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Image quality loss (banding) in any video compression-full quality PhotoJPG, Prores, NTSC (After Effects preview and Image Sequence fine)

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Rosa Gaia
Image quality loss (banding) in any video compression-full quality PhotoJPG, Prores, NTSC (After Effects preview and Image Sequence fine)
on Sep 14, 2014 at 1:33:33 am

I made an SD video in After Effects that simulated fog/ smoke using fractal noise. The preview in AE looks great, and I exported it lossless and full quality. But I've tried basically every compression type at the highest quality/ largest data rate and it looks very low quality no matter what. There is lots of banding and very nuance between the different shades of black and white.

When I exported it as a TIFF image sequence the individual photos look great. But any compression I use makes the image look awful, even photojpg and prores, and NTSC at it's highest quality.

Here is a sample of the image compressed in prores (banding, yuckiness- the other compressions look similar):


Here is a sample of the image sequence (no banding, sharp, lots of shades of B and W)


I will be projecting the image very large on a wall in a performance using an SD projector and I want the image to look smooth and atmospheric. Help!!!


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John Cuevas
Re: Image quality loss (banding) in any video compression-full quality PhotoJPG, Prores, NTSC (After Effects preview and Image Sequence fine)
on Sep 14, 2014 at 1:09:07 pm

Try working and exporting in a 16 or 32 bit codec. Also, I've found by adding an adjustment layer with a noise effect, with the noise set to 1 to 1.5% can also break up the banding.

Finally you might want to check out this tutorial: How to remove banding artifacts in AE, from GreyScaleGorilla.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Rosa Gaia
Re: Image quality loss (banding) in any video compression-full quality PhotoJPG, Prores, NTSC (After Effects preview and Image Sequence fine)
on Sep 15, 2014 at 3:30:55 pm

Thank you so much! Changing it to 32 bit fixed a lot of the problem on its own, and your AE project made it even better.


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Chris Wright
Re: Image quality loss (banding) in any video compression-full quality PhotoJPG, Prores, NTSC (After Effects preview and Image Sequence fine)
on Sep 14, 2014 at 1:39:21 pm
Last Edited By Chris Wright on Sep 14, 2014 at 2:21:44 pm

if fact, the lower picture has banding, just less noticeable. that is why it doesn't show up till you compress.
you should work in 16bpc and if possible, and if the projector supports it, render out 16bpc(trillions of colors) as well. the 4:4:4 shouldn't matter too much since you are b/w. just stay away from jpeg sequences. They really don't work well with smoke. You can also post render-blur(if you're forced to go 8bit) the banding with procedural keyers that detect it, render as high quality 8 bit then compress later in adobe media encoder

8 bit debander invert the alpha mask if necessary cs5.5
http://f1.creativecow.net/6898/bandingwhite-masker

i for one, am in the group that doesn't think adding noise/grain to everything makes it better. it occludes it simply because the whole picture gets noisy. The banding is still there. This also makes compression more difficult for the web codecs.


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Rosa Gaia
Re: Image quality loss (banding) in any video compression-full quality PhotoJPG, Prores, NTSC (After Effects preview and Image Sequence fine)
on Sep 15, 2014 at 3:34:06 pm

I didn't really notice that there is subtle banding on the image in AE; great point. Good to know about the noise issues. Thank you.


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George Goodman
Re: Image quality loss (banding) in any video compression-full quality PhotoJPG, Prores, NTSC (After Effects preview and Image Sequence fine)
on Sep 15, 2014 at 3:24:38 pm

use the scatter effect - reduces banding significantly (basically the same as the noise suggestion)

"|_ (°_0) _|"

Sincerely,

George

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