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Premiere Export vs Media Encoder Export quality differences

Community Beginner ,
Sep 20, 2020

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Hello! This is my first post here, so please let me know if you'd like any more information.

 

For my job, I have edit and export daily short (<1 minute) videos for instagram and youtube. I typically do them all at once for the week, and export them all at once with Adobe Media Encoder, however I have noticed a significant quality difference when exporting from Premiere Pro vs Media Encoder, specifically when it comes to lower thirds elements.

 

First, some background on what I'm using.

My computer:

Windows 10 64 bit

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-core

32 GB Ram at 3600 MHz

Samsung 970 EVO 500GB (contains the operating system, all adobe programs, and all current files I'm using for the project)

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070

 

Premiere version: 14.4.0 (build 38)
Media Encoder version: 14.4 (build 35)
After Effects version: 17.1.4 (build 37)

 

Footage: (shot on a relatively new Sony DSLR, not sure about the model number, I don't shoot the footage)

MPEG Movie

Image Size: 3840 x 2160
Frame Rate: 29.97
Source Audio Format: 48000 Hz - 16-bit - Stereo
Project Audio Format: 48000 Hz - 32 bit floating point - Stereo
Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1.0
Alpha: None
Video Codec Type: MP4/MOV H.264 4:2:0

 

Sequence Settings:

Editing mode: Custom
Timebase: 23.976 fps

Video Settings
Frame size: 3840h 2160v (1.0000)
Frame rate: 23.976 frames/second
Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square Pixels (1.0)
Fields: No Fields (Progressive Scan)

Audio Settings
Sample rate: 48000 samples/second

Color Space
Name: BT.709 RGB Full

Default Sequence
Total video tracks: 3
Master track type: Stereo
Audio Tracks:
Audio 1: Standard
Audio 2: Standard
Audio 3: Standard
Audio 4: Standard

 

Export Settings:

Benjamin0D45_5-1600611403538.pngBenjamin0D45_6-1600611419701.png

 

(the low bitrate is due to instagram's regulations)

 

Example Pictures:

Here's an example of the quality difference in the video that is being exported, specifically the low quality of the lower thirds. The lower thirds was made by me in After Effects at 4k, 60fps and then exported into the "Essential Graphics" panel for use in Premiere Pro. (I'm a little bit of a noob at AE, but am currently learning it).

GOOD:

Benjamin0D45_0-1600609904519.png

(zoomed in)

Benjamin0D45_3-1600610996791.png

 

BAD:

Benjamin0D45_1-1600609953092.png

(zoomed in)

Benjamin0D45_4-1600611027309.png

 

When I first exported, I didn't check the "Use Maximum Render Quality" (MRQ) box, and the output looked like the "bad" example above whether or not I used PR or ME. When I later checked the MRQ box, a PR export will look like the "good" example above, but a ME export will still look like the "bad" example. I even did a sanity check, and made SURE that the MRQ box was still selected after being placed in ME.

 

For further exploration, I tried rendering the footage before exporting it, which made no difference. The projects are so minimal and my computer is powerful enough that rendering before exporting is not neccessary for playback and is a waste of time for me.

 

To be completely thurough, I did the project again in a 1080p sequence, and the issue dissapeared entirely.

 

This leads me to believe that the issue is a scaling issue that is present in ME, but no PR.

Now I realize that the obvious solution would be to use a 1080p sequence, or just export in PR and not ME, however I don't prefer to use a 1080p sequence to preserve the quality for a possible later export (future proofing), and I don't like to export in PR because I'm typically doing 6 exports at the same time, and ME is a HUGE time saver since I can queue all of them.

 

Is there a solution here that I am not seeing? Or am I forced to use one of the solutions above? I love using ME for all my projects, large or small, and I hate to mistrust it.

 

Thanks for any help, and please let me know if I need to elaborate anything!

Oh my gosh, I figured it out!!

 

It was an issue with my after effects composition! I forgot to check the "collapse transformations" box when precomping the lower thirds graphic! This fixed all of my problems. Thank you to both of you for helping me out, I should have known it was an AE issue and not a premeire issue.

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Effects and Titles, Export

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Premiere Export vs Media Encoder Export quality differences

Community Beginner ,
Sep 20, 2020

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Hello! This is my first post here, so please let me know if you'd like any more information.

 

For my job, I have edit and export daily short (<1 minute) videos for instagram and youtube. I typically do them all at once for the week, and export them all at once with Adobe Media Encoder, however I have noticed a significant quality difference when exporting from Premiere Pro vs Media Encoder, specifically when it comes to lower thirds elements.

 

First, some background on what I'm using.

My computer:

Windows 10 64 bit

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-core

32 GB Ram at 3600 MHz

Samsung 970 EVO 500GB (contains the operating system, all adobe programs, and all current files I'm using for the project)

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070

 

Premiere version: 14.4.0 (build 38)
Media Encoder version: 14.4 (build 35)
After Effects version: 17.1.4 (build 37)

 

Footage: (shot on a relatively new Sony DSLR, not sure about the model number, I don't shoot the footage)

MPEG Movie

Image Size: 3840 x 2160
Frame Rate: 29.97
Source Audio Format: 48000 Hz - 16-bit - Stereo
Project Audio Format: 48000 Hz - 32 bit floating point - Stereo
Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1.0
Alpha: None
Video Codec Type: MP4/MOV H.264 4:2:0

 

Sequence Settings:

Editing mode: Custom
Timebase: 23.976 fps

Video Settings
Frame size: 3840h 2160v (1.0000)
Frame rate: 23.976 frames/second
Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square Pixels (1.0)
Fields: No Fields (Progressive Scan)

Audio Settings
Sample rate: 48000 samples/second

Color Space
Name: BT.709 RGB Full

Default Sequence
Total video tracks: 3
Master track type: Stereo
Audio Tracks:
Audio 1: Standard
Audio 2: Standard
Audio 3: Standard
Audio 4: Standard

 

Export Settings:

Benjamin0D45_5-1600611403538.pngBenjamin0D45_6-1600611419701.png

 

(the low bitrate is due to instagram's regulations)

 

Example Pictures:

Here's an example of the quality difference in the video that is being exported, specifically the low quality of the lower thirds. The lower thirds was made by me in After Effects at 4k, 60fps and then exported into the "Essential Graphics" panel for use in Premiere Pro. (I'm a little bit of a noob at AE, but am currently learning it).

GOOD:

Benjamin0D45_0-1600609904519.png

(zoomed in)

Benjamin0D45_3-1600610996791.png

 

BAD:

Benjamin0D45_1-1600609953092.png

(zoomed in)

Benjamin0D45_4-1600611027309.png

 

When I first exported, I didn't check the "Use Maximum Render Quality" (MRQ) box, and the output looked like the "bad" example above whether or not I used PR or ME. When I later checked the MRQ box, a PR export will look like the "good" example above, but a ME export will still look like the "bad" example. I even did a sanity check, and made SURE that the MRQ box was still selected after being placed in ME.

 

For further exploration, I tried rendering the footage before exporting it, which made no difference. The projects are so minimal and my computer is powerful enough that rendering before exporting is not neccessary for playback and is a waste of time for me.

 

To be completely thurough, I did the project again in a 1080p sequence, and the issue dissapeared entirely.

 

This leads me to believe that the issue is a scaling issue that is present in ME, but no PR.

Now I realize that the obvious solution would be to use a 1080p sequence, or just export in PR and not ME, however I don't prefer to use a 1080p sequence to preserve the quality for a possible later export (future proofing), and I don't like to export in PR because I'm typically doing 6 exports at the same time, and ME is a HUGE time saver since I can queue all of them.

 

Is there a solution here that I am not seeing? Or am I forced to use one of the solutions above? I love using ME for all my projects, large or small, and I hate to mistrust it.

 

Thanks for any help, and please let me know if I need to elaborate anything!

Oh my gosh, I figured it out!!

 

It was an issue with my after effects composition! I forgot to check the "collapse transformations" box when precomping the lower thirds graphic! This fixed all of my problems. Thank you to both of you for helping me out, I should have known it was an AE issue and not a premeire issue.

TOPICS
Effects and Titles, Export

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Sep 20, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 20, 2020

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Footage: (shot on a relatively new Sony DSLR, not sure about the model number, I don't shoot the footage)

MPEG Movie

Image Size: 3840 x 2160
Frame Rate: 29.97

 

Sequence Settings:

Editing mode: Custom
Timebase: 23.976 fps

 

You have a mismatch, make sure the the Sequence Settings match your footage and make sure that your Export Settings match as well. Your source footage is 29.97 and that´s what your Sequence Settings should be as well as your Export Settings. 

Un-check Render at Maximum Depth and Use Maximum Render Quality unless you really know what they do and that you know why, or if, you really need them. Most people don´t need them and check them since Maximum must be best, but most of the times those settings are not needed. (In your case they are not needed.)

 

Are you aware of that you are exporting your 3840x2160 footage as 1920x1080? Downscaling will always degrade the footage in some way. Test a higher bitrate as well, 3 Mbps is quite low.

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Sep 20, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Sep 20, 2020

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Thank you for the response!

 

I initially checked the "Use Maximum Render Quality" because I know that it can help sharpen motion graphics (like the after effects composition that I am using for the lower thirds asset). Doing so solved the blurriness issue in a PR export, but not in a ME export, as I stated in the original post.

 

Unfortunately I cannot go above 1080p 3 Mbps because of Instagram's upload restrictions.

I made a new sequence and export with the matching framerate of 29.97. I then unchecked the two settings above, and exported in PR and ME using identical settings. Both of the exports, with identical settings, yeilded results identical to the "BAD" images that I provided above.


I'm aware of the downscaling and degradation of the footage. The issue that I'm trying to highlight is that when I check the "Use Maximum Render Quality" button and export in both PR and ME with the same export settings, I notice a significant difference. PR can export a version of the video at 1080p 3 Mbps and produce a significantly higher quality result than ME can with the same export profile, that is the issue I am trying to solve.


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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 20, 2020

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You don't understand MRQ ... that's applied in resizing operations. And is pretty much only used when you have major resizing going on, say from UHD to HD, and you're seeing jaggies on diagonal lines.

 

So if that's having any effect, it tells you directly that you are having a size mismatch. Fix that.

 

And as you have several mis-matches already, that's not surprising. For example, how do you have 29.97 media and a 23.976 sequence? However you set up that sequence, was wrong. Typically one drops clips onto a blank timeline panel or right-clicks a clip in a bin and selects "New sequence from clip". Premiere will then create a sequence that matches the media.

 

So check for mis-matches, and after fixing that, post back.

 

Neil

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 20, 2020

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thanks for the response!

I used the right-click method to create a new sequence directly from my video, but the motion graphic still came out blurry in the end 😞

 

Admittedly, this is over my head, but I've done a little more fiddling around and came up with some results that may be helpful.


I do believe it's a resizing issue with the essential graphic MOGRT that I have imported. For example, I've tried exporting the project at full UHD resolution instead of my desired HD resolution, and the essential graphic stayed very crisp. I then put that exported UHD video into media encoder and resized it to my desired HD resolution, and the essential graphic still remained crisp after the resize; much more crisp than exporting from UHD to HD directly from the premiere pro timeline.

 

I've even tried exporting the video at "YouTube 1080p Full HD", and the graphic still came out very blurry. This doesn't make sense to me since the after effects composition is UHD, and looks very crisp before I export to the MOGRT.

 

A couple more things that I have noticed:
When playing back the footage in premiere pro, the graphic becomes blurry despite my pause and playback resolution both being set to full. When I pause the playback, it goes back to being it's original high quality.
When I enable "high quality playback" in the preview panel, the graphic becomes blurry and doesn't return to the high quality state even when paused, almost as if the "high quality playback" toggle is making the quality worse.
If I render out the sequence, the motion graphic becomes blurry and doesn't ever return to the original high quality even on pause.

 

Thanks for all your help

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 20, 2020

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Oh my gosh, I figured it out!!

 

It was an issue with my after effects composition! I forgot to check the "collapse transformations" box when precomping the lower thirds graphic! This fixed all of my problems. Thank you to both of you for helping me out, I should have known it was an AE issue and not a premeire issue.

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