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[HOWTO] Produce 4k and 2K videos, YouTube compatible

marcozambi
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Hello everybody,
I am a long time Kdenlive user, a fantastic software tool that was my Swiss knife in so many projects that I lost the count. So I think it is time to give something back to the community and share some experiences with fellow video producers out there.
Few days ago I started a quest to understand how to produce a 4K (and 2K) video, with these objectives:
  1. Produce a 4K video as adherent as possible to the standards for this format
  2. Publish the video on YouTube, that supports resolutions up to both 4K and 2K.
I realized that two fundamental tools were missing in Kdenlive:
  1. a pre-defined Project Setting for starting the production
  2. a pre-defined Rendering profile for exporting the video with the proper settings
I couldn't find any guide available for this to implement in Kdenlive, so I started reading and playing around until I got what I wanted, and this is exactly what I am sharing with you.

SPECIFICATIONS
YouTube is describing quite accurately all the minimum requirements for uploading your material. These specs are here: -> https://support.google.com/youtube/answ ... 171?hl=en#
Briefly, For the 4K and 2K cases we have:
Code: Select all
Type      Video          Mono Audio      Stereo Audio   5.1 Audio   Resolution and
         Bitrate         Bitrate         Bitrate         Bitrate      aspect ratio
2160p (4k)   35-45 Mbps      128 kbps      384 kbps      512 kbps   3840x2160 - 16/9
1440p (2k)   10 Mbps         128 kbps      384 kbps      512 kbps   2560x1440 - 16/9

Codec settings: recommended bitrates, codecs, and resolutions, and more...
  1. Container: .mp4
    1. No Edit Lists (or you may lose AV sync)
    2. moov atom at the front of the file (Fast Start)
  2. Audio codec: AAC-LC
    1. Channels: Stereo or Stereo + 5.1
    2. Sample rate 96khz or 48khz
  3. Video codec: H.264
    1. Progressive scan (no interlacing)
    2. High Profile
    3. 2 consecutive B frames
    4. Closed GOP. GOP of half the frame rate.
    5. CABAC
    6. Variable bitrate. No bitrate limit required, though we offer recommended bit rates below for reference
    7. Chroma subsampling: 4:2:0
  4. Frame rate
    1. Content should be encoded and uploaded in the same frame rate it was recorded.
    2. Common frame rates include: 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 frames per second (other frame rates are also acceptable).
    3. Interlaced content should be deinterlaced before uploading. For example, 1080i60 content should be deinterlaced to 1080p30, going from 60 interlaced fields per second to 30 progressive frames per second.

STEP 1) CREATE CUSTOM PROJECT SETTINGS
Under Project -> Project Settings menu, create a new custom project settings as follows.
For 4K
  1. Size: 3840x2160
  2. Frame rate: 60/1
  3. Pixel aspect ratio: 1/1
  4. Display aspect ratio: 16/9
  5. Colorspace: ITU-R 709
For 2K
  1. Size: 2560x1440
  2. Frame rate: 60/1
  3. Pixel aspect ratio: 1/1
  4. Display aspect ratio: 16/9
  5. Colorspace: ITU-R 709
Notice that the Project Folder, Video Tracks, Audio Tracks and Thumbnail settings should reflect your personal needs.
Image Image

STEP 2) CREATE CUSTOM CONSUMER PROFILE
Following the novelties introduced with Kdenlive 9.10, we can now create a custom consumer profile, that will be than used when setting up the Rendering profile, as described later on.
We are going to create a total of 4 profiles: 2 for 4K and 2 for 2K. This is necessary because despite their recommendations YouTube will NOT display videos in 2K nor 4K unless they are rendered at 30fps. Therefore I've choosen to keep separate profiles for 2K and 4K, one each for 30 and 60fps.
Notice also that these profiles has been created for Ubuntu 14.10 64bit, other distributions may have a different default directory for storing consumer profiles.

Under /usr/share/mlt/presets/consumer/avformat/Youtube_Advanced create the following files
4K_60fps
Code: Select all
description=4K 60fps
f=mp4
frame_rate_num=60
frame_rate_den=1
width=3840
height=2160
progressive=1

vcodec=libx264
vb=40M
g=30
bf=2

acodec=aac
ab=384k
pix_fmt=yuv420p

threads=4
coder=1   
movflags=+faststart

meta.preset.extension=mp4
meta.preset.name=4K 60fps


4K_YouTube
Code: Select all
description=4K Youtube
f=mp4
frame_rate_num=30  <-- Pay attention here (30fps is crucial)
frame_rate_den=1
width=3840
height=2160
progressive=1

vcodec=libx264
vb=40M
g=15 <-- Pay attention here (this has to be half the frame rate)
bf=2

acodec=aac
ab=384k
pix_fmt=yuv420p

threads=4
coder=1   
movflags=+faststart

meta.preset.extension=mp4
meta.preset.name=4K Youtube


2K_60fps
Code: Select all
description=2K 60fps
f=mp4
frame_rate_num=60
frame_rate_den=1
width=2560
height=1440
progressive=1

vcodec=libx264
vb=10M
g=30
bf=2

acodec=aac
ab=384k
pix_fmt=yuv420p

threads=4
coder=1
movflags=+faststart

meta.preset.extension=mp4
meta.preset.name=2K 60fps


4K_YouTube
Code: Select all
description=2K YouTube
f=mp4
frame_rate_num=30 <-- Pay attention here (30fps is crucial)
frame_rate_den=1
width=2560
height=1440
progressive=1

vcodec=libx264
vb=10M
g=15 <-- Pay attention here (this has to be half the frame rate)
bf=2

acodec=aac
ab=384k
pix_fmt=yuv420p

threads=4
coder=1
movflags=+faststart

meta.preset.extension=mp4
meta.preset.name=2K YouTube


STEP 3) CREATE CUSTOM RENDERING PROFILE
In the Rendering window create a new Profile.
Image

In the Profile window write the following values:
For 4K 60fps rendering
  1. Destination: File rendering
  2. Group: MP4
  3. Profile Name: 4K 60fps
  4. Extension: mp4
  5. Parameters: properties=4K_60fps vb=%quality+'k' ab=%audiobitrate+'k' <-- (Notice: in properties=<consumer_profile_name> goes the filename of one of the consumer profile files created at step 2)
  6. Video qualities: 35000,40000,45000
  7. Default quality: 40000
  8. Audio Bitrates: 384,256,192,160,128
  9. Default Audio Bitrate: 256

For 4K Youtube standard (30fps) rendering
  1. Destination: File rendering
  2. Group: MP4
  3. Profile Name: 4K Youtube
  4. Extension: mp4
  5. Parameters: properties=4K_YouTube vb=%quality+'k' ab=%audiobitrate+'k' <-- (Notice: in properties=<consumer_profile_name> goes the filename of one of the consumer profile files created at step 2)
  6. Video qualities: 35000,40000,45000
  7. Default quality: 40000
  8. Audio Bitrates: 384,256,192,160,128
  9. Default Audio Bitrate: 256

For 2K 60fps rendering
  1. Destination: File rendering
  2. Group: MP4
  3. Profile Name: 2K 60fps
  4. Extension: mp4
  5. Parameters: properties=2K_60fps vb=%quality+'k' ab=%audiobitrate+'k' <-- (Notice: in properties=<consumer_profile_name> goes the filename of one of the consumer profile files created at step 2)
  6. Video qualities: 10000
  7. Default quality: 10000
  8. Audio Bitrates: 384,256,192,160,128
  9. Default Audio Bitrate: 256

For 2K Youtube standard (30fps) rendering
  1. Destination: File rendering
  2. Group: MP4
  3. Profile Name: 2K YouTube
  4. Extension: mp4
  5. Parameters: properties=2K_YouTube vb=%quality+'k' ab=%audiobitrate+'k' <-- (Notice: in properties=<consumer_profile_name> goes the filename of one of the consumer profile files created at step 2)
  6. Video qualities: 10000
  7. Default quality: 10000
  8. Audio Bitrates: 384,256,192,160,128
  9. Default Audio Bitrate: 256

Image

FINAL NOTES
You can now start to create your productions, unleashing the pixel greedy beast.
This guide wants to be a living document: please let me know in whether you find any inconsistency or error, and whether any step need clarification or betterment.
Thank you all!

P.S. The video I created is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGXXrXoN74E


User avatar ttguy
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Awesome post marcozambi.
You should add this to the manual. Maybe under https://userbase.kde.org/Kdenlive/Manua ... nformation
elmicha
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Really good post :)
My problem is that after rendering the video comes out without audio. What could be wrong?
ruggerop
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I have the same problem. The video output doesn't have any audio.
Is there something to check to resolve?

thanks
User avatar ttguy
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ruggerop wrote:I have the same problem. The video output doesn't have any audio.
Is there something to check to resolve?

thanks

Wrong setting in the Export audio check box perhaps
https://userbase.kde.org/Kdenlive/Manua ... o_Checkbox
User avatar the_mouse
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Hello, nice guide, thank you!

Now kdenlive produces 4k videos that are 60fps and are youtube compatible! However I would like to make 30fps videos too. I tried creating separate project files and render profiles for 30fps, but kdenlive produces empty video files around 600KBs. Can you help me create profiles for 30fps? Thank you!

ps: running Ubuntu 14.04.3 (soon will be upgrading to 16.04)
R33D3M33R
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Hello,

thanks for the presets, but unfortunately I'm having problems with audio export as already mentioned.
If I select one of the inbuilt profiles (for example H.264/AAC high profile) everything exports fine, but when I select this custom profile there is no audio.

Any ideas?

P.S: please keep in mind that I currently cannot upgrade to KF5 version of the program
User avatar the_mouse
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Hi, I tried every possible combination and later gave up, all of them crashed or produced incompatible results. Upgraded to ubuntu 16.04 and installed the latest kdenlive which has built-in presets for 4k. Unfortunately I don't see any other way. Cheers!

 
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