Should I recommend my students set ShotCut to 1280 x 720 at 30 fps? They generate their videos from photographs and clip art with an audio track for voice-over and another for background music.
My students will primarily post their videos to YouTube, Facebook and similar social sites that set a 30fps maximum and a 16:9 ratio.
My current 1920 x 1080 seems overkill for photos and clipart. And though Facebook and YouTube set 30fps only as a maximum, I get the impression that Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Twitter expect 30fps.
I am just not technically literate enough to know what should work best for my students.
Another factor could be the speed of the computers that the students are using. If this is a school classroom with very old hardware, then 1280x720 @ 30fps could make for a much smoother editing experience than 1920x1080 @ 60fps. But if the computers can handle the higher settings, go for it.
The other factor would be the frame rate of the sources. If all the sources are 30fps, then editing and exporting at 60fps doesn’t accomplish anything except consume more disk space and CPU, because the frames from the 30fps video will simply be doubled to scale it up to 60fps. It won’t improve visual quality. However, if you have 60fps sources, then editing and exporting at 60fps will definitely give the best results visually.
As for YouTube recommending 30/60fps, that’s a regional thing. YouTube does not expect its audience to be video encoding experts. So when people search for a recommendation, YouTube provides one based on region even though the platform itself supports everything with no problem. They want to provide a simple answer to people who don’t want to be confused by 15 different options. But in reality, you can throw anything you want at YouTube and it will play just fine.
Expand the “frame rate” section of this page to get a sample of the frame rates that YouTube vocally supports. The only thing they seem to strongly encourage is that interlaced video be deinterlaced to progressive before upload, although YouTube will deinterlace video itself if needed. It just may not be the quality level you hope for.
Thank you @Hudson555x. What I am trying to do is to provide my prospective students, who likely have never used a video editor before, with as simple and positive experience as I can. They are uploading photographs and perhaps clip art to create a video that they will want to share with friends and family through social media or perhaps even email. The success of my course depends on positive results. And I am trying to avoid unnecessarily jeopardizing that with bad technical advice.
Given the sources that are used for these scrapbook videos, there is also the option of 1920x1080 30fps recommended for everybody, but the slower hardware users can use the new preview scaling feature released in the 20.02.17 version of Shotcut to boost editing performance. That feature may be a little too much for completely new students on Day One, but it could be a useful option for more advanced students, like when Day Three rolls around.