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Bad Quality after rendering

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Stefan EhrenfeldBad Quality after rendering
by on Aug 3, 2009 at 7:45:17 am

Hey all!
I keep having this problem with bad quality results after rendering my projects in After Effects CS4.
I don't even know what to look for because i don't know what this error is called, but it looks like layers or something in my animated clouds.
i uploaded one of my videos here: http://www.vimeo.com/5905606

could someone tell me what i do wrong? i rendered the video in several different settings, but
this is as good as i can get it.

thanks so much

stefan


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Ben HeusnerRe: Bad Quality after rendering
by on Aug 3, 2009 at 1:56:06 pm

Are you talking about the banding? That's a common artefact of 8-bit per channel colour. Try kicking your project up to 16 bit or 32 bits. Some useful blurb from the manual.

Alternatively, adding a bit of noise can also help break up the banding.

You never said which formats you rendered to. Could also be a limitation of your export codec/compression settings.

All the best,
Ben

Curious Turtle Pro Video
Training | Editing | Support


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Stefan EhrenfeldRe: Bad Quality after rendering
by on Aug 4, 2009 at 4:45:18 am

Hey Ben!
Thanks a lot for the suggestions! I increased the channels to 16 and to 32, but both didn't make a difference.
I've done a few projects on after effects before, but i still don't quite know how to export my videos the best way. usually i produce them for dvd, but a lot of them need to be converted for the web as well.
This banding artefact appears again and again.

What is the difference between the two AE choices 'export/mpeg-4' and export/quicktime movie?
AE gives me a warning that this is not the common way to do it, when i want to render a quicktime movie although i get the best results there (i get terrible results with rendering in mpeg-4).
In both, mpg-4 and quicktime movie i use the h.264 codec. The web video would be in 352x288, the dvd export would be ether 'pal; 720x576; 16:9' or ntsc; 720x486; 16:9;
other than that i usually don't change anything else in the AE standard settings.

Can you give me any tips about what to look at for better rendering results?

Thanks so much!

Stefan


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Ben HeusnerRe: Bad Quality after rendering
by on Aug 4, 2009 at 5:17:46 am

For a start, you'll probably be better served using the Render Queue instead of the Export.

H264 is a very lossy codec especially at "web export" standards, which is why you get the small file sizes. The banding is an artefact of data being discarded whilst compressing the video, so one technique would be to give it more data to work with. Up the data rate.

This on its own might not be enough to get rid of the banding, so adding a small amount of noise is a simple technique to help break it up a bit.

You may not be able to avoid completely depending on your subject matter and target data rate.

All the best,
Ben

Curious Turtle Pro Video
Training | Editing | Support


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Chris WrightRe: Bad Quality after rendering
by on Aug 4, 2009 at 8:22:58 am

I feel your pain. The correct thing you're looking for is trillions+=16 bit, not millions=8 bit. If the codec doesn't support it, it will be grayed out. A lotta hollywood movies are rendered out after color correction in Tiff(lzw off) trillions+ to maintain color while dropping the cineon format for file size. If you're looking for a final output format, you'll have to fork out some doh, because the 64 bit(16bpc) ones aren't free. Strangely, PNG's can be 16 bit but not in quicktime container.

oh yea, don't forget that you have to use 16bit or 32bit plugins too. It won't matter if your project settings are 32bpc if you have any 8bit plugins with little "!" yellow icons messing up your project.


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