I am currently using CS5. I used to import my H.264 footage into AE directly from my camera. Of course, AE didn't handle it very well when rendering, so I've taken to pre-rendering each clip out to uncompressed AVI, then importing them into AE before rendering uncompressed AVI back out again. Media Encoder is then used for final rendering.
While this workflow, um, works...does AE CS5.5 do any better job with H.264? I'd really like to do away with the pre-render step before importing footage into AE.
i can't help you with the 5.5 question, but i would use media encoder (or similar utility) to do a batch convert of your h.264 footage to another codec (it sounded like you are using ae to do the transcode, and that is rather tedious).
you don't necessarily need to go with uncompressed either. if drive space is a concern, quicktime photo-jpeg at a high quality setting can give very good results at lower data rates and it works weel in ae(at 95% it will cut the file size by about 1/3). and there are other codecs that work well in ae.
Thanks for the response, but I think you misunderstood. I already use Media Encoder to pre-render H.264 out to Uncompressed AVI prior to using the footage in AE. JPEG would work fine, I'm sure, but I have the drive space so AVI works fine.
My question was whether CS5.5 does any better job working with H.264 natively than CS5 does. If so, it may alleviate the need for the pre-render step (or "transcode" as you call it) prior to using the footage in AE.