January 4, 2014

Video Tutorial: Demystifying Export Settings in Premiere Pro

Premiere TutorialSo, you've finished cutting together and coloring your most recent project, and you're ready to export it for the web or whatever form of distribution that you've chosen. You go to the export settings in your NLE, then you nearly have a panic attack because of the sheer volume of options. There are codecs and bitrates and field options and key frames,  and equally as many audio options, and before you know it, you're curled up in the fetal position next to your desk. Luckily, one of my fellow Denver filmmakers put together a tutorial that shows you everything that you need to know when it comes to exporting for the web and beyond. Check it out.

First and foremost, this tutorial uses an older version of Adobe Premiere Pro. In spite of the older software, all of the settings that are covered in this tutorial are equally relevant to Premiere Pro CC (and most other NLE's). So sit back, relax, and let Eyal "Fill" Fillovsky put your exporting woes to rest.

While there are numerous things that can go wrong during the export process, many of them can be traced back to improperly set-up exports. One of the easiest things that you can do in order to avoid the some of the nasty effects of a botched export is to make sure that the basics of your output settings match your sequence settings, and then double-check. If you're working with high-resolution progressive footage at 23.976, you want to make sure that your output settings mirror those properties, otherwise encoding will do some funky things to your video.

Codec-wise, h.264 is usually the best choice for web export in that most streaming sites are optimized for that codec. However, it's important to check the technical limitations of the site that you plan to upload your video to, because if you export at higher or lower bitrates, the video either won't look or perform optimally.

What do you guys think? What are your tips for exporting for the web? Let us know down in the comments!

Link: EFillF Productions channel -- YouTube

Your Comment

27 Comments

Somehow using the h.264 ( .mp4 ) export in Premiere Pro ( using the Main-Concept ) Engine creates files that most Macs can play, but not re-edit / export. ( I know, but sometimes we have to ).
Exporting using the Premiere QuickTime h.264 at the same data-rate creates absolutely crap quality files.
The only way I found was to open the project in After Effects and export great looking .mov h.264 files.

January 4, 2014 at 3:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

0
Reply
Tulio

I have seen that too with vimeo and youtube setting. You can get them to play in VLC but not quicktime. However, if you pick their apple tv setting macs can play them.

January 4, 2014 at 3:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

1
Reply
dusty

There's actually a super easy workaround...just rename the .mp4 to .mov.

January 4, 2014 at 4:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

0
Reply
Gabe

So, overall, the suggestion is not to use the Vimeo or Youtube presets and just set everything yourself?

January 4, 2014 at 3:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

0
Reply
Brian

a helpful visual guide to understanding codecs and formats when exporting: http://imgur.com/27vqT61

January 4, 2014 at 3:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

0
Reply
Josh

I love the inforgrahic but its unfortunately very mac bias, so I dont feel I can pass it on to others as it makes users feel like the NEED a mac, which just isnt true. Thanks for the share tho

January 9, 2014 at 12:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

1
Reply

This thread is old, but I just had to comment on this graphic... It's completely useless. It says nothing about broadcast delivery, and is quite snarky in general... Not useful at all really.

September 8, 2014 at 7:55PM

3
Reply

I always match the sequence settings. This way Youtube will compress it to the best size and bitrate once uploaded.
If you have enough bandwidth available there really is no need to compress the file before Youtube does.

January 4, 2014 at 5:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

0
Reply
Tim

I'm gonna try that for my next upload. The h264 plus Vimeo is killing my footage. Thanks

January 4, 2014 at 8:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

5
Reply
Anthony Marino

YES. This is a common misconception - you no longer need to pre-compress your videos before uploading. This used to be standard practice because uploads were limited to certain sizes or bitrates. YouTube has since lifted any limits on bitrate (as far as I can tell).

Tim is correct, there's no reason to send your video through more compression than necessary. You can even upload ProRes LT to YouTube now and it looks much better than H.264 - as long as you have the bandwidth and time to wait for a large upload. I wish there were an option for these services to "pass through" and play your video untouched as long as your codec/compression meets their standards. They're always going to re-compress what you upload, so you might as well give them a big-ass file to work with.

January 4, 2014 at 10:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

0
Reply
Ty

Thanks Ty. Good info, makes a ton of sense

January 5, 2014 at 5:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

5
Reply
Anthony Marino

I've had lots and lots of experience via trial and error doing exports from PPro.

Here's my take:
The best presets are YouTube HD, Vimeo HD (final file size will vary however), and Apple TV. Most of the other presets either produce terrible results or file sizes that are ridiculously large (AVI anyone?).

I usually will raise or lower the bitrate based on my desire for final video quality versus file size.

If you are exporting for authoring a DVD, learn how to export directly from PPro into Encore because only one rendering takes place, lessening the opportunity for file degradation.

January 4, 2014 at 6:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

1
Reply

Could someone please chart out the steps for a start to finish project in PP CC where the end export would be for DCI projection output.

The luts that one would need to use during editing. Sound mixes etc.

Also is Dolby Atmos mix possible for an indie film maker ?

thanks

January 4, 2014 at 11:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

0
Reply
raj

Any else use quicktime -png export? I like the 1Trillion colors look it gives my footage.
Not sure if it's practical for festival use.

January 5, 2014 at 1:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

0
Reply
VinceGortho

Thank you for doing this tutorial. It was something that I really needed when I first started exporting and is nice to see as a guide.

The video that I would like to see or a reference to a tutorial that may already be out there is importing (loading) graphics to adobe premiere pro. When I load a graphic or a logo to a video sequence (and i set the sequence to the video) the graphics end up blurry or jumpy. If I start a sequence to the graphic it doesn't match the settings for the video footage. How do I handle this?
Thanks,

January 5, 2014 at 7:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

0
Reply
Chris Cole

Match the sequence to your primary video footage. when you add Graphics (jpg, tiff, png . . . ) you will either have to enlarge or shrink them to fit the sequence. If you have very small pics with low resolution, you will have to expand them which will give the graphics a fuzzy look. Good luck.

January 6, 2014 at 11:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

5
Reply

Great!

January 8, 2014 at 10:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

0
Reply
Dane

Many thanks - you helped me to solve many misteries...!

January 10, 2014 at 11:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

0
Reply
Marius

Hi guys,

Considering the exporting of pure white video layers to youtube and or vimeo..

I tend to end up with even the purest #FFFFFF white to go grey on youtube and vimeo.

What am I doing wrong here..

Thanks for you help.

Regards,

Matthijs

March 4, 2014 at 5:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

0
Reply
Matthijs

This may be a really stupid question but when I click on h.264 and then check the presets, there is no HDTV 1080p 29.97 preset. Is there a reason for this? There are actually none of the bottom presets as shown on your screen. I am using the latest Premiere Pro CC software, and my original video settings are the same as yours. Thanks!

March 19, 2014 at 7:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
Jayde

Matthijs... Sounds like Broadcast Safe. Your white points may be set to 235 not 255. Just thought. Scott.

April 22, 2014 at 11:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply

Hi, I´ve been having some issues with my dvd exports. I live in a third world country...that means our internet connection is so slow, that the standard media is dvd....everything is sold for a buck in the streets and just a few use youtube...

I´m trying to export my files to a high quality dvd so pirate copies of my work will have good quality, but my pirate version of premiere pro (adobe won´t sell its products to my country) doesn´t have all the export settings I need...
Its really hard to do these things, and the only way I´ve found that this has been done in my country is by reinstalling windows and (with a clean registry) the trial versions of premiere (now CC)...
I´m thinking about just quitting this... the things I made went to really big festivals, and won important awards all over the world, etc, but every year it gets harder to work in my environment...besides not having any funds at all....and having my post production buddy hating my guts...
I hope somebody can help me with this...

Cheers

May 13, 2014 at 10:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

1
Reply
Jaime

Howdy, I do believe your website may be having internet browser compatibility issues.
Whenever I take a look at your blog in Safari,
it looks fine however, if opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues.

I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up!

Besides that, great site!

June 3, 2014 at 6:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply

I didn't know that!! I'm trying prores next! I love the comments section!

June 19, 2014 at 10:53AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

4
Reply

Hey would you mind letting me know which webhost you're utilizing?
I've loaded your blog in 3 completely different web
browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
Can you suggest a good hosting provider at
a honest price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

August 5, 2014 at 5:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

1
Reply

Today, I went to the beach with my kids.
I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said
"You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She
put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic
but I had to tell someone!

August 5, 2014 at 12:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

2
Reply

It's awesome in support of me to have a web page, which
is good in support of my experience. thanks admin

August 9, 2014 at 3:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

2
Reply

You may try iDealshare VideoGo to convert MP4 to Premiere to Import MP4 to Adobe Premiere Pro

May 12, 2016 at 3:23AM, Edited May 12, 3:23AM

0
Reply

There is a easy way to download convert avi to premiere pro to import avi to adobe premiere,it is iDealshare VideoGo, it can successfully import all AVI to Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

October 26, 2016 at 8:33AM

0
Reply