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How do I get this level of quality from YouTube?

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Olly Lawer
How do I get this level of quality from YouTube?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 2:30:36 pm

I'm shooting some interviews for Miss Universe locally and I want to achieve the highest quality possible.

I've tried various different styles and I can get close to but not quite to the level of detail in this clip:





The detail is amazing, even when blown up at full res.

I've tried outputting from FCP at 8000kpbs (recommended by YouTube) as a H.264 and also through compressor as a JPEG. Both at 1280x720. Still I cannot get to this quality.

Any recommendations?

I'm shooting on an EX1.

Olly Lawer


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Greg Ondera
Re: How do I get this level of quality from YouTube?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 3:47:14 pm

I'm not sure at what stage of production, editing, or encoding you're asking about? And YouTube is not going to give you the quality; you're going to have to give YouTube the quality.

If it's lighting, I think that the separation light in these shots is on her shoulders, but I'd experiment with a second sep light coming over her top, because her hair gets lost in the background, and she has black hair. You can make her hair shine some with an extra sep light. The basic principles of the aesthetics of lighting are going to do more for you than anything else.

Since you have an EX1, if you shoot at 24P it will enable a little better quality for the web. But lighting is everything, if you want my opinion. Never shoot interlaced if it's going to the web. Use progressive settings only.

If it's encoding you're asking about, the kind of encoder you use provides quality considerations. I use Episode Pro, but Squeeze is just as good and even better. Stay away from Compressor when encoding to H.264 because the quality is not that great. For YouTube I'd encode an H.264 Mpg-4 AVC in High profile CABAC peak rate with a bit rate at 2002 Kbps on the lower end, peak at 2402, and if you're going to have this black background I'd not pass up crushing the black, but test this out first. I'd say crush the blacks by about 15%. Reference frames at 5 and B-frames at 3, and always 2 pass. Do not de-interlace since you shot it progressive. Is this what you're asking?

Greg Ondera
http://www.Plexus.tv
http://www.SurgeonToday.org


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Olly Lawer
Re: How do I get this level of quality from YouTube?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 3:55:08 pm

Thanks. Haven't shot it yet, just did a test shoot earlier.

I shot with both an EX1 native and with a Letus Extreme which looked nicer, although softer, probably because the Letus tends to crush the blacks. I was planning to crush the blacks in the edit anyway though.

I've previously used compressor with a JPEG technique I learned on this site somewhere...but the results of the video I posted are far superior. I can't see any artifacts and little pixilation which is outstanding for youtube.

My results are close, but not that sharp with or without the Letus.

At the moment, I am tending to export in FCP to H.264, 8000kpbs (as youtube recommends) keeping the frame rate and resolution the same. Loads fast and the quality is good, but as I say, not as good as this.


[Greg Ondera] "I'd encode an H.264 Mpg-4 AVC in High profile CABAC peak rate with a bit rate at 2002 Kbps on the lower end, peak at 2402, and if you're going to have this black background I'd not pass up crushing the black, but test this out first. I'd say crush the blacks by about 15%. Reference frames at 5 and B-frames at 3, and always 2 pass. Do not de-interlace since you shot it progressive. Is this what you're asking?"


Can I do this in FCP and if so, how?

Kind regards,

Olly Lawer


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Greg Ondera
Re: How do I get this level of quality from YouTube?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 4:05:47 pm

Well it sounds like you're on the right road and as long as you take care of the production quality first, the encoding will follow. That's interesting about YouTube's recommendation for 8000 kbps because I think they take that and throw it down to 2002. I get my info for that from Jan Ozer's new book "Video Compression for Flash, Apple Devices, and HTML5." When it comes to encoding, I've been a longtime fan of his. Check out his blog at http://www.streaminglearningcenter.com/

Greg Ondera
http://www.Plexus.tv
http://www.SurgeonToday.org


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Olly Lawer
Re: How do I get this level of quality from YouTube?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 5:07:12 pm

[Greg Ondera] "That's interesting about YouTube's recommendation for 8000 kbps because I think they take that and throw it down to 2002. I get my info for that from Jan Ozer's new book "Video Compression for Flash, Apple Devices, and HTML5." When it comes to encoding, I've been a longtime fan of his. Check out his blog at http://www.streaminglearningcenter.com/"

Thanks for the link, i'll check it out. Hmm, I wonder if I could get better results then outputting at 2002 H.264? Worth checking out.

Olly Lawer


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Craig Seeman
Re: How do I get this level of quality from YouTube?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 5:17:10 pm

Throwing more data at sites that re-compress is always better understanding that their are diminishing returns the higher one goes. 8000-10,000kbps is good source for 1080p. 5000kbps or so is good for 720p.



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Greg Ondera
Re: How do I get this level of quality from YouTube?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 5:36:01 pm

Craig is right about this. Throw more data at YouTube.

Greg Ondera
http://www.Plexus.tv
http://www.SurgeonToday.org


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Craig Seeman
Re: How do I get this level of quality from YouTube?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 4:02:22 pm

You should be able to get close to that with the EX1 and the data rates you're encoding at.
A lot has to do with lighting as well as the initial noise levels in the video since compression tends to work as a noise amplifier.

Two things I'd note are the skin exposure and the black levels. The well lit skin can ameliorate noise there. Deep blacks and ameliorate noise there as well. This skin is extremely bright and the blacks are solid.

Things like shooting Uncompressed or ProRes or other hight bit rate coded can help especially when grading in post and you need to push things a bit.



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Greg Ondera
Re: How do I get this level of quality from YouTube?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 4:15:09 pm

Craig - What are your thoughts on recording compressed on the standard SxS cards then encoding to ProRes after? And with greenscreen, it seems like it would sort of artificially improve the footage?

Greg Ondera
http://www.Plexus.tv
http://www.SurgeonToday.org


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Marvin Holdman
Re: How do I get this level of quality from YouTube?
on Dec 1, 2011 at 4:58:50 pm

Always acquire at your highest resolution possible. Although Youtube may spec out data rates, but keep in mind that WHATEVER you send them is going to be re-compressed, so you're better off sending them the HIGHEST data rate you can. Start with low data rate, they re-compress it to the same or less is a formula for garbage.

Cliche as it is... garbage in, garbage out is still true.

As with all products, focus on acquiring/editing at the highest resolution/data rate possible, providing the deliverable at the highest rate possible and letting your final outlet compress to whatever they deem standard, but always making sure you are using the HIGHEST POSSIBLE DATA RATE during acquisition and creation of your media.

Prores is a good transcode solution, as long as you (once again) go for the highest data option available to you.

Marvin Holdman
Production Manager
Tourist Network
8317 Front Beach Rd, Suite 23
Panama City Beach, Fl
phone 850-234-2773 ext. 128
cell 850-585-9667
skype username - vidmarv


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Marvin Holdman
Re: How do I get this level of quality from YouTube?
on Dec 1, 2011 at 4:58:55 pm

Sorry, double posted.



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Olly Lawer
Re: How do I get this level of quality from YouTube?
on Dec 5, 2011 at 4:27:04 pm

Thanks for your help. Video's turned out pucker. Not quite as good as the example I gave, but very marginal different. I think you were right Craig. These guys are chucking a lot more uncompressed data at YouTube then I am able to right now. Still, very happy with the results.

Olly Lawer


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Olly Lawer
Re: How do I get this level of quality from YouTube?
on Dec 7, 2011 at 8:39:23 am

PS - Its goes to show too how much crushing the blacks in the edit has a dramatic effect on the end YouTube compressed result. When the blacks are not crushed youtube shows a horrible pixulated background. Hideous!

Olly Lawer


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