I shot my footage with a DSLR at 30fps. I'm wondering how I can export my project and have it ready to upload to YouTube..
I know some people export as a quicktime movie and use compressor, and others use quicktime conversion and tinker with the bit rates - I want to know what's best to get the best quality out of my project.
There's no easy answer to your question because compression is a learned combination of both art and science. However, Compressor is the serious users choice, plus it comes with loads of presets, including a few clearly labeled as YouTube.
As David said, start by a preset for YouTube.
For data rate and audio sampling, read YouTube recommendations.
Set always "Keyframes: AUTO", and make Multipass.
For a better downscaling, check "Frame Control ON", and Downscaling Fiter> BEST.
Here is my way, which seems to look very good on YT:
Export first QT Movie to make a master in original HD quality.
Going directly from TL to Compressor takes way longer encoding time.
The final Master QT Export, you open in Compressor.
Drop a QT 7 compatibel H.264 preset from the Web/Download Preset Folder: The preset H.264 LAN.
The adjust following parameters:
- Encoder Tab: Video set to Multi Pass (if you don't have time, single pass is fine as well), change data rate to 5000 kbits/sec, Audio 224 Kb/sec
- Geometry Tab: Set frame size to 100% of Source for HD on YT
There go go. Usually those settings look great as HD on YT.
Check out this sample of mine in those settings: