate/video tab will not change the size of the video itself. For example, if you started with a 1080p video you will END with a 1080p video BUT with a smaller sized file. Meaning that you may start with a 1Gb video filmed in 1080p but you have compressed it to a 180Mb video filmed in 1080p. This is the beauty of Handbrake!

I suggest making a dedicated folder for the compressed versions of your clips!

Step 6: Choose WHERE Handbrake should be saving your newly compressed file. You already know how to do that one. Just click browse and name it then set it in your files wherever you like. after you do that press the big GREEN button uptop to begin compression! You did it! Once finished check out the final result compared to the original. if it needs tweaking try adjusting Avg Bitrate on the video tab.

SINCE THIS IS A CHEATER’S GUIDE HERE IS ONE MORE IMAGE TO HELP YOU BREAK DOWN EVERYTHING I JUST SAID:

Quick cheat image to help you use Handbrake to compress a 1080p video
This is a CHEAT image for the CHEATER’s GUIDE! This GIF is NOT as good as just reading everything I wrote above. But I thought I would include it anyways. enjoy~


That is pretty much IT. You just learned how to compress a video using FREE Handbrake software. YES, this is a Cheater’s Guide! Handbrake has WAY more functions than I showed you. This guide is just for the most BASIC use of it to compress your videos. want to know MORE about Handbrake? GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND. Google your issue and find more answers than you realized possible! You’re welcome!

LOVE all the GREAT ADVICE, tips and tricks here on FDL? Check out THIS article on pricing your SW phone lines OR these Spanking Basics!

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