I am often asked about the settings required for uploaded the best quality videos on YouTube and Vimeo. The short answer is that you can encode and prepare your videos that will work for both sites. Many people, to include myself have YouTube and Vimeo accounts and this approach will help you prepare your videos one time for both sites.
Tools Used: Final Cut Pro 7, Compressor 3.5, Mac OS X Snow Leopard
General Guidance for Preparing your Videos:
Codec: use H.264 for video and AAC for audio.
Frame Rate and Keyframes: use “current” if possible because you may have recorded in any number of frame rates (e.g., 23.98, 24, 29.97, 30, 60, etc).
Data Rate: use 5000 kbits/sec for HD videos.
Resolution: use 1280×720 for 720p HD or 1920×1080 for 1080p, square pixels
Deinterlacing: enable it if you have the option
Audio Settings: Choose AAC for your audio codec. The bit rate should be 320 kbps and the sample rate of 44.100 Khz.
Using Compressor (Final Cut Studio) for Preparing your Videos:
Once you have your video finished in Final Cut Pro 7 you will send the project to Compressor “File – Send to – Compressor”.
Once inside Compressor you will need to create a new custom Quicktime Movie with the following settings:
Video Settings: H.264, Framerate = Current, Keyframe Every = x frames (this should match your source footage)
Audio Settings: Format = AAC, Rate = 44.100 Khz,
Frame Controls: On
Resize Filter: Best (Statistical Prediction)
Output Fields: Progressive
Deinterlace: Better (Motion Adaptive)
Size: 1280 x 720 for 720p or 1920 x 1080 for 1080p
Note: If you recorded your footage in 1080p then that is an option for you, but honestly 720p is very high quality and the trade off for the file size for 1080p for the web is a key consideration. I know that YouTube hosts 1080p at this time and I don’t think Vimeo has officially launched 1080p support at this time, but you need to check to make sure I am not behind on my facts.
Now you will save this 720p preset, drag it to your footage you sent over from Final Cut Pro and then submit the job for compressor. You could duplicate this setting and simply change your format to 1080p and then you wold have an output for 720p and 1080p. Or you could produce everything in 1080p which is the highest possible resolution at this time and make one upload to both sites, however there is a trade off here in production time, quality argument, and file sizes.
There are a lot of other options and considerations that I could go into regarding Compressor but that is beyond the scope of this tutorial. My goal was to provide you with the correct “settings” so you can encode and produce your movies for the web properly.
Send me your comments and feedback and a link to any of your movies.
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