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Problems uploading to YouTube

Explorer ,
Aug 21, 2023 Aug 21, 2023

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I created an animation in After Effects at 4K resolution. Afterwards, I filmed some video at 1080p. I would like to have both the animation and the video in the same YouTube video, at 1080p resolution. My problem is that when I export the animation at 1080p, it looks perfectly fine in Premiere and after it's exported, but as soon as I upload to YouTube, it looks awful.

 

This is a screenshot from playing back the original export on my computer:
original export.png

 


And this is a screenshot from the YouTube upload itself.
youtube upload.png

 


The YouTube version is way grainier around all the edges, and the edge between the two mountains is particularly bad.

I've tried various export settings, I've tried making the animation 50% scale in AfterEffects (before bringing it into Premiere), I've tried making it 50% in Premiere, and everything I've tried has ended up looking the same. I'm using Adobe CS5.5, so the only export settings in Media Encoder that are labeled for YouTube are 720p or smaller. This was my most recent attempt to mess with export settings and get something that looks good (though I've also tried it with Widescreen pixel aspect ratio, and with higher bitrates).

Screenshot 2023-08-21 151712.jpg

 



Do you have any suggestions for what I can try? Any help is appreciated.

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Error or problem , How to , Import and export

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Explorer ,
Aug 21, 2023 Aug 21, 2023

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I don't know if this is helpful information, but if I upload the animation to YouTube at full 4K resolution, it looks fine if you play it back at 4K. But if it plays back at 1080p, again, it looks bad, even when uploaded as 4K.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 21, 2023 Aug 21, 2023

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My first suggestion would be to use Adobe Media Encoder's YouTube presets. You have completely customized the compression settings. YouTube and all other streaming services and social media platforms have recommended that compression, frame size, and frame rate standards be adhered to. Upload a file that does not come close to the standards, and they will recompress the file with a sledgehammer. You have set the target bit rate to half the recommended bit rate for YouTube HD renders, so you have cut the quality in half before YouTube even gets the file. Use the presets until you have an expert understanding of video formats and standards. You'll get great results on almost all of your videos. The ones that need tweaking will be videos with color balance, contrast, and audio levels that are way out of spec.

 

Second, it takes time to fully process the different streams that YouTube (and all other services) use on your video uploads. The original is never broadcast. The frame size and even the frame rate will be automatically throttled to match the predicted bandwidth of the user. Depending on the length of the video, you may have to wait several minutes or even an hour before the maximum frame size and frame rate are available for caching if your internet connection will not support the total bandwidth requirements for a 4K or HD video stream.

 

 

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Explorer ,
Aug 21, 2023 Aug 21, 2023

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I have an old version of Media Encoder (CS5.5, as I said in the original post), so the YouTube presets are all 720p and lower. That's why the bitrate and such are so low, is because our latest attempt was trying to take the YouTube 720p preset and adjust it for 1080p. But I've also tried other exports with bitrates of 10mbps, 15mbps, and even 32mbps, just using default HDTV settings. Nothing has worked.

 

And yes, I always wait until it's done processing the video until I watch it. That's not the issue either, unfortunately.

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