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Compression Confusion

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Will Heine
Compression Confusion
on Dec 27, 2010 at 9:50:53 pm

I am really enjoying starting to build effective (and really cool) things for my customer's websites in After Effects. I am finding through research how important having a dedicated compression program is to getting video to look good on the web.

I am interested in getting opinions on how Apple Compressor compares to Sorenson Squeeze 6.5 for preparing After Effects movies for the web. I already own Compressor and would prefer not to drop the cash on Sorenson right now if Apple Compressor can do the job right. Also a bit confused on whether using After Effects output to swf if the right choice for creating optimum web content. Please let me know your thoughts on how similar they are and the trade offs.

I always appreciate the amazing knowledge out there in Cowland and look forward to hearing your opinions.

Thank you!

Will Heine

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Todd Kopriva
Re: Compression Confusion
on Dec 28, 2010 at 7:03:00 am

I assume that you're also looking into Adobe Media Encoder, which comes with After Effects. This page has some basic information about how Adobe Media Encoder works with After Effects, and links to more information.

> Also a bit confused on whether using After Effects output to swf if the right choice for creating optimum web content.

In general, no. The SWF files that After Effects creates only preserve some things as vectors; other things have to be rasterized, which makes the files larger. See this page for details.

If you're creating video and want to play it on the web, creating an FLV or F4V movie is a better idea than creating a SWF movie from After Effects. See this page for details about FLV and F4V formats.

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support

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Jason Brown
Re: Compression Confusion
on Dec 28, 2010 at 1:52:00 pm

Hey Will,

Todd is right about AME and the SWF comments.

Todd, don't mean to step on your toes...and please correct me if I'm wrong :) but -- if you're going to work in Flash player 9 you'll need to do VP6 which I've always had problems doing through compressor with the Episode Plug-in. Adobe Media Encoder is a great option for FLV transcodes. However, I've always struggled with AME when dealing with non-square Pixel Aspect Ratio's in files that DIDN'T come from Premier. Although that may not be a concern for you if you are dealing with square pixel...and my experience was a couple versions back with AME.

If you are dealing in Flash 10 and can use the h264 flash codec, I think you'll find Compressor to work well when compared to the other major transcoding softwares out there: (Episode Pro, Sorenson Squeeze, Adobe Media Encoder)


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Walter Soyka
Re: Compression Confusion
on Dec 28, 2010 at 3:41:57 pm

H.264 compression support was added to Flash 9.0c (also known as Flash 9 Update 3) in 2007.

For a different take on H.264 compression -- I was early adopter of the Matrox CompressHD card, and I still use it nearly every day. I do a lot of high-def H.264 compression, and with this card, Compressor can compress HD in about real time with great quality.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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