24 Replies Latest reply on Jul 5, 2012 6:39 AM by SAFEHARBOR11

    Final Export Settings


      Hi there I am new to the video world I am wrapping up my first project and wanted to know the best way of exporting the final output. I've read about making a master copy. What are the best settings? I've used h264 a few and have had issues with playback and sound cutting out. I need this video to play smooth. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Final Export Settings
          SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

          Hi Chris,


          You could pose this question to 100 different editors and get 100 different answers. Of course, we'll need more info from you to make good suggestions. What is the source footage, for instance 1080p30 XDCAM EX? Next, what is the intended audience, method of delivery? Or do you simply want a "Master Quality" copy for now to archive the finished product?


          H.264 is great for delivery because of good quality with small file sizes, but is not suggested for mastering or archiving due to the amount of compression applied to the video. If you are having trouble playing back the video smoothly, that could be dependent on your computer hardware. The H.264 codec is very complex and is therefore very processor-intensive for smooth playback. An older computer may not have the horsepower to play back an HD file without hiccups.


          We don't know if you are on Mac or PC either, it all makes a difference. On the Mac, the ProRes codec is "lossless" and makes a great archive/master file copy. On the PC, The AVID DNxHD codec is free and high quality, or Lagarith avi codec can be used.


          Please tell us your workflow details and then more focused suggestions will follow


          Thank you


          Jeff Pulera

          Safe Harbor Computers

          • 2. Re: Final Export Settings
            josephs51576386 Level 3

            Like Harbor mentioned we do need more info to provide a complete answer. Also just like he said you could choose to go with DNXHD to make your masters which is a codec I use quite a bit even though it's not technically "lossless" it's "visually lossless". ProRes is basically the same as DNXHD for the most part and is also considered "visually lossless". Which IMHO might as well be considered  the same exact thing but w/e. 


            Then you have Lagarith which is actually "lossless" and unlike the DNXHD and ProRes codec's uses Microsoft's .avi container. It is also 64-bit which many look at as a plus. Then you have UT which also uses the .avi container and is actually "lossless".


            Now if you want HQ master files but the ones I have mentioned above seem to take up to much space for you, then I'd really recommend using black-magics motion jpeg codec. Which you can get by installing any black-magic design software. They offer a free color correction program and that's how I got their codec/export options installed on my specific machine. The BMD motion jpeg codec loses quality but it's honestly hardly anything and for a full hour of 1920x1080 footage it only takes up about 45-50Gb. Which when you compare that to the 90-95GB prores or DNXHD take up it starts too look like a good option for your final master copy IMO. But if you aren't worried about storage space then you honestly need to go with ProRes,DNXHD,UT or Lagarith. 


            But honestly I'd stay away from exporting to H.264 for anything except web video. Or unless someone request it from you for some reason.

            • 3. Re: Final Export Settings
              chriscool_888 Level 1

              Yes I should have given more info. Let me remind you I am very new to the video world.

              Windows 7 64bit

              Premiere 5.5

              After Affects 5.5


              The video files are a little mixed up. A few are 1080i Mpeg-4 which were shot with a Samsung HD camcorder. I also have a bunch that are from after effects which are loseless AVI. Hopefully that helps. The video is about 7 minutes long at 1080p and I have about 20gigs of hard drive space.

              • 4. Re: Final Export Settings
                josephs51576386 Level 3

                With only 20Gb of space left I'd really recommend buying another HDD. All of the codecs mentioned above will basically fill up your hard disk. But if you're not worried about filling up your HDD then I'd go ahead and download the AVID LE codec pack and export to DNXHD for 7 mins of video it will come out to around 10Gb give or take. If you use Lagarith you'll probably run out of space tbh.

                • 5. Re: Final Export Settings
                  chriscool_888 Level 1

                  I downloaded the pack but I am not seeing any options for DNXHD when exporting? Would exporting so it matches the sequence settings be beneficial?

                  • 6. Re: Final Export Settings
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    Did you install the AVID CODEC's, and then reboot your computer?


                    You should see them, if installed properly in your system.


                    Good luck,



                    • 7. Re: Final Export Settings
                      josephs51576386 Level 3

                      Here is a example picture so you can see how to select the dnxhd option


                      DNxHD settings.png

                      • 8. Re: Final Export Settings
                        chriscool_888 Level 1

                        Sorry for the long delay and thank you for the info. I have the Avid Codecs installed and I see the dnxhd option. Once I export it in this format should I import into Premiere and export once again for Youtube?

                        • 9. Re: Final Export Settings
                          SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

                          As long as you have the origjnal clips and Premiere project, always export direct out of Premiere using Adobe Media Encoder. The only time you would use the "new" clip is if the original project is gone, then use the Master clip as the source to export from.


                          Jeff Pulera
                          Safe Harbor Computers

                          • 10. Re: Final Export Settings
                            josephs51576386 Level 3

                            Jeff is 100 percent correct. If you still have the original project then you should always use the original source media.  The master is really just there so that if at some point you decide to delete the project you still have

                            the HQ master of your finished product to use to encode stuff from later on.


                            • 11. Re: Final Export Settings
                              chriscool_888 Level 1

                              Ok so I'll be doing all my exporting from the source project. What are the best settings for uploading to the web? Mainly youtube. The video is 7 minutes long @1080p.

                              • 12. Re: Final Export Settings
                                SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

                                In AME, choose H.264 format then choose the "YouTube Widescreen HD" preset and encode. This will create a 720p video compatible with YouTube, ready to upload.



                                • 13. Re: Final Export Settings
                                  josephs51576386 Level 3

                                  I'd just use the YouTube 1080p preset that Premiere pro has. The only thing I might change is I'd probably change the max bitrate to 10 just to give the video a little extra room as far as bitrate goes. If I remember correctly I believe the standard preset is set at like target 8 and max 8. So I'd just make it target 8 and max 10. Although if you have slow internet I'd just make it 720p so your upload time won't be all day.

                                  • 14. Re: Final Export Settings
                                    Jim_Simon Level 8

                                    The only time you would use the "new" clip is if the original project is gone


                                    I disagree.  It's easier just to open the Master in AME instead of reloading the entire project.  And if you have a lot of effects, you'll get faster transcodes as those effects are already baked in and won't need to be rerendered.


                                    And as long as the Master is lossless, there's no quality advantage of going back to the project either.

                                    • 15. Re: Final Export Settings
                                      josephs51576386 Level 3

                                      I've always prefered to use my source media for projects that are under 10 minutes. Now if it is a full 30-min or 1 hour long tv program or something with tons of effects then use just use AME. But if the project is just simple cross dissolves and cuts and really short in length I'd use the my source project if it was still there. I understand if it's lossless it won't matter I just like sticking to source media UNLESS it is going to take wayyyy longer to render in order to so. 


                                      Obviously though its just a matter of personal preference.

                                      • 16. Re: Final Export Settings
                                        chriscool_888 Level 1

                                        So I exported the video using the h.264 Youtube HD, set it to level 5 so the output would be 1920 x 1080. It's now uploaded to YouTube and when it is viewed at the standard resolution, the little gear set to 360, it looks aweful. Now I know the gear should be set to 1080 but most people have there defualt set to 360. I want it in HD so people at least have the option to view it at full resolution. Watching other HD videos set at 360 looks better than mine. There is a part in my video that has a fast spinning object that is shining, which is extremely pixelated, unless set to 720 or 1080.

                                        • 17. Re: Final Export Settings
                                          josephs51576386 Level 3

                                          What was the bit-rate of your encode set too? If you wanna try to make it look better just try making the bit-rate higher and see what happens.

                                          • 18. Re: Final Export Settings
                                            chriscool_888 Level 1

                                            I think it might of been around 5. I am encoding another one set to 9.68 so I'll see if that improves. I read that YouTubes max is 10.

                                            • 19. Re: Final Export Settings
                                              josephs51576386 Level 3

                                              Yeah 5 isn't enough for a 1080p video if you want it to look HQ. Set your target to 12 and your max to 17. That should produce better results. I'm fairly sure the 10 rule you read about is for you-tubes playback. They encode the video over again after you send it to them and I think the 10Mbps rule is after they have encoded your footage again. Because I'm 99 percent sure I've uploaded videos with a bitrate of 20Mbps a couple of times.

                                              • 20. Re: Final Export Settings
                                                chriscool_888 Level 1

                                                Here take a look.



                                                Watch it at 360, which is what most people will be seeing at. I increased the bit rate to 17 and even increased frame rate to see if that would help.

                                                • 21. Re: Final Export Settings
                                                  josephs51576386 Level 3

                                                  Wow so that's set at 17...

                                                  Honestly I hate to say it but now that I see the video I'm fairly sure it's simply because of you-tube compressing your video crappy. Obviously their encode settings aren't friendly for dark scenes with a lot of motion. The fact the scene is dark is whats causing all that noise. On your computer how does it look before you upload it?

                                                  • 22. Re: Final Export Settings
                                                    chriscool_888 Level 1

                                                    It looks fine in HD. I made a version that is 480 and it's looking similar when played back on my computer even in a small window. Perhaps fast moving dark footage needs to played in HD. That sucks because only a few you view it will switch the playback setting.

                                                    • 23. Re: Final Export Settings
                                                      josephs51576386 Level 3

                                                      In my past experinces I have noticed that dark scenes seem to not do so well with h.264 compression. I'd say you could try another codec but you-tube is going to encode it to h.264 after you upload it anyways. So it would be a waste of time. Sorry man

                                                      • 24. Re: Final Export Settings
                                                        SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

                                                        Did you try encoding as 720p? This is the standard YouTube preset in AME. Note that the average person does not have a 1080p computer display, so would not be able to enjoy your full 1080p goodness, nor might they have the bandwidth to do so either, and frankly, they won't know the difference between 720p and 1080p, all looks good. Try the 720p ;-)