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CS 5.5 H.264 Serious Render Bug - bad encoding

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Matt SlocumCS 5.5 H.264 Serious Render Bug - bad encoding
by on May 4, 2012 at 11:33:37 pm

I have Adobe After Effects CS5.5 on Windows 7 SP1. This problem has been reported by dozens of our customers, and happening on many, many videos made by me and my two freelancers. Many of our videos give playback erros on professional presentation software like Media Shout and Pro Presenter. I'm also able to see oddities when playing the videos in QuickTime player and Windows Media Player.

  • Windows Media Player plays until the end and then during the final second it gives the error: Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file.

  • QuickTime Player: Shows an "extra black looking" first frame. If I press the right arrow key, then it jumps to the end of the video. It also sometimes freezes the previous image when you start the video back over at the beginning. Clearly there is either a header error or some frame(s) is not encoded properly.

  • I'm not sure all the exact error messages of the presentation software, but it doesn't play properly and causes problems during presentations.


  • Often times I've been able to fix the problem by trimming the rendered extra black off the end of the video, but sometimes this is not possible because of trailing music. I am sometimes (but not always) able to fix the problem by changing the h.264 profile settings. I've had best success by setting HD (1280x720) videos to Profile: Baseline and Level: 3.2 (attached are setting screenshots).

    I have tried 50+ setting varieties on 3 different computers, and I'm starting to think that there is a render bug in Adobe's H.264 encoder. The bug happens regardless if I use either After Effects CS5.5 or Media Encoder CS5.5 to render. Has anyone else had similar problems? Any ideas as to what to try?




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    mathew fullerRe: CS 5.5 H.264 Serious Render Bug - bad encoding
    by on May 5, 2012 at 12:42:12 am

    I never make h264 from AE. I always render a quicktime and then export an H264 from Quicktime Pro.

    I'd check how often you are setting keyframes in the compression settings... I'd set one every 30 frames or so if your video doesn't edit too quickly.

    The higher they fly... the much.
    My Reel:






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    Dave LaRondeRe: CS 5.5 H.264 Serious Render Bug - bad encoding
    by on May 8, 2012 at 3:32:18 am

    [Matt Slocum] "I have tried 50+ setting varieties on 3 different computers, and I'm starting to think that there is a render bug in Adobe's H.264 encoder."

    Wrong. AE's H.264 encoder was never intended to be used for final delivery. If you're using it that way, you're using it the wrong way. It's intended for quick 'n dirty renders to clients, stuff for the kids, etc. I'd never use it for serious delivery.

    Drag those lossless files mad with AE into Adobe Media Encoder -- it does batch processing -- set it up to make H.264's, and life becomes good again.

    Dave LaRonde
    Sr. Promotion Producer
    KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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    Post removed by author on Jul 19, 2014 at 7:29:46 am.

    trevor bajusRe: CS 5.5 H.264 Serious Render Bug - bad encoding
    by on Jun 26, 2014 at 6:34:29 pm

    I'm a little shocked at both the tone and substance of this reply.

    I hardly think such peevish nastiness is warranted because someone expects the H.264 renderer to render H.264.

    If it doesn't work, Adobe shouldn't put it in. If Adobe is going to put it in, then they should make it work. I hardly think this is an unreasonable request.


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    Michael SzalapskiRe: CS 5.5 H.264 Serious Render Bug - bad encoding
    by on Jun 26, 2014 at 7:32:25 pm

    [trevor bajus] "If it doesn't work, Adobe shouldn't put it in."

    Well, if it's any indication, Adobe has removed it from their latest version.

    - The Great Szalam
    (The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

    No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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