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Adobe Premiere Pro - Advanced Training

Why should I use VBR 2 variable bit rate

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi everyone, welcome to the VBR1 pass versus VBR2 pass battle, sorry, CBR, you're not included, all right, ding ding, let's get started. 

First thing is, probably most of the time VBR1 is exactly what you need, we talked about the target bitrate when Premiere Pro is processing it, it's going to try and be this Megabytes per second, this kind of quality, 10. It's a target, it's not going to do that for every single frame, that's what this is, Constant Bitrate, it will force it to be 10 all the way along, whereas VBR, a Variable Bitrate, it's going to be around 10, it's going to try and hit that target, that works great most of the time. 

Where it doesn't work sometimes, is, for a couple of reasons, and you need the second pass. So it does the first pass, here's my target again, but then you say, once you've finished, Premiere Pro, have another go at it and see if you can identify any areas that need a little bit of extra. How much extra? Up to you, but 12 in this case is great. 

So most of it is 10, if you need to go up to 12, and when will it need to, it'll need to, in like high action shots, or when you've got a big change of contrast, color, or exposure, anything kind of like moving fast is a good idea for a second pass. Where I find it really good as well, is when you're trying to get something really, really small, like you need it to be teeny tiny, like for this course, all the files that you get as part of the exercise files, I've had to go into here and set up the variable pass. 

So I'll go in down here and say it has to be 4, but 6. Why? Because I want it to be low, but if it needs to, it needs to go up, because otherwise some of those files can come out really bad, and I'll show you one before we go, so that's the difference, let's have a little look. 

I'm going to export both of these, I'm going to go back to my 10 and 12. I'll export both of these in a sec, wait there. The second one is going out, is VBR2, and you can see here, it's going to do its first pass. Basically it goes through and does the normal kind of VBR1 pass, and it makes notes on which part of the footage, after it's kind of processed it, they could go back and use a little bit more quality, and it will go back and do it a second time and readjust those ones. 

How many? It depends on your footage, this one, because there's not much going on, I doubt it's going to actually go up to 12 at any stage, so you can, you're kind of giving it the option. If you've got lots of action it might be at 12 the whole time, you might end up with a really big file, let's have a look. We've got VBR1 and 2, they've ended up being basically the same size. This one's a little bit smaller, because it was able to process it a second time. 

So why would I use Variable Bitrate 2, why don't just use it all the time? The reason is it takes forever to render, now my one took, I don't know, I'm guessing 60% longer additional render time, on this really short one. If you're rendering out a documentary, you're like, I have to render out hundreds of videos for this course, it is going to take days longer and that is no fun, so Variable Bitrate 2 pass, you've got to be really conscious of what you're doing. 

Short stuff, sure, make it Variable Bitrate 2, you're probably not going to notice any difference in something like this, but if you're doing action shots, or I found trouble with, I couldn't find any files of it, but I've had trouble in the past, where I've had gradients, like big kind of, like grady color gradients on it, and it just didn't render quite well, it was banding and stuff, Variable Bitrate fixed that up nicely. 

I gave it when it needed to, a bit more quality. I'm going to show you something that I was working on for my YouTube channel, so I exported this little bit for you guys, remember, you might have seen it throughout the course, I exported this little chunk and I need to get it really small, and I'm going to show you exporting. So I've set my in and out points, I'm going to export it, I've got some offline graphics in there, not in the bit that I'm exporting though. 

So I'm going to do two for you, one with Variable Bitrate one pass, and two pass, and we'll compare the two. I'm going to go low, I want to get this really small, so on pass one, I'm down at 3, let's have a look at what 3 does, time taking, yeah, not long, I'll time it for you, because you can't trust that, you know. The longest one second of your life, but that took a minute, it's not long at all, and it's only a small little section, it's only a few seconds. 

Let's export it again, same thing, Variable Bitrate 2 pass, and I'm going to go, try and be 3, unless you need it go up to 6. Let's export it, actually, let's name it. All right, pass 1, look, already, doesn't even give you an estimated number. I'm going to speed this up, you can watch the clock up there, go. So it was just under two minutes, so it basically, not quite took twice as long for this short little bit, it feels painfully slow when you, after doing a Variable Bitrate 1. So let's look at what we actually ended up with. 

So I've got these two files, Bitrate 1 and 2, I'm going to open them up and put them side by side. It's going to be hard for you to do this, because you're going to be watching on a video yourself, watching videos on the video, it's a little bit tough, hopefully, you can start to see the contrast between these two, can you see, this one, all this, like there's a lot of information. Even though it's one color on my desk here, there's a lot of kind of information needed to separate all the variants. 

So let's have a look at this one, can you see this one, "Better wing, better wing', bits of it are good, can you see, this one here, this is the low quality one, so it gets into here, and it's actually really nice, but way back here, can you see, way too low, whereas it, all the way through here, it's kept a consistent nice quality, and it's the same file size. So this is a kind of an edge use case, when I'm making files really small for you, for the exercise files, so that it doesn't kill everybody's downloadable broadband limits. 

It's also really useful for when you are doing high action shots, lots of contrast changes, lots of action going on, and in my case, lots of gradients, even if it's just non, you know, digital stuff that you've made, you'll find that the lower the variable bitrate, will end up with this kind of murkiness, and banding, and striping, and oh, it's gross. 

So use Variable Bitrate 1, most of the time, because Variable Bitrate 2 is only needed for some instances, and it takes a really, really long time to render, there you go. That's my two cents on the variable bitrates, let's jump into the next video.