The best 1080p export settings for YouTube with Adobe Premiere Pro or an overkill?

If you are reading this, you probably just want to see the settings:

What do you think, are these settings an unnecessary overkill?
I will be using these export settings from now on when I want better 1080p streaming quality in YouTube. What do you think, are these settings an unnecessary overkill?

Let me tell you why I ended up with these settings. I’ve been struggling with 1080p streaming quality in YouTube for some time. Video quality is amazing straight after export, but when uploaded to YouTube videos get this awful compressed and blocky look. It’s really frustrating when you have carefully fine-tuned your footage, but in the end it doesn’t really matter.

With 24 inch monitor you can really see the difference between original and YouTube 1080p HD streaming quality. Then again, if you are watching videos with a crappy tablet or a smartphone the quality issue is nonexistent. A while ago I uploaded this video and it was the last straw. The image quality was so much better before uploading. 

A storm named Valio filmed at Kallo 2.10.2015.
Gear List:
EOS 5D Mark III (+Magic Lantern), Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, RØDE VideoMic with the Windcutter windscreen, Triopo MT-2205+KJ-1S, VisionTech -picture style.


Since I knew YouTube is full of videos that look amazing qualitywise, I really needed to sort this matter out. One thing I didn’t mention before. I like to add some grain to my videos as a finishing touch ( http://holygrain.com/ ). In a sense this has been pointless, since YouTube has crushed the grain unseen. In fact I suspect that YouTube doesn’t handle grain very well, that being one of the reasons videos hadn’t looked as good as I wanted.

So I dove into the dephts of Google search and forums and eventually found some answers. First I thought the bitrate is the determining factor when you want the highest streaming quality, and to a certain extent it is. YouTube has its own recommended upload encoding settings, which specify bitrates, codecs etc. At some point 50 Mbps  bitrate was recommended for high quality 1080p uploads for creators with enterprise quality internet connections https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1722171?hl=en. For some reason this specific information is gone now. Here is some discussion overt the topic http://www.eoshd.com/comments/topic/9460-making-your-videos-look-good-for-youtube/

First i tried to export at higher bitrates up to 75 Mbps, which was recommended here https://youtu.be/MnQDGQAI0yk. The result was better, but not so much i had hoped for. The realization came to me after I watched this tutorial https://youtu.be/tbfDYxjM50o?t=1m50s. So I upscaled the 1920 x 1080 video and exported to 2048 x 1152 resolution. And that was the trick that really made the difference. I’m not sure how YouTube is encoding uploaded videos. I suppose it assigns a certain streaming bitrate for the video depending on the resolution of the original.

Of course there is a catch with my preferred settings. The rendering takes longer and the resulting files are huge compared to something exported as 1080p / 8 Mbps.

If you really have nothing else to do, you can watch my unscientific video tests here. There are 14 videos with different export settings. Number 10 is best in my opinion. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJnvcnZIWYNSHDg_Jw9hNQ57Buo8Anady

Now, please tell me which settings you use! There must be better ways to approach the amazingly intriguing mystery of Adobe Premiere Pro export settings.

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The island of Kallo

8.4.2015 – The weather forecast said it would be a stormy day. I thought I would have a perfect opportunity to shoot some photos down by the seaside. So I went to Kallo, which is a little rocky island by the Pori coastline (location on map). You can drive there through a narrow neck of land.

After I got to the location I thought it would be better to shoot video after all. I ditched the tripod because I wanted to be able to move fast and smoothly when needed. So I attached variable ND filter, pistol grip camera handle for better ergonomics, RØDE VideoMic and wivi VF-3 DSLR view finder thus transforming my 5D mark III to a run and gun video camera.

Of course there will be some shakiness when shooting handheld. Great help is the EF 24-105mm f/4L lens with image stabilizer and the warp stabilizer effect in Adobe PremierePro.

First I went to the wooded part of the tiny island. The wind was not so apparent there, but you could here the roaring sea nearby. I grabbed few shots in the forest, which I thought would work well in the beginning of the video. Then I headed to the shore. Soon the lightly salty baltic sea water started to dribble on the ND-filter. I was afraid it would cause a permanent damage, but luckily it didn’t. In the edited video a few shots are kind of fuzzy because of this.

Rocks of Kallo. Shutter speed of 1/6th of a second was used to get some controlled motion blur, which should look good in timelapse sequence.
Rocks of Kallo. Shutter speed of 1/6th of a second was used to get some controlled motion blur, which should look good in timelapse sequence.

The last take is a timelapse sequence shot with TB3 and motorized slider. The wind speed was around 20 m/s and I knew it would cause some trouble. I chose to go with the idea I had despite the challenges. I wanted to use shutter speed of 1/6th of a second to get some controlled motion blur. Because the camera and the TB3 combination had such a big wind resistance, I knew there was no way to avoid unwanted shakiness and uncontrolled motion blur. Fortunately the issues could be fixed in post to some extent.

Gear List

Video:

  • EOS 5D Mark III (+Magic Lantern)
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
  • Haida variable ND filter
  • Pistol grip camera handle
  • VisionTech -picture style
  • RØDE VideoMic with the Windcutter windscreen

Timelapse:

  • EOS 5D Mark III (+Magic Lantern)
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
  • eMotimo TB3 + Rhino Pro 4FT
  • Anker 2nd Gen Astro Pro2 20000mAh battery
  • Triopo MT-2205+KJ-1S

Post

  • Video edited with Adobe Premiere
  • Holy Grain ULTIMATEGRAIN BUNDLE ( http://holygrain.com/ )
  • Timelapse edited with LRTimelapse and Adobe Lightroom

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Testing motorized timelapse slider

I’m no boater, but a boat should not be stored in the water during the winter, right? This was the case when I found myself in a small boat harbor by the river Kokemäenjoki. The river was frozen and the scene was quite picturesque. I thought this was a perfect place to test my new motorized timelapse slider and planned to revisit the next day. In the evening I checked the weather report. They actually predicted the next day would be one of the coldest of that december so far.

Jarno Kylmänen
29.12.2014 – Testing Motorized slider by the river Kokemäenjoki. Temperature is near -20 °C .

My intention was to shoot night to day timelapse with Holy Grail technique https://vimeo.com/57265142 ), so I needed to be in the location very early. I had a good plan, but implementation was not up to par. Basically I was late and adjusting the timelapse gear took longer than I expected, although there was a good reason for that; Temperature was near -20 °C . Even little things tend to be hard to do when your fingers are turning blue.

Although it was freezing, the motorized slider and all the other equipment worked quite nicely. Even the battery for the TB3 and the slider’s stepper motor  lasted just fine. I did have some difficulties with the knobs of tripod and slider etc. but that was to be expected because the cold.

The camera operator didn’t perform so well. I made a rookie mistake, which is described in the video. Also, I’m not pleased with how I used the TB3 three-axis motion control device. There’s so much more it can do.

Gear List

Timelapse:

  • EOS 5D Mark III (+Magic Lantern)
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
  • eMotimo TB3 + Rhino Pro 4FT
  • Anker 2nd Gen Astro Pro2 20000mAh battery
  • Triopo MT-2205+KJ-1S

Video:

  • EOS 5D Mark III
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
  • VisionTech -picture style

Post

  • Timelapse edited with LRTimelapse and Adobe Lightroom
  • Video edited with Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects
  • ”Earth Zoom” is made with Earth Zoom Pro Kit http://goo.gl/j7TmxV )
  • Holy Grain ULTIMATEGRAIN BUNDLE ( http://holygrain.com/ )

Searching for the sun

4.4.2013. – Waiting for the spring sun on the ice at Yyteri ( location on map ). It took almost two hours to shoot this timelapse. The idea was to have a human figure on the scene with a sort of animated movement. Since there was no volunteers, I had to be the puppet.

Exposure and all the other settings were constant throughout the shoot.
Exposure and all the other settings were constant throughout the shoot.

Basically everytime I heard the camera shutter sound, I moved myself a bit. The final timelapse would be rendered as 25 frames per second video. Interval between frames when shooting was four seconds. In a nutshell, every second in the finalized timelapse was about 1,5 minutes in real life. I can only imagine what passers-by thought when they saw me trying to imitate movement in slow-motion. And as you can see from the timelapse, I wasn’t slow enough.

Gear List

  • EOS 5D Mark III
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
  • Hähnel GIGA T Pro Remote Control
  • Tripod

Post

  • Timelapse edited with LRTimelapse and Adobe Lightroom
  • Finalized with Adobe Premiere

Music

Obsessions

Isojoenranta railway bridge 24.8.2011.
Isojoenranta railway bridge 24.8.2011.

Maisemassa.com is all about obsession. When your brain is tuned certain way, you tend to automatically frame every situation and scenery in 3:2 aspect ratio.

Aesthetically beatiful image is not an absolute measure. At least I don’t see it like that. I have my own standards, and they are constantly changing. Of course some practises tend to stick; golden ratio always seems to be a safe bet when composing a photo. A little boring but safe. Of course you have to think outside the box from time to time. That said, the visual balance is one of the most important ingredients when talking of photography. Symmetry in one sense or another. When it’s lacking, the picture just feels wrong.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to emphasize the composition too much. You can’t ignore an intriguing subject or top-notch post-processing. But if the composition is unbalanced, the image is not satisfactory for me. And I’m rarely truly satisfied with photos I take. That’s my obsession number one.

Misty morning at River Kokemäenjoki 9.9.2011.
Misty morning at River Kokemäenjoki 9.9.2011.

G.A.S

My second obsession is Gear Acquisition Syndrome wikipedia: Gear Acquisition Syndrome ). I’m always looking for my next camera or other cool cadgets. Luckily my budget is very limited, which keeps the lid on G.A.S. But that doesn’t stop me from following tech blogs.

Behind the Lens

“Straight out of the camera” is a nonexistent method for me. Final aesthetics of a photograph or a video is always the result of premeditated post-processing. Even though analog film photography is rare nowadays, photography is still handwork, now even more than before. It’s just not as messy as in the old days.

Personally I love to know what happens behind the lens. As well as in the shooting location as during the post-production. Wanting to learn new stuff all the time is an obsession everyone should have.