Vibrant, crisp and beautiful videos are the gold standard online. At Kapwing, we aim to make video creation not just easy, but also high quality. Here are some technical tips and commonly asked questions around output quality to improve your creations.

Can I publish high quality videos?

Yes - Kapwing offers standard and high definition publishing for all accounts made with Studio. While editing your project, click the Settings gear in the top right hand corner. It will open a Settings modal with the following options, where you can choose video quality:

Choose Standard or High Quality Video Output

Keep in mind that processing times may double for High quality, so if you're short on time or need a small final file size, we recommend Standard.

What is the difference between Standard and High quality on Kapwing?

High quality will publish in 1080p while Standard quality publishes in 720p. These refer to display resolution.

720p is HD or "HD Ready" resolution and has the dimensions 1280 x 720.

1080p is FHD or "Full HD" resolution and has the dimensions 1920 x 1080.

While 720p was considered HD in the past, with resolution improving online, many platforms now consider 1080p to be the threshold for HD streaming. This means that if you want your video to have an HD setting on platforms like YouTube, you'll need to publish in 1080p.

720p versus 1080p comparison

Does Kapwing support 4K videos?

No. While you can upload 4K videos into Kapwing, your footage will be downsampled to 1080p. For faster uploads, we recommend pre-converting your footage to 1080p with Quicktime or another video software.

4K videos have four times as many pixels as 1080p, so keep in mind that there may be some quality lost in this process.

My uploaded video is HD - why is the published quality worse?

In most cases, there should be nearly no noticeable difference in quality – but depending on how you're editing, some changes can impact the published product.

First, check that your project was created with Studio and its settings are set to High Quality, not Standard.

Next, check your output size. Are you selecting a standard output size or inputting a custom one? If your output size is less than 1080p, Kapwing has to downsample your video to meet your custom dimensions.

For example, a custom video set to 500 x 500 pixels is much smaller than 1920 x 1080 pixels. In order to match those custom dimensions, the resolution will decrease.

Custom Output Size Settings

Did you resize or crop your video? If the output aspect ratio of your video changes, it could affect the output quality of your project.

Finally, check to see if your video is filling the entirety of your canvas. If your HD video is not the full size of your canvas, it might experience some quality loss - due to shrinking the video or adjusting the aspect ratio.

Example of videos with adjusted sizes

How does resizing my video affect the publish quality?

To understand how resizing your video may affect the output quality of your project, let's first review aspect ratio.

Aspect ratio is the proportional difference between width and height. The most common ratio is 16:9 for videos - like a widescreen TV. Instagram popularized the 1:1 ratio with square images. Now, 9:16 is popular due to vertical videos on phones and apps like TikTok.

Common aspect ratios compared

Depending on where you plan to show your published project, you may choose a different output aspect ratio. In Kapwing you can easily customize the output size of your entire project:

Choosing an output aspect ratio

You can also crop any uploaded video using standard aspect ratios as well, with our Crop tool:

Cropping a video with common aspect ratios

It's important to keep in mind that changing the final size of your video can affect the quality of your video. For example, if you upload a 1080p video and publish it as a High Quality 9:16 video, Kapwing has to stretch the dimensions of your original video to publish at that aspect ratio.

This is because your 1080p video is 1920px wide and 1080px high - a 16:9 aspect ratio. In order to change this into 9:16, Kapwing has to grab a vertical rectangle portion of your original video. Because your original video is only 1080 pixels high, to maintain a 9:16 ratio, the width will be 607.5 pixels.

How aspect ratio changes affect resolution

However, if you choose to publish in High quality, Kapwing has to "stretch" your original footage to publish in 1080p - increasing it by 178%. In the process of stretching your video to fit a High Quality output, the resolution (or perceived quality) will be reduced.

Think about a balloon. A deflated balloon is often a vibrant, strong color - but as you inflate it and the material stretches out, the balloon becomes more transparent and less vibrant.

The visual quality of balloons can decrease as they stretch

Even if you start with a 1080p HD quality video and publish in 1080p HD quality, due to aspect ratio changes, the quality can decrease.

We recommend filming your HD footage in the aspect ratio that you plan to publish to avoid any quality loss. Learn more about resolution in this article.

My file size is too large. How can I reduce it while still maintaining quality?

Whether you're hitting the file size limits on Kapwing or want to speed up the uploading process, there are ways to reduce file size without losing quality.

This article outlines tools that can help like Quicktime, VLC, and Shotcut.

My file size is smaller after Kapwing published it. Does this mean it’s reduced quality?

No - Kapwing does not reduce the quality of your files. File size and resolution can correspond, but not always. It's important to note that file size depends on codec, format, size and bit rate – and not all of these are related to quality.

Kapwing converts and compresses your video files to maintain a smaller file size, while still protecting your file's quality.

Why does Kapwing convert my video? Is that affecting quality?

No - this only helps speed up your projects. Kapwing converts all videos into MP4 format so that the file size is smaller while the resolution is maintained, to keep your processing times to a minimum.

For example, an uncompressed 1080p file that is 355MB can reduce to just 6.6MB, depending on the compression. By compressing the file size, your project files can be sent to our servers more quickly yet still process with the same quality.

You may also notice that Kapwing converts videos on upload. This allows you to use a variety of file formats (like avi, mov, flv) in one project, even if they're typically incompatible with your browser.

I'm still experiencing quality loss - can you help?

If none of the above tips have resolved the issue, you can contact us or submit a feedback form.