Join Jason Osder for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating MPEG-4 files for the web, part of Premiere Pro Guru: Outputs and Media Encoder (2013).
We just looked at making a QuickTime video to embed on a website, but we can also use the MPEG-4 container. And that will be a little more versatile, because if someone doesn't have the QuickTime plug in, they could still play the MPEG-4 video with a different plug in, such as Windows Media Player. So, let's look at making a similar file but in the MP4 container. I'm here in MediaCoder and I've imported my file and I've got the default setting, which is Quick Time. I want to pull this down and I want to switch it to H.264, now we've talked about this list, this quote unquote format list, and how it works.
It's a little strange, because you sort of have to know that H.264 is one of the codecs in the MPEG-4 family. You might be tempted to go down here to MPEG4, but that's a really limited list of choices. So we want to start with H.264. And before I go any further I want to point out that the other thing that looks like it might work, which is web video, it doesn't actually have a listing for the MPEG-4 that we want. It has Flash and a number of services, but not the one we want.
So let's start with the H.264 format and then here I'm going to start with Match Source Medium Bit Rate but that's not going to be enough to get us a web compression. We could play with these 3GPP files but they're all limited frames per second and I think I'd rather start with match source that is match resolution and frame rate, medium bit rate, and then adjust from there for our final web file.
So let's start there and then let's take a look at the details that come with that preset. As you can see, because I started with match source, a lot of this is grayed out, but we need to be able to adjust these. So, as you uncheck these, it opens up what you are able to adjust. As we discussed when we talked about Quick Time, the size will likely be up to you and would depend on what your web designers asking for, but everything we did last time will work here. we looked at a sort of full width video.
What if we wanted to do a smaller video? Maybe something that would take up half the page or a little less with text flowing around it like it were a photograph in a print layout. Well that might be a width more like 300 and with the aspect ratios linked, you see that I get automatically the height that I need. Now, you can play with adjusting frame rate. It might pay to drop down to 20 frames per second on something like this but, I like to leave it alone at least at first and see if we can get a good compression without messing with the frame rate.
And, I'd like to leave all of these in place, until we get down here and we've talked about this a lot. We have constant and variable, and we've talked about that, so we'll just leave it at variable one pass or middle setting. But, right here we need to make some adjustments because these are settings that were made for the full resolution we were working with. We've now dropped this down to 300 pixels across which is much, much smaller. So, I want a bit rate that's actually less than a megabit per second.
I'm going to start with the target at 0.5 and the maximum at 1.5. Now, this is part instinct, part experience, and part trial and error. There's really no way, once you're in this deep, you have to sort of decide what you want and then iterate to find it. Which means try one thing, see how it works, and then adjust based from there. So, there we have the settings I'd like to try to start with. And, again, one more thing we can play with if we want is key frame distance but I'm going to leave key frames and frame rate off for the moment and just see what my first impression looks like and then we can make some adjustments if we're not happy with it.
So that's how to get started making an MPEG-4 to embed on a website. You're going to have to start there and then trial and error a little bit to get it perfect for your video. Also, as we move through these compressions for QuickTime and MPEG-4, it’s sort of making a better and better argument to try some of the services like YouTube and Vimeo. Remember, they do a lot of this work for you which is why they’re so popular.
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- Understanding compression terminology
- Exporting directly from Premiere Pro
- Using the Media Encoder interface
- Outputting media for Apple and Android devices
- Adjusting settings
- Automating compression workflows