This tutorial will show you how to prepare your video for Vimeo using Compressor 3.5. If you’re using the newer version of Compressor (version 4.x), read this tutorial instead.
A note before we get started: Compressor loads with several different panes or “windows” (such as the Settings, Inspector, and Preview windows). If at any point you accidentally close some of these windows, you can return to the default layout by navigating to: Window > Layouts > Standard 1440x900
- If you imported your video into Compressor directly from Final Cut Pro, it should already be preloaded into the main window. If this is the case, skip ahead to step 3.
- If you aren't using Final Cut Pro, import your file by clicking "Add File" in the top-left corner of the window. Alternatively, you can navigate to Job > New Job With File... Select your video file, then click "Open."
- Under the "Settings" tab, click the "+" symbol to create a new setting. Select "QuickTime Movie" from the dropdown list of options.
- In the "Inspector" window, set the following inputs:
Give your new preset a name, such as "Vimeo Export"
Give your preset a description, such as "Export setting for Vimeo"
- Click the "Encoder" options icon, then select the following options:
- File Format
- Allow Job Segmenting
- If your video does not contain audio, select Disabled.
- Add clean aperture information
- Click the "Settings..." button to the right of "Video." In the "Standard Video Compression Settings" window, select the following options:
- Compression Type
- Frame Rate
There are some situations where you'll want to choose a frame rate different from the source:
If your frame rate is higher than 30 FPS: Choose a factor of your frame rate that is between 15-30 FPS. For example, if your frame rate is 50 FPS, choose 25 FPS.
If your frame rate is lower than 15 FPS: Choose a multiple of your frame rate that is between 15-30 FPS. For example, if your frame rate is 8 FPS, choose 16 FPS.
If you upload a frame rate that is higher than 30 FPS or lower than 15 FPS, Vimeo will automatically adjust the frame rate for you — but we can't guarantee the results will always look as expected. It's best to do the conversion on your end prior to uploading.
Choose your desired frame rate (usually the same as your source frame rate, see note below) from the dropdown list. If you aren't sure which frame rate to use, choose "Current."
- Key Frames
- Frame Reordering
Best quality (Multi-pass) Data Rate
- Data Rate
These data rates are suggested for average video files. If your video contains below average visual complexity (such as a slideshow presentation), choose a lower data rate. If your video contains above average visual complexity (such as a video with high levels of grain), increase the data rate.
Remember: Lower data rates lead to smaller file sizes and faster uploads! Experiment to pick the lowest data rate that yields acceptable image quality.
Select "Restrict to," then enter a value depending on the resolution of your video:
720p HD video: 10000 kbits/sec
1080p HD video: 20000 kbits/sec
SD video: 5000 kbits/sec
If you aren't sure which resolution you're working with, choose "Automatic" instead.
- Optimized for
- Click the "Settings..." button to the right of "Audio." In the "Sound Settings" window, select the following options:
Vimeo does not currently support audio with more than 2 channels (for example, 5.1 surround sound). If you are working with a 5.1 mix, you'll need to mix your audio down to stereo prior to exporting your video.
Select "Stereo (L R)" for stereo (2-channel) audio. Select "Mono" for mono (1-channel) audio. If you aren't sure, select "Stereo (L R)."
- Show Advanced Settings
- Render Settings: Quality
- MPEG-4 AAC Encoder Settings: Target Bit Rate
320 kbps (if you selected Stereo), 256 kbps (if you selected Mono)
- Click "OK."
- Next, click the "Frame Controls" options icon.
- Click the gear icon to the right of the "Frame Controls" dropdown. Then, select the following setting:
- Frame Controls
- Turning on the "Frame Controls" option will enable you to edit the rest of the settings in this panel. Select the following options:
- Resize Filter
Best (Statistical prediction)
- Output Fields
Same as source
Best (Motion compensated)
- Adaptive details
- If your video contains aliasing (jagged edges), you may wish to increase this value. Use sparingly.
- Details level
- If your video has soft edges, you may wish to increase this value. Use sparingly.
0 Retiming Control
- Rate Conversion
Better (Motion compensated)
- Set duration to
100% of source
- Click the "Geometry" options icon, then select the following settings:
Source Inset (Cropping)
- Crop to
- Left / Right / Top / Bottom
0 Dimensions (encoded pixels)
- Frame Size
Vimeo uses some unique calculations to determine how yoru video should be displayed. Please take note of the following:
Will my video play in 720p HD on Vimeo? Videos with a frame size area equal to or larger than 700x700 (499,000 pixels square) are considered "720p HD" by Vimeo. Your video will need to have a frame area of at least 700x700 in order for your video to generate an HD version.
Will my video play in 1080p on Vimeo?* To generate a "1080p HD" version on Vimeo, the minimum dimension must be at least 1080px or the maximum dimension must be at least 1920px. For example, 1920x1080 is considered "1080p," but 1280x720 is not.
*All 1080p source videos are automatically converted to 720p upon uploading to Vimeo. Plus and PRO users have the option to upgrade their videos to 1080p, but only if your source file qualifies as 1080p. Read more.
Choose your desired frame size from the list. If your desired size is not listed, select "Custom" (then input the desired width and height). If you aren't sure which frame size to use, choose "100% of source."
- Pixel Aspect
Square Output Image Inset (Padding)
Preserve source aspect ratio
- Left / Right / Top / Bottom
- Click "Save" at the bottom of the "Inspector" window to save these settings.
- In the "Settings" window, click and drag your newly created setting onto your imported video.
- Click the "Destinations" tab. Here, we'll select a destination location for your exported file. (Note: selecting a destination is not mandatory. If you skip this step, your exported file will be sent to the same directory as your source file.)
- Expand the folder called "Apple." You'll see a few preset destinations. We want the one called "Desktop." You can also create a new destination by clicking the "+" symbol and selecting "Local."
- Click and drag the "Desktop" destination onto the word "Source" within your imported video. (Note: make sure you are dragging the destination onto your applied setting. If you drag it elsewhere on your video, it will create a new destination without any applied settings.)
- Click the "Submit" button, then enter the following information:
Give a name to this export job. (This will only be used by Compressor to reference this particular export job.)
- Include unmanaged services on other computers
- Click "Submit." The compression and export will begin. You can monitor the progress in the "History" panel. The time it takes to compress will vary depending on the size of your video.
- View your finished, compressed file to make sure it looks and sounds correct — then upload it to Vimeo! Questions about uploading?