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  #1  
Old 06-26-2010, 12:40 AM
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How to optimize your video's playback in YouTube

So anyone that's spent some time on YouTube has noticed that some videos have much better quality than others, even at similar compression types or resolution options (480, 720, 1080p, and so on).

YouTube re-encodes all of the videos that are uploaded to it. It plays nicely with some settings, and others it hates. I don't claim to be super techie nerdie when it comes to compression stuff; all I care about is my videos looking pretty, and how to get them to look pretty.

~~~ Tutorial Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHu-vb_uVb0 ~~~

Chances are you are in the same boat. Luckily, I spent 2 days figuring out exactly what does and does not work in order to get a pretty video. In the process, I spammed my subscribers on YouTube with like 35 new video uploads while I saw how YouTube treated everything I fed in to it.

Big thanks to Bouncydemon from Talisman and Zerix of Vigil for help. Through their experiences and my own trial and error I have compiled info here to get the best looking videos possible.

This tutorial is only going to cover Sony Vegas. Sorry if you use something else. Luckily, the most important part of this ("render at 1920x1072") is fairly universal.

If you Fraps at 1920x1080:


You can't just upload 1920x1080 files directly to YouTube and get the highest quality. At least, I can't, and many people I spoke to can't. You need to get the height (1080) down to a number that is divisible by 16. The closest number that is divisible by 16 that is also close to 1080 is 1072. (1088 causes YouTube to blackborder the video so you don't want that) This has something to do with sweet encoding stuff that I don't know anything about. If you upload a 1920x1080 video your video will look crappy and have pixels blending in to one another. If you upload at 1920x1072 it will look good.


First step - when you make your new project in vegas, set the width/height as follows, and the FPS at whatever makes sense for you. I fraps at 50 FPS and I like my videos to be 30 FPS, so I set my project at 30 FPS. Make sure the field order is set to "none" too.


Work with your video, whatever that means, doing your transitions, music matching, whatever. Then use the crop option at the end of the video clip(s)

Set the height to be 1072.

If you press the button on the bottom until it says "Move in Y only" you can drag the crop outline up and down and decide which side of the video you want to crop those 8 pixels from without worrying about accidentally moving left or right. Anything outside of the lines wont be rendered.

Now you want to render as a MainConcept AVC/AAC .mp4, but doing so actually darkens the videos and ups the contrast slightly. It's just an attribute of the MainConcept compression. This will cause your footage to be dark. You can balance this out with a Video FX plugin known as the Sony Color Corrector (Secondary). You don't want to click the little icon next to the clip to add it, because that will only add it to the individual clip. You want to add it to the ENTIRE video stream. To do that, click the "Video FX" tab (next to the Explorer, Trimmer, Project Media, etc tabs), click on Color Corrector (Secondary) on the left, and drag it all the way down to empty space on the video stream (such as after the clips; you can't drag it on a specific clip or it will only apply it to that clip).

Do the same thing with a Brightness and Contrast filter.



If you've properly added it to the whole stream the window that pops up will say Video Track FX at the top, and a new "bar" appears underneath that video stream for track effects.

The preset that says "Computer RGB to Studio RGB" is CLOSE to correct, but a few modifications I made to it improves the quality further (slightly more brightness fix, as well as a slight increase in saturation, to counter YouTube's compression which washes out color slightly).

The settings are as follows (as well as the settings for Brightness and Contrast):



File -> Render As -> MainConcept AVC/AAC (*.mp4)


Render quality "Best", custom frame size: 1920x1072, Frame Rate 30 (or 25, or whatever makes sense, don't go over 30: youtube wont display more than 30). Field Order: None (Progressive Scan), Constant Bit Rate: 10,000,000



Your Audio settings can be set to match the audio clips you have included, but any higher than 192 is reduced by YouTube anyways I believe.



Once it's done rendering, upload to YouTube and profit.
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2010, 12:41 AM
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If you Fraps at 1680x1050:


Method 1: example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR5gG5N3s6g

Follow the previous guide. Make sure your project in Vegas is still set to 1920x1072, this is important. When you get to the pan/crop part, you need to make sure both "maintain aspect ratio" and "stretch to fill frame" are set to Yes. If you're converting a 1680x1050 video, the proper height to type in up above is 938.


Lock the scrolling so it's Y axis only and you should be able to crop your video by moving around the selection box. You can choose to cut off the top row of buffs for example and part of your map, or whatever you want. This will resize the video to actually be 1920x1072 but will end up looking better in YouTube than a standard 1680x1050 upload which is capped at only 720p.

Method 2: example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8rgdI-sXzk or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pul8uRX28wA

If you don't like to chop off part of your video like that, leave the pan/crop alone at 1680x1050. Make sure your project is still 1920x1072. Render the video at 1920x1072. This will just cause black boxes to fill in the empty space around your video (or if you're really fancy and good, you can put in logos, pictures, and whatever else you want)

If you Fraps at some other resolution:

As long as your resolution isn't super low, you can use the same method to get YouTube to accept the video at the maximum quality without being compressed in weird ways. Just use the pan/crop tool to get your video to fit the way you want it to. You'll just have to play around with the various ways to make your video render to youtube at 1080p to see which way you prefer (cropping, resizing, black borders, no black borders, etc.)
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:43 AM
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~~~ Tutorial Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHu-vb_uVb0 ~~~

Only shows the 1680x1050 methods, but the 1920x1080 rendering is easy anyways.

Here's an example of 1920x1080 uploaded using standard coolguy settings without any optimization. Look at how badly youtube craps on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue0tPLt9xc4

Here's that same clip but at 1920x1072: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSJYbAY_Ymk
Suddenly, the quality's a lot better.

Here's an example of how clear 1920x1080 fraps can be when rendered to 1920x1072 and doing mostly stand-still stuff (h264 will continuously sharpen and clarify the image if the pixels aren't constantly changing, so only the moving parts will lose quality)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHBuVymCGc0 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMmo86Cxrq4

Here's the same video but I RESIZED to 1920x1072 rather than cropped. As you can see, the resized version is blurred, since the whole image changed to get to that resolution, rather than just cropping out 8 pixels and keeping the sharpness. TLDR: CROP, DON'T RESIZE, IF YOU FRAPS AT 1920x1080.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBLiUBflGtk

Oh and yes, all of the audio clips in these are jokes.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:44 AM
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Q+A and filler post (stuff will go here.)

Q: Why don't you just render straight from vegas into H264 and upload?

A: With my version of Vegas (8), H/X264 can only be rendered in the .AVI container. The resulting file will not be accepted by YouTube and always gives the error "Failed to Convert" (at least it does for me like 90% of the time). Thus I use the MainConcept mp4 compression which is just as good of quality (I haven't been able to tell a difference besides the color darkening, which I fix with the color correction.)


Q: Why is the quality of your old videos crappy if you claim to know all this?

A: Because I only recently have been able to fraps at 1920x1080, and I also only recently figured out all this fun YouTube ideal settings crap.


Q: How do I get Sony Vegas?

A: They sell it at stores and stuff. The trial may even allow you all the same functionality, I haven't tried it. Do not discuss alternative means of acquiring the software here.
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  #5  
Old 06-27-2010, 08:00 PM
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Fun stuff: I found out some things here actually weren't optimized/correct and I get to re-do the tutorial and other stuff!

On the bright side, once I get this all set up it should be quicker, and the process will save everyone time, too.
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2010, 03:15 AM
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Updated with the new, more efficient method, and the new tutorial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHu-vb_uVb0
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  #7  
Old 07-02-2010, 05:07 AM
coar coar is offline
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When i'm in sony vegas, I select the option to render in the AAC/AVC mp4 file as you did in your video, but for the the "Custom" option is greyed out.

I think I may need some codec but i'm not sure.
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2010, 05:26 AM
truupi truupi is offline
 
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Links

I think, don't use the "&fmt=37" line at the end of your links (in the tutorial). It switches the videos automatically to "1080p", but in this way it looks crappy (at least for me), don't know why. But if you delete that line from the end of the link and switch manually to HD quality it's fine and really looks amazing.

Keep it up!
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coar View Post
When i'm in sony vegas, I select the option to render in the AAC/AVC mp4 file as you did in your video, but for the the "Custom" option is greyed out.

I think I may need some codec but i'm not sure.
Try the CCCP codec pack which is linked at the top - other than that I have no idea.


Quote:
Originally Posted by truupi View Post
I think, don't use the "&fmt=37" line at the end of your links (in the tutorial). It switches the videos automatically to "1080p", but in this way it looks crappy (at least for me), don't know why. But if you delete that line from the end of the link and switch manually to HD quality it's fine and really looks amazing.

Keep it up!

I can't get that effect replicated for myself on different browsers (firefox/chrome), even with clearing the cache. Asked a few others and they said it looks fine too.

What browser/os/whatever else are you using that makes it appear strange?
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2010, 05:56 AM
coar coar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xav View Post
Try the CCCP codec pack which is linked at the top - other than that I have no idea.
I'm not seeing where you linked this
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