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AE video compression?

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paolo zunigaAE video compression?
by on Feb 6, 2012 at 8:42:41 pm

I've finished a composition in AE and I'm now ready to export. This is my first time using AE. I mostly use Final Cut for edits and export my videos in HD to best quality in either ProRes or H264 for web streaming (Vimeo).

To those with much more experience using this program, any suggestions on the best high res codec to use for exporting a high quality video for online streaming purposes?

thanks!


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Dave LaRondeRe: AE video compression?
by on Feb 6, 2012 at 10:34:34 pm

If you're going back to FCP, the choice is obvious: ProRes 422.

ProRes HQ or ProRes 4444 is overkill. The only thing you gain from either is a bigger file size. Now, you might like larger files sizes, in which case I say, go for it!

As for myself, I'd prefer not to waste good storage on unnecessarily large files.

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


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paolo zunigaRe: AE video compression?
by on Feb 6, 2012 at 11:06:05 pm

I wasn't planning on returning to Final Cut after the AE export. I just exported the 2 minute video from AE using h264 and was hoping it would look as good as it did in the composition. But when I watch the video in Quicktime after export it looks very pixelated.

Should I considered going back to FC and doing the final export from there? Is that overkill?

thanks


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: AE video compression?
by on Feb 7, 2012 at 7:45:21 am

You can do that, but I would use Adobe Media Encoder to open the AE project, select your comp and render compressed from there. A 2 pass VBR will give you a much better H264 compression.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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paolo zunigaRe: AE video compression?
by on Feb 7, 2012 at 5:44:09 pm

Are there certain codec settings you use in Media Encoder? What is a "2 pass VBR"?
I've never used this Adobe program, but i'll look into it.
Thanks.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: AE video compression?
by on Feb 7, 2012 at 7:32:26 pm

Encoder is included in the Creative Suite and designed to provide compression. It has quite a few presets that come in handy.
As far as 2pass and VBR the following links can provide some insight.

VBR:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_bitrate

2 pass:
http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/338031-Difference-Between-1-pass-2-pass-...

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Kevin CaminRe: AE video compression?
by on Feb 7, 2012 at 4:17:31 pm

My personal workflow of choice is to export from AE either uncompressed with the 'animation' codec or with a Prores 422 codec (Prores 422 if storage space is an issue, it makes files about 1/10 the size). Then I use Quicktime 7 Pro to make my h.264s. I personally think QT7 does a really good job doing this, and I imagine Compressor would be the same.

Best regards,

Kevin Camin


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paolo zunigaRe: AE video compression?
by on Feb 7, 2012 at 5:48:31 pm

I did read that the "animation" codec uses the least amount of compression, but figured it was only for actual animation. When you say "Compressor doing the same", do you mean the actual program called Compressor?

I'll give the "animation" setting a shot.

I guess I'm a little confused because I was so used to just exporting h264 or Prores422 from Final Cut and having it look good with no additional work.


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Dave LaRondeRe: AE video compression?
by on Feb 7, 2012 at 6:12:03 pm

[paolo zuniga] "I guess I'm a little confused because I was so used to just exporting h264 or Prores422 from Final Cut and having it look good with no additional work."

Then why would you need to change anything? Just render a ProRes 422 file in After Effects, bring it into FCP, and do things the way you always do!

It's easy. It works.

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


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paolo zunigaRe: AE video compression?
by on Feb 7, 2012 at 6:22:08 pm

Thanks! I wasn't clear on whether that's something I could/should do.


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Kevin CaminRe: AE video compression?
by on Feb 7, 2012 at 6:14:16 pm

Animation codec is completely uncompressed. No compression. No loss in quality. It's not just for animation and I don't know why it's called that. A lot of people prefer to render out of AE in the Animation codec and then make their compressions from that. Two reasons: 1. AE isn't very good at trying to render and transcode/compress at the same time (for instance making an h.264 directly from AE). 2. The situation often requires making different types of compressions, e.g. HD version, web version, etc. When you have a full resolution, uncompressed master from AE, you can easily make different versions from a 3rd party app, rather than rendering out from AE each version (which takes a lot of time since it's rendering too).

Yes, if you use FCP, you have Compressor. Or you can import the Animation codec render that AE made into FCP and export an h.264 from there. I would think it's the same basic engine driving FCP, Compressor and Quicktime Pro; all made by Apple.

Ted might have better luck with Media Encoder, but personally I've been very disappointed making h.264's from there and I've also had bad luck trying to render AE comps from there too.

Best regards,

Kevin Camin


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paolo zunigaRe: AE video compression?
by on Feb 7, 2012 at 6:21:11 pm

Thanks for explaining this! I'll give it a shot.


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Erik LindahlRe: AE video compression?
by on Feb 9, 2012 at 2:16:28 pm

I'd recommend using the Animation or ProRes 422 / 422 HQ codec, keep these as our originals and compress them to H264 or whatever you need after render from AE.

ProRes has the advantage of being a 10- or 12-bit codec compared to Animation being 8-bit and they usually hold visually lossless output. Only having 8-bits of color fidelity can sometimes limit the quality of your output (i.e. you get bandings).

Also, the Apple h264 codec is one of the worst out there. It gets the job done but that's about it. I'd recommend using something like x264 for QuickTime as a better alternative.


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