Best Export Settings for Instagram Reels in Premiere Pro

Social media is now a big part of any creative’s life. At least it should be since there are tons of opportunities to engage with fellow creators and potential clients. It can also just be fun. One of the more recent trends is quick hit video stories on your channels, like Instagram Reels. If filmmaking is your thing you will want to make sure your clips look as good as they possibly can.

For that, you’ll want to make sure your edits and exports are optimized for the platform. And if you want to make sure you hit that high-quality bar you should watch this video from Sebastian Savoy on proper settings for Premiere Pro.

This may be a new territory for a lot of you as Instagram has definitely moved to vertical as the standard. Now to get your sequence set up:

  • Frame Size: 640 x 1136
  • Frame Rate: 30.00 fps

Apparently IG auto converts everything to 30 fps and by exporting at this setting Instagram will do less compression on its own.

When you import a clip and bring it into the timeline you’ll see it with black bars. In this case just head over to Effect Controls and bump up the scale until it fills the frame and then change position to crop it as you need.

Set your in/out points on the timeline to prep for export and then you can just use your shortcut of Ctrl/Cmd + M to open Export settings:

  • Format: H.264
  • Preset: Match Source – High bitrate

It’s your call on naming and location. You will want to make sure that Render at Maximum Depth and Use Maximum Render Quality are checked. Double-check your frame rate too. As for bitrate settings, you’ll want to go with the following:

  • Bitrate Encoding: VBR, 2 pass
  • Target Bitrate: 2 Mbps
  • Maximum Birate: 3 Mbps

Might want to save this as your “IG Reels” preset.

Check out your thumbnail preview as you are stuck with whatever you have when you publish it. If you need to transfer this to your phone you can use something like AirDrop on Apple products or even Google Drive or Dropbox on any device.

Now, why might you go through all this effort for a render? Well, surprisingly, if you upload a heavy file Instagram will heavily compress it and that can destroy your footage. If you create a file that is as close to IG’s goal as possible it will apply only minimal compression. Definitely worth the time to make sure all your work looks good.

[source: Sebastian Savoy]

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