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Banding last resort

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Jessica LawheedBanding last resort
by on Feb 13, 2013 at 8:59:47 pm

Sort of at my wits end on this.

I have a vignette on my after effects composition and naturally, it creates a banding effect. It's only really visible on the dark blue background. I'm using a black solid with an inverted oval mask that has been feathered.

The composition is 23.976, 1080p, and the final output the client wants is an H264.

I've tried noise, grain, blur, 16bpc, 32bpc, gradients, rendering out TIFF movies, adjusting the feather, opacity etc.

With noise on it at .5% it's perfect as a pro rez file but the minute I make it an h264, it's banding that dances.

I know compression obviously takes down the quality, but the client is insistant on both an H264 and less banding. I will try anything at this point. Thanks in advance.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Banding last resort
by on Feb 13, 2013 at 9:05:47 pm

H.264 is pretty lousy at accurate color replication. Go look at a Blu-ray disk of a movie with subtle gradients from light to shadow and you'll see banding. That's just the nature of the beast.

You may stand a fighting change by working in 32 bits in AE -- it will help A LITTLE -- and using Adobe Media Encoder to make the H.264 file: AME can open AE projects and render selected comps within them.

Don't use AE to make H.264: AE's a dog at it.

If those tricks don't work, you may have to re-think the subtlety of color in your AE project.

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


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Jessica LawheedRe: Banding last resort
by on Feb 13, 2013 at 9:24:02 pm

I haven't tried using Media Encoder. Thank you, I will try that.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Banding last resort
by on Feb 13, 2013 at 9:50:44 pm

Dave is right- Encoder does a much better job at H264.
One other suggestion is to use an Adjustments layer with Levels on it and a feathered oval mask to create your vignette instead of a black layer with a mask.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Vishesh AroraRe: Banding last resort
by on Feb 13, 2013 at 10:01:12 pm

Jessica

Check this Article on Adobe Media Encoder:

http://www.larryjordan.biz/ame-cs6-overview/

And it will definitely give you much better output than AE.

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

2011 3D Demo Reel:








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Tero AhlforsRe: Banding last resort
by on Feb 14, 2013 at 7:11:59 am

[Dave LaRonde] "H.264 is pretty lousy at accurate color replication."

I reaaaaaally want the new HEVC ("H.265") main-10 profile to be good.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Banding last resort
by on Feb 14, 2013 at 4:46:01 pm

Let me add to that wish list: it should support alpha channels. 8-channel audio capability would be good, too.

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


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Matthew WoodsRe: Banding last resort
by on Feb 14, 2013 at 8:45:27 pm

I like to apply the scatter effect with "Randomize Every Frame" checked to my vignette layers. I find it works best at helping reduce banding.

Need a quick break from motion graphics?
Try my game Constellation at:
http://www.paperdragongames.com


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Steve BlackerRe: Banding last resort
by on Feb 19, 2013 at 12:07:38 am

I don't know if you're on a Mac or not, but I've found that encoding my files using the x264 codec in Quicktime Pro works pretty nicely. Using a combo of the aforementioned techniques with multipass encoding, you can reduce banding quite a lot.

http://www.stephenblacker.com


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