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Pre-rendering format for 4K projects

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Sam Jones
Pre-rendering format for 4K projects
on Nov 30, 2019 at 4:40:02 pm

Hi folks,

as the thread title discribes, I need to pre render several layers/parts within my after effects project.

My final Rendering output format will be H.264 YouTube 2160p 4K Ultra-HD.

Because the pre rendering of several minutes with 4k in uncompressed avi is extremely large, which pre rendering format should I use to lose as less quality as possible in the final rendering?

Thank you and kind regards

Sam Jones


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Eric Santiago
Re: Pre-rendering format for 4K projects
on Nov 30, 2019 at 11:45:29 pm

Can't beat ProRes or if you have patience, some kind of sequential format.
I used a lot of different formats from TIFF, SGI, and DPX but that's not exactly space-saving.


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Sam Jones
Re: Pre-rendering format for 4K projects
on Dec 1, 2019 at 12:02:37 pm

Thank you for your answer. I think I will ProRes give a try.

Which preset would you recommend? There are four:

Apple ProRes 422 HQ
Apple ProRes 422 LT
Apple ProRes 422 Proxy
Apple ProRes 422

I have another basic question. My composition framerate is 29,97fps and the final YT UHD output format ist 25fps. Would it be better to set the composition framerate also to 25fps or should I leave the composition at 29,97fps?

Thank you and kind regards


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John Williams
Re: Pre-rendering format for 4K projects
on Dec 2, 2019 at 12:11:36 pm

I agree, ProRes is always great on a Mac but do be aware that as ProRes is a codec is does slightly slow down playback as After Effects has to decode every frame. If you use an uncompressed image sequence like TIF, After Effects will playback faster, if you are stuck for drive space then PNG is also an option.

Regarding the frame rate change, if you wait until export to make the change After Effects will effectively remove every 5th frame making playback of moving shots (particularly noticeable with camera moves) a little jumpy.

It's always better to handle frame rate conversion in the Comp. If you are just using animated elements then changing the Comp frame rate is quick and simple. If however you are using footage that needs to be converted there are several approaches to that depending on if you have synced sound or not in the footage. IF no synced sound then in the Project Panel, select the footage, right mouse button on it and select Interpret Footage, from here change to the desired frame frame and then make sure the Comp is set to the same frame rate.

Hope that also helps.

John Williams

Soho Editors


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