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Poor rendering quality, plus other rendered file oddities.

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Andy Lindsay
Poor rendering quality, plus other rendered file oddities.
on Aug 13, 2012 at 8:24:11 am

Howdy.

I'm fairly new to Ae, but I searched for my issues, but none were quite what I'm experiencing. I suspect it's just the render settings.

I made a couple of short-ish (51 second) compositions, both using Particular, plus a few other effects, with some parameter animation in them. No video clips were used, just generated effects. I made both compositions at 1920x1040, 8bpc, 25 frames per sec, rendered at:

Render Settings: Best Settings
Output Module: MPEG2-DVD

(Using Mpeg2 was just a guess; it just gave good results, with a reasonable file size, in some earlier projects)

Both clips, when viewed after rendering, show a lot of jpg-like artifacts. Maybe the artifacts were in my earlier projects, but in those I used primarily old stock footage, so perhaps it just wasn't as evident.


My PC specs:

Win7 home
8 gigabyte (7gb set for Ae's use)
Intel i3 3.07ghz dual core
Ae settings "Render Multiple frames" is ON


The other issue is with rendered clip length. Some of the clips I made will render shorter than they should (my above clips should be 51s, but rendered at 38s, for example). This occurred before I switched on the Render Multiple Frames" setting in Ae's preferences.


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keith mcgregor
Re: Poor rendering quality, plus other rendered file oddities.
on Aug 17, 2012 at 8:06:11 pm

With mpeg2 setting you need to open the format options and increase the bit rate. The default quality level is actually a joke in my eyes. 4? That's horrible. But I would not export out with mpeg or h264 ever, and the reason being is that when we as graphics artists need to hand the file off to others they will expect a certain degree of quality and we can't/don't/shouldn't edit or work with mpeg/h264 files as they are for final delivery and will be compressed again upon their output, making the resulting file look terrible. Out of AE you want to use the lossless setting and compress with a compressing app, like media encoder, to obtain/keep the highest quality.
You shouldn't be afraid of large file sizes when exporting, you should expect it. Plus mpeg2 is sd not hd.
Hope this helps
-Keith


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Andy Lindsay
Re: Poor rendering quality, plus other rendered file oddities.
on Aug 17, 2012 at 8:26:48 pm

Thanks for the reply, Keith.

I actually use AE to make videos for my own music, for posting on the web. So, they don't need to be broadcast quality; I just want them to be high enough quality for, say, 1080p on You Tube or Vimeo, for example.

I'm trying to find a good balance between file size and quality. I'll try raising the bit-rate in the format options, like you said, but what codec would be best for my purposes (that would make reasonably high-quality output, but with smaller file-sizes)?


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Vishesh Arora
Re: Poor rendering quality, plus other rendered file oddities.
on Aug 20, 2012 at 3:13:02 pm

You can do one thing, Render the files in AE using .MOV extension with PNG compression format. This will render videos with high quality but with very large size.

Now convert these .MOV files to .WMV files which will bring the file size down to 10% of original file with almost no loss. You can use Total Video Converter for this. This extension is good for uploading in youtube.

Vishesh Arora
VFX and Motion Graphics Artist

http://digieffects.wordpress.com


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keith mcgregor
Re: Poor rendering quality, plus other rendered file oddities.
on Aug 20, 2012 at 3:19:13 pm

If you have media encoder just use the flash for web or h264 for web presets after you render out lossless in AE, check which looks better to your eye.
Out of AE I set the project bit depth to 16, and I render out pro res 422 LT mostly, otherwise it's lossless.
For crunching to web I usually just use a 8mps bit rate. Good enough for web at 1280.
For more info I set to 10-15. To crunch it, 2. It really all depends on the speed that images are moving at and the amount of blurs, color precision and gradations. That's really when you need it higher, otherwise 6mbps is usually good enough for most viewings.
If you really want it higher, then you have to live with the larger file sizes.

Compressing is really trial and error, there is no magic setting for everything and some people (most web-trawlers) won't even notice the kinds of things we do.
After you have encoded the master from AE you can delete the source file as you still have the ae project and all it's assets, saving on space.

Remember to always check the site you are uploading to so you can know your file size limit, and you can make bit rate adjustments off of that, increasing or decreasing as allowable.

Hope this helps
-Keith


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Andy Lindsay
Re: Poor rendering quality, plus other rendered file oddities.
on Aug 23, 2012 at 11:59:47 pm

Thanks Vishesh, and Keith.

I took both your advice, and found a combination of output settings/codecs that does a reasonable job. It's a roughly 500 Mb file for a ~6 minute project.

Is this file-size reasonable for higher-quality/HD at 6 minutes? Am I likely to be able to further shrink the file-size without degrading the quality significantly?



It's a matter of trial and error if I want to get the file size down, using different combinations, I suppose.

Thanks again, Vishesh and Keith!


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