Need recommendations for video settings.


i have a HD screen recording (mostly text) and i want to

1. cut it

2. make a composite shot of the whole result and put zooms on it

I want to do that with as little quality loss as possible, but i also want to avoid bloated files. When i export with GoPro Cineform, it turns a 190mb video into a 25gb video.

Can anyone help me?


  • Hello,

    i use Hitfilm for some basic stuff, but i got problems.

    I have a raw video, which i first cut, then export, then reimport to make a composite shot and add zooms to it. But while the first export (before composite shot) is very clear and high resolution, it loses quality on that 2nd step. When does the quality get lost? When i export and re-import it? Or is it because of the composite shot?

    How can i avoid that? After cutting i have a ton of seperate clips put together. Is there a way to move them altogether to a composite shot before exporting anything?

    Help is kindly appreciated.


  • If you exported and then re-imported that is probably your problem. You gave no details on what your export was. It is possible to export without quality loss or minimal quality loss but what have to know exactly how you exported. You probably exported to the MP4/AVC format and your bitrate was probably kinda low. Just a guess without further info.

    One question. Why did you export and then import to make a composite shot. You can make a composite shot, with whatever you want, without doing any export and then importing the result of that export.

  • edited October 2017

    I tried to make a composite shot before exporting, but i can only turn 1 clip at a time to a composite shot and i have a ton of those after cutting.

    Is there any way to do that anyways?

    And i use to Youtube 1080p Preset for my exports.

  • edited October 2017

    And can someone give me tipps on how to get my videos to youtube with as minimal quality loss as possible.

    What i do right now is:

    1. i record something on my screen, which is mostly Text. The recorded video is pretty HD and almost not distuingishable from my original screen.

    2. Then i need to cut this video, which i do with Hitfilm

    3. Then i need to add zoom, which i do with Hitfilm as well (composite shot)

    4. Then i upload this file to youtube (and i feel like its losing another bit of quality there. Is there a way to avoid this?

    The end result is not 100% clear and if there is a popup menu opening up on the screen, quality often drops hard for a split second.

  • "And i use to Youtube 1080p Preset for my exports."

    Of course your quality on re-import was lower. The Youtube export is fairly low bitrate compared to most video source material.

    If you really want to export and re-import then you should be exporting Cineform high or medium profile. As previously stated, I don't think you need to do this but if it is your thing, then go Cineform.

    "Is there a way to move them altogether to a composite shot before exporting anything?"

    You don't need anything to be in a composite shot to export it. You can export from the NLE/editor timeline.


    It sounds like you are somewhat confused about composite shots and NLE. e.g. You have never stated why you thought you needed to export and re-import. I'll just say a few things and maybe it will shine a light one some very basic workflow.

    You import your media and trim and cut the pieces you want in the order you want on the NLE/editor timeline. If you don't need to add effects and what not then you are now done. You can just export the editor timeline. There is your finished video.

    If you need to add some effects to one or more clips on your timeline you can do that right from within the editor timeline. If that is all you need then you are done and then export your editor timeline. There is your finished video.

    Some effects can only be added to composite shots and if you need to keyframe effects that can only be done in composite shots, so you might want to convert one or more NLE/editor timeline clips to composite shots. The composite shot replaces the clip on the editor timeline. Then you just do whatever effects and such you need in the composite shot timeline for each respective/separate composite shot. When you playback on the editor timeline any composite shots on the editor timeline are executed on the fly when encountered. When you are done adding your effects to your various composite shots, you are now done. You don't need to export the composite shot(s) and re-import them. You can now export your NLE/editor timeline. There is your finished video.

  • edited October 2017

    Thanks for the detailed answer.

    But i said why i need to export and reimport: I have to add zoom effects throughout my whole (cutted) video. And there are so much single clips after cutting, that i cant edit them one by one in a composite shot.

  • edited October 2017

    I tried exporting with the settings you recommend, but it turned a 7 minute 190mb video into a 25gb video. Sure there must be a way to avoid this step?

    EDIT: And the quality is still not like the original video.

    I feel a bit lost here. I just want to get my screen from my PC to youtube, that cant be that hard?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Ah, a screen recording. Now we're getting somewhere.

    With digital video, the more you compress the file, the more the image will degrade. Period.

    Uncompressed 1920x1080 video at 30 frames per seconds is a data rate of over 1.4 GIGAbits per second (a gigabit is 1024 megabits). Your screen recorder is probably recording at 2-3 megabits. This is compressing the original video by a factor of almost 500:1 to almost 700:1.

    Your original footage has started off so degraded that it will be almost impossible to re-export without quality loss.

    You need to up the quality settings of your screen recorder for a start.

    Secondly, @NormanPCN has already given you the best advice. Yes, a Cineform output will be huge, but, again, you CANNOT cram video into a smaller file size without degrading the quality. CINEFORM is your best option to preserve quality. Any other output (mp4) will look worse. Period.

    Now, the point still comes up that you shouldn't be exporting your video to reimport in this case. Yes, I understand you want constant zooms and you may have a lot of composite shots, but you're not saving time with the render and reimport you'll still have to keyframe each zoom individually, and any time you think you're saving by using a single file has already been lost with your renders.

    Incidentally if you're going to upload to YouTube? YouTube automatically recompresses all uploaded files to 8mbps (for 1920x1080) this is still 100:1 compression and will again degrade your file. Ultimately you need to turn up the recording quality settings of your screen recorder. 

  • If one is concerned about file size for a re-import to re-edit then

    • if your source media is AVC
    • and you export to MP4.

    then use a similar bitrate to the source media. If the source is a different codec than AVC/H.264 you cannot make that relationship.

    But really, these "intermediate" codec types (Cineform, DNxHD, Prores) were all created to largely preserve quality across multiple export import sequences. To get that ability you need a lot of bitrate and all three are about the same bitrate for a similar quality level. That no coincidence. 

    "EDIT: And the quality is still not like the original video."

    If you are saying the Cineform high/medium output is not the quality of the original, then quite frankly, I don't believe it.

    If you are saying that MP4 export output is not the same quality as the source then the bitrate used to export is too low to preserve the source quality.

    If you are looking at Youtube quality then yes that can certainly happen, and often/always happens to varying degrees. Youtube/Vimeo is not high quality video. Unless your source material gets a certain amount of the "good" kinds of video compression then the Youtube/Vimeo quality is going to degrade. They are both pushing the bitrates as low as they can. Common TV/movie scenes with people standing around talking to each other compress well and can look very good on Youtube/Vimeo. The more motion, the more it will degrade unless the motion is very blurry (easier to compress blur).

  • edited October 2017

    This is bullshit, im gonna buy Camtasia instead. I just want to make a screen recording. not study rocket science. It is just f*cking text, not even graphics, and its not able to view that properly. Thanks that you atleast tried.

    Topic can be closed.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Same advice for Camtasia. Turn up quality settings. This rocket science is unavoidable in digital video. 

  • @FlorianWalther I hate to be the one to break this to you but if you're already this frustrated then Camtasia is going to make you REALLY upset! A big chunk of my income comes from redoing presentations captured with Camtasia so the client ends up with something legible.

    Camtasia can be a decent tool but captured text is pretty terrible at anything other than 1:1 resolution all the way through. What I mean by that is, if you want 1080p as the final output then you need to capture at 1080p, have a 1080p project and export at 1080p with no scaling  (Zooming) ever. This is actually pretty good advice for capturing text no matter what you use. The first 18 seconds or so of TechSmith's own promo video for Camtasia shows how badly text can degrade when scaling.

    Having said that there is a trick of sorts that might help you. You can capture @ 1080p and have a 720p project with a 720p final export if you don't scale the 1080p down to fit maintaining a 720 crop throughout and panning to different parts of the screen capture. If you'll notice, that's what TechSmith did in their promo. It's a 720p video of a higher resolution capture. At 13 seconds in, the text of the "Import media..." button looks pretty clear because it's a crop of the higher resolution capture so the 1:1 ratio is maintained. 

     Now, as a possible alternative to what I think you're trying to do without composite shots:

    Make all your cuts on the editor timeline but don't scale anything yet. When you have your cuts done, select all the clips and copy them to a new track. You can click and drag to select them, right click and select Copy then right click again to Paste. When you paste you'll be given the option to paste to a new track. Use the Magnify effect on the clips on the top track to magnify what you want to highlight. You can't keyframe this on the Editor timeline of course but you can keyframe the Opacity of the clip so you can fade the magnification in and out. 

    Option 2 for the future - Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. Work out what you're going to do and practice it until you have it down smooth. Both Windows and Mac have accessibility tools to magnify a portion of the screen. Browsers have zoom controls. These things can be called up with hotkeys on the fly. CTRL +/-  controls the zoom in browsers. The Windows key and + brings up Magnify. Macs can be set up to use CTRL and the scroll gesture. If you don't like the built in tools there are several free alternatives out there. The point is, if you practice using these things and can capture exactly what you want on the fly then it'll pay off in spades when it comes time to edit. 

  • edited October 2017

    Its not about the zooming and its not about the recoding quality. I record my full screen in HD and the result is crisp and clear. As soon as i import, modify and export from Hitfilm, it loses quality. Even if it is still at 1:1.

    The zoom is not the problem. I know that i cant have 100% quality when i zoom, but the loss is very minimal. The problem is that the video prior zoom has weird colored spots and blurred lines. When there is a pop up menu it sometimes goes crazy with the colors for a split second.

    And even if i use "increase my filesize by over 1300% to save some quality" settings, its not as good as the recording.

  • @FlorianWalther Can you please install MediaInfo and post a report from one of your source clips? Instructions for MediaInfo are in this video starting @19:33

    Also if you could, posting small before and after clips to Dropbox or something like it might be really helpful so we can see exactly what the problem is and try to recreate it if needed

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    May as well ask your system specs as well. CPU, GPU, OS, RAM and storage. 

  • edited October 2017

    Thread can be closed.

    I purchased Camtasia and its working like a charm. I get <1GB videos with quality as high as if i look at the real screen.

    I knew it couldnt be that complicated.

    Thanks for your attempts tho.

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