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Adobe Premiere Pro - Advanced Training

What is Adaptive Bitrate in Premiere Pro export

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi everyone, in this video we're going to look at exporting, using the newish Adaptive High Bitrate, or Adaptive Medium, or Adaptive Low. It's pretty cool, let's jump in and figure out what it does. 

So have a sequence selected, I'm going to hit 'Command M', or 'Ctrl M' on a PC, and at the top here, you've probably all been using Match Source High Bitrate, this is, when you're exporting the h.264 codec wrapped in a mp4. So when you are using these, yeah, we use these quite a lot, because it's the default, defaults are good, but how do I get the best out of my footage, without having to think too much, or at least, maybe you're newish to this export game, and bitrates, and Megabytes per second, and variable bitrates, are all kind of newish and a little bit confusing. So that is fine, like if I use high bitrate, yeah, great, it's going to be high quality, and it's going to, you can kind of see it down the bottom here, under 'Video' tab, you can see here, it's using the bitrate of 10, and that's basically, yeah, basically the quality that's going to come out of it, how good is it going to be? 

It's also connected to the file size, so at the moment, using that standard one, I'm going to have 19 Megabytes, if I make it massive it's going to be 94, and the quality is going to be better, how much better? It will depend on my original footage. If I am shooting, you know, that's stock live, every footage I've messed with it a lot, it's not going to be, you know, what's that, like four times the size, five times, I can't count, but it's not going to be five times better. It's going to be hard to decide the difference between 10 and at 50. It's going to be heaps bigger though, and that's for 15 seconds. It balloons when it gets to a documentary. 

So how do I know what is good for this, because 10 can't be good for every single thing, surely it's not, that's where Adaptive is really good, so format is h.264 Where's this preset? Have a look at Adaptive High, Low, and Medium. We're going to start with High, and what it does is it actually looks at your current sequence, the height, the width, what Frame Rate you're using, and decides on the target, you can see, the target here, is instead of 10 it's 15. 

I'm going to show you the kind of like the summary up here, instead of scrolling all the way down here somewhere. So it's decided that it's going to use 15.2, it's decided that based on what you've got, is the best Adaptive High Bitrate. The file size is going to be bigger, it's not up to the 90 like it was, when we cranked all the way up, but now I can hit 'Export' or 'Queue', knowing that Premiere Pro is going to help me out, and especially when you are newest to this stuff, you can start kind of seeing, like. okay, whenever you're doing HD stuff, at a Frame Rate of 25 frames/second it's around the 15, so that later on you can not be reliant on whatever this says, and you can actually start typing yourself, and go, all right, a bit rate of 15 is pretty good, for HD at 25 frames/second, you start getting your own kind of, remembered known, worked for you in the past quality settings, let's have a look. 

So that was 15.2, if I go and change the Frame Rate for this one, so let's say this one here, this one's at 23.97, let's change it from that to, so with it selected over here, let's go to 'Sequence', 'Settings', let's change it to 25 frames/second, let's see what it does to that Adaptive. So it was at 15.2, let's have a look at it now, go to 'Adaptive High', and it says it's 15.9, not a big change. So Frame Rate, we only change from a couple of frames to another. Let's go up to something like 60 frames/second. Let's have a look, 'Sequence Settings', let's go to '60', at the moment the highest that Premiere Pro can export, strange but true, and here now, let's go to 'Adaptive High', you can see, it's a lot higher. 

So you can get a sense for increase the Frame Rate, and it's more than doubled the suggested target Megabytes per second, to kind of retain some of that quality, that you've got baked into your sequence. I find this super useful, I use it all the time. Again, let's do something else, let's say this one here now is the sequence is going to be like a square one, 10, we'll change the Frame Rate back to what it was originally. So I've got my square video, same thing, 'Command M', 'Ctrl M' on PC, let's go to 'Adaptive High Bitrate', you can see, 8, you're like, "Okay, doesn't all have to be 16, or 32, or 50?" I can get a sense of what's going on with this Adaptive High Bitrate, it's going to do the same with medium and low, depends on what your kind of final output is. 

It drafts, is it a final output, is it going to social, where is it going? Same with something like 4K, that can be confusing, like what should it be, because these-- file sizes can balloon when it comes to 4K, I've got this one we did earlier, it's our, remember him, way back in the course, so long ago, "I would rise up to meet you." Running really slowly, I should turn my proxies on, I'm not going to, I'm going to export it, and I'm going to say, what do you end up looking like, has a high bitrate, and it's going to end up at 60, and I'd say, there's bang on for 4K at 23.976 frames/second, that's about perfect. Premiere Pro agrees, the trouble is it's going to be reasonably big, but it's a reasonably good file, so it needs to be big. You can go to 'Low', carving down that size there, oh, down to 83. 

Again, the quality is going to be pretty poor here, but going to be faster render, faster watch, easy to email, it sucks when you send somebody, to review like a 7 Gigabyte file, to load through Dropbox, or whatever way you're sharing things, but if you use the old school way, well, not the old school, just the, give me high bit rate, it just guesses, at 10 Megabytes per second, and yeah, I think you're doing a disservice, to your, the quality of your video, if you end up at 10 Megabytes per second, really small file. Seems high but not high enough, I guess. 

I also should note that h.264 is not a great codec, for your final high quality, anyway. You want to be using, I don't know, everyone has their preferences, for me, I prefer, on a Mac, QuickTime, and using either the ProRes422, or using the GoPro CineForm, probably this one, YUV. It depends on where you're going, and if they've asked for a specific codec, so you can fall in line with what they're doing, but for social, most of the things at the moment, h.264, in my humble opinion is a great codec for export, anyway. 

You'll notice that Quicktime doesn't have the Adaptive in here, it's very regimented. All right, h.264, Adaptive, it's awesome, I love it, can help educate you about what should be good, and just leave it to the computer. Also, remember, Adaptive was way back here, when we did Quick Export, that's why it's kind of in here, it's new for Adobe, it's better than the kind of fixed high bitrate, but going, let us do the job for you, but I bet you they'll all appear in here in some stage. 

All right, Adaptive Bitrate, let's get on to the next video.