This is the actual source image to a video track in Premiere (a PNG): decentqualityinput

With no resizing whatsoever, and .flv output, this is a resultant frame from the exported video: poorqualityoutput

How could I improve the output quality, especially the text?

What settings should I use

  • I've tried to max out pretty much everything in the FLV export settings.
  • And now I moved to MP4 output with H.264 encoding, but still get poor quality stills.
  • Here are the MP4 Export settings, what should I change?



Inspired from the answers, turns out that have to set the source to Progressive when creating a New Sequence (instead of Fields: Upper)

  • this is why I did not get better results whatever my configuration once I had created a sequence with Fields set to Upper
  • and this is why the following settings for my next project, yielded good stills
    • although also using higher resolution, so not sure high that plays into the test results
    • H.264 / MP4 Export settings otherwise the same


  • 1
    Is the input source a set of PNGs? Any video footage involved? If not, try setting your sequence to 'Progressive'. As per the settings screencap, it's Upper field first right now.
    – Gyan
    May 26, 2013 at 7:42
  • @Mulvya it is Progressive already and greyed out (Field Order in screenshot); the source is a set of PNGs in one track (intermittent slides) and video below. I've also set video transitions to the PNGs (Cube in, Curtain out), but no other effects.
    – Cel
    May 26, 2013 at 9:09
  • @Mulvya and in the actual Sequence Settings the Fields is greyed out too, and set at "Upper Field First" & tried to export without any effects just now, still poor quality stills.
    – Cel
    May 26, 2013 at 9:13
  • Would give a +100 if I could. I've been battling a similar problem for months, and this explained what I was doing wrong. Nov 17, 2013 at 14:32

2 Answers 2


That looks more like a 'field' from the video, rather than a frame -- jagged diagonals are the tell.

If your video is interlaced, you may only get half the vertical resolution in a still, unless you specifically set it to output a full frame. Check the export settings.

  • sorry for the delay and thanks for the answer - im afraid i dont know how to translate your advice into specific settings though, so i have edited the question to show you what settings i use (that produce poor stills still)
    – Cel
    May 21, 2013 at 21:34
  • found the settings needed now, please see final edit. thanks!
    – Cel
    May 31, 2013 at 12:33

I had the same issue with image quality for a 4K video I was trying to produce. I found that for my situation the image was always very blurry upon an export, so I had to change the Format and Preset. A very nice 4K format that enabled my images to turn out crispy is the H.264 which is quite widely used, and already has a built in default YouTube 2160p 4K preset which works well. Once you select this you can compare how the output will look against the source formatting by switching between Source and Output. Eventually, you can tune the default preset and make your own in order to get a nice 4K video out of the application.

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