Adobe After Effects Forum
Recommendations for Intermediate File Format/Codec for Adobe (PC)
Recommendations for Intermediate File Format/Codec for Adobe (PC)
by Ed Hecht on Oct 25, 2017 at 10:59:41 pm

Hi Folks,
Since Apple killed Quicktime support on PC and Quicktime (.mov) H.264 is no longer an export option in Adobe CC (for PC), what are you all using as a decent intermediate Windows-friendly codec (specifically from After Effects)? Don't even THINK of posting "Just get a Mac". I will find you. ☺
I have been using .mov/MPEG-4 with just okay results. Most of my exports are simple, animated titles: Black text on white backgrounds. And using the aforementioned format/codec usually sort of washes/bleaches out the file. (The white seems to sort of creep into the font and any other raster graphics in the frame.) That said, it simply baffles me why Adobe doesn't allow H.264 (.mp4) directly from After Effects. I have title sequences that require a simple logo swap out. So creating individual comps or projects for each is overkill...
Thanks in advance!
Ed




Re: Recommendations for Intermediate File Format/Codec for Adobe (PC)
by Walter Soyka on Oct 26, 2017 at 2:25:44 pm

For intermediates: CineForm and DNxHR are good cross-platform options that are directly supported by Ae.

If you want to render H.264 (not an intermediate!), maybe consider AfterCodecs:
https://aescripts.com/aftercodecs/

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


Re: Recommendations for Intermediate File Format/Codec for Adobe (PC)
by Ed Hecht on Oct 26, 2017 at 3:45:49 pm

Thanks, Walter. I will give the two you recommended a try. And thanks for the AE Scripts link too. Sounds like a good investment.
Ed




Re: Recommendations for Intermediate File Format/Codec for Adobe (PC)
by greg janza on Oct 27, 2017 at 2:16:37 pm

A second for DNxHR. If you're on Windows 10 there's no need for quicktime at all.

I Hate Television. I Hate It As Much As Peanuts. But I Can’t Stop Eating Peanuts.
- Orson Welles


Re: Recommendations for Intermediate File Format/Codec for Adobe (PC)
by Ed Hecht on Oct 27, 2017 at 6:35:23 pm

Thanks, Greg and to everyone else here. I tried it and it works fine, as does Quicktime using the DNxHR codec. Just curious: Is it normal for the file sizes to balloon by so large a factor by going from mp4 to one of these formats? The two test encodes I did made a 101MB file into a 752 (.mov) and 754MB (.mxf) file, respectively.




Re: Recommendations for Intermediate File Format/Codec for Adobe (PC)
by greg janza on Oct 27, 2017 at 7:13:51 pm

Completely normal for DNxHR and ProRes to be large in file size. Both of these codec formats are mastering formats so the quality level is very high and that leads to large file sizes.

I Hate Television. I Hate It As Much As Peanuts. But I Can’t Stop Eating Peanuts.
- Orson Welles


Re: Recommendations for Intermediate File Format/Codec for Adobe (PC)
by Ed Hecht on Oct 27, 2017 at 7:18:06 pm

Scratch that last question. I just figured out that exporting to either DNxHR LB (in this case 4k 23.96, .mxf) or Quicktime DNxHR LB gets me there at a very moderate 1.5x increase in file size at (still) a higher bitrate (~145Mbps) than the original mp4 file (100 Mbps). Thanks so much to everyone here who chimed in. You helped me tremendously!
Ed







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