7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 8, 2017 2:24 PM by AinoH

    Gaming footage quality decreases after exporting the video




      I'm aware that there have been similar question asked before, but I feel that my case might be a bit different, since I couldn't find a solution to my problem.


      So, I have a few questions about exporting on Adobe Premiere Elements 12. I create gaming videos on YouTube. I record console games with Elgato HD (in 720p 60 fps) and PC games with Fraps (in 1080p 60 fps). The raw, non-edited video is in great quality. However, when I export the edited video, my quality drops. It's still good, but not as good as the original footage, which bothers me. I know for sure I have something wrong with my exporting settings, but I can't figure out what. I've tried rising the bitrate, but even when I set it to as high as it's possible, the quality doesn't match the original.


      Here are the settings I've used to export my Fraps recorded videos:


      Videos are usually edited to about 20-30 minutes, and with these settings the exporting takes about 2 hours.


      But here's the one thing that confuses me. The source.


      If I've understood correctly, the source means the original footage. Why does it say here it's 25 fps, when it isn't. Here are the video properties:


      It says it's 60 fps, and it clearly is when I view the footage. So could this be the problem, or have I misunderstood the whole "source" part?


      Lastly, here's a side by side pictures of the exported and the raw videos (recorder with Fraps on PC):


      Left: Exported

      Right: Raw


      I think the difference is a bit difficult to notice here. The raw one is definitely darker, but I think that is because of the game settings. Another weird thing the exporting does; changes the lighting. The exported one is also smudgier.


      So the question is: How do I export the video in its original quality?


      Thanks in advance!


      - Aino

        • 1. Re: Gaming footage quality decreases after exporting the video
          whsprague Adobe Community Professional

          I don't know anything about your game capture tools.   But, I think I see some inconsistencies.


          - One is capturing in 720 and the other in 1080.  So, what are the project settings and how are they being set.


          - Upscaling 720 to 1080 will probably look smudgy.


          - Other threads about game capture have shown that capturing is done at a variable bit rates.  Editing software, like Premier Elements, can have trouble with that.  You may need to find a way to record at a constant bit rate or convert using something like Handbrake.


          -  Your output bit rate seems low.


          -  The source summary may be indicating your project settings and that does not match either of the capture devices.


          -  How are you determining and setting the output?  Are you trying to match a YouTube specification?

          • 2. Re: Gaming footage quality decreases after exporting the video
            AinoH Level 1

            Thank you for answering!


            These pictures show the settings I use to export Fraps recorded videos, which means they're recorded on PC in 1080p and 60 fps. I record console games with Elgato HD, and the highest possible quality that can be recorded with Elgato is 720p. I use different settings while exporting Elgato captured videos, in fact I use the pre-made settings "MP4 - HD 720p 60 fps". The quality doesn't match the original one with that either, although it's definitely a less noticeable difference than with exporting Fraps videos.


            Here is a screenshot of the raw Fraps recorded video properties:


            Apologies they're in Finnish, but here the frame size is 1280x768 (kehysleveys=frame width, kehyskorkeus=frame height). Could this factor in? Should I have 1280x768 in export settings instead of 1920x1080? Is the raw video even in 1080p? I am confused.


            If changing the export settings doesn't work, I'll try the constant bitrate. Thanks for the tip!


            Can you give advice on how to determine how high the bitrate should be? Or is it something that should be just continuously tested? I've tried raising the bitrate to as high as possible, but the quality never matched the original. I quite frankly don't really see a difference in quality when I raise it; only the file size grows.


            When trying to change the project settings, it doesn't allow me to change the frame size, and is stuck in 1920x1080. Is it possible to change this? Also, should the display format be "Frames" instead of "25fps Timecode" since the footage is in 60 fps? Sorry, a lot of questions. I quite honestly have never paid any attention to the project settings when editing, and I understand very little of them.


            I've gone by the bitrate and H.264 charts here: Recommended upload encoding settings - YouTube Help

            • 3. Re: Gaming footage quality decreases after exporting the video
              whsprague Adobe Community Professional

              Project settings are set when you open a new project.  Once the project is underway, they can't be changed.   I forgot how version 12 works, can you list you first steps opening the project?  Are you doing it manually or automatically?


              The easy question is the bit rate.  Most 1080p60 cameras shoot at around 35Mbps in the high quality settings.   And you're right, on small screens it may not be visible to the eye.  And YouTube's guide lines should be good.


              For what it is worth, getting editing to work well with captured video has often been harder than when the source is from a camera.


              My guess is that the problem is getting the output to match the input so that there is not "resizing" going on.    If you can, the project settings should be 1280x768 and the output setting should be the same as well.  Everything should match.


              Hope this helps and something works.


              Can you give me a link so I can see something you've done on YouTube?



              • 4. Re: Gaming footage quality decreases after exporting the video
                AinoH Level 1

                When I first open Elements 12 it automatically creates a new project. It doesn't give you the option to change the project settings, not even if I open them from Edit-->Project settings-->General. The frame size is frozen to 1920x1080. I found the only way to be able to change the settings is to create a new project again (File-->New-->Project). Then it gives you a box like this:


                If I click "Change settings it gives this box:


                I guess I should choose the first AVCHD (1080p60)? The problem with that however is that in its description it says the frame size is still 1920x1080. It also says the fps is 54.94.


                So, this is the final question: Is there a way to create custom project settings?


                Here's a link to one of my gaming videos: Game of Thrones #6 - [EP2] "Eight Hundred Gold Dragons" - YouTube


                Thanks for answering again!

                • 5. Re: Gaming footage quality decreases after exporting the video
                  whsprague Adobe Community Professional

                  Thank you for the link to the video.


                  I would like to think I'm helping, but I'm not confident that a really am!


                  Project Settings:  I'm pretty sure that the primary purpose is to find a match to make the editing process smooth.   Video editors make preview files which is what you actually see as you work.  If your work is going smoothly, I don't think changing it will make a difference in your final output.   The final output process references all the work you've done and re-reads the source files to encode or "render" your video.  


                  Somewhere around version 12 or 13, Project Settings were automated.  Regardless of what you pick when you open a new project, putting the first clip on the timeline will re-set them to a close match.   It is important to pick a first clip that uses the primary characteristics of the source footage.  The exception is if you check the box that says, "Force selected Project Settings on this Project".


                  Output Settings: If the goal is to reduce the "smudgy" I think there are two parts.  Part one is to match output to the source.  Unfortunately, I don't think the 1280x768 is not common to cameras and Premier Elements is intended to process camera produced footage.  Still, I would try manually setting output to match.  Since the goal is YouTube, this can be tricky because YouTube will do its own magic processing after you upload it.   That can end up putting you back to square one and doing trial and error. 


                  I've never been to Finland but get to stop in Helsinki for a day later this year as part of a cruise ship adventure.   It will be far too brief, but I'm looking forward to it. 



                  • 6. Re: Gaming footage quality decreases after exporting the video
                    AinoH Level 1

                    You have helped! Now I understand the purpose of the project settings better. I'm going to try to find a way to match the source to the output, and if that doesn't work I'll try the Handbrake way you mentioned earlier. YouTube does reduce the quality of the video, but I'll try to figure out this exporting thing before concentrating on that.


                    Great you're visiting Finland! Helsinki is actually the city I live at. Have a nice, brief visit here .


                    Thanks for taking the time to help!

                    • 7. Re: Gaming footage quality decreases after exporting the video
                      AinoH Level 1

                      Hi! I've solved the problem! Here's an explanation for someone who might be experiencing the same issues.


                      So my problem with this particular video was the frame size. If you look at the properties of that video, it says it's 1280x768. Fraps records the game on that size because in the game's own graphics settings the size is set to 1280x768.


                      That's the problem! My monitor is NOT 1280x768. It's 1360x768. I found this out by going on this website, which shows you your monitor size: What is my screen resolution


                      So the next thing I did was I switched the exporting settings from 1920x1080 to match the source footage (1360x768). These are my current exporting settings:


                      The quality is almost identical to the raw footage. I'm very happy with these settings. As far as I know the Project settings don't matter in this case.


                      I haven't tested yet, but YouTube will most likely decrease the quality. But I hope this helps the people who've experienced the same exporting problems.


                      To do list:

                      1. Check your monitor resolution (What is my screen resolution ).

                      2. Check that the game is set to have that resolution.

                      3. Export with the source resolution.


                      I hope this helps!


                      - Aino