Why the intermediate step? Why not encoding to H.264 1280 x 720 directly? It will save you a conversion and thus quality.
Well, because Premiere doesn't do a good job encoding it. If I render out a 1920x1080 and then convert it with Quick Time I can make a 10 Minute, 500 MB file easy. If I render it out in Premiere at 1280x720 it is several Gigs large. For some reason the compressor in Premiere just isn't that good. Am I missing something?
Yeah, you are missing something.
10 minute with 500 MB space is lousy. You can as well export to anything, it does not matter what, but with that bitrate it is gonna look like sh** anyway. You can further deteriorate the image by making multiple conversions. Just your choice...
Yeah, I understand the awful bit rate issues... but since my video is going to the web only and has to be under 500 MB, I am kinda stretched thin. Using the premiere to quick time method has resulted in a positive look though, here, see for yourself:
Watch in HD.
Did you try exporting to WMV with 1280 x 720? That will give quite acceptable results and decent storage.
Not sure if that is sarcasm. WMV is the lowest of the low, plus my site only likes MOVs. I will tryin the WMV method, because the only good thing Movie Maker is good for IS compression to WMV.
WMVHD gives an excellent picture for the web.
Even set at default settings
Export Settings in Premiere
Format: Windows Media
Preset: HDTV 720p 25 High Quality (for PAL)
Okay, I have a better format now...
I render a 1280x720 h.264 out of premiere, it is about 2.7 GB.
I then bring it into Quick Time and get the bitrate right so it outputs to 500 MB.
But can't I set the bitrate in Premiere?
I see "limit data rate to:" under DATA RATE, above "Recompress"
But it is not selectable. The box is grey and can't be clicked on.
Why is that? And should I use Recompress?
A couple things:
Actually WMV format is one of the best looking formats for low bandwidth full frame video. But, it is disliked by the mac world so generally not a good candidate for general use.
You can tweek the bit rate all you like in AME. I suggest you choose H.264 as the format, then choose Youtube widescreen HD as the preset. That will give you a good idea of an acceptable bit rate for hd output. You can adjust the frame size and bit rate to suit.