How to Export a Video for Vimeo

vimeo logo stripes

Why Vimeo?

Vimeo is a video hosting platform similar to YouTube, but with much better video quality. I have started putting my videos on Vimeo because the user experience is so much better. True, there are not as many hits as on YouTube because YouTube is much more popular, but as a photographer I want the best picture quality in my videos. That better video quality available on Vimeo means I need to render or export my videos with the settings that work for Vimeo.

Vimeo Video Settings

Here are the settings I’ve successfully used:

  1. Make an MP4 file of 1080p (HD) or 720p (HD) size.  Progressive scan.
  2. For High Definition (HD) video, choose the High Profile H.264 setting.
  3. If you have these advanced settings, make them too:
    • Closed GOP
    • CABAC (to reduce your file size)
  4. According to Vimeo, the frame rate should be 23.976 or 29.97 frames per second (fps).
    1. I like 24 fps (24p) because I get that “film look.” I use 24 fps.
  5. Bit rate should be 10,000 to 20,000 kbit per second for HD videos.
    • Choose variable rate if you have the option. Set the minimum to 10,000,000.
    • 16,000,000 bits works well.
  6. Use AAC-LC (low complexity) for the audio codec.
    • Encode audio at a constant rate of 320 kbit/s.
    • Set the audio sample rate to 48 kHz but leave it at whatever it was recorded in if different.

One thing that confuses me is constant and variable bit and frame rates. It is “constant frame rate,” and “variable bit rate.” Do not mix these up.

See the Vimeo page for compression guidelines. Here is a link: https://vimeo.com/help/compression

Here are common video sizes (resolutions in pixels (px)):

video sizes

I shoot at 30 fps (29.97 fps) for most common video. For high-speed where I want to get a slow motion effect later, I will up the fps to 60 or 120 fps in shooting.

When shooting my videos, I choose 1080p if it is available to me. If not, I use 720p. However, I render in 1080p from my video software. I’m leaving 4k and higher formats alone for now because visually, the benefits are minimal to most people with standard televisions and monitors today (2016).

I’m using Sony Movie Studio (or Sony Vegas). Here are my export settings (click on the image to enlarge):

sony-export-24p

Summary

Making great videos for Vimeo is not difficult, but you do need to know how to export them correctly to maximize the video experience for your viewers and to save upload time. Vimeo is a superior video hosting platform that I highly recommend if you want to show people some high-quality video. Here is a link to my site on Vimeo so you can see the quality: click here.

Thank you for reading what I wrote – I hope you enjoyed it!


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