I'm convinced that the h264 codec really is actually chaotic black magic.

I make a 25 minute generative video with a bunch of circles expanding in a rippling effect? FFMPEG crunches it into 133mb. Take those same circles and make them fall downwards in the screen? 58mb.

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Experientially, I've figured that the h264 goddesses are pleased when video input is:

limited in color (using 2 colors, plus anti-aliasing)

limited in detail (vector graphics, simple primitives)

straight lines over curves (triangles and rectangles compress better than circles on average)

linear movement (falling downwards shapes is better than growing shapes)

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@paul well I have a 20 yo mjpeg low-res video playing with the video cam noise and exagerated motion vector movements, and ... it's a hell to translate correctly in h264... I'll fiddle again next days with it but it's indeed really difficult to encode without loosing the point ...
it's really a codec tested against "some" sort of imagery ...

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