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best video codec for export?

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Victor Nguyenbest video codec for export?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 3:34:37 am

what's a good video codec to export out of premier pro? I want the best quality possible for my videos.

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ben g ungurenRe: best video codec for export?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 4:40:15 am

Your question is way too general. The codec you want depends on your delivery needs:

Animation Codec: exporting for motion graphics, or when you need absolutely no quality loss. These files are HUGE so they can't play back properly on most systems. You don't compress to Animation for playback, you do it for additional work.

H264: Very common for web delivery, but there are dozens of options for compressing -- file size, frame rate, bitrate, keyframes, etc.

Those are the two most "generic" codecs, in my experience. When you don't know what format is preferred, you use one of these two. For editing, I use ProRes and DNxHD a lot.

Ben Unguren
Motion Graphics & Editing

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Victor NguyenRe: best video codec for export?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 6:21:46 pm

this is for final delivery and when im done with all the editing. so you're saying h.264 is the best?

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Tom DaigonRe: best video codec for export?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 6:28:33 pm

Final delivery is still ambiguous.

Many clients want the final master file in which case Prores or DNxHD is appropriate.

They also like a file they can playback for the intended viewers so h.264 could also be necessary.

Tom Daigon
Avid DS / PrP / After Effects Editor
Mac Pro 3,1
8 core
Nvidia Quadro 4000
24 gigs ram
Maxx Digital / Areca 8tb. raid
Kona 3

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Jeff BrownRe: best video codec for export?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 8:14:56 pm

...and if they want a DVD, then the final delivery is MPEG2 video to DVD specs. Blu-ray? M4V to Blu-ray specs. Maybe they want an uncompressed Quicktime for archiving and later re-compression, in which case I'd do PNG-compressed QuickTime (lossless, and typically smaller than "Animation"). Broadcast? There are several different "broadcast-specific" codecs (some are variations of MPEG-4). Going into a film or FX workflow? DPX file sequences are common.

Since clients frequently don't know what they actually want; i.e., "give us a QuickTime file" (see above, QTime can be any of those and more), I usually do a "pre-master" to a full-resolution PNG-QuickTime. I can then always (re)compress that to what they really want...


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Victor NguyenRe: best video codec for export?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 3:51:46 am

alright sorry for being ambiguous. I'll go into full detail. This is for a high school video production class so it's not for client or for commercial use. In this class we use final cut 7. I edit on my own laptop using premier/after effect and not on the school's mac. After I done with my video I have to export from premier pro and put it in final cut 7 on the school's mac. Once it's on the school mac, I am require to export as intermediate apple 720p codec. So what I want is the highest quality possible video so when it get compress again by final cut, it still looks good.

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Jeff BrownRe: best video codec for export?
by on Nov 24, 2011 at 5:31:15 am

Hi Victor: now we have good detail! (thanks).
I would export as a PNG-codec Quicktime (set to 100% quality) at the native frame rate and resolution. You will have to wait for encoding on the PC, and then re-encoding on the Mac of course, but you will have to with just about anything: the Apple ProRes codec on Windows is not available to use for exporting/writing, only for importing/reading.

If space is a premium, you can use JPG in QuickTime. A quality of "95" will have minimal impact, but the levels seem to shift a tiny bit. Less so with PNG.
Maybe try a small clip first with JPG, PNG, and Animation flavors of QuickTime to compare?

And congratulations for thinking about your "pipeline" before it's too late!


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Todd KoprivaRe: best video codec for export?
by on Nov 25, 2011 at 7:30:12 am

I know that you said that this was for a class, but now is a good time to learn how to determine what your client needs in terms of delivery format. There's an excellent article here on the COW about this:

I link to that article from an FAQ entry on the subject:
"FAQ: What are the best export settings?"

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support

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Ali MalekiRe: best video codec for export?
by on Mar 22, 2013 at 6:20:13 pm

Exporting mp4, H.264 - 6Mbps will work for Youtube and Vimeo very good.

Ali Maleki
DOP, Producer
Soosmar Media Inc - Corporate Video Productions

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