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How to Export Quicktime Files from Premiere Pro for Stock Footage Submissions March 21, 2013

Are you a new producer with problems exporting valid Quicktime files of your stock footage clips for submission? Here is a brief set-by-step tutorial on how to export video files from Adobe Premiere Pro in the Photo-JPEG Quicktime format.

In this example, I’ll be preparing a clip of the Fort Duquesne Bridge I shot in downtown Pittsburgh using a Canon T3i DSLR.

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1. Open Premiere Pro and import your footage clip(s).

2. Drag the clip you want to export down from the bin to the “new paper” icon (Figure 1). This will make a new sequence (timeline) with the exact parameters of your clip (i.e., frame rate and dimensions).

Figure 1

Figure 1

3. In the new sequence, pick the segment of your clip that you want to export. Remember, stock footage clips should be between 6 and 30 seconds. I find that 10 to 15 seconds is the “sweet spot.” In this example, the raw footage of the bridge as shot in the camera was about 30 seconds, but I decided to only export about 15 seconds from around the middle. To select the area, drag the left and right parts of the “work area bar” right above the clip in the timeline to determine the portion to export (Figure 2). You may have to enable the work area in your timeline.

Figure 2

Figure 2

4. Once you’ve decided on the part to export, open the export dialog box (Figure 3). Go to File… Export… Media (or, Control-M on a PC, or Command-M on a Macintosh). If you are an experienced or adventurous producer, you would add any effects such as color correction or other graphical elements to your clip before exporting. But for this tutorial, we will just be exporting the clip as-is.

Figure 3

Figure 3

5. The export dialog box is where you select the options to export your clip. This is where many new users are the most confused. Deciding on which parameters you choose can make or break your clip. There are many schools of thought on this process, and it doesn’t really matter which path you take so long as the end result is a valid Quicktime file that will make it pass an agency’s reviewer. Here are the values I use that work for me.

Figure 4

Figure 4

In the Export Settings section, choose Quicktime as the format (figure 4). (Don’t have Quicktime as an option? You might not have Quicktime installed. Get the free installation files here.)

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Next, make sure Export Video is checked (figure 5). If you want to also export audio, check the Export Audio box (figure 5). You also decide the filename and file path/location in this section. Click on the Output Name link to set these values (figure 5). Keep track of where you export! I’ve overlooked this field in the past and just couldn’t find where on my hard drive my newly-exported clip went.

Figure 5

Figure 5

In the Video Codec section (figure 6), choose Photo-JPEG from the Video Codec pulldown menu. (Don’t see Photo-JPEG as an option? Check out this blog post.) Photo-JPEG is the only codec all mainstream agencies accept, so I recommend using this format. Other valid options might be Motion-JPEG or H.264, but for this example, I’m using Photo-JPEG.

Figure 6

Figure 6

In the Basic Video Settings section (figure 7), decide on the compression rate (Quality), from 0% to 100%. The higher the number, the better the quality of the export, but the larger the file size. I recommend using a value between 75% and 95%. Anything below 75% might be too low quality, and anything above 95% would probably only increase your file size with very little noticeable quality increase. In this example, I chose 90%.

Figure 7

Figure 7

The Width and Height, Frame Rate, Field Order, and Aspect Ratio values (figure 7) will probably already be set properly, so don’t bother changing these items unless you know what you are doing.

If you want to save these export settings to make life a little bit easier for you next time, click the Save button and name your preset (figure 8).

Figure 8

Figure 8

6. Hit Export, sit back, and relax while your movie is exporting. But don’t get too comfortable! Your new footage clip will be ready for submission within seconds.

Good luck!

By the way, the finalized clip of the bridge used in this example can be seen here.

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James Orlowski

James Orlowski is the owner of Orlowski Designs, LLC. He is an accomplished videographer and producer with nearly 20 years of video production.

A graduate from Penn State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Multimedia from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, he has years of experience shooting and selling stock footage on many of the major Internet-based microstock footage agencies.

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