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AfterEffects crashes my colors

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Vika Vialykh
AfterEffects crashes my colors
on Aug 2, 2017 at 9:44:51 pm

Hello, guys!

I`m really beginner on my way as a motion designer. And I have a problem with colors after render in AfterEffects. I have an animation with Background color #333459. This animation must be used on the screen of application with the same background color. For User Interface design I use Sketch and Principle (on MacOs only). In both programs I`ve checked this color several times. It`s the same. And even when I`m in Sketch or Principle and use the Dropper Tool for defining color code and move this tool out of the program canvas inside the AfterEffects space. The eye-dropper define my desired color with code #333459. That`s why I think the problem appears after render exactly. I set up the render with QuickTime, RGB, h.264 with max quality. Maybe I need to use some other settings for the render?

Help me, please! I`m really lost in it and don`t know what to do!!

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John Sherdy
Re: AfterEffects crashes my colors
on Aug 5, 2017 at 1:04:13 am

you are rendering H.264 through Ae? don't do that. this particular codec is old and buggy. use AME to export H.264 from Ae or read this
Basics of rendering and exporting

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Steve Bentley
Re: AfterEffects crashes my colors
on Aug 5, 2017 at 11:51:00 am

H264 is old and buggy? Since when? Sure its been superseded by 265 for HD but I guess you better tell youtube they better stop what they are doing because thats pretty much the most prevalent codec going. (remember mp4s are just a 264 in a wrapper as are flv and fv4s)
It's not a great idea to edit with 264s but it's less about the codec and more about the "B" frames that aren't the discrete frames AE likes. This is the case with any compressed footage not just H264.

But you are right, it is not a good idea to render your compressed codec out of AE. To get the best out of a codec like 264 you should do a 2 pass compress where the codec goes and looks at all the footage and the decides how best to crunch it. The codec cant' do that in AE because it renders one frame and then moves on and never goes back.
So render out of AE in some uncompressed format - either stills like tiffs or pngs or in AVI or Quicktime uncompressed. Then pass them through an encoder like adobe encoder or windows Expression encoder or even export from Quicktime pro and there you can do your H264 or WMV format output for compressed viewing.

But on to the main question: When you compress you are loosing colors (Ok you experts, i know this isn't exactly true but for this purpose, just go with it). So the higher the compression on the file (and the smaller the file size) the more the codec has approximate the colors you intended.
Inversely, the higher you put the bandwidth setting the closer you will get to your colors.
The more motion you have in your animation the more that uses up bandwidth you could otherwise be using for accurate colors. The same goes with frame rates. You can get more out of your colors with the same bandwith but with fewer frames per second. In some compressors you can say favour motion or favour colors. But again you cannot do this straight out of AE.
Baseline codec throughputs for H264:
1000kb per second (thats kilobits) Pretty crappy Good for slow internet connections and actually not bad for running live footage but graphics-only really suffer.
5000kb Pretty good average across the board for web graphics etc - banding will occur but it's not too bad (blues band the worst)
10,000kb. Really good. At the limit of some media players and probably to big for the web. Some banding and artifacting depending on motion and complexity.
25,000kb-29,000kb This is what blue rays are compressed at. But keep in mind that often when they master these they will compress each edit separately so that they get the best "color pallet" for each edit. If you went from a very blue scene to a very yellow scene and compressed them both in one movie you split the colors available across both scenes thereby reducing the color accuracy overall.
(Again, for you nitpickers, I know this isn't how it works but I think it's a pretty good metafor for this particular case)

So if you let an encoder compress this after AE and there is a background color that has to match something else, because there is so much of it the encoder will run down the length of the file and see how much there is and it will decide that color is pretty important and weight what gets the color appropriately.

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