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I'm on a Mac. My exported videos NEVER work for my clients on PC. How to get around this?

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Laci Morgan
I'm on a Mac. My exported videos NEVER work for my clients on PC. How to get around this?
on Jul 27, 2011 at 10:09:35 pm

I do all my animation and editing on my Macbook Pro. However, many of my clients use PCs and are not usually very computer savvy. Every time I send them a high res .mov file, they say it won't play for them, or is only playing audio, though it always works fine on my computer. I've also had clients request an .avi, but I can't seem to figure out how to do that...in After Effects CS5, I'm not seeing that export option. In the past, I've used an online converter in a pinch, but my videos are usually too big for that, or I don't want the extra compression.


Is there any way I can get a decent .avi out of my mac from After Effects that will play on a PC? Or can you recommend a way to convert the .mov to .avi without losing quality?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: I'm on a Mac. My exported videos NEVER work for my clients on PC. How to get around this?
on Jul 27, 2011 at 10:34:43 pm

The knee-jerk recommendation: buy Flip4Mac by Telestream. It can make dandy Windows-centric media files.

But you might also want to try rendering image sequences rather than Quicktimes; I recommend PNG sequences. Any competent editor should know what to do with them. They're lossless, too....

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


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Jamie Adam
Re: I'm on a Mac. My exported videos NEVER work for my clients on PC. How to get around this?
on Jan 2, 2013 at 3:34:30 pm

PNG are not lossless, but tiff files are.


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Tom Daigon
Re: I'm on a Mac. My exported videos NEVER work for my clients on PC. How to get around this?
on Jan 2, 2013 at 3:41:15 pm

Jamie, that is incorrect. PNG is lossless.

http://www.libpng.org/pub/png/

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





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Walter Soyka
Re: I'm on a Mac. My exported videos NEVER work for my clients on PC. How to get around this?
on Jan 2, 2013 at 7:27:15 pm

[Jamie Adam] "PNG are not lossless, but tiff files are."

Not only is PNG lossless, but TIFF can be lossy.

The old joke with TIFF goes that the acronym expands to "Thousands of Incompatible File Formats."

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
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Tom Daigon
Re: I'm on a Mac. My exported videos NEVER work for my clients on PC. How to get around this?
on Jan 2, 2013 at 8:22:08 pm

That reminds me off the humorous acronym for NTSC. Never the same color :D

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





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Greg Burrus
Re: I'm on a Mac. My exported videos NEVER work for my clients on PC. How to get around this?
on Jul 27, 2011 at 10:46:05 pm

I have had the same issue before though typical I use to always a work from PC to Mac and usually I worked on the files on Mac too.

What codec are you using for your .mov files? If you trying to give them the best quality such as using animation then at high quality it just wont play due to processing power that most machines don't have and if your clients are not tech savvy then pc will be in mid to low range I suspect. My Laptop stalls sometimes and it's fairy highend (or was a year ago).

There should be a avi setting I remember correctly on mac though I don't think I've ever used it. You may want to render though media encoder since it works with AE. Typical I would use make a mp4 or if using mov use the mp4 codec other wise like you said it will only play audio or for me sometimes it's just video. Some times you can play that on pc even through windows media player...


I like Dave's idea for png's that has worked for me too.


Hope that helps and you figure it out.



Greg

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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: I'm on a Mac. My exported videos NEVER work for my clients on PC. How to get around this?
on Jul 28, 2011 at 5:45:16 pm

You can open the AE project in Adobe Media Encoder, choose the comp you want rendered and choose a preset from there- plenty of options that will work on a PC just fine.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Brendan Coots
Re: I'm on a Mac. My exported videos NEVER work for my clients on PC. How to get around this?
on Jul 28, 2011 at 7:37:42 pm

"Every time I send them a high res .mov file"

Most important question here is what codec are you outputting to?

When they say "it won't play" you need to know specifically if the file gives an error, stutters along or simply gives a black screen even though the timeline is moving along.

If opening the file gives them an error, it could be a few different things:
- The file is larger than 2GB, which a lot of PC users will have trouble with
- if you are delivering via CD or DVD, make sure that the disc is being encoded for both PC and Mac. This should be an option in your burning software.
- Make sure the client actually has Quicktime Player installed.

If it stutters, their machine can't handle it and not much you can do about that.

If it plays black, they probably don't have the right codec installed. You should be using Animation Codec or something equally commonplace to avoid this issue.


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Laci Morgan
Re: I'm on a Mac. My exported videos NEVER work for my clients on PC. How to get around this?
on Jul 28, 2011 at 7:44:25 pm

I think most of the time this happens, it tends to be that the clients aren't so tech-friendly. They expect a fully finished clip that plays perfectly without any adjusting on their end, so when they try to view it and it doesn't work, they assume I did something wrong. I think some of you hit it right on the head, usually they just need to update their quicktime or something like that, but oftentimes it annoys them to have to do so. Oh well!

I'll look into the Flip4Mac thing, thanks!

I've tried using Adobe Media Encoder, but I'm not seeing a basic .avi export (unless I'm missing something), just exports to various devices like the iphone, etc. I tried a few of the options, and it tends to pixelate the videos too much.

I usually use the Animation codec and the "best quality" settings in AE, though I've tried a few various combinations as well just to test (no difference). I think it mainly boils down to them not having the latest player updates.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: I'm on a Mac. My exported videos NEVER work for my clients on PC. How to get around this?
on Jul 28, 2011 at 8:29:19 pm

[Laci Morgan] "...the clients aren't so tech-friendly. They expect a fully finished clip that plays perfectly without any adjusting on their end..."

Yup. Keep the clients happy. Invest in Flip4Mac. There are a few versions. Buy the one that will meet both current and future needs.

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


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Matthew Keane
Re: I'm on a Mac. My exported videos NEVER work for my clients on PC. How to get around this?
on Aug 1, 2011 at 5:01:02 pm

An alternative, if you have a recent Mac, would be to install VirtualBox/VMware Fusion/Parallels to run a virtual install of Windows, and then download the free Windows Media Encoder from Microsoft to encode WMV files for your client. It's a bit more hassle to set up, but it means you can also test playback on a PC before sending the files to the client.


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