11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 28, 2014 7:19 PM by MGMartino

    YouTube Videos lagging and low quality Please Help!

    MGMartino Level 1

      I am using a 15" MacBook Pro (2012)  750GB HD, 16GB RAM

      OS X 10.9.5

      2.4GHz Intel Core i7

      After Effects CC 13.0.2.3 (I know there is a newer version of CC out but when I started my project there wasn't so I didn't want to upgrade in the middle of a project)

      Media Encoder CC

       

      I am just starting up a YouTube channel and I put up two videos that I made using After Effects CC.  They are both Lyric Videos with no actual footage.  Just some vector images imported from Illustrator and Photoshop and then some JPEGs but primarily I used the text tool within after effects with animations.

       

      I uploaded the videos to YouTube and there are two main issues between the two of them.  Firstly, the picture quality (even when set to 720p) is slightly lower on YouTube than the rendered version saved on my HD.  And I don't mean lower quality than a big rendered MOV file saved to HD, I mean lower quality than a rendered version that was already compressed specifically for a 720p YouTube Video...I used the "YouTube 720HD" preset in Adobe Media Encoder). 

       

      Secondly the movies tend to lag in random spots.  It's not a particular part in the movie(s) where the animation will lag every time, that's why I say random.  But this happens even on the rendered videos saved to my HD, as opposed to the lower picture quality which only happens after uploading to YouTube.  Now if I render out a mov file in the render que I expect that Quicktime, iTunes or any media player might have trouble playing back such a big file smoothly. But the movies lagging are, like I said before, compressed specifically for a 720p YouTube Video using the "YouTube 720HD" preset in Adobe Media Encoder).

       

      Plus the lagging seems to get worse once I upload them to YouTube.  but since it's random I can't really confirm that.  Usually its subtle and winds up just looking like ****** animation due to poorly placed key frames.  but that almost is worse they if the lags were 5 second delays because now the viewer just thinks they're watching a crap video as opposed to knowing something is wrong with the file...

       

      I haven't even started to promote my YouTube channel because I want to fix this problem before I do. Please let me know if there is anything I can do differently when rendering these movies or uploading them to YouTube, or even something to make sure I am or am not doing during the creation process of these movies inside After Effects.

       

      Here is a link to my channel so you can watch the movies and see what I mean.

      Jemuhni - YouTube

      I have watched them on my iPhone, two different MacBook Pros and used Safari, Firefox and Google chrome to watch on both of them.  It happens on all of them, but like I said before where the lag happens and the aggressiveness of the lag is random.

        • 1. Re: YouTube Videos lagging and low quality Please Help!
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I checked out both of the videos you have up and did not see any problems. No skipped frames, no color artifacts, no aliased edges on a Retina Display Mac full screen. I'm not sure what you are seeing because everything looks just fine to me. I played both videos twice and did not see any differences in the playback or any obvious dropped frames or lagging issues. There were no 1 second or 5 second delays in either video.

           

          If the data rate and format is at or near the YouTube specs when you upload the video then you'll pretty much get what you uploaded. If your specs are way off then YouTube is going to re-compress your movie so that it matches their allowable data rate. That's just the way YouTube works and you can't do anything about it. Dropped frames or momentary freezes on YouTube are always bandwidth or connectivity issues or problems with your system. Bandwidth issues may include randomly dropped packets. Bad frames created by the YouTube re-encoding or decoding for streaming process may cause a freeze, audio sync problems or other issues, but generally if you send YouTube good video that matches their standards you get good video back.

           

          As far as image quality the same thing happens. If you match the specifications published on YouTube then you will get back pretty much what you put up, but if your video is way out of spec then YouTube will automatically re-copress it and you get what you are going to get.

           

          Personally I think you're being way too critical of issues that do not matter nearly as much as problems I see in your design and timing. I find timing, blocking (blocking is the way your layers move) and typography issues with both projects that make some sections hard to watch. You've got my eyes jumping around so much in some parts of both videos that what I'm seeing isn't registering as being in sync with the music and in some cases, I miss the words completely. It takes a lot of skill and a lot of practice to create these dynamic text animations so they re-enforce the story told by the lyrics instead of compete with them for attention. You'll know if you are close to having it right when you can watch your video without any sound and know what the words are.

          • 2. Re: YouTube Videos lagging and low quality Please Help!
            MGMartino Level 1

            I appreciate your detailed reply...You mentioned matching YouTube's specs a lot.  So does the "YouTube 720HD Preset" match YouTube's specs automatically or is there anything I should manually change about the preset?  Because the image quality is a pretty drastic difference especially on my "Red Dragon" video.  Any diagonal line (whether it's the outline of the character or a letter. it is pretty pixel and looks crappy)

             

            Rick Gerard wrote:

            Dropped frames or momentary freezes on YouTube are always bandwidth or connectivity issues or problems with your system. Bandwidth issues may include randomly dropped packets.

             

             

            How can I check my bandwidth and connectivity? Is that like when checking you internet connecting with a speed test? (Mbps)

             

            Rick Gerard wrote:

            Personally I think you're being way too critical of issues that do not matter nearly as much as problems I see in your design and timing. I find timing, blocking (blocking is the way your layers move) and typography issues with both projects that make some sections hard to watch. You've got my eyes jumping around so much in some parts of both videos that what I'm seeing isn't registering as being in sync with the music and in some cases, I miss the words completely. It takes a lot of skill and a lot of practice to create these dynamic text animations so they re-enforce the story told by the lyrics instead of compete with them for attention. You'll know if you are close to having it right when you can watch your video without any sound and know what the words are.

            I can see what you're saying about the blocking and typography, as my skills are still very much in their beginner stage. I have a lot to learn.  But I am worried that the "timing" problems you refer to are really the lags I'm referring to.  If you don't mind could you re-watch the parts where you thought the timing was off in my videos and then as soon as that part passes, drag the YouTube cursor back and re-watch that same part it immediately to see if it has the same timing issue you just saw? (that way you would tell if it was bad timing on my part or just a quick random hiccup and or lag in the movie.)

            • 3. Re: YouTube Videos lagging and low quality Please Help!
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              The timing problems I'm referring to are not really there, they are caused when the eye is in one part of the frame and the focus shifts to another part of the frame. Motion makes your eyes shift focus so when you push someones eyes to the lower left corner and you suddenly introduce something new and bold in the upper right you can get away with it being right on the beat once but if you then jump back to the lower left on the next change you have to lead the beat a bit to give the visual part of the brain a bit of time to sync up with the audio part of the brain. Composition, Color, Movement, and the readability of your type all effect this shift between audio and visual timing. This can make you think you see things differently when you look at the same section multiple times.

               

              I don't know what frame rate you used but if you use 29.97 instead of 23.976 or 24 you will have more accuracy matching cuts to audio and have less lead time required for the appearance of sync with the audio. Frame rate doesn't matter if the blocking (movement) of your actors (the words) draws the eye into position to see what's going on with enough of a buffer so that audio (which is perceived first from our primal need to hear danger coming from behind before we see it) is recognized at the same time that we understand what it is we are seeing. Did that make sense?

               

              You cannot step through the video one frame at a time and check that each cut happens exactly on the first frame of each word because sometimes you need to see the word before you hear it. You might try slipping your audio track 2 frames to the right and re-rendering. That may be enough to fix most of your timing problems.

               

              As far as checking bandwidth, try watching other videos that have similar styles. If they playback fine according to your interpretation and they are the same size then it's a connection problem. If your videos are consistently freezing there may be some bad frames from the original upload so try uploading again. I have had very few problems with either YouTube or Vimeo.

              • 4. Re: YouTube Videos lagging and low quality Please Help!
                MGMartino Level 1

                Rick Gerard wrote:

                I don't know what frame rate you used but if you use 29.97 instead of 23.976 or 24 you will have more accuracy matching cuts to audio and have less lead time required for the appearance of sync with the audio. Frame rate doesn't matter if the blocking (movement) of your actors (the words) draws the eye into position to see what's going on with enough of a buffer so that audio (which is perceived first from our primal need to hear danger coming from behind before we see it) is recognized at the same time that we understand what it is we are seeing. Did that make sense?

                I am currently using 24, since that was the default and it also seemed easier to work with frames that broke up in even numbers.  And surprisingly, I think I actually understood most of what you had to say about this haha...You are saying the 29.97 provides more visual-to-audio accuracy because it breaks down into more frames so you can place the visual appearance of the word more precisely in relations to when it is heard.  And then I also believe I get what you are saying about how sometimes you need the word to appear visually a little bit before it is actually heard because we inherently take in the audio first...(I just don't get why you said frame rate doesn't matter in that instance)

                Rick Gerard wrote:

                As far as checking bandwidth, try watching other videos that have similar styles. If they playback fine according to your interpretation and they are the same size then it's a connection problem.

                I was actually doing that already (watching other Lyric Videos on YouTube that are similar to mine).  But that's the thing; if I did not make the video I can't tell if some of their timing/animation is off or if it is just a bandwidth problem.  Because I actually have noticed in other lyric videos that sometimes a few words in the video seem to come in a little late...Also you said to check if the reference videos I'm watching are the same size.  How do I know the size of a video I'm watching on YouTube if it's not my own video?

                Rick Gerard wrote:

                If your videos are consistently freezing there may be some bad frames from the original upload so try uploading again. I have had very few problems with either YouTube or Vimeo.

                If that was the case, wouldn't the video(s) keep freezing in the same spot? Which my videos are not doing.

                • 5. Re: YouTube Videos lagging and low quality Please Help!
                  Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  A bad frame on an upload would not necessarily make the packet freeze at the same place because packets are sent at different sizes and you system will try and repair the packet loss at different times depending on when the problem occurred and where the other bad packets are coming in.

                   

                  As far as your videos are concerned, watch them with the sound off and see if they are still lagging. This is also a good test of the blocking of your movement. If you miss entire blocks of words with the sound off then your composition needs to be changed. Audio has fixed more than one bad edit in more than one film. I'm cutting a TV pilot right now and I've used audio to hide performance problems with the actors, actors moving or blinking on a line, and a host of other problems that crop up when you cut live action. You make the cut work as well as you can without any audio clues and then, if you have to, you use the audio to fix the problems. Just remember that we hear, especially something new, before we understand see.

                  • 6. Re: YouTube Videos lagging and low quality Please Help!
                    MGMartino Level 1

                    okay, but what about the answer to my first question from my previous post...why were you saying frame rate doesn't matter?

                     

                    And also how can I tell the size of other lyric videos I'm watching on YouTube like you suggested?

                    • 7. Re: YouTube Videos lagging and low quality Please Help!
                      MGMartino Level 1

                      ...Also if this lag issue is happening even on the mp4 versions saved to my computer when I watch them to Quicktime and iTunes.  Would it still carry over to YouTube or no? 

                      • 8. Re: YouTube Videos lagging and low quality Please Help!
                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        You are obsessing about this way too much. Your videos are not lagging, they just need a little work on timing and composition so they work visually. A video that plays back on your computer will play back at the same frame rate as long as it's 59.97 or less when played back from YouTube because YouTube and Vimeo and every other streaming site will recompress your video if it the data rate is too high and respect your frame rate (if it meets the standards) for streaming so no frames will be dropped by the average connection. If your video looks the way you want it to look then compress it using the suggestions from YouTube for format and data rate and it will be as good as sit can be on YouTube (which is good enough for billions of users).

                         

                        There is nothing magical about your animations that causes them to have problems. Even if you sent YouTube an Uncompressed movie that would not play back in real time, it would be converted to their standard format and data rate before it was available. The only thing you loos by sending out of spec files to YouTube is control over the quality of the compression and the time it takes for YouTube to fix out of spec videos. If you send your projects to the Adobe Media Encoder and use the preset that matches your projects frame size and frame rate, and that compressed video looks fine on your system then it will look exactly the same on YouTube on anyone's computer that has a connection of sufficient quality to download and play the video at it's highest data rate.

                        • 9. Re: YouTube Videos lagging and low quality Please Help!
                          MGMartino Level 1

                          Rick Gerard wrote:

                          If you send your projects to the Adobe Media Encoder and use the preset that matches your projects frame size and frame rate, and that compressed video looks fine on your system then it will look exactly the same on YouTube on anyone's computer that has a connection of sufficient quality to download and play the video at it's highest data rate.

                          I'm aware of that.  But as I said in my initial post...  The only place that the movie plays 100% lag-free is when I watch them using RAM Preview in AE.  So forget YouTube for now. I'm asking what could cause a movie that plays 100% smooth with RAM Preview in AE, to not playback the rendered version smoothly through Quicktime, or iTunes?  And please do not say it's because the rendered movie(s) are too big for Quicktime oe iTunes to playback smoothly, because I'm not referring to a large mov file. I'm refering to 114MB mp4 files that Quicktime and iTunes should playback 100% as smooth as RAM Preview does in AE...

                          • 10. Re: YouTube Videos lagging and low quality Please Help!
                            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            We only answer I have for them is that your videos appear to be playing perfectly on YouTube. I think maybe your eyes may be playing tricks on you.

                            • 11. Re: YouTube Videos lagging and low quality Please Help!
                              MGMartino Level 1

                              What specific computer, operating system and web browser are you using to watch these videos?