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greg howell
Encoding Profiles
on Jul 23, 2013 at 6:29:51 pm

Hi All,

I was just wondering if you could help me out with a few issues im regarding encoding. Ive had a browse on the web, but i was hoping i could talk to someone about it.

Vimeo says that 1280 x 720 videos should have a bitrate between 5mpbs - 10mbps. if vimeo re-encodes and lowers the bitrate anyway, wouldn't it just make sense to export at 10mbps? also, i find that i lose quality when i export as high profile instead of main. i find this odd as most people recommend high when dealing with 1280 x 720. Saying that, i am able to retain the quality at 'high' profile, but only if i use level 4.1 instead of 3.1. I also find this odd as most would say you should stick with 3.1 when exporting at 1280 x 720. I just find this all quite confusing

I guess to summarise, is there any problem with me exporting out at 1280 x 720, high profile, target and max bitrate 5 mbps and level 4.1 when uploading to vimeo and youtube? ..as this seems to look fine at the moment.

I say 'seems' because i have came back an hour later in the past and the quality drops into blocks of colour. Could someone also tell me how that is possible too?

thankyou in advance.

Greg


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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: Encoding Profiles
on Jul 23, 2013 at 7:15:31 pm

First, don't export h.264 from AE. AE isn't optimized to export intraframe codecs and Adobe themselves don't recommend it. Best to render an intermediate file (uncompressed, prores, etc) and master in Adobe Media Encoder.

Take a look at http://www.fallenempiredigital.com/blog/2013/05/06/understanding-premiere-p...

Use the h.264 settings in AME rather than Quicktime. They use different encoders and the native Quicktime one is terrible.

Since Vimeo is reencoding all your video anyways, yes it's best to bump your settings up and use high profile. High profile includes some compression optimizations. Level setting also doesn't matter, Vimeo will reencode multiple formats and serve them to users as needed; it's really a flag to let hardware decoders know if they're rated to decode the frame size/frame rate being played back.

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Ivan Myles
Re: Encoding Profiles
on Jul 24, 2013 at 5:02:31 am

Great comments, Angelo. Thank you for the acknowledgement in the article.

Greg, it is OK to submit higher bitrate files. H.264 average bitrate doesn't usually go above 15-18mbps when using 2-Pass encoding on 1280x720 video at 24-30fps. To go any higher generally requires a short keyframe distance, 1-Pass encoding, or 50-60fps frame rate.

The Level parameter relates to maximum allowable data rate. In most cases setting Level to 4 or 5 for 1280x720-24/25/30 video just allows higher peak bitrates. The differences in quality you are observing between Levels 3.1 and 4.1 might be the result of peak bitrate being clipped in high-motion scenes.

[greg howell] "I guess to summarise, is there any problem with me exporting out at 1280 x 720, high profile, target and max bitrate 5 mbps and level 4.1 when uploading to vimeo and youtube? ..as this seems to look fine at the moment. "

Bitrate will depend on how much motion and variability there is within the movie. I have had success uploading ~12mbps 720p files, but there is not much observable difference compared to 5mbps. As a general guideline set max bitrate to 1.5x average bitrate.

High Profile produces the best results when bitrate is constrained. If there is plenty of headroom all of the profiles will produce good quality.

Ultimately, test a short clip at several settings to see what works best with your footage. Upload the test files and compare the recompressed Vimeo videos. There might not be much difference after being reduced to 2.5mpbs.


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greg howell
Re: Encoding Profiles
on Jul 24, 2013 at 7:54:15 am

thanks guys!

one last question.. the most annoying thing about this is that ill view it, and it will be fine, then an hour later ill come back and the quality would of dropped enough that you will see blocks of colour in one part of the video. whats happening? - this makes it really hard to test how good it looks with each setting.

cheers,

Greg


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Ivan Myles
Re: Encoding Profiles
on Jul 24, 2013 at 8:13:38 am

Are you referring to the videos you encode or the recompressed Vimeo files? If Vimeo, are you downloading the files or viewing online?


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greg howell
Re: Encoding Profiles
on Jul 24, 2013 at 11:56:20 am

hi,

im viewing vimeos re encoded version. is it something to do with bandwidth dipping up and down?

thanks,


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Ivan Myles
Re: Encoding Profiles
on Jul 24, 2013 at 6:28:11 pm

[greg howell] "the most annoying thing about this is that ill view it, and it will be fine, then an hour later ill come back and the quality would of dropped enough that you will see blocks of colour in one part of the video. "

[greg howell] "is it something to do with bandwidth dipping up and down?"

Probably. Try downloading the Vimeo files to view off-line.


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