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After Effects Serious questions for video editors


New Member
I have been searching everywhere for the answers to these stupid questions so my last hope is this. I am very sorry for the wall of text, please help me if you can.

And this is for YOUTUBE only unless told otherwise

1. For uploading videos to youtube, is simply uploading the RENDERED video better in terms of quality but not file size, while ENCODED videos have a bit worse quality but smaller file size? What is the difference between a simple render and encoded for YOUTUBE ( and as far as I understand, if you freelance as a video editor, it depends on the client if he wants a rendered or encoded video?),

2. Upscaling a video to 4k (from 1080 in my case) improves the quality because youtube gives you more bitrate(?), but then why are there so many channels with only 1080p videos? Are they not bothering getting the extra quality, or are correctly upscaled videos still only 1080 on youtube (if they were originally 1080), in my case if i Upscale(Please tell me if I am doing this correctly) I just put it on Adobe media encoder and bump up the resolution of the video to 3840 x 2160, high profile and 5.2 level, h264 format,2 passes, keyframe distance to HALF of the frame rate of the VIDEO, bitrate honestly i just put it at 60 even though it's probably too much, and then i enable both of the "increase quality" options, is this a correct way to upscale ( I understand that the upscaling part is only for the resolution)

3. The 4k upscaled video at 4k on youtube looks exactly like the quality of the file on my desktop(which is filmed at 1080p), while on youtube at 1080 it looks kinda blurry, not as good. Is this to be expected? Will freelance employers expect their video to be reduced quality on youtube or am I doing something wrong?

4. What output module (ex. loseless) is the best for youtube quality? What about file extension (ex: avi.)? I don't have h264 (in AFTER EFFECTS but I do in adobe media encoder!) in either of them unless i pick quicktime file extension and then I can pick h264

5. I read somewhere about bitrate and internet speed being connected? Does this mean that if I have faster internet and use media encoder I can get better quality? Or was that person talking about youtube only and not the encode part bitrate?

Thank you very much for reading this and your patience with me.


...I have been searching everywhere for the answers to these stupid questions so my last hope is this...
In an attempt to keep it simple, and as its only for YouTube, here is my take on the subject.

First off I appreciate your frustration, its totally understandable.
Unfortunately most of the info on the internet these days is so far out of date its not funny, and the lack of more recent, relevant info doesn't help either.

Long gone are the days of being concerned with bandwidth and filesize, and as a result bitrate, encoding and compression have all become less important, still relevant but no longer a major concern.

In a [large] nutshell...

Youtube "processes" EVERY video uploaded to it regardless.
It therefore makes sense to reduce the amount of this "processing", keeping the video as close to its original quality and in as shorter space of time as possible.

The file you upload should therefore already be at the correct size, (without resampling) and in the format YT encodes to, namely .mp4 with H264/5, the container is not really important.

For example, a totally 'software' created content would be rendered to the correct dimensions, to .mp4 with H264/5 via the Adobe Media Encoder....I'm saying that as in Photoshop this is the only option other than an image sequence....I'm assuming AE is the same.

(Rendering to an image sequence and using FFMPEG would also be a excellent alternative, and better in my opinion, if a little more time consuming)

The bitrate is only important when encoding or streaming video files, and, at least in PS, you have no control over it anyway....it defaults to VBR and that's just fine.

If you need more specific details I can into it further but it really isn't as difficult or as complicated as reading the 'internet' makes it out to be, (it used to be but we've moved on considerably since)....and it really doesn't have to be any more complex than 'good enough'...not for YT anyway.

The main thing is to not dick about with your original data, past editing LEAVE IT ALONE! Let YT do its thing with encoding, compression and bitrate.....but let it do it with the best possible file data you can give it.

On that note, regardless of the upload filesize the encoded filesize would be the same....so you may as well upload a larger, better quality video to start with.

One last thing....NEVER up-scale, up-sample or any other UP-nonsense anything. If you are creating the content then create it at the size you ultimately need. if you have to use smaller dimensioned sources then by all means you have no choice but to up-sample...but keep it to a minimum.

Sorry, I meant to keep this short but its one of those subjects that CAN get very complex, but in no way does it HAVE to be.

I can directly answer your original questions if you want me to.....but you can forget most of it....its just not worth the effort. (For YT)