As 4K HDR video creation slowly becomes mainstream, more and more video editors try to wrap their head around the different post-production workflows associated with the format. While the editing process is no different from editing any other type of video files, using the correct export settings is paramount to ensure that you’ll be able to make the most out of the quality provided by 4K HDR.
This is especially true for publishing HDR videos on platforms such as YouTube where incorrect export settings could lead to the improper representation of your work. To put things into perspective for those unfamiliar with exporting 4K HDR videos in Premiere Pro CC, filmmaker Carlos Quintero covers the basic settings one should utilize to get the optimal results.
The first step in the process is to ensure that your edit is locked in and ready for export. Once you’ve made all the cuts, go into the Lumetri Color panel and add a LUT of your choice. While you can tweak the color settings to your taste, don’t forget to select the High Dynamic Range option in the Lumetri Color panel so that you can take advantage of the full dynamic range of your video.
After your color correction and grading is completed, it’s time to export your final edit. To do so, select your timeline and navigate to File > Export > Media. In the Export Settings window set the Format to H.264 and select the YouTube 2160p 4K Preset. Make sure that your Source and Output settings match perfectly. If for any reason this is not the case, in the Basic Video Settings window hit the Match Source button.
The next few settings you need to adjust will allow Premiere Pro CC to export your edit as a video with high dynamic range. Under the video tab, scroll down and uncheck the box next to Profile.
Once you’ve done so, go to the Profile drop-down menu and select High10. Next, enable the options labeled as Rec. 2020 Color Primaries, High Dynamic Range, Render and Maximum Depth, and Render at Maximum Quality just as shown in the video tutorial.
In the meantime, to get the maximum quality out of your edit, you need to tweak the bitrate settings further which is indeed the trickiest part of the process where most people get confused. Use the following tables as a guideline and figure out which settings work best for yourself.
Now, with just a few simple steps, you should be able to export 4K HDR footage to YouTube successfully. The suggested settings should give you a decent starting point for the proper rendering of your HDR footage, but you can always experiment further by creating your custom HDR export presets along the way.