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Having issues matching quality

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Jake WhiteHaving issues matching quality
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 7:24:49 am

What I'm looking at.....



I am pretty new to After Effects and this is basically the situation.... I created a video with final cut pro and you can see the quality in the image below (It is in the quicktime window). Now I loaded that same video into AE CS5 and I am trying to add some effects to it, now for the majority of the video it is perfectly fine but when it comes to images like this stats slate the quality is far off.

Like I said I am pretty unfamiliar with this program and the rending. What I have been doing is adding my video to a render queue and have it set to the best settings that I can see. I did just notice those are different slates shown but you can still tell the quality is not the same, look at the text, unreadable.

I do not have any special codecs that I know of but here are the specs on the video:

Video from FCP:
Size: 720x480
Codec: H.264
Format: .MOV

Settings in AE which I have been trying:





Those are pretty much the default settings, here is the Comp settings this may also help point out what I am doing wrong....



And just incase here are the screen shots of my FCP sequence settings as well as the export settings....







Any thoughts?

Thank you in advance, I tried to cover most bases for questions you may have to assist this problem.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Having issues matching quality
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 11:54:58 am

You need to export from FCP using a better quality codec- ProRes will do. Bring that in AE, do your fx and then use Adobe Media Encoder to open the comp you need rendered and do the compression from there.
What you see in AE now is probably interlaced footage (DV NTSC lower)without interpreting that footage to deinterlace, or without the Preserve Edges switch on.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Jake WhiteRe: Having issues matching quality
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 6:42:47 pm

Alright I exported my video with the ProRes codec and loaded it into AE. The quality looks the same in AE but I have never used the Adobe media Encoder before. How am I to open my comp in the Media Encoder and which compression would I be looking to use?

You say what I'm looking could be interlaced footage, and that could very well be the case, how can I go about taking that off so it shows the true video quality? I don't see anything anywhere about "Preserve Edges".

Thank you for this help btw.

Jake


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Dave LaRondeRe: Having issues matching quality
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 7:04:57 pm

[Jake White] "how can I go about taking that off so it shows the true video quality"

In AE, highlight your video clip in the project window. Go File>Interpret>Main. Make sure it's being interpreted as Lower Field First.

In your Render Settings, Change from Best Quality to Lower Field First.

Life gets better very quickly after that.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Having issues matching quality
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 7:42:04 pm

Dave gave you the answer for the interpret footage issue. In that window you will find the check box for Preserve edges as well.
As far as Encoder- go to File/Add After Effects Composition. You'll get a separate window to search for your AE project. Select the one you want. All the comps from that project will show up on the right. Select the one you want to render/compress. Once that opens up in Encoder, select the preset you want.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Dave LaRondeRe: Having issues matching quality
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 9:07:49 pm

But wait, there's more!

I see that you're cutting H.264 in FCP. I presume you're also rendering to H.264 in AE.

This is a recipe for disaster.

H.264 is in no way, shape or form a valid editing codec in FCP. It is EXTREMELY lossy once you get past the initial acquisition. On the off chance you simply exported H.264 video out of FCP, you need to choose a different export codec for your video.

Given the video's resolution, I'll guess that you actually shot with a DV camera. Here's what you do:
  • Cut together your clips as necessary in FCP.
  • Duplicate the FCP edit timeline.
  • Change the duplicate's codec to ProRes 422 in the Sequence Settings.
  • Use it to export video to AE.
  • Do your AE voodoo, remembering about field order.
  • Render using ProRes 422.

Then view your handiwork with satisfaction in FCP.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jake WhiteRe: Having issues matching quality
by on Jun 10, 2011 at 12:08:27 am

First of all guys thanks for taking the time to try and help me out here....

I went back into FCP and exported the video with the Apple ProRes 422 codec and loaded it back into AE but and I checked those settings and it appears it was already set to that as you can see here.



The quality remains the same, here are some questions I had about your last message here

  • Cut together your clips as necessary in FCP.

  • - This has been done, should be no issues here. Yes it was shot with a DV camera by the way.

  • Duplicate the FCP edit timeline.

  • - Not sure what you mean by duplicate the edit timeline. I did this and put it in a new sequence but I'm not sure exactly what it did.

  • Change the duplicate's codec to ProRes 422 in the Sequence Settings.

  • - I changed them both to ProRes 422 in the sequence settings actually, should I keep the other a different format?

  • Use it to export video to AE.

  • - This is the main step that has me confused, you say export that video to AE? Do you mean import it into the program? I'm unsure how you export the video file from FCP into AE.

  • Do your AE voodoo, remembering about field order.

  • - I have everything laid out really and just need to drop this video in underneath with good quality. That AE FX isn't too extensive.

  • Render using ProRes 422.

  • - I exported my video with this setting and it still looks exactly the same. I am doing it through the render queue, should I go ahead and do it with the Adobe Media Encoder?


    Thanks again, I am just new to this program and codecs have always crushed me and been my weakness! I am trying my best to grasp the concept, and I am trying to make it where you don't have to hold my hand the whole way!

    Oh and Dave I see you work at KCRG-TV (ABC), that is good stuff, I work at WECT-TV (NBC & FOX) here in Wilmington, NC. I run audio here at the station, good thing it isn't video :).


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    Jake WhiteRe: Having issues matching quality
    by on Jun 10, 2011 at 4:11:37 am

    Alright guys! I ran the file through Adobe Media Encoder just as Tudor suggested and that was the trick it comes out in the normal quality. Thank you to both of you guys for your help. Now that I tested it and it is successful I can put the final touches on this project.


    Thanks again!


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