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16-bit Lossless Codec...?

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James Strecker
16-bit Lossless Codec...?
on May 24, 2018 at 3:32:26 am
Last Edited By James Strecker on May 24, 2018 at 3:40:45 am

Hi,

I'm experimenting around with After Effects' export to find the best HD codec to render with. I know this is a very amateur question, as I see it all over the internet, but is there a 16-bit lossless codec? I can only find lossless codecs in 8-bit. I am exporting 16-bit AE VFX videos to be used in a feature film, so when I edit them back into the scene I don't want to lose any quality. I've had bad problems with quality loss in the past.

I see people suggesting the "Animation" QuickTime codec, but it's 8-bit. It will also create giant files. Is there some magic way I can do 16-bit, lossless, and not gigantic file sizes? Maybe I'm asking too much, haha.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

EDIT: Is 16-bit exporting only available for image sequences, not video files? This is what I'm slowly discovering...if this is the case, what is the point of working in 16-bit depth in AE? I can then only export as 16-bit if it's images, which is fine because I can bring that sequence into Premiere...but then I can't export as 16-bit video for the final video, I assume...so...what? Haha.

Thank you,

James Strecker
JTS Entertainment
http://www.youtube.com/JTSEntertainment


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: 16-bit Lossless Codec...?
on May 24, 2018 at 4:03:57 am

[James Strecker] "Is there some magic way I can do 16-bit, lossless, and not gigantic file sizes?"

Probably in the same way someone can have their cake and eat it too. By definition lossless is lossless. That said people usually use these lossy but "visually lossless" intermediate codecs like Prores, DNxHD or Cineform.

[James Strecker] "what is the point of working in 16-bit depth in AE?"

The math is working differently with the different bit depths. There will be a difference (especially in gradients) if you're comping in 8, 16 or 32 bits. Also there's probably no service/basic media player that will accept 16 bit files anyway.

We do our CG shots in EXR half float and that'll keep the quality high through the whole pipeline and only at the delivery stage we render it down to whatever we need to deliver.


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Steve Bentley
Re: 16-bit Lossless Codec...?
on May 24, 2018 at 5:05:07 am

I second the EXR suggestion - if its good enough for ILM who are we to complain.

And I'm not sure that QT animation best files are always enormous. They are run-length-encoded (lossless) so a 30 second movie of a black object moving on white will be positively minute in MB (maybe even in kB!). It all depends on whats in the frame.

To get an uncompressed format the size in bytes will always be the bit depth times the number of channels times the number of pixels divided by 8, and at 16bit in an HD or larger frame thats going be a huge number, so without compression of some sort (lossless or lossy) there is just no way to have a small truly uncompressed format.

Its a shame apple stopped developing QT. I love the animation best compression - but would have loved it even more in 10 or 16 bit. When you are making matte elements its positively microscopic. I'm actually kinda shocked that someone hasn't done it already. Run length encoding isn't nearly as hard to do as the voodoo that goes on under the hood with H264.



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James Strecker
Re: 16-bit Lossless Codec...?
on May 24, 2018 at 5:05:32 am

I understood every word of that except "EXR half float," haha. Would you mind explaining this?

Other than that, thanks. I have noticed the gradient issue (when using feathered masks, color gradients, glows, blurs, lens flares, all sorts of stuff) so that's why I'm looking into the 16-bit thing. So far, I'm finding it's not a TERRIBLE thing to have these big files, since not every single shot is a VFX shot...but that'll change potentially when that's not the case, in other scenes of the movie, haha.

Thanks again,

James Strecker
JTS Entertainment
http://www.youtube.com/JTSEntertainment


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: 16-bit Lossless Codec...?
on May 24, 2018 at 6:06:37 am

[James Strecker] "I understood every word of that except "EXR half float," haha. Would you mind explaining this?
"


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-precision_floating-point_format


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James Strecker
Re: 16-bit Lossless Codec...?
on May 24, 2018 at 5:54:41 pm

*thumbs up*

James Strecker
JTS Entertainment
http://www.youtube.com/JTSEntertainment


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