# 09 Jun, 2017 06:23
I've always had problems with GIFs: they're lossy (up to 256 colors per file), which is especially noticeable whenever they're used for animations. I also have troubles getting them to fully play on Chrome and Firefox under circumstances I have yet to figure out. Here are two examples I have issues with: [LINK], [LINK]. Do note that this seems to be an issue with the browsers instead of AstroBin. They play fine on Edge and Internet Explorer.
However, I was usually fine with them because I assumed they were smaller and more efficient files when compared to alternatives like MP4 videos embedded in HTML5. However, it has come to my attention that the contrary is actually true. Here's an example I found: https://codepen.io/tombennet/pen/EKrezZ.
Not only is the size of the MP4 video smaller, but the overall animation is smoother and more vibrant. Anecdotally, I also find this to be true. I recently saved the exact same animation as a GIF and MP4 using Photoshop. The animated GIF is 916 KB, while the MP4 video is 541 KB and looks much cleaner.
As a result of my findings, I propose for us to have the ability to upload MP4 files as an alternative for animations. Also, I think if this was to be implemented, any audio tracks in the MP4s should be removed or not allowed to be uploaded, but that's my personal opinion.
# 09 Jun, 2017 14:41
|I am all for this proposal as I have just started time lapse photography (put my first one here earlier this month( http://www.astrobin.com/298490/?nc=user)). I first made it as a wmv format then had to redo the video as a GIF in order to upload it here. To me it seemed to degrade some from the original. The software I use could have saved it in a MP4 format. I will go back to this a see if the MP4 looks better. As we all do here on this site, we want to post our best images.|
# 17 Jun, 2017 17:39
I don't have problems with GIFs, as i only create mono (or colorized mono, i.e. still just 256 colors) animations, but I agree MP4 support would be nice. I did some testing and it's easy to create an e.g. H264-encoded MP4 (say, using FFMPEG) which preserves practically all the details, but is only 50% the size of an equivalent GIF.|
Sadly, for solar animations (where the whole of frame undergoes small-scale changes) using YouTube or other video hosting services is hardly an option; they recompress the videos, which ruins fine details, introduces banding etc.
# 19 Jun, 2017 02:27
Great topic, I wanted to add that another nice feature that I wish animated videos had was a "frame indicator". I've read about ways to do this with Photoshop – while not extremely hard, it does require Photoshop and a lot of layers and scripting to embed the currently frame indicator. I then tried doing this manually with a tool like Nero Video (which can take the GIFs, easily add them to a sequence, then cut and paste a Text overlay – then you can get your resulting MP4, AVI, or a lot of other formats). What seems like such an "easy thing" is actually kind of complicated, since it is basically embedded a kind of "water mark" (or transparent overlay of one video over another) on to the image product (which I guess brings up another point: can AB place watermarks on animated "image" products?). Anyway, manually added a frame marker to a corner of a sequence gets tedious when it is past 10-20 frames or so. I don't have a quick recommendation on how to help automated this via a website, but I am just mentioning it as a "features request" that would provide a lot of convenience (to know both the sequence index, and amount of time between sequences, to then know an offset amount of time)|
NOTE: one of my own a GIF animation of an asteroid that I had uploaded is at http://www.astrobin.com/284138
(this sequence represents over an hour of real time, even though the sequence only takes a few seconds)
# 22 Jun, 2017 16:05
|As a feature request, mp4 support would be great.|
# 28 Aug, 2017 18:53
|Agreed, probably mp4 is the best way now to show animations!|
# 05 Feb, 2018 20:38
I agree that MP4 capability would be desirable (I intend to target time lapse imaging too). However, I must add some notes:|
GIF89a can, indeed, convey a full gamut of hues, however, most of the available tools for generating .GIF files do not incorporate the appropriate facilities. The same is true for compression and smooth animation.
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