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After the feedback you have given me (sorry for all the trouble, by the way), I decided to export the frames from my videos as JPGs. However, since the give some quality loss, how do I make ones that are so visually lossless and indistinguishable that it's nearly impossible for anyone to tell the difference, even if they zoom in?

Or, how do I export them as HEIC/HEIF files, instead?


I want to upload some of them on websites, but going through my videos and taking the ones I want would take too much time (I have a lot of videos).

I need them to be of the best quality (and smallest file size, if possible) so I can keep them for future projects (e.g. making a poster, slideshow, creating static product animations, etc.)

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    By trial an error, the results vary depending on the image and different people will have different standards for the level of lost information they find acceptable Commented Apr 10 at 16:47
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    Maybe consider telling us what you are planning to achieve as your questions look like an XY problem Commented Apr 10 at 16:48
  • You could try exporting as the highest image quality and then using other software reduce the file size without losing too much quality. Like said above, it's going to be trial and error to see what is acceptable. It would be easier to answer your question if we knew what you're planning to do.
    – AndrewH
    Commented Apr 10 at 17:02
  • HIEC is better. But neither is really good if you want to do chroma keying. Why not do a lossless intermediate format? Are you truly running out of disk? I mean last time that i had problems with unpacking 1080p video frame on disk was back in 1998 after that disk (now ssd) is so cheap that its not really worth the effort to do this. ok so if you have raw 8k plates then its a slight problem. Anyway why unpack all frames in one go? personally i would just dump the stuff as EXR and call it a day.
    – joojaa
    Commented Apr 10 at 17:14
  • I tried exporting the frames as EXR images and it resulted in large files than PNG. Commented Apr 10 at 20:08

1 Answer 1

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Let me start with an introduction.

We can consider several types of images, depending on our workflow.

1. Source files

For example, think of the photos that you took on a trip with your phone. They are the original images, they are the maximum quality there can be. Any mistake, feature, or characteristic embedded there is there. You probably could have done a better job, framed better, etc. but now they are your source images. A typical source file format is JPG, hopefully, saved with good quality.

2. Working files

Some programs allow you to save different stages of a photo. Probably you want to add some text, mask a zone or whatever. They are the working files.

On a professional level, you keep them because there is a chance you need a small modification on the image and you do not need to repeat the process. Depending on what you do for a living, these files are worth more because it is your time invested in the editing that is worth it.

These files could mean a significant disk space, but this is really cheap compared to what your time is worth. You do not want to leave loose ends here in order to save some fractions of a cent on disk space.

Normally working files are the native file format the application uses for example PSD on Photoshop, or XCF on Gimp.

2b. Temporal files There could be the case you temporarily need a bunch of files for a temporal process. As you do not want to degrade the information across your process, you use a lossless format. Again, on RGB color mode PNG is commonly used, or if you have a humungous amount of frames, you could use a little more efficient lossy format. But the selection depends on if the next step allows you to use it.

The disk space is not as important as the working files because you intent to delete them after the project is done.

3. Deliver files

It is a final export and the quality is defined by the project. Normally a JPG with decent compression, a PNG or WebP depending on the features.


Answering your question.

A. JPG could have INSIGNIFICANT quality loss or huge depending on the configuration. It is not the file format that defines the information loss, is how you handle it.

B. If your application allows you to define it, use a 4:4:4 subformat and the maximum quality.

C. Professional workflows ask for a lossless format. PNG is the standard even for photos, 3d Renders, etc.

D. HEIC/HEIF formats are also configurable, from a very bad quality to a very good one. So you need to define the maximum quality your application allows you. Choosing them or not depends on whether the next step in your process allows you to use them.


For web applications and general compatibility WebP has more support than Heic.

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