Thanks again to everyone who replied.
I was able to easily modify the graphing routine to output frames to a ramdisk in configurable batches. The Perlmagick-based output loop is able to output frames at about 720fps on our render machines (dual Xeons with 32GB RAM). Every 10000 frames (batch size--within reason--didn't make a significant difference), I just call a sub that runs ffmpeg, which encodes at about the same rate. Therefore typical 29.97 project encodes at about 12x realtime.
Everything is still single threaded, and I haven't optimized anything yet. I will probably tinker with the old thread code and the FFmpeg library for interest's sake. But 12x is already more than good enough for our needs (1/2x would have been acceptable), so I plan to keep it simple.
Even at modest bitrates, lines are sharp and artifacts are barely perceptible, if at all, to the technicians who look at these graphs/videos for a living, and do not affect the ability to interpret the data whatsoever.
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