How to Dramatically Improve Your Video Quality in Adobe Premiere

Attention Adobe editors: You may have never noticed this control, but the Adobe Media Encoder’s Use Maximum Render Quality checkbox can noticeably increase frame clarity and overall output quality.

It can also increase rendering time significantly. If you’re using GPU-acceleration via an NVIDIA CUDA card and Adobe’s Mercury Playback Engine, however, you can minimize that extra rendering time.

This video shows you how to use this control, compares quality with and without the setting, and discusses NVIDIA-based GPU acceleration.


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  1. Excellent job Jan. I was not aware of the dramatic differences. Its good to know a CUDA card can reduce the excessive rendering time.

    Posted by Tom Dagion | November 2, 2011, 6:29 pm
    • Thanks, Tom. I had looked at this before and saw very little difference in side by side comparisons, but stacking the videos on the timeline was a more accurate view. Video producers spend lots of time and effort to maximize quality through the entire production workflow. To not click a simple checkbox at the very end that can make a significant difference in quality makes little sense.


      Posted by Jan Ozer | November 3, 2011, 8:22 am
  2. Very interesting comparison. I’ve always checked the box but I’ve never bothered to see if it made a difference or not.

    Posted by Tim L | November 8, 2011, 6:18 pm
  3. Thanks for commenting Tim, glad you found it useful.


    Posted by Jan Ozer | November 8, 2011, 11:42 pm
  4. Hey Jan,
    Great video! Did you do your tests with GPU acceleration or not or both scenarios?

    In one of the Adobe CS5.5 meetings I had it was explained to me that when leaving the the Max Render Quality box unchecked, the CUDA GPU acceleration resulted in higher quality renders non-GPU accelerated renders.

    And then they went on to say that because the CUDA card did the parallel processing, blah, blah, blah… you didn’t need to check maximum render quality with GPU acceleration as it would only take more time but not result in higher quality outputs.


    Posted by Shawn Lam | November 9, 2011, 7:38 pm
    • Hey Shawn:

      Good to see you on site; glad you liked the video.

      My two tests were:

      – No GPU, no Max Render vs.
      – GPU, with max render.

      In the reviewer’s guide, it was clear that all Adobe/NVIDIA benchmarks were with Max Render Quality enabled. This makes sure that all non-GPU accelerated effects were also rendered at highest quality. Here’s a query response with my NVIDIA contact.

      NVIDIAL: When Maximum Render Quality is enabled, the video data is kept in a 32bpc linear color space for the best quality. If you are using HW Mercury Playback, the sequences that are handled on the GPU are always processed in the this way (if a sequence has to be rendered on the CPU, say for a CPU only filter, then that portion will depend on the render quality setting).

      ME: If this last statement is true, shouldn’t you always render with max render quality selected, even with mercury GPU acceleration?

      NVIDIA: Yep, you would always want to enable Maximum render quality since otherwise you might find quality differences when a segment with CPU processing was sent to the encoder. (Since GPU processing is always high quality).


      – Reviewers guide makes it clear to use Max Render to reproduce NVIDIA’s performance/quality results

      – That’s the guidance I got directly from NVIDIA.

      Hope this helps.


      Posted by Jan Ozer | November 11, 2011, 8:51 am
  5. Thanks Jan! Your research is invaluable to my workflow and these findings are consistent with my own.

    Posted by Shawn Lam | November 17, 2011, 5:31 pm
  6. Beauty. Glad to hear it and thanks for sharing.


    Posted by Jan Ozer | November 17, 2011, 6:33 pm
  7. You know about encoding video…but AUDIO……..

    or is just a t-shirt around the mic?

    byeee thanks

    Posted by Me | December 7, 2011, 1:16 pm
  8. An essential quick easy tip to improve video clarity and output.

    Posted by James - United By Photography | February 17, 2012, 10:11 pm
  9. Am impress your tutorial, how can i downloads your clips

    Posted by Integrity Multimedia Productions | September 18, 2016, 4:28 pm
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