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these days we usually have to export our videos to multiple delivery formats - HD variants for projection, and we tend to have different settings for vimeo, youtube, and the other versions we might need them.

To handle this i've tended to export a MASSIVE lossless version of my video from my editor (Premiere or FCX usually, but sometimes aftereffects for small projects) and then reduce it using preset profiles in Compressor on OSX.

I mentioned this to a in-industry-yet less-techy friend and he said this isn't usually the way, but couldn't articulate why, but it roused my interest.
For me a locked lossless export as the "master" then from the master you do your specific formats makes workflow sense. It also means you have the same process regardless of your editor, and don't have to worry about editors not supporting some formats.

So i'm curious what people think of the 2 choices - pro/con/opionions. Do we use our editor to handle multiple delivery formats, or export a single master and then handle specific formats from there?

  • Other advantages are being able to make new encodes when new codecs come along. e.g. in a few years, make VP9 or HEVC from the lossless master for streaming at lower bitrate with the same quality. – Peter Cordes Mar 7 '15 at 22:18
  • But if you don't think your video will be relevant in the future, or you are keeping the master clips + project file anyway so you could go back and make lossless output, then I'd think the main consideration would be if your editor can use x264 as an output codec. (or VP8/9, if you're going with royalty-free formats.) I see Compressor can use x264 as a plugin (discussions.apple.com/thread/5682553). I tried blender recently, and while I think it had an x264 plugin, it didn't have a choice of presets or quality level. – Peter Cordes Mar 7 '15 at 22:22
  • Anyway, if you're making videos that will be encode-once, stream many, then you should spend lots of CPU time squeezing down to as low a bitrate as possible while keeping the same quality. e.g. x264 with preset=slower or veryslow, at maybe crf=22. (No other h.264 encoder is competitive with x264 for quality-per-bitrate, given lots of CPU time for offline encoding.) – Peter Cordes Mar 7 '15 at 22:26
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With Adobe you can render most things through Adobe Media Encoder. AME has the ability to render one project file as different formats and you can actually create somewhat of a list and it will treat it as a queue.

5 project files with multiple formats under each

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