How To Create An Encode Profile
If you don't know what you're doing/can't be bothered
Ask your friendly computing person to point you to the preset encoding profile for YSTV, it's probably somewhere under Show Resources. From there you can import it as a preset and select it from the dropdown in the export settings.
If you have too much spare time or are the sort of person who likes to find out the technical reasons behind things then please read on to see an overview of what some settings do, as well as my recommendations for some settings to get started with.
Recommendations for Full HD Export
- Format: H.264
- Container: MP4
- Width: 1920
- Height: 1080
- Use Maximum Render Quality: Enabled
- Frame Rate: 25 (50 for sports)
- Field Order: Progressive
- Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square (1.0)
- Performance: Hardware Encoding
- Profile: High
- Level: 4.2
- Render at Maximum Depth: Enabled
- Bitrate Encoding: VBR, 2 Pass (Preferably, or if you're on a NaSTA editing time-crunch then Variable Bit Rate 1 Pass is also fine but can yield marginally worse results)
- Target Bitrate: 20Mbps
- Max Bitrate: 25Mbps
- Audio Format: AAC
- Channels: Stereo
- Frequency/Sample Rate: 48kHz
- Audio Quality: High
- Bitrate (kbps): 192
Format & Container
Both of these simply affect the type of file you get at the end of the export process. If you would like to find out more about formats and containers then check out the first part of the guide here. For now, the backbone of internet video standards is H.264 encoded MP4 files so I would suggest you do the same.
Resolution & Aspect Ratio
The resolution means how many pixels (dots of colour) make up the image you see. Can make an image sharper and more detailed if it's set higher or blocky fuzzy and messy looking. However, there is some logic to what resolution you should choose and you shouldn't just pick random big numbers. The resolution also affects the ratio of the image (i.e. how wide vs how tall it is). The standard for TV and screens nowadays is 16:9 and is the only ratio most non-cinema cameras will shoot at, so for most TV projects, you should look to deliver in 16x9.
Some popular resolutions at this aspect ratio include
- 1280x720 (HD)
- 1920x1080 (Full HD)
- 2560x1440 (more of a PC monitor resolution than anything else)
- 3840x2160 (4k, never actually cracks 4000 pixels but it's close enough and it also can be made up of 4x Full HD images in a rectangle)
If you're shooting a film the whole aspect ratio thing ends up being tough to put your finger on:
- 4:3 (aka 1.33:1) works if you're looking to emulate a retro tv look or a home video.
- 16:9 (aka 1.77:1) is also perfectly acceptable if you don't have framing guides for any other resolutions (for the love of God filming at 16:9 and trying to add bars to make it look widescreen rarely looks good because the framing rarely translates, try if possible to only change the aspect ratio if the production was shot and framed to look that way).
- 1.43:1 is IMAX format (you will never need to use this).
- 1.9:1 is DCI because reasons (you will also never need to use this).
- 18:9 (aka 2:1) is becoming popular with some filmmaking YouTubers simply because it looks fairly good on both more traditional 16:9 screens as well as phone screens that are becoming increasingly widescreen in landscape mode (also known for not infringing on the iPhone notch present in iPhones from the late 2010's). Both screens types will have "letterboxes" but they are sufficiently reduced that most people won't notice giant black bars but will get a slightly more cinematic and immersive experience - at the moment if you are straying from 16:9 for a more classic cinematic feel, this is my favourite alternative!
- 21:9 (aka 2.33:1) is your standard consumer widescreen.
- 2.35:1 to 2.4:1 is your typical blockbuster widescreen format like you'd find at the cinema, can be used stylistically to evoke some of that old Hollywood feeling or to try and impress a cinematic pedigree on a project.
- 2.76:1 is Ultra Panavision 70mm which is a little out of our price range but can be used for an incredibly stylised look, not recommended though.
The history is long and complicated (and from memory involves tanks) but if you want more information there is an article with some videos here.
Assuming you don't need fancy settings, as of writing this in 2020, the majority of online video watched is on tiny mobile phone screens with a handful of people consuming online video outside of the likes of Netflix in 4k. For now, I would suggest even if you shoot at 4k for added sharpness that for our website and content - delivery in Full HD 16:9 is still acceptable and easier with our current ageing systems and thus what I'd recommend for most YSTV projects outside of select commercial and cinematic projects.
We are in the UK so we shoot at 25fps, blame our electricity. Some people like to shoot in 24fps for "cinematic" projects because it's the traditional framerate of films. I personally can't see the damn difference and shooting at anything other than 25 fps can lead to some hideous flickering from lights if you don't sort your shutter angle (shutter speed) precisely. So probably it's not worth bothering - nobody is going to notice one extra frame anyway.
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away there was interlaced video, and it was bad. Okay fine it had/has its place in the broadcast world, but for YSTV it's just a pain most of the time. Please use progressive or my ghost will haunt the server rack looking sad.