Published on February 28th, 2012 | by exo30
H.264 Anime Encoding Guide for the PS Vita
In celebration of the PS Vita’s release, I’ve put together a mini-guide outlining how to encode anime (and videos) for viewing on the new handheld system. This isn’t the only way to do it, but I have found it to be the easiest.
(Note: The following information can also be applied to Apple Devices and other compatible portable media devices, albeit a different preset for the specific device should be used).
Last updated on 8/02/13 for Handbrake 0.9.9.5530.
The program that I will be employing for this task is a popular encoding software by the name of Handbrake. In this post, I have also included a custom preset I created for the Vita that fiddles around with a number of advanced settings and is specifically tailored towards animation. If you are curious, this wiki goes into greater detail about each setting. My goal with these tweaks was to ensure a maximum picture quality to size/encoding time ratio.
Download link for the AT Playstation Vita preset: http://www.mediafire.com/?fg8vr9voe1gc8yb
1. Open up Handbrake. To load the preset, locate the Options Button on the bottom right of the application, and select Import. Locate the Handbrake settings file provided in this post and press Ok.
2. Next, Handbrake requires a default output destination to be set. Go to Tools -> Options -> Output Files and select a location to be the default path for the output files.
3. The rest of the settings have been automatically selected through the preset. However, you can fiddle around with the Quality settings in the Video Tab. The AT preset sets the RF at 21 but you can adjust it to your needs (Lower RF=Higher Bitrate). The video quality can also be changed via Avg Bitrate if that’s more your thing. Keep in mind though, that the output is only as good as the input, and your encoded video should almost never have a larger file than your source. Vita memory cards are prohibitively expensive, which makes space on the handheld all the more valuable. If you know the show you are encoding doesn’t have much high-motion and/or CG scenes, it may be a good idea to lower the video bitrate to save space without sacrificing too much quality.
4. Next you must select the file to be encoded. Click the Source icon located on the top menu and select video file. Browse for the video to be encoded and press Ok.
5. Now its time to adjust the resolution of the video to fit the Vita’s screen. Navigate to the Picture Tab and take a look at the Size options. Anamorphic should already be set to None, and Modulus at 16. What we are interested in here is the Width x Height options. Make sure the Keep Aspect Ratio button is checked and enter in the following values based on your video source:
High Definition Video (16:9 – 720p,1080p,etc): Width=960, Height=544
Standard Definition Video (4:3): Width=640, Height=480
6. Soft subtitles are not appropriate for the Vita and a hard sub must be done in order to maintain the same positioning, styling, and fonts as the original subtitles. Go to the Subtitles Tab, press Add, and select the subtitle track to be used with the video via the Source drop down menu. Check the Burn In box to hard code the subtitles onto the video.
7. Now that all of the setup is done, its time to start encoding the videos. If you have multiple files, they can all be added to a queue with the Add to Queue icon and encoded in succession automatically. If there is only one video to be encoded, press Start. Handbrake will begin to do its work. The encoding is one-pass and shouldn’t take longer then 5-8 minutes for a normal 22min episode on a decently equipped computer.
And that’s it! Enjoy your anime on dat beautiful OLED screen.