How to edit HD videos for Youtube
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How to edit HD videos for Youtube

How to make HD Youtube videos.

Thought I'd share some tips on editing and uploading High Definition videos to Youtube. A lot of people have HD cameras on their phone etc. but lose a lot of the quality upon uploading onto Youtube.

This could be because the original file was so big that they went with a lower quality version, or they did something during editing so that the final clip was no longer in HD format.

I'll share some tips for how to avoid this while editing, and how to create smaller files ready to upload to youtube.

I use Final Cut Pro on a Mac for editing, and usually Quick Time for conversions.
Conversion is when you take the original file (clip from you phone or camera) and turn it into another type of file, one that is smaller or bigger in size, or better or (usually) worse in quality.
You'll need to do a conversion if the file is too big for youtube, over 200 megabytes for a 5 minute clip might be too much, depending on your internet connection.

1. So first step would be to get the file off your camera and onto the computer.

2. Then you note the file size and information included in the file. (Cmd i to get info, or right click - Get Information.)
It will say which codec the file has on it , and the dimensions (size of the screen e.g 1080x720), this is important to keep in mind so that after you have edited your clip, you can save the final clip fill in the same format it came in, which saves a lot of conversion time and saves you from potential quality loss.

So if your camera makes good compact files that work great for Youtube, we want to use the same Codec and dimensions for the finished clip (after editing). You could test this with a raw file upload to youtube (make it private?).

3. When you've finished editing a clip - in your editing program go to Save As, select a video format (your file will get the prefix .Avi or .Mov or  .Mpeg) then go to Options or Settings (if available) where you select 'Same as Source' under codec, or where available; and make sure the dimensions are the same as your original file (see step 2).

If we are unable to save the file in the same codec or proportions it came in, or if those settings aren't suitable for web streaming; then we are going to have to do some conversion after editing.
In your editing program this will probably come up when you've finished editing your project and you're ready to make the final video file (called exporting the clip) and upload it.

Your editing program might have a way to "export for web" or "export for ipod" etc.
These are premade settings that will convert your clip into a compact file that still plays in HD (hopefully). These premades usually use a codec called H.264 .
This is a really good one, see if your editing program has any presets "save for web streaming" or "H.264 codec" then give your file a name and it should be ready to export (make the video file) and upload to Youtube.

If your editing program does not have any good settings we're going to need QuickTime (Pro), or some other video program with conversion tools (realplayer).
What I usually do, after editing a clip from my phone camera (in Final Cut Pro), is go to File - Export - Quick Time Movie . Then under settings I leave is as Current Settings (doesn't compress or convert the format), then save the file. I then open this file in Quick Time and go to Save As, and use the "save for web streaming" settings in quicktime; this will be the final clip, and it usually works great for Youtube. QuickTime does a great job of converting, I tend to prefer it even over Final Cut Pro's inbuilt conversion tools.

You can try a couple different codecs (instead of going with the presets) and see which ones takes longer to convert, or which one makes the best video files. Try not to resize the dimensions of the clip, it's probably in the right format already,
Unless it's huge, then it can probably be resized with one of the premade packages we talked about earlier, 'save for web' usually adds a codec and squeezes the screen dimensions down to a web friendly size.

Hope these tips helped familiarize the process, you'll probably find one codec, or a premade setting that works great for the video clips you're working with. Leave a comment if you have any questions and I'll try to help.
Good luck with your videomaking!



Nickolai Gibson

This article was written by Nickolai Gibson. A Tubeblogger and video editor who loves video gaming, technology, and YouTube videos.