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Efficient settings for export reference videos

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Rowan Eberle
Efficient settings for export reference videos
on Feb 6, 2013 at 6:17:41 pm

Hi,

I am trying to find the most efficient settings to export reference videos from After Effects. By "efficient" I mean that I require render speed, small file size and universal codec compatibility over image quality. These videos must be playable on any computer with the standard included software, without the installation of additional codecs.

I am using After Effects as each video contains numerous related clips with the timecode of the clip, timecode of the reference video and the clip name burn on. The need for the clip name required me to use After Effects vs Premiere.

Info:
- The source footage is mostly ProRes 422.
- I am editing on a 2.6 Ghz MacBook Pro, 8Gb ram

Best settings found so far:
- Redner Settings:
- Quality: Draft
- Resolution: Third
- Output Module:
- H.264
- Level: 5.1
- Bitrate encoding: CBR
- bit rate: 8

This combination gives me a render / video length ratio of about 1.6-1.9 (i.e. between 1.6 and 1.9 minutes to render 1 minute of video). With a couple hundred hours of video to go, I would like to speed this up as much as possible.

If anyone has any advice on speeding up this process your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Rowan


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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: Efficient settings for export reference videos
on Feb 7, 2013 at 3:41:34 am

[Rowan Eberle] "These videos must be playable on any computer with the standard included software, without the installation of additional codecs."

Absolutely no such thing. Narrow your audience. MOV/H.264 is probably the most ubiquitous in terms of support for both modern computers and hardware-based playback.

Mac OSX - You're safe with H.264 in the MOV container. H.264 was introduced to Quicktime around the time of OSX 10.3 (Tiger). Numerous tracking sources show 80%+ of Mac users are on OSX 10.6 or newer. MP4/H.264 is also supported, although I don't know from which version onward - at least OSX 10.6 according to documentation.

Windows 8 and Windows 7 - MOV/H.264 or MP4/H.264 should be safe. Windows Media Player/Media Center should handle both.

Win XP sp2 and Vista - You're looking at WMV version 8 or 9 for greatest support out-of-the-box. I wouldn't count on MOV/H.264 or MP4/H.264 support unless VLC player is used.

With all that said, generally the MP4/H.264 codec (the one you are using, supplied by MainConcepts) is quicker by about 40%-50% in comparison to Quicktime's native codec. You could batch re-wrap MP4 to MOV using numerous tools quickly at the end of your conversion if you feel more comfortable with MOV.

--------------------
Angelo Lorenzo

Need to encode ProRes on your Windows PC?
Introducing ProRes Helper, an awesome little app that makes it possible
Fallen Empire Digital Production Services - Los Angeles
RED transcoding, on-set DIT, and RED Epic rental services
Fallen Empire - The Blog
A blog dedicated to filmmaking, the RED workflow, and DIT tips and tricks


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Vishesh Arora
Re: Efficient settings for export reference videos
on Feb 7, 2013 at 10:23:23 am

I am trying to find the most efficient settings to export reference videos from After Effects.

If your going for .H264 then never render from AE directly.

Rendering h.264 codec from After Effects is not recommended as h.264 uses temporal compression.

Go for Adobe Media Encoder to render .H264.

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

2011 3D Demo Reel:








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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: Efficient settings for export reference videos
on Feb 7, 2013 at 10:34:51 am

I suggest against it in this particular situation. Since quality isn't his goal, my loose testing has suggested that rendering within Media encoder is 50-100% slower than rendering directly in AE for MP4/H.264 (MainConcepts). It also adds a number of additional steps that can't be automated in the way that it could in AE.

--------------------
Angelo Lorenzo

Need to encode ProRes on your Windows PC?
Introducing ProRes Helper, an awesome little app that makes it possible
Fallen Empire Digital Production Services - Los Angeles
RED transcoding, on-set DIT, and RED Epic rental services
Fallen Empire - The Blog
A blog dedicated to filmmaking, the RED workflow, and DIT tips and tricks


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Vishesh Arora
Re: Efficient settings for export reference videos
on Feb 7, 2013 at 12:23:52 pm

Angelo

I din not notice that. Thanks for correction.

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

2011 3D Demo Reel:








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Rowan Eberle
Re: Efficient settings for export reference videos
on Feb 7, 2013 at 1:41:43 pm

[Angelo Lorenzo] "Absolutely no such thing. "

True, I suppose I should have said "...must be playable on any reasonably up to date computer...". I do expect my client to have reasonably up to date computers, or at least be able to install a program such as VLC if need be. I doubt they are running any Mac Classics :). They just do not have systems that have been set up to edit on, and need to be able to share the videos with their working group.

Thanks for the info.

Rowan


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