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compression keyframing...

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andrew donaldson
compression keyframing...
on Feb 1, 2012 at 1:58:07 pm

Hi guys,

quick question:

I am rendering a video from AE into H.264 at pretty high quality.
The delivery is on iPad with the last frame of video freezing and holding.
My client has commented that the end frame isn't as crisp as they expected.

What i wanted to know was that in AE, or any 3rd party compressor tool, is there a way i can set a keyframe at a specific point in time?

*by setting a keyframe i mean in my H.264 compression render, not like an opacity keyframe!



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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: compression keyframing...
on Feb 1, 2012 at 2:26:43 pm

First I would not recommend using AE for compression. Render uncompressed and then compress that file using Adobe Media Encoder. Select 2 pass for best quality. As far as keyframes, you can select at what interval do you want them to be set. For best quality but also largest file size you can choose "1"- at each frame.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Michael Szalapski
Re: compression keyframing...
on Feb 1, 2012 at 3:02:10 pm

I would second what "Ted" said.
There are several reasons to not use AE for encoding.
One is that it can't do multipass encoding which gives you better quality at smaller file sizes.
Another is that you will most likely need to try several different compression settings to get the right quality. I'd rather not have to render my AE comp over again each time I need to try another compression.
As "Ted" said, I'd render a lossless file out of AE and use the Adobe Media Encoder or Quicktime Pro to do the final encoding.

- 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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andrew donaldson
Re: compression keyframing...
on Feb 1, 2012 at 7:51:47 pm

Thanks for your replies guys.

To be honest, i think its a bit of a fruitless quest, really.
I think that being on the iPad the client is expecting the detail in the fonts, etc. to look as sharp in the video as they do on the hi res pages throughout the feature.
And i know that however good you are at compressing your video it will never be as sharp as a high res photoshop image. sadly.

Thanks for the reminder about AME, I had actually forgotten all about that!


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Cassius Marques
Re: compression keyframing...
on Feb 1, 2012 at 7:55:41 pm

long have I been reading you guys saying "render uncompressed, do a 2-pass encoding on another software later...Its better, faster and so on..."

I do believe that's accurate, BUT from my experience today it can get tricky... for example I went on rendering uncompressed a 3'30'' video that I knew took some time to finish (bout 1h 15mins)... so I could get a better compression/quality ratio later.

It was 720p and I wanted wmv codec. it took me an extra hour to make AME yield the same size and quality as my default 4mbps 1-pass AE render (20minn each 3 times to get a nice quality). At the end it looked almost the same and had about 5mb less than a previous version I had rendered before.

SO TO SUMARIZE...I'm saying that if you don't have a SPECIFIC restriction in size. AE is fine.

I would though, be very happy to know what you guys usually go for (in terms of bitrate, and with what software) with some standards (SD, 720p, 1080p, on h264, wmv etc.)

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andrew donaldson
Re: compression keyframing...
on Feb 1, 2012 at 10:41:39 pm

Yeah, to be fair, I did find that rendering out uncompressed from AE and then compressing to H264 in AME didn't give me any better results.

But i do understand that stand alone apps (like the suggestions made by Roland that I will defo check out) will yield better results because that's what their main aim is!

Cheers guys!

oh, and for what its worth I rendered out my movie at 15Mbs 2pass VBR, keyframing every 12 frames, H264 and the client still wasn't really happy with the quality!

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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: compression keyframing...
on Feb 1, 2012 at 9:37:38 pm

You'll want a more full-fledged compression software than AME. AME is a very simple compression application. In the area of compression apps, AME is like iMovie/movieMaker.

Look at stuff from Telestream or Grass Valley's Procoder for a more professional compression app.


Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer

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