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Color depth for video-sharing sites

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Balazs Frank
Color depth for video-sharing sites
on Aug 10, 2010 at 7:57:58 pm


I am creating some 1080p 30 fps HD videos in AE CS4 for video sharing sites only. There are no live footage, just pure AE elements.
My comps sometimes contain nice gradients, which looks a bit banding.

Is it worth to work with 16bpc instead of 8bpc to improve the overall colors, to remove banding, etc.? I do not use the usual HDR tricks with effects.

Also, is there any useful link about reading the practical usage of higher bit per channel modes?


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Chris Blair
Re: Color depth for video-sharing sites
on Aug 12, 2010 at 12:01:54 am

I'm not sure I fully understand the question...but if the final output is for web viewing, you're going to have to compress the video using a modern codec like H264, which is likely going to negate the advantage of using 16bit. Even using high-profile H264, chroma is sampled at 4:2:0 (down from 4:4:4 I believe if your original is 16 bit), and your bit-depth will be 8 bit....down from your original 16bit.

However...H264 is typically very good at maintaining nice gradients and doesn't typically introduce serious banding issues. It probably won't hurt to do your originals at 16bit no issues there. Just be aware you're going to be

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
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