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How to improve export quality?

Explorer ,
Feb 23, 2022 Feb 23, 2022

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Hi,

I occasionally create video bumpers and lower thirds, export them from AE, and then hand them off to our videographer who places them into his videos in Premiere Pro for YouTube.

 

I’m just a novice, self-taught AE user and have not been happy with the quality of the final output.

The image quality looks good in AE, but seems to lose some sharpness and detail after I export, then looks even worse when viewed in YouTube.

(The bumper quality looks bad, but the video looks fine, so it’s not just a YouTube compression thing or the entire video would look equally bad, right?)

 I’m probably doing something(s) wrong, so I would appreciate any advice to help improve.

 

Here’s my setup.

 

After Effects 22.1.1

Media Encoder 22.1.1

 

Comp Settings:

1920x1080

59.94 fps

 

Export > Add to Media Encoder Render Queue

H.264

Match Source

High Bitrate

VBR, 2 pass

Target Bitrate (Mbps): 10

Max Bitrate (Mbps): 12

Render at Max Depth

Performance: Software Encoding

HDR Graphics White (Nits): 100 (63% HLG, 51% PQ)

Use Maximum Render Quality

 

Lumetri Look/LUT: QT Gamma Compensation.cube

 

Thanks

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How to , Import and export

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Feb 25, 2022 Feb 25, 2022

For producing that media for use in another project in Premiere, definitely keep the quality up. Don't worry so much about file size ... get that bitrate up. Probably the one best thing you can do to help with the quality of their YouTube uploads.

 

As to the gamma comp LUT ... that's a different question. Because what that does may "fix" it so it's not too bright on your machine outside of Premiere ... but it bakes into the file a darker, more saturated image than the actual Rec.709 image shoul

...

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Adobe Employee ,
Feb 23, 2022 Feb 23, 2022

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That's doesn't sound ideal, MrMark1960. Sorry for your issue and thanks for the details.

Would you mind sharing a screenshot of the composition settings and export settings? Also, screenshot of the preview of the footage in After Effects and in media player or YouTube so that we can compare.

What happens when you export using After Effects Redner Queue instead of Media Encoder?

Let us know, we're here to help.

 

Thanks,

Nishu

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Explorer ,
Feb 25, 2022 Feb 25, 2022

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The setting are listed above, but here's a couple screenshots...

Comp settings:

MrMark1960_0-1645797083671.png

 

Export settings (in AME):

MrMark1960_1-1645797170201.png

MrMark1960_2-1645797178741.png

 

Before and After (the left image is how it looks after I export from AE, the right image is how it looks after the videographer adds to his video and exports.)

MrMark1960_3-1645797821075.png

(I need to find out how the videographer exports and what settings.)

 

I have not yet tried AE's Render Queue.

 

Thanks

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 25, 2022 Feb 25, 2022

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My first comment would be your bitrate seems low for me for a 'master' quality for the other user to place in their sequence, then re-export. I would think that something over 25 would be better for a 1080 export.

 

I would also not include the gamma compensation LUT at this point. Just letting the end user decide what they need.

 

Neil

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Explorer ,
Feb 25, 2022 Feb 25, 2022

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I wondered if the Bitrate was set too low, didn't know if I needed to keep the file size down. I'd much rather sacrific size than quality.

I've been using the LUT because my colors were coming out lighter, washed out when I exported, but the gamma compensation LUT fixed that.

I'll trying buming up the bitrate first as see how that does.

This is probably impossible to answer without knowing the details, but are there settings I should suggest to the videographer to help improve the quality when he exports from Premiere Pro (which I know nearly nothing about). Again, these mostly are for YouTube uploads.

Thanks

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Community Expert ,
Feb 25, 2022 Feb 25, 2022

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For producing that media for use in another project in Premiere, definitely keep the quality up. Don't worry so much about file size ... get that bitrate up. Probably the one best thing you can do to help with the quality of their YouTube uploads.

 

As to the gamma comp LUT ... that's a different question. Because what that does may "fix" it so it's not too bright on your machine outside of Premiere ... but it bakes into the file a darker, more saturated image than the actual Rec.709 image should be. So when viewed on a non-Mac screen, it will likely be too dark. May easily have crushed blacks ... and there's no recovery possible, the data's not there.

 

There isn't an easy fix ... not really a fix at all ... for the unfortunate decision of Apple to mangle video color management in ColorSync.

 

But then ... it does that to everything you view on that computer from YouTube to whatever ... have you ever thought about the fact that no file you see is shown to you like the colorist saw it when grading? Probably not ... you're used to what media looks like on that screen.

 

Neil

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Explorer ,
Mar 03, 2022 Mar 03, 2022

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I tried what you suggested, bumped up the bitrate and left out the LUT, and that made the difference. The image quality is much improved.

Thank you for your help.

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