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Export settings and Youtube

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Eric Rosenfeld
Export settings and Youtube
on May 28, 2015 at 6:24:22 pm

Now for the Big One, the BIg Mystery.

This is something I already know something about and yet still can't solve. You create a beautiful video sequence in FCP that looks great, but when you export it and upload it to Youtube, even following all of the recommended export settings for Youtube, the finished product comes out looking horrible. It's all pixelated and blurry as if it had been filmed on a camera from the Jurassic period.

Here are the specs:

The FCP 7 sequence is in Apple ProRes 422 LT at 30 fps and 1920:1080 with no interlacing and unscaled.

The export settings in Quicktime Conversion are:
- Frame rate = current
- Key frames every = automatic
- Frame reordering = unchecked
- Encoding = Best
- Data rate = 3000
- Size = 1920 by 1080
- Sound = AAC "better" 160

I've also had this same problem in the past even when setting frame rate manually to the same as the project sequence (in this case 30) and setting audio to a higher quality in AAC.

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Eric Rosenfeld
Re: Export settings and Youtube
on May 28, 2015 at 6:29:47 pm
Last Edited By Eric Rosenfeld on May 28, 2015 at 6:30:22 pm

By the way, when it comes to data rate, I know that Youtube is tricky. I've looked into this matter quite a bit. On the one hand, Youtube themselves recommend something like an 8000 data rate. On the other, people have said that Youtube's automatic compression will reduce it to as low as 1200 anyway when you upload the video. I've also seen tutorials on Youtube that show the results of exporting at various data rates, and there are differences in the final product, but 5000 doesn't look much different from 2000. It's only when you go much higher that you see a noticeable difference. And then you have the problem of really unweildy, heavy files. And some say that the higher the data rate, the more chance that it won't play well on Youtube because people's computers and internet connections are not strong enuff to process it well, or because Youtube itself can't process it well, or, or, or... People just don't seem to know the real answer.

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Eric Strand
Re: Export settings and Youtube
on May 28, 2015 at 6:31:45 pm
Last Edited By Eric Strand on May 28, 2015 at 6:33:56 pm

YouTube is always going to re-encode your file, so you want to give it as high a quality a file as possible. If your internet was fast enough I would say upload the ProRes file, but that would take a while.

Don't use QT Conversion, export a self contained ProRes LT, bring that into compressor and do your compression there.
This tutorial is decent, put your keyframes at automatic or 30 and set your data rate to 12000-15000. YouTube will then recompress it to around 2000-3000.


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Matthew Press
Re: Export settings and Youtube
on May 29, 2015 at 1:59:22 pm

The bigger the file the better the result.
I supply youtube with H264 1920x1080 60000 KBS
Keep audio native. Great results for 4 years running.

Matt Press
Machine Room Operator / Digital Assets Engineer

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Eric Rosenfeld
Re: Export settings and Youtube
on Jun 1, 2015 at 7:45:19 am
Last Edited By Eric Rosenfeld on Jun 1, 2015 at 10:26:54 am

I took your advice, although I had to settle for a bit rate of 8000 cause my computer seemed incapable of processing 12000 (It's an old 2007 Macbook). The results on youtube were definitely improved.

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