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Export Format with maximum quality?

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guy jonesExport Format with maximum quality?
by on Apr 13, 2012 at 7:36:58 pm

Hi, as all users know there are many export option in After Effects, and only one of them is 'Uncompressed'.
The thing is, 'uncompressed' will render a RAW/original file of say 10mb into something about 10x bigger!!!
It's also an AVI file, which is ancient in terms of formats, and possibly the reason it becomes so big (not as sophisticated processing? just a thought.

The uncompressed/pure/maximum quality file should only be AS big as the original surely?

Anyway, thankyou for letting me air that confusion, the real question is, I'm trying to avoid having to purchase an Adobe 'Production Premium' bundle to get the 'dynamic link' that bypasses rendering between applications - I only use After Effects and Premier and don't want to pay for the other programs wrapped with them! - what is the next best option to preserve video quality as you go from AE to Pr?

thankyou!
Guy


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Walter SoykaRe: Export Format with maximum quality?
by on Apr 13, 2012 at 9:02:29 pm

AE's default lossless output module generates an intermediate file that is designed for additional post-production use, not direct playback. These files are generally huge, with very high data rates, and very few computers can play them back in real time without stuttering. For more, see this Adobe FAQ [link]: Why is my output file huge, and why doesn't it play back smoothly in a media player?

To help you choose a more suitable format for your needs, see the related Adobe FAQ [link]: What is the best format for rendering and exporting from After Effects?


[guy jones] "Hi, as all users know there are many export option in After Effects, and only one of them is 'Uncompressed'. The thing is, 'uncompressed' will render a RAW/original file of say 10mb into something about 10x bigger!!! It's also an AVI file, which is ancient in terms of formats, and possibly the reason it becomes so big (not as sophisticated processing? just a thought."

Not exactly. It is larger because uncompressed codecs prioritizes quality over file size. AVI is just a container; it's the codec that makes a file large or small.

Your 10MB file is presumably very highly compressed -- it has thrown away visual information to get the file size down.

An uncompressed version of exactly the same visual throws nothing away, and represents every single pixel in every single frame without making any efforts at reducing file size.

It's the same reason that an uncompressed TIFF will be larger than a compressed JPEG, even starting from the same source image.


[guy jones] "I'm trying to avoid having to purchase an Adobe 'Production Premium' bundle to get the 'dynamic link' that bypasses rendering between applications - I only use After Effects and Premier and don't want to pay for the other programs wrapped with them! - what is the next best option to preserve video quality as you go from AE to Pr?"

After Effects is $999. Premiere Pro is $799. Production Premium is $1699.

You're not paying extra for programs you don't need; you're getting Photoshop, Illustrator, Audition, Flash, etc. for free.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Erik WaluskaRe: Export Format with maximum quality?
by on Apr 14, 2012 at 4:53:30 am

Walter is right on, as per usual. I would add that photoshop and illustrator are absolutely invaluable to anyone working in serious video production of any kind. You may not think you need them, but once you have them you won't want to be without them. The other apps like bridge, encore and also very useful, depending on your particular needs.


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guy jonesRe: Export Format with maximum quality?
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 2:34:29 am

thanks this is really good info. To get back to the size of the original, when I say it's 10mb, I mean that's the .MOV file directly from the camera, so shouldn't that be the max size it will ever be?

Or am I misunderstanding that the file is bigger in fact but the .mov format holds it in a smaller/compressed container?
thankyou


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Walter SoykaRe: Export Format with maximum quality?
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 5:49:46 am

[guy jones] "thanks this is really good info. To get back to the size of the original, when I say it's 10mb, I mean that's the .MOV file directly from the camera, so shouldn't that be the max size it will ever be?"

Nope. The uncompressed version of that file will be bigger. Uncompressed doesn't mean no additional compression -- it means no compression whatsoever.

There's a lot to video compression, but basically, lossy video compression like H.264 throws away visual information to reduce the file size. It rounds off values. It ignores subtle differences in color. It approximates shapes or movement. It eliminates visual redundancies. Basically, it cheats. What you end up with is not what you started with.

Uncompressed video stores the exact value of every single pixel of every frame of video. It doesn't look for efficiency. It doesn't eliminate redundancy. It doesn't matter what the content is: even a full black field will store RGB [0,0,0] for every single pixel. A full uncompressed black frame will take the same amount of storage that a complicated image would.

So why does the file size grow when you go from compressed video to uncompressed?

Compressed video is just data. It doesn't look like a picture until it is decoded, and once it is decoded, the computer treats it as a series of uncompressed frames again in order to display or process it.

When you save that out as uncompressed, all the decoded pixel values are saved -- not the original data from the compressed frame. This doesn't improve the quality of the compressed original, but it does preserve it, precisely.

Here's a little math. Let's calculate the storage requirements for one second of uncompressed RGB video at 720p60.

The frame size is 1280x720, and each pixel is 24 bits (8 bits each for red, green, and blue values). That means every frame is 1280x720x24 bits, or a little more than 22 million bits, or about 2.6 megabytes. Since a second has 59.94 frames, we can multiply 2.6 MB * 59.94 to get 158 megabytes per second.

Our uncompressed file is 158 MB. It doesn't matter what the content is or how it originated; because we are storing all the RGB values of every single pixel, any picee of content 8-bit 720p60 content, no matter what its origin, must be 158 MB when saved as uncompressed RGB.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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guy jonesRe: Export Format with maximum quality?
by on Apr 20, 2012 at 8:04:32 pm

thankyou I've been scratching my head over that for years!


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