To open the Export Settings dialog box, click Settings in the Adobe Media Encoder main application window or choose Edit > Export Settings.
Export Settings dialog box overview
There is no Settings button in Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5 and later. You can right click on the asset and choose > Export Settings, or choose Edit > Export Settings.
The Export Settings dialog box includes a large viewing area on the left, which includes Source and Output panels.
Other tabs in the Export Settings dialog box include available encoding settings for the selected format.
For information about using the various encoding options in the Export Settings dialog box, see Encoding and exporting.
For information about using the controls in the timeline area and the image viewing area to crop and trim the source item, see Crop and trim source before encoding.
For a demo of the Export Settings dialog box and some recommended settings for videos to be posted on the web, see this video tutorial by Richard Harrington.
- To toggle between previewing an image with or without pixel aspect ratio correction, choose Aspect Ratio Correction from the panel menu at the upper right of the Source panel or Output panel.
- To zoom into and out of the preview image, choose zoom level from the Select Zoom Level menu above the timeline.
You can also zoom out by pressing Ctrl+- (hyphen) (), or Command+- (hyphen) (Mac OS). Zoom in by pressing Ctrl+= (equal sign) (Windows) or Command+= (equal sign) (Mac OS). These keyboard shortcuts use the main keyboard, not the similar keys on the numeric keypad.
A time display and a timeline are located under the image viewing area in both the Source panel and Output panel. The timeline includes a current-time indicator (playhead), a viewing area bar, and buttons for setting In points and Out points.
- To move the current-time indicator, click or drag the current-time display or drag the current-time indicator.
- To trim the video such that you only encode and export part of the duration of the source video or audio item, set an In point (first frame) and Out point (last frame). You can set the In point or Out point to the current time by clicking the Set In Point or Set Out Point button above the timeline, or by dragging the In point or Out point icon in the timeline.
You can also choose to trim to the work area by choosing Work Area (from Adobe After Effects, or Adobe Premiere Pro) from the Source Range menu.
Adobe Media Encoder honors timecode information in a source file. If the source starts from 00:00:05:00, then the timeline for the item in Adobe Media Encoder also starts from 00:00:05:00, and not from zero. This timecode information is included in the encoded output file.
Scale To Fit
Adjusts the dimensions of the cropped video to fit within the Frame Width and Frame Height specified in the Video tab. If the aspect ratio defined by those values does not match that of the cropped video, then you will necessarily have black bars on encoded footage.
Applies a black border to the video, even if the target dimension is smaller than the source video.
Change Output Size
Automatically sets the height and width of the output to the height and width of the cropped frame. Choose this setting if you want to export content for use with Flash Player or other web applications without black borders such as those used with letterboxing or pillarboxing. This option is only available for FLV and F4V formats.
To revert to an uncropped image, click the Crop The Output Video button again.
Video exports settings
Adobe Media Encoder is used both as a standalone application and as a component of Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Flash Professional, Soundbooth, and Encore. In some contexts—including rendering and exporting from Premiere Pro—you set encoding options in the full Adobe Media Encoder Export Settings dialog box. In other contexts—including rendering and exporting from After Effects—you set encoding options in a format-specific Options dialog box that only presents a subset of the encoding options.
Adobe Media Encoder ships with many presets, each of which sets the various options to meet the requirements for a common target output. In the Export Settings or format-specific Options dialog box, the options available on the Video tab depend on the format you’ve specified.
Options not documented here are either specific to the selected format or do not require documentation. For detailed information, consult the specifications for the selected format. For example, MPEG formats include many advanced options not listed here. For detailed information on options not listed, consult the specifications for the MPEG‑2 (ISO/IEC 13818) format and the Wikipedia website.
Some capture cards and plug-in software provide their own dialog boxes with specific options. If the options you see are different from the options described here, see the documentation for your capture card or plug‑in.
For general information about compression settings, see Compression tips.
Conforms the output to the NTSC standard or to the PAL standard. When set to Automatic (Based On Source), Adobe Media Encoder automatically sets this value to match the source. For example, if the source file frame rate is 25 fps, Adobe Media Encoder sets the TV standard to PAL.
Dimensions, in pixels, of the output frame. When set to Automatic (Based On Source), Adobe Media Encoder automatically sets this value to match the frame dimensions of the source. (See Image aspect ratio and frame size.)
Frame rate of the output file in frames per second. Some codecs support a specific set of frame rates. When set to Automatic (Based On Source), Adobe Media Encoder automatically sets this value to match the frame rate of the source. (See Frame rate.)
Field Order or Field Type
Specifies whether the output file has progressive frames or frames made up of interlaced fields, and if the latter, which field will be written first. Progressive is the correct setting for computer display and motion picture film. Choose Upper First or Lower First when exporting video for an interlaced medium, such as NTSC, or PAL. When set to Automatic (Based On Source), Adobe Media Encoder automatically sets this value to match the field order of the source. (See Interlaced versus noninterlaced video.)
Aspect or Pixel Aspect Ratio
Select the pixel aspect ratio appropriate for the output type. When the pixel aspect ratio (displayed in parentheses) is 1.0, the output will have square pixels; all others will have non-square pixels. Because computers generally display pixels as squares, content using non‑square pixel aspect ratios appear stretched when viewed on a computer but appear with the correct proportions when viewed on a video monitor. When set to Automatic (Based On Source), in H.264 Blu-ray, MPEG-2 Blu-ray, or MPEG-2-DVD format, Adobe Media Encoder automatically sets this value to match the pixel aspect ratio of the source. (See Pixel aspect ratio.)
Profile and Level settings are relevant to formats that use variants of MPEG encoding, including H.264. Recommended settings are often a combination of Profile and Level settings. For example, a common recommendation for high-quality encoding for Internet distribution is a setting of High Profile, Level 5.1. For more information, see the Wikipedia website.
Level used by Adobe Media Encoder, with ranges that differ depending on output format. This setting, in part, specifies a maximum bitrate.
Export As Sequence
For still-image export, select this option to export as a sequentially numbered series of still-image files.
Selecting this option allows you to change the frame width and frame height from the size of the input file or sequence. You can also click a button to maintain the aspect ratio while resizing.
Number of times the encoder will analyze the clip before encoding. Multiple passes increase the time it takes to encode the file, but generally result in more efficient compression and higher image quality.
Number of B frames (bi‑directional frames) between consecutive I frames (intra‑frames) and P frames (predicted frames).
Number of frames between I frames (intra‑frames). This value must be a multiple of the M frames value.
Available only when exporting in the FLV video format using the On2 VP6 codec, selecting Simple Profile optimizes high-resolution video content that will be played back on older computers or other devices with limited memory and processing resources.
Undershoot [% target]
Available only when exporting in the FLV video format using the On2 VP6 codec, this option lets you specify the percentage of the target data rate to shoot for so that additional data is available in the buffer to improve difficult sections.
Closed GOP Every
Frequency of each closed group of pictures (closed GOP), which cannot reference frames outside of the closed GOP. A GOP consists of a sequence of I, B, and P frames. (This option is available if you choose MPEG‑2 as the format.)
Number of megabits per second. Different formats present different bitrate options. The minimum bitrate differs according to the format. For example, for MPEG‑2 DVD, the minimum bitrate is 1.5 Mbps. (See Bitrate.)
Bitrate Mode or Bitrate Encoding
Specifies whether the codec produces a constant bitrate (CBR) or variable bitrate (VBR) in the exported file:
When comparing CBR and VBR files of the same content and file size, you can make the following generalizations: A CBR file may play back more reliably over a wider range of systems, because a fixed data rate is less demanding on a media player and computer processor. However, a VBR file tends to have a higher image quality, because VBR tailors the amount of compression to the image content.
Bitrate Level (FLV, F4V, H.264 Blu-ray, and MPEG-2 Blu-ray formats only)
When the Bitrate level is set to Custom, the output bitrate can be changed to any value. When the Bitrate Level is set to High, Medium, or Low, the bitrate is set automatically based on frame dimensions as a read-only value and cannot be changed. Adobe Media Encoder has default presets for the formats which have the Bitrate Level set to automatic.
Key Frame Interval [Seconds] or Set Key Frame Distance (Frames)
Number of frames after which the codec will create a key frame when exporting video. (See Key frames.)
Optimize Stills or Expand Stills
Select this option to use still images efficiently in exported video files. For example, if a still image has a duration of 2 seconds in a project set to 30 fps, Adobe Premiere Pro creates one 2‑second frame instead of 60 frames at 1/30 of a second each. Selecting this option can save disk space for sequences and clips containing still images. Deselect this option only if the exported video file exhibits playback problems when displaying the still images.
Filters export settings
The Gaussian Blur effect softens the image and eliminates noise. Adobe Media Encoder applies the Gaussian Blur effect as a pre-encoding step. This step minimizes the noise that the encoder would otherwise have to encode. It results in quicker encoding and smaller output file sizes. Select the Output tab to preview the results of this effect.
Direction of the blur. Select either Horizontal And Vertical, Horizontal, or Vertical from the menu.
You can remove noise and grain from a project for reasons other than improved encoding and reduction of compressed file size. Consider the Noise & Grain effects, or blur effects, in Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.
Multiplexer export settings
The Multiplexer preset options (sometimes called Format) control how MPEG video and audio data are merged into a single stream. The exact options available depend on the MPEG format you choose.
When you choose the MPEG‑2 format, all Multiplexer options provided by the MPEG standard are available for manual control. In most cases, it’s better to select an MPEG preset specifically targeted to your output medium (such as MPEG‑2 DVD).
For more information about MPEG options, see the relevant MPEG specifications for MPEG-4 (ISO/IEC 14496) and MPEG-2 (ISO/IEC 13818) and the Wikipedia website.
Audio export settings
In the Export Settings dialog box, the options available in the Audio tab depend on the format you’ve specified. Options not documented here are either specific to the selected format or do not require documentation because their names are self-documenting. For detailed information, consult the specifications for the selected format.
Some audio formats support only uncompressed audio, which has the highest quality but uses more disk space. Some formats provide only one codec. Others allow you to choose from a list of supported codecs.
Sample Rate or Frequency
Choose a higher rate to increase the frequency at which audio is converted into discrete digital values, or sampled. Higher sample rates increase audio quality and file size; lower sample rates decrease quality and file size.
Setting the sample rate in the Export Settings dialog box higher than the sample rate of the audio source doesn’t increase quality. Setting a sample rate different from the sample rate of the source file requires resampling and additional processing time. You can avoid resampling by capturing audio at the same rate at which you want to export it. (See Compression tips.)
Channels or Output Channels
Specify how many audio channels are in the exported file. If you choose fewer channels than are in the master track of a sequence or project, Adobe Media Encoder downmixes the audio.
Choose a higher bit depth to increase accuracy of audio samples. Higher bit depth can improve dynamic range and reduce distortion, especially if you add additional processing, such as filtering or resampling. Higher bit depths also increase processing time and file size; lower bit rates reduce processing time and file size.
Setting the bit depth in the Export Settings dialog box higher than the bit depth of the source audio doesn’t increase quality.
Specifies how often audio information is inserted among the video frames in the exported file. See your capture card documentation for the recommended setting. A value of one frame means that when a frame is played back, the audio for the duration of that frame is loaded into RAM so that it can play until the next frame appears. If the audio breaks up when playing, adjust the interleave value. Increasing the value lets the computer store longer audio segments, and process them less often. However, higher interleave values require more RAM. Lowering the value can make playback smoother. Most hard disks operate best with a 1/2-second to 1-second interleave value.
Setting the value to 0 disables Audio Interleave and speeds rendering time. Consider disabling Audio Interleave for projects containing assets with large pixel dimensions.
The output bit rate of the audio. Generally, higher bit rates increase both quality and file size.
FTP export settings
The FTP tab of the Export Settings dialog box allows you to upload the exported file to a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server that has storage space allocated for file sharing. FTP is a common method for transferring files over a network and is especially useful for sharing relatively large files using an Internet connection. The server’s administrator can provide you with the details for connecting to the server.
The FTP tab includes the following options:
Send Local File To Recycle Bin (Windows) or Send Local File To Trash (Mac OS)
Deletes the local copy of the exported file once it’s been uploaded to the FTP server.
Audiences export settings
In the Export Settings dialog box, selecting Windows Media (Windows only) as the format exposes the Audiences tab. The options on the Audiences tab allow you to output variations of a movie suited to different network speeds. The player software associated with the format detects and selects the most appropriate version to ensure smooth playback. Windows Media generates a single movie that contains variations for different connection speeds.
Some codec-specific settings are not documented here. For more detailed information regarding a particular codec, check the documentation provided by its developer.
Specifies that the codec you select in the Video tab is applied. Compressed is the default setting, and is appropriate for most users.
Lets you add or remove audiences to create a multi-audience Windows Media (.WMV) video file.
Export and thin XMP metadata
You can choose what XMP metadata (if any) to include in the output file.
To open the Metadata Export dialog box, click the Metadata button in the lower-right corner of the Export Settings dialog box or choose Edit > Edit Metadata.
You can perform many of the same actions in the Metadata category in the Preferences dialog box. (See Preferences.) Changes made in the Preferences dialog box don’t apply to selected items in the encoding queue, but the templates and rules are available for later assignment through the Metadata Export dialog box.
Use the Export Options menu to specify whether XMP metadata should be embedded in the output file, stored in a sidecar (.xmp) file, both, or neither.
If you choose None, then no XMP metadata from the source will be embedded in the file, and none of the other controls for XMP metadata export are available. Basic XMP metadata about the exported file—such as export settings and start timecode—is always exported, even when None is chosen.
The Embed In Output File options are disabled for files of kinds for which XMP metadata can’t be embedded.
Many source assets contain XMP metadata. You can choose which XMP metadata from source assets should be preserved in the encoded output files by using a preservation rule.
For single-source clips, preserving XMP metadata ensures that the production metadata from the original source flows through to the re-encoded output file. For sequences and compositions, including source metadata preserves the metadata from each of the items used to make up that sequence or composition. Excluding existing source metadata is often referred to as thinning. You may want to exclude source metadata for security purposes or privacy concerns, or to reduce the size of the output file as much as possible.
A preservation rule acts as a filter to specify which XMP metadata from a source item is passed through to an encoded output file. The preset preservation rules are Preserve All and Exclude All. Preserve All is the default.
To create your own preservation rule, click New next to the Preservation Rules menu. You can enable individual fields or categories by selecting them in the Preservation Rules Editor dialog box. To find specific fields, use the search field near the top of the Preservation Rules Editor dialog box. Be sure to give your preservation rule a descriptive name.
You can edit an existing custom preservation rule by choosing it from the Preservation Rules menu and clicking Edit.
Two kinds of source XMP metadata are handled separately from the source XMP metadata controlled by the preservation rules: sequence markers and the XMP metadata that is created by the speech analysis features in Adobe Premiere Pro and Soundbooth. To include the speech XMP metadata and sequence markers, select Export Master Speech Track And Sequence Markers.
An export template specifies what XMP metadata will be written to the output file. For example, you can create an export template that includes various XMP metadata from the source files as well as adding your contact information and rights-management information to each output file.
The export template acts as a filter; any fields that are not explicitly enabled by the current template will be filtered out. The only exceptions are internal properties that are automatically populated with data by the creator application, which are always included and are not editable.
To create your own export template, click New next to the Export Template menu. You can enable individual fields or categories by selecting them in the Export Template Editor dialog box. To find specific fields, use the search field near the top of the Export Template Editor dialog box. Be sure to give your export template a descriptive name.
You can edit an existing custom export template by choosing it from the Export Template menu and clicking Edit.
After you have applied an export template, you can also manually enter values to add specific XMP metadata to the current encoding queue items.
Some fields are uneditable and can’t be excluded from output—such as fields that are written automatically by the creator application. For example, the Format field in the Dublin Core schema and the Video Frame Rate field in the Dynamic Media schema are set by Adobe Media Encoder to accurately describe the output file, and these fields are not user-editable. Also, values that are specified by the current export template appear as uneditable; to change these values, change the template or apply a different template.
Any field that doesn’t contain data—either from the template or manually entered—will be excluded from the exported XMP metadata. Empty fields are not written to the output file.