The All You Need Guide to Video Codecs and Compression [Video]

by Carla Marshall
To an outsider, video codecs can seem almost impossible to understand. But, in reality, the main concepts behind programs or devices aren't so convoluted, particularly when an expert takes the time to break the meanings down for the video creator. Filmmaker David Kong has created an excellent video tutorial that does just that.Read the full article

How Codecs Work - Tutorial

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 Philipbloom.net as well!