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Adobe Premiere Pro - Advanced Training

Export Bitrate Rules of Thumb

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi everyone, in this video we're going to talk a little bit more about Megabits per second, the error did it, and it is basically the quality of the final export. Think dpi if you come from print land, or ppi if you're from the new print land. Let me give you some rules of thumb before I explain my rules of thumb. Just remember, where my experience comes from I don't have a lot of experience in broadcast or in kind of like cinematic film production. So if you do have that and you have like, I don't know, stuff you want to add or contradict my video, that's totally fine, do it in the comments. If you are watching this video, have a look in the comments, there might be some really good stuff in here that either elaborates on what I am, or shoots down some of this stuff. I am not precious about being shot down and I am looking to learn as well but I guess that caveat over, let me give you my rules of thumb for different file sizes, Frame Rates, and kind of equivalent bit rates. 

So when it comes to exporting, let's export this thing, we were talking about bit rates, we are talking about, down here we're using h.264 up the top, and we are deciding what this little slider should be, what should this variable bit rate, we're going to do it once, what should the target be, and here are my rules of thumb for Full HD, or HD, most people just call it. 

The normal stuff, the 920x1080p, and anything around here doesn't have to be exact, you might be doing 23, 24, 30, something around there, about 10 Megabytes per second, Megabits per second is perfect. The quality is going to look great, if you crank it up to 50 you're going to not set diminishing returns, what's the word, I think that's it you can crank it up more, the file size will get bigger but your quality is not going to get more, this is the great quality file size, manageable in my humble opinion. 

What happens is if you increase the Frame Rate, so you need to export as 60 frames per second, it's kind of double, it's doublish. You don't have to double the Megabytes per second, the rule of thumb is, another half again, so we were at 10, even though we doubled the Frame Rate we just went half again, in terms of the Megabits per second. When you get up to UHD or 4K, same sort of thing, we've got 25 frames, and then kind of the larger frames per second. We start at 50-ish and get up to 75-ish again. 

Remember, we've kind of almost doubled, well, we're more than double the Frame Rate but we've just gone half again to the Megabytes per second. This is kind of me gleaned from my own work from other instructors, other professionals. Again, if you've got advice you want to throw in here, or you feel like there's something misrepresented, throw it in the comments, be good to get your opinion, from your industry or your background, but again, just a rule of thumb to get started and one thing, these aren't hard and fast rules, if you do 11, nobody's going to know it is flexible. The Frame Rate can be slightly different, your Megabits per second can be slightly different. If this is 60 and somebody told you it needs to be 60 there's no like-- it's not going to not work, if you know what I mean. 

The quality is going to be slightly different and it's going to be very hard to tell the difference but people have-- people that peep at pixels oh, look at that, is that Alliteration? I can't remember, but people that peep at pixels will notice the difference and those are the people to trust. Dan, the generalist, who likes to do things good but not pixel perfect, these are great general rules if you're new to this kind of stuff or at least get a little bit confused. 

Let's talk about social media I want to throw social media in here separately because I want to describe two things. So if I am going out to social media, there are a bunch of presets in here, I'm showing you this because there are some presets, let's say I want to go out to Facebook okay, Full HD, and it's saying that, oh look, it's 12 Megabytes per second, not 10, Dan, what are you saying? It doesn't really matter, it's close enough, but that's what they've set is suggested target. 

The thing is, I wouldn't rely too much on Premiere Pro, they are way better than they used to be, these presets never used to get updated, if you, I don't know, they, up until recently there was like iPhone 5S or something you could pick as an output and like, it was just really outdated, so the one thing is, verify first. So if you're like, "Okay that seems good?" is 12 good? What should be the Megabit per second? It's just to do a Google search, just go out and have a look. I just typed in, up the top here, not sure why you can't see it anyway, I typed in the words there, it says Megabytes per second, Megabits per second for Facebook video and you have a look around, and you try and find it. 

The one thing, when you are searching for what it should be for your particular output is, especially with social, and some of the new streaming services, you want to be careful not to get confused with streaming. They're saying that 4000 Kilobytes per second, Kilobits per second is what we should be using for Facebook, but only when it's streaming because they can't keep up, that is only 4 Megabits per second. So 4 Megabits per second is not good for our output, it's too low, but for streaming it's good because streaming is really hard to do. 

So you end up kind of looking through and just verifying, and that's where I ended up at. Don't want streaming, social media, spec sheets what's this one, Wistia, Sprout Social, these guys are great, you can kind of find through, and this is for YouTube, you can see, they're 1080p. What they're saying is, their standard Frame Rate should be about 8, their high Frame Rate should be about 12. Can you see, half again, look at that, the rule applies. 

So let's have a look at what they say here in Premiere Pro, they say, YouTube, Full HD, there it is, there, says it's going to be 16, you're like, "Who's right?" I don't know you'd have to go and ask YouTube, but the thing is, with YouTube they're not going to give you exact rules mainly because they do lots of stuff, they process the heck out of their videos so that it loads on different devices at different speeds in different countries. 

There's a lot that goes on, so if this was me I'd err on the side of, I'll just go 10 Megabits per seconds because that's my rule, but look there, you could argue that it should be 16 and somebody else can argue that it's 8, so don't trust these presets, go out, check, make an informed decision, and that is the black hole of Megabits per second. I hope that added something to your knowledge bank, let's wrap this one up and get into the next video.