How to Choose Export Settings

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David Kong here with another tutorial for you! This time, on choosing export settings.

This video takes a practical approach as I go step by step through the interface of Adobe Media Encoder, which both Premiere Pro and After Effects use. I explain what each of those options and sliders and checkboxes means, and more importantly I give some advice about how and when to use them.

This tutorial follows on from my last tutorial, Understanding Codecs. In that video, I explain the principles that codecs use to compress data efficiently – at least, I gave a good summary, since giving all the details would take weeks! They really are quite complex. You don’t have to have seen my first tutorial first, but it will definitely help!

Here’s an overview of what I cover:

First, I give a brief run-down of the different presets, the interface, and how to use it effectively. Then I hit each of the options in the video encoding options for h.264 video:

The Match Source button

Frame Rates

Field Order and Interlacing vs Progressive video

Pixel Aspect Ratios – and why they exist

Profiles – and how you decide when to use which one

Level – what it is, and when you might need to worry about it

Render at Maximum Depth – I hit this one briefly, but you really need to watch my first video to understand the difference that deeper bit depth makes

CBR vs VBR 1-pass vs VBR 2-pass – I spend a bit of time on this, explaining the purpose of each of these and showing why the slower ones are better (particularly why 2-pass is much better than 1-pass)

How to choose bitrates based on source footage and delivery specifications

Key Frame Distance – I cover what this does, and also address a common mistake when people set this to “1” without properly understanding what that does

Use Maximum Render Quality

Use Previews

Use Frame Blending

I also take a moment to talk about different file delivery scenarios and how your choices will change based on where the final file is going, and who’s watching it.

As always, please comment if you have any questions.

Enjoy!

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