Over spring break, I made some screencasts for the website I maintain for my job. We used a free, open-source screen recorder called CamStudio. Our plan was to upload them to YouTube and embed the videos into our site from there. The one problem: the Export Media dialog on Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 (the software I used to edit the screencasts) only has a setting for low-definition (320x240) videos. My screencasts were 1024x768, and shrinking them to 320x240 would make the video part pretty much useless.
So, I set about trying to find a setting that would work for a 1024x768 screencast. The majority of settings produced some weird-quality results, even with the quality settings turned up as high as possible, which makes me think it had something to do with a faulty interlacing/deinterlacing setting somewhere. When I changed the one interlacing setting I was able to find, the exported videos would work fine in QuickTime, but look completely messed up in VLC and, more importantly, YouTube.
Exporting to F4V actually did work in every media player I tried it in, but for some reason, YouTube was unable to convert it to a playable format.
Finally, after about 9 hours of fiddling with Adobe Premiere Pro’s Export Media dialog, I found a setting of acceptable quality that worked on YouTube. I doubt many other people will need this, but since I was unable to find any information about the problem I was having online, maybe I’ll save another person 9 hours of work. Here are the settings I used:
- Video Codec: H.264
- Quality: 100
- Width: 1,024
- Height: 768
- (Width and Height are unlinked)
- Frame Rate: 30
- Field Type: Lower First (this was the setting that deals with interlacing I believe)
- Aspect: Square Pixels (1.0)
- Render at Maximum Depth: Checked
- Set Key Frame Distance: Unchecked
- Optimize Stills: Checked
- Frame Reordering: Unchecked
- Set Bitrate: Unchecked
I’m sure there are some optimizations to be made in these settings; things that are causing me to produce unnecessarily large files, things that make rendering slower, or things that, if I tweaked, would give me even better quality. However, after 9 hours, I don’t care; this works, so for now, I’m done. Hope this helps someone.