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  • Writer's pictureFrank Udavcak | X3 CEO

What is VBR Pass? | Adobe Premiere Tutorials

Updated: May 13

So you started using video editing software and want to go export something. Most of the options are confusing but there's something that says CBR, VBR, and VBR 2. Well, 2 is always better, right?

When rendering, your computer is compiling all of the data in the timeline in to one single file. It is compressing all of the information in to a "bit rate." A bit rate is how much information is being read/write in a file process.

VBR means variable bit rate.

CBR means constant bit rate.

When you're watching a blu-ray movie, you can turn on the information panel and see the bit rate from scene to scene. A good blu-ray will have about 40MB/s stream average. Say in one scene, it's a single lamp in the dark. The image data is isn't as complex as a crowd full of people and special effects. In a VBR, the video's bit rate would reflect this with a lower bit rate being in the first scene and then gradually increasing to handle the bigger scene.

VBR allows a smaller file size as it accommodates the progressive imagery.

CBR would try to maintain the same (sometimes contrived) bit rate for the frames that don't require it. This wouldn't add any quality but rather add file size for no reason.

So that brings us to VBR 2 pass. This form of rendering does ONE PASS run-through of the timeline without compiling anything. This first pass is to read the images and media and determine where more information would require a higher biotrate and where it can slow it down.

The 2ND PASS is where the video applies this analysis and complies the file accordingly. The benefit of a VBR 2 PASS is that you have a completely optimized file without the loss of any quality. The file is able to process changes in scenery more efficiently.

When To Choose Render PASS VBR 2??

This is one of those things that in theory, it is always better. You are getting higher quality images at a smaller file size. The caveat is it takes much longer. If you are on a timeline and need a file, you should go with 1 Pass. The quality difference isn't significant enough that someone will notice; but it's way faster.

What about the other settings?

Learn more about Premiere Pro, Final Cut, Adobe Rush, and other video and photo render settings with X3 Tutorials & Blog posts coming soon. For now, visit for more information of the video production services we offer.

Here's some of the settings YouTube recommends.

X3 is a digital marketing and production company offering 4K video content, paid advertising, and data driven growth strategies.


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