YouTube & H.264 Codec Discussion

AdyAdy StaffAdministrator, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 1,426 Staff
This discussion was created from comments split from: Error when linking YouTube account.


  • zachmcantwellzachmcantwell Website User Posts: 9

    I took your guys' word for it, and will continue to use HitFilm, despite the malfunction, and export it through H.264. I just wanted some sort of solution, because I read online that the H.264 sort of lowers the quality in a way, or something like that. I'm sorry folks. Hopefully this issue will get fixed.

    And to answer Simon's question, I am running on a PC, specifically Windows 10 laptop. If you need more specs just let me know.

    Thanks, and sorry.

  • NormanPCNNormanPCN Website User Posts: 3,945 Enthusiast
    • "...because I read online that the H.264 sort of lowers the quality in a way, or something like that"

    AVC/H.264 is what Hitfilm is uploading for Youtube. AVC/H.264 is what Youtube uses for playback. The quality in highly compressed format is mostly determined by the average bitrate a file is encoded to. 

  • zachmcantwellzachmcantwell Website User Posts: 9

    Wow, I feel dumb. I'm extremely sorry for being such a bother over a single bug (maybe?). I'll be using H.264 export mode now that I know. But I appreciate all the help I've been given!

  • NormanPCNNormanPCN Website User Posts: 3,945 Enthusiast

    Don't put yourself down. Encoding is a very technical thing. For Youtube Hitfilm eliminates that but until they get the account setup problem worked out you have to go manual.

    Here are the Youtube encoding guidelines.

    The primary and mostly only thing you need to worry about adjusting here is the average bitrate. Then normally set the max bitrate at 50% higher than average. You will notice Hitfilm defaults to 10Mbps average and 15Mbps max.

    The real thing is to always trust your eyes. They are the best and final judge. If portions of your video look blocky/blurry, then raise the average bitrate.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,227 Ambassador

    Just a couple more notes on h.264 export, since, as Norman noted, encoding is a technical process with a lot of options.

    First, let me just link to the wikipedia article on h.264

    OK, so we're using that article for reference. If you scroll down the article you'll see a chart labeled "Feature Support in Particular Profiles.: It's got lots of green and pink in it, so it will jump off the page at you.

    Hitfilm, by default, outputs in the "Main" profile at "Level 4.0." This is important to know, because, under Hitfilm default settings, you're outputing a file with a maximum of 30 frames per second and a maximum bitrate of 20mbps.

    The "Main" Profile was originally developed for SD application and broadcast. By pulling down the Profile drop-down you can set this to "High." High is the profile developed for HD broadcast, and is also the profile used for Blu-Ray discs. This is a better output option overall than the Main profile.

    The "Level" option should be changed from 4.0 to 5.1. The advantages of this are changing your maxumum bitrate from 20mbps to 240,000mbps, and allowing for 60fps output and 4K output.

    Notes on bitrate: If you're shooting on a prosumer HDSLR or Camcorder, the chances are your footage was recorded at 28 to 35 mbps. Maybe 50, depending on the camera. If you actually need to prepare footage for Blu-Rays, generally that's around 20. Outputting an mp4 at anything higher than 50mbps will certainly help prevent any additional compression artifacts, but it's going to make your file size needlessly large. For all practical purposes, you should never need to output an mp4 at higher than 50 mbps--if you need that quality you're better rendering an image sequence and converting that to DNxHD anyway.

  • NormanPCNNormanPCN Website User Posts: 3,945 Enthusiast

     I would agree that we are mostly safe using High profile. It is hardly different from Main but every tiny bit can help.

    We should never compare camera bitrates to encoding bitrates we can do on PCs. Cameras do not have the compute power or the time (they must be realtime) to do any sophisticated temporal compression analysis. MPEG-2 or AVC/H.264.  An AVC/H.264 camera uses few, if any, of the tons of compression features available in the specification. Almost without exception the PC encoded bitrate can be much lower than the camera for the same visual quality. There is no rule one can go by for how much lower. We trust our eyes and learn what works for our source material.

  • Wiggum15Wiggum15 Website User Posts: 38

    " For all practical purposes, you should never need to output an mp4 at higher than 50 mbps"

    What settings do i need to make sure i dont output higher then 50mbs ?

    I edit HD footage and output at High and Level5.1.

    Is this ok or do i output higher than 50 mbps with these settings ?

  • PalaconoPalacono Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,442 Enthusiast

    The sliders below those setting control the bitrate. Set it yourself to what you need.

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