How to make videos for social media EASY & AUTOMATICALLY!
OK, set up is hard, but the rest is easy – and automatically is key 🙂 ! Today you will learn how to set up an automated pipeline to take one video source and automatically make videos with formats and sizes perfect for all your social media needs. Translated?
Copy a video file into a folder and magically create multiple video files formatted for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Posts & Stories, YouTube, and whatever else you want!
Who wouldn’t want that? 🙂
Each output video filename will be tagged with the social media platform and format so you can easily identify them. Once we set up our pipeline, we can generate any desired video formats without even pushing a button!
Tools you’ll need:
- Adobe Media Encoder 2020, part of the excellent Adobe Creative Cloud suite. I’m using the Windows version.
- Boone’s Instagram Presets for Adobe. For some reason Adobe still hasn’t included presets for Instagram. 🤷♂️
- Videos of any format!
- Twitter 1080p Full HD (1920×1080 @ 30fps / target rate: 2.048 Mbps)
- Instagram Posts (Square format 1080×1080 @ 23.976fps / target rate: 5 Mbps)
- Instagram Stories (900×1600 @ 23.976fps / target rate: 5 Mbps)
- Facebook 1080p Full HD (1920×1080 @ match source fps / target rate: 12 Mbps)
- YouTube 1080p Full HD (1920×1080 @ match source fps / target rate: 16 Mbps)
- (Any other formats that you can set up and customize!)
The hard work will be in setting up the presets and pipelines upfront. Once set up, you can drop any video into the pipeline and out comes your wonderful videos for all your hungry social media needs!
For our example, we will use the short video we created to highlight some new Victory animation and effects that we posted to Twitter here. This same video was encoded to all the previous mentioned video formats.
New Victory animation and effects! What do you think?#indiedev #indiegames #gamedev #vfx #indieDevWorldOrder #madewithunity #puzzlegames #match3 pic.twitter.com/gyZ5bFXXNr— PorpoiseStudios (@PorpoiseStudios) May 5, 2020
Now let’s get started!
Locate the Adobe pre-installed encoding presets
First locate the pre-installed encoding presets. Encoding presets tell the Media Encoder what type of video files to create. For example, what resolution and video encoding type.
- Look for the Preset Browser window.
- If you don’t see it, goto the menu -> Window -> Preset Browser
- Within it there’s a System Presets group.
- Navigate to Web Video -> Social Media
- Here you will see all the presets for Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and YouTube.
Add the Instagram encoding presets
- Download Boone’s Instagram Presets
- Unzip them into a directory
- In the Adobe Media Encoder menu, navigate to Preset -> Import…
- Select the directory you unzipped the presets from step #2
- Select all of the .EPR files and import them
When you’re done, you should see the presets in your Preset Browser under User Presets & Groups.
Now you have presets for the major social media sites.
Create your own Ingest presets
Ingest presets tell Media Encoder what to do with the video file. They are different from Encoding presets. You can add metadata, copy files to a destination, or rename files to a specific naming format. We’ll use the ingest presets to rename our files with a naming convention that easily identifies what files are which format.
We’ll need 5 total presets: 1 for Twitter, 2 for Instagram, 1 for Facebook, and 1 for YouTube.
These steps will show Twitter but you can repeat the steps for the other 4.
To create an ingest preset:
- Click on the little “+” icon in the Preset Browser and select Create ingest Preset…
- A new popup will appear:
- Let’s name the Preset “My Twitter 1080p Full HD”
- Select “Transcode files to Destination”
- Put in your destination folder you created in the previous section. Here I used “C:\Incoming Videos” for my example
- Format: Select “H.264”
- Preset: Select “Twitter 1080p Full HD”. (This was the pre-installed Adobe preset.)
- Check the “Rename Files” checkbox
- If this is the first time you’ve created an ingest preset, you will see <none>
- Select the rightmost down-arrow (or carat), highlighted in blue above. Select New Preset
- Select the “+” button
- And select File Name. It now looks like this:
- Select the “+” button again and select Custom Text. In the text box type in “ – Twitter 1080p Full HD” (without the quotes)
- Click on the blue icon with the down arrow to save the File Rename Preset. I just gave it the same name “Twitter 1080p Full HD”
- Then click the OK button. You have created your first ingest preset!
- This preset tells Media Encoder to output a file for Twitter at 1080p Full HD.
You should see a row in the Preset Browser like this:
- Now repeat the above steps 4 more times to create ingest profiles for the other media formats! For each, you’ll want to link to the correct encoding preset. So for the Instagram ones, you’ll want to select one of Boone’s Instagram presets.
PHEW! That was hard work! But I guarantee the payoff will come at the end! Now let’s set up our Watch Folders.
Create a folder for your videos to be encoded
The great part about this automated pipeline is that you can drop any video files to a specified folder and Media Encoder will automatically see it and generate the output video files. This magic happens with the “Watch Folders” feature which we will cover a little bit later.
First let’s pick a folder for your “Incoming Videos”. I created mine in “C:\Incoming Videos”. You can pick any folder you’d like.
(Pick a drive that has lots of hard drive space if you’re planning on doing lots of video work!)
Media Encoder will then output video files in an “Output” subfolder within “C:\Incoming Videos”.
Ok, now that we have our folder designated, let’s move onto the next steps: Telling Media Encoder what to do.
Create “Watch Folders”
Watch Folders tell Media Encoder to look for new video files dropped into the “C:\Incoming Videos” folder, then automatically start the encoding process to create your output videos. Neat huh!? So let’s set that up!
- On the right hand side of Media Encoder, look for the “Watch Folders” window panel. (If you don’t see it, goto Windows -> Watch Folders)
- Click on the “+” sign under Watch Folders and select the “C:\Incoming Videos” folder that you created earlier.
- Media Encoder will automatically create an Output folder within that folder. This will be where all your output video files go.
- Your setup should now look something like this:
- Now comes a little bit of a tricky part. You don’t want to create more monitors of the same folder. Instead you’ll want to create 4 more video outputs (for other social media platforms) within the same folder. So instead of clicking the “+” again, click on the icon to the right of the “+”. This allows you to Add Output.
- But you may run into this error:
- This is because you may have “My Twitter 1080p Full HD” selected. This is an Ingest preset. Instead you’ll want to select an Encoding preset.
- Click on the little caret down arrow icon to the left of “My Twitter 1080p Full HD” and temporarily select the built-in Adobe preset “Twitter 1080p Full HD”. This is the Encoding preset.
- Now you can select the Add Output icon again. Click Add Output 4 more times for a total of 5 outputs.
- Now for each of them, select the right Ingest profile. When you’re done, you should have 5 total output configurations:
(Note: I named my final profiles with a “CK” prefix). So now they’re all configured with Ingest presets and we worked around the error earlier.
- Update: Another workaround is to select an Encoding preset for your initial setup (set #4 above). You will then avoid the error in step #6. I’ve noticed Media Encoder may trip up and generate a 0 length file with your Ingest preset’s custom name, but then correctly generate the default filename specified within the original Encoding preset
- Goto the Queue window and check the Auto-Encode Watch Folders checkbox
Guess what?? You’re done with the set up! PHEWWW!!!! Give yourself a pat on the back!
How to use it!
Now that we’ve set it up, here’s the magic:
- Drop a video into the “C:\Incoming Videos” folder. In this example I copied the short video “Warghs – WonPopup.mp4” I created earlier into the folder.
- Note: you can also save or copy Adobe Premiere or Adobe Premiere Rush project files to this directory and it’ll auto-process them!
- Media Encoder automatically sees that and starts working right away! (The paths in the screenshot below are different than the example above)
- The final output: 5 different formats of the same video all ready for publishing to social media!
You can now choose your own method to publish. Adobe has some built-in tools or you can choose to do so manually. Here’s the Publish tab within an Encoding preset:
But actual publishing to social media is a whole different topic best suited for the social media experts (not me!). This is a great article to start with, although from a couple years back.
I hope this was helpful and saves you lots of time in the future! If you know other tips & tricks, please do share! Thank you!