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Using MTS files in After Effects

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Ray Mu
Using MTS files in After Effects
on Mar 14, 2010 at 3:02:37 pm

I have a hdr xr500v avchd camcorder, and when i import files into after effects, sometimes they are fine, but most of the time they are not. I noticed sometimes the composition settings change how they look. I was wondering what I should make the settings.

Also, sometimes frames repeat and pixels become distorted.

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Ben Heusner Brownlee
Re: Using MTS files in After Effects
on Mar 15, 2010 at 7:43:11 am

You don't want to be working with this type of asset in After Effects. Transcode the footage to something else that "plays nice" before bringing it in. Do a search for Dave LaRonde's handy stock answer #1 (or is it #2?). This comes up a lot!

With regards to the composition settings, which format are you recording in? It's likely to be with a non-square pixel aspect ratio that isn't being picked up 100% by AE. Check out the Interpret Footage settings.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Using MTS files in After Effects
on Mar 15, 2010 at 6:05:37 pm

You were right the first time, Ben. Don't second guess yourself.
Dave's Stock Answer #1:

If the footage you imported into AE is any kind of the following -- footage in an HDV acquisition codec, MPEG1, MPEG2, mp4, m2t, H.261 or H.264 -- you need to convert it to a different codec.

These kinds of footage use temporal, or interframe compression. They have keyframes at regular intervals, containing complete frame information. However, the frames in between do NOT have complete information. Interframe codecs toss out duplicated information.

In order to maintain peak rendering efficiency, AE needs complete information for each and every frame. But because these kinds of footage contain only partial information, AE freaks out, resulting in a wide variety of problems.
And Adobe agrees.

MTS = MPEG encoding = bad for AE. Transcode it into a Quicktime movie with a PNG codec or something before bringing it into After Effects.

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