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FAQ: What are the best export settings?

Sep 28, 2011 3:45 PM

For a video version of this frequently asked question and answer, see this video:

What's the best export format or codec?

 

Compression  is essential for reducing the size of movies so that they can be  stored, transmitted, and played back effectively. Compression is  achieved by an encoder; decompression is achieved by a decoder. Encoders  and decoders are known by the common term codec.

 

No  single codec or set of settings is best for all situations. For  example, the best codec for compressing cartoon animation is generally  not efficient for compressing live-action video. Similarly, the best  codec for playback over a slow network connection is generally not the  best codec for an intermediate stage in a production workflow.

 

When  you create a movie for distribution, it is often highly  compressed;  when you create a movie for an intermediate stage in a  post-production  workflow, it is usually losslessly compressed (or even  uncompressed).

 

To determine what the best settings are for your purposes, read these resources:

 

In many cases, you can and should use encoding presets in Adobe Media Encoder, which are created for the specific purpose of setting up exports for common formats and uses. For information about several common encoding presets, see this:

"FAQ: How do I export a movie for YouTube, Vimeo, iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV?"