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In order to practice video montage and Sony Vegas Pro 13 as a hobby, I sometimes record online videogames matches I play so I can edit them and show them to my friends via YouTube.

I used an Adobe Premiere Pro CC "YouTube template" for rendering one 30 minutes video and it weighed about 500 MB.

With Sony Vegas Pro 13, I used the Sony AVC template "Internet 1280x720-30p" and a 12 minutes video weighed 1 GB, which is really impressive to me.

I'm looking for a great 720p rendering option for YouTube on Sony Vegas Pro 13 in order to be able to upload it quickly (I have a pretty bad connection speed). If possible, less than 400 MB for a ~12 min video.

I think 30 frames per seconds is enough for the video I do, 25 FPS may even be enough.

What would you use ?

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Some considerations for coding H.264 videos for Youtube. I've created my own Sony Vegas rendering templates following those guidelines:

Bitrate

Youtube recommends a bitrate of at least 5.000kbps for standard, and 30,000kbps for high quality 720p video. 400MB into 12 min corresponds to 4,000kbps, which is close to youtube's minimum recommendation. Select variable bitrate to get the best possible quality. You can play and lower the bitrate as long as the resulting quality is OK for you. But below around 2,000kbps you may want to consider switching to a lower resolution (e.g. 480p)

Framerate

The framerate should match that of your footage. I would not recommend rendering a 30fps video into 25fps or something like that, as the resulting quality will be rather poor. But you can rather safely cut the framerate in half, converting 50fps into 25fps or 60fps into 30fps.

Interlacing

Interlacing is recommended to be off for youtube ("Field order: None (Progressive scan)"), but if your footage is interlaced, I would stick with the same setting.

Profile

Using H.264 codec, youtube recommends using high profile (which improves quality a bit, but increases rendering time). It's OK to switch to "main" if you want to have faster rendering times.

Codec

Finally - you have to decide whether to use Sony AVC or Main Concept AVC. I use Main Concept for no specific reasons. You can find some discussions about that topic here: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/Forums/ShowMessage.asp?Forum=4&MessageID=886487 .

What Youtube says:

Here you can find Youtube's encoding recommendations: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1722171

  • If you want the highest quality, I would probably recommend "Constant Bit Rate" (CBR) as opposed to "Variable Bit Rate" (VBR). VBR only means that the compression will cut out what it thinks is redundant data for the sake of space. CBR sets a specific bit rate, and it sticks to that regardless. – Scott James Walter Aug 27 '14 at 14:00
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    @ScottJamesWalter - CBR is faster to encode, but it does not produce higher quality files for the size, it produces lower quality for the size. VBR will use less space when it can afford to and more space when it needs to. It averages the data rate, but allocates space as needed to describe the video at a consistent quality level. An even further option is to do constant quality encodings where the bitrate is adjusted as needed to maintain a constant quality level (where as VBR will only do so much before it gives up). – AJ Henderson Aug 27 '14 at 15:27
  • @AJHenderson If I use VBR w/a maximum of 50 mbps, and I use CBR w/a bit rate of 50 mbps, it is my understanding that the the CBR encoding will be larger, and if anything, visually identical. Correct? – Scott James Walter Aug 27 '14 at 15:33
  • @ScottJamesWalter if you are comparing a VBR with a Max that is the same as a CBR, the CBR will be better, but the proper configuration of VBR for that would be to set an average of 50 and a max of something probably around 60 to 65, maybe even 70 Mbps. This will allow the VBR to go up much higher than the CBR (while maintaining a similar file size) when it needs to and it will make up for it by using lower bitrates on parts where not much is going on. – AJ Henderson Aug 27 '14 at 15:35

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