I've created an animation in After Effects, and dynamic linked the composition into Premiere for audio editing. Then I exported from PR using Media Encoder. The exported file looks good, but when uploaded to YouTube, it looks considerably more pixelated. I know this is a common issue for YouTube, but the problem is even more noticeable when working with animations.

I've experimented with:

Cineform, ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422 Quicktime with the Animation codec Render Queue PNG Sequence to ProRes 422 in ME H.265 4K UHD

H.265 looks slightly better in 2160P on YouTube, but 1440p and lower looks bad. Plus most users' players won't default to 2160P and I don't want them to have to manually select it.

My compositon is 1920 x 1080, 23.976 FPS, square pixels.

Are there settings I'm missing? Could my dynamic link workflow be affecting the export? I'm pretty stumped and I want to keep making animations for YouTube, so any advice is greatly appreciated!

bad quality on YouTube

export quality

  • Have you read the Related questions on the right, especially video.stackexchange.com/questions/10128 which seems to give a useful answer?
    – Dr Mayhem
    Apr 1, 2022 at 7:38
  • @DrMayhem, that was helpful. I noticed changing to high profile seemed to help a little, although the compression is still there. But at this point I assume there's really no way to get around YouTube's compression, it just is what it is.
    – Onion44
    Apr 1, 2022 at 13:40
  • Are all your colours & brightness levels broadcast safe? Might be worth checking the Lumetri scopes in Premiere, to check nothing is going over into areas which can't be represented well in video codecs?
    – tomh
    Apr 1, 2022 at 17:20


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