I've been reading all the discussions and have read the H264 export issue threads that cite the 2 pass as having a bug in H264 presets. But most of those threads are from a few months ago. I had no issues with Premiere Pro CC until the most recent upgrade that I just did last week. Now, suddenly, using the same H264 for Vimeo settings I've used for the last three years, I'm getting a low quality, blocky export and the bit rate never gets to what I set it to. Whenever I upload a film to Vimeo, it keeps telling me that my bit rate is too low even though I have it set at 5mbps just like I have for the last few years. But it's encoding at 2-3mbps. I've tried using one pass and constant and neither produce better results. I've even tried bumping up the bit rate to 15mbps, and while the file is much bigger, I'm still getting blocky results. I'm super frustrated because I can't get anything out of Premiere and onto Vimeo. Anyone still having a similar issue? I've tried this on both my new iMac and my one year old Macbook Pro. Same thing on both. Both are running the latest update of Mavericks. Both run on SSD drives and have 16 GB of RAM with lots of processing power.
Here are two screen shots. The first is the setting I've used for the last three years that has always produced good results. I've tried these settings with 2 pass, 1 pass, and constant. Below is a still from the playback. It's not a horrible image, but the text is not sharp at all and this is footage from the 1D C, it should be quite sharp. Here's a comparison off the H264 export vs. in the editing software.
The grass and leaves look awful. Even the titles are blocky and not crisp. Now I know someone might tell me that a compressed file will do this kind of thing. But I've made over 500 videos for Vimeo and have always used these settings and it's never looked like this till this past week. And it still looks like this even if I raise the bit rate significantly. help!
OK, let's see...
First of all, even Vimeo suggests up to 10Mb/s for 720p and 20Mb/s for 1080p.
So, try a one pass encode with a target of 18Mb/s and a maximum of 20Mb/s.
See how that works. If you like it, then great! If not, let's look at other solutions.
Also, use a tool that will tell you the bit rate of your video export. I know the Windows versions are GSpot and MediaInfo but I don't know the Mac versions.