So I'm trying to upload videos to Youtube, but it says it doesn't recognize the file format.

I made a simple edit with the video sequence editor. I imported a picture and gave it a longer duration.

I'm just saving the file as it is, and then uploading it.

What should I do?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ You need to render the video out to a video format. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 1:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this isn't about Blender $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 2:44
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @BlendingJake I get what he's saying. See my answer. $\endgroup$
    – Daniel
    Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 2:51

2 Answers 2


Blender files are not video files. You need to render and export your video sequence in order to get a playable video.

(This is my workflow for Youtube publishing. Based on the "Advanced encoding settings" article and Blender's limitations. Of course, there are plenty of other ways to do it, but this is how I do it.)

Be advised that there are issues with Blender's output interface since 2.71. This is planed to be fixed around 2.74.

Video settings

  • Open the properties window and open the render context with the triangle button.

  • Under the Dimensions panel, select an appropriate resolution and frame rate. The resolutions that Youtube uses are the following:

    2160p: 3840x2160
    1440p: 2560x1440
    1080p: 1920x1080
    720p: 1280x720
    480p: 854x480
    360p: 640x360
    240p: 426x240

    All of these use the 16:9 aspect ratio. So if you're using a different aspect ratio, such as 4:3, youtube will covert it to 16:9 by adding black empty space on the left and right sides. Use one of the above resolutions for predictable results on Youtube. Note that this is not the same thing as the aspect ratio shown in Blender!

  • Make sure that you have set the end frame for however long you want your video to be. This can be calculated by frame rate x length of video in seconds.

  • Open the Output panel. Select H.264 for the file format. When you select that, a new panel named Encoding should appear.

  • Open the Encoding panel. Select the Quicktime format.

  • Select the H.264 codec.

  • Set the max bit rate to 0 to make Blender ignore it.

  • Set the bit rate to one of the following depending on your video resolution (These are only suggestions given by Youtube themselves. You can find higher quality suggestions on this page.)

    2160p: 35000-45000 (kb/s)
    1440p: 10000 (kb/s)
    1080p: 8000 (kb/s)
    720p: 5000 (kb/s)
    480p: 2500 (kb/s)
    360p: 1250 (kb/s)

Audio settings

If you want audio in your video:

  • Select AAC as your audio codec under the Encoding panel

  • Use whatever bitrate your source audio was recorded in.

Render and export

In order to finally render and export your video:

  • First, make sure you save your blend file somewhere. I've had issues of it not wanting to export if hadn't saved the blend first.

  • Under the Output panel, set where you want to export your video.

  • Go to the Render menu and select render animation.

You will get a .mov file in the folder where you exported your video. You can upload this to Youtube.

If you want to be finicky, you can convert that Quicktime file to MP4 using ffmpeg. 😊

ffmpeg -i INPUT.mov -vcodec copy -acodec copy OUTPUT.mp4

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the writeup! One question though: What's the difference from choosing MPEG-4 as the Format vs. converting the .mov to .mp4 using ffmpeg? $\endgroup$
    – mhutter
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ Every new conversion/encoding will lower your Video quality. $\endgroup$
    – Samoth
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 0:10
  • $\begingroup$ Now that we use 2.80, what file format should be used? H264 is not available as format. However, I can select ffmpeg as format and H264 as encoding. $\endgroup$
    – Gunslinger
    Commented Aug 11, 2019 at 10:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Gunslinger Thank you for the information. I noted we can also select "Quicktime" for "Container" when choosing "FFmpeg video" for "File Format". $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 11:53

Make sure, your render is in one of the supported YouTube file formats, namely .MOV, .MPEG4, .MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP or WebM. Only some of them are supported by Blender through the intenally used ffmpeg. It depends on your system and how Blender was compiled, but there already are other questions about this topic...

Consider using the recommended upload encoding settings: MP4 as a Container (without Edit lists), AAC-LC as an audio Codec with Stereo or Stereo+ 5.1 and a sample rate of 96 or 48 kHz, H.264 as video codec*, if possible the same framerate as it was recorded, deinterlace your footage if possible, use a 5Mbps Video Bitrate for 720p or 8Mbps for 1080p for standard framerates (24-30) or multiply by 1.5 for high framerates (48-60) and if possible use a 16:9 aspect ratio. For Audio use 384 kbps for stereo or 128 for mono. Not everything that YouTube recommends can be set up in Blender properly, though.

*For the H.264 video codec use:

Progressive scan (no interlacing), High Profile, 2 consecutive B frames, Closed GOP (GOP of half the frame rate), CABAC, Variable bitrate (No bitrate limit required, though we offer recommended bit rates below for reference), Chroma subsampling: 4:2:0.

To give you a few more details of what to setup in Blender for example for a 25 fps 720p video:

Example Dimension, Output & Encoding Settings

Hit Render Animation (CtrlF12), wait for it to finish and the upload the generated upload.mp4 next to your blend file to YouTube as described above.


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