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Windows Media Export from After Effects

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Ed HechtWindows Media Export from After Effects
by on Jul 20, 2011 at 5:38:51 pm

I'm a bit embarrassed that I don't know the answer to this question, with over 14 years video experience. But What settings do I tweak in After Effects to eliminate brief blocking/pixelization when exporting to WMV? I have a minute long file is basically a slow slide show encoded at 6Mbps, CBR, and Image Quality at 100%. The blockiness appears only briefly at a transition and goes away once the transition is complete. Thanks in adavance!

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Erik WaluskaRe: Windows Media Export from After Effects
by on Jul 20, 2011 at 6:21:35 pm

I would definitely try the variable bit rate if available and set the max bitrate so at least twice what you have now. If it's still blocky, increase it some more. Being variable, it shouldn't increase the file size too much if you set the target rate to what you want, that way it will only increase to a higher rate during parts of the video like the transitions where the image is changing a lot more.

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Dave LaRondeRe: Windows Media Export from After Effects
by on Jul 20, 2011 at 6:27:36 pm

I wouldn't use AE to do the compression; to be frank, when it comes to compression like this, AE stinks. I'd do it one of two ways:
  • Render a Lossless file from AE. Take it into Adobe Media Encoder and do the compression.
  • If you only have ONE comp in the project, open the AE project in Adobe Media Encoder to do the compression.
If you happen to have another standalone compression application, e.g. Telestream's Episode, Sorenson Squeeze, etc., you could also use them. There's a good possibility you'd get better image quality than Adobe Media Encoder.

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

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Cassius MarquesRe: Windows Media Export from After Effects
by on Jul 20, 2011 at 6:43:29 pm

decrease the keyframe interval, it will make your file bigger, but it will increase the chances it takes for the compressor to get a better reference frame.

NOT an expert on this, but I believe it will work since I had my share of headaches before, one really funny though I think I'll share. I had to export a low res wmv from a 2min video so the client could approve.

And the AE wmv compressor simple choose to skip the last 15 frames, half a second of logo and some legal stuff. It just held the previously frame for 15 more frames. It took me two hours to figure it out. Lowering the keyframe from 5 to 4 did the job and kept the size restriction they had.

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Ed HechtRe: Windows Media Export from After Effects
by on Jul 20, 2011 at 7:48:43 pm

Erik, I found that variable bitrate gives the best results, though the file expands to about 5x the size of the CBR render with the VBR quality set at 100%. At 80% VBR, the file looked great with only about a 10% file size increase. This appears to be the sweet spot! Cassisus, decreasing the keyframe interval from 5 to 4, then all the way down to 2 produced only moderate improvements (while keeping the file size low). (Maybe because my transitions are all less than 1 second?) This forum continues to be invaluable to me and the community as a whole. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. You too, Dave!

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Michael SzalapskiRe: Windows Media Export from After Effects
by on Jul 21, 2011 at 2:26:39 pm

One reason I don't use AE to do my final compression is that it doesn't do multipass encoding. Multipass gives you higher quality image at smaller file sizes. I do as Dave suggested, I render uncompressed out of AE and use Media Encoder to do my WMV compression.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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