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AE rendering very low quality

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Lindsay Carter
AE rendering very low quality
on Apr 17, 2015 at 4:27:57 am

I had an MTS file that I edited and exported as an mp4 file. I upload the file into after effects but when I try to render it it comes out very low quality. I've tried different settings and it doesn't get any better. Any suggestions? I't important I get this file edited. Thanks for any help!


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Brian Charles
Re: AE rendering very low quality
on Apr 17, 2015 at 3:32:43 pm

MP4 is a compressed file format – After Effects does better with uncompressed source footage that contains whole frames.

Best practice is to render uncompressed from After Effects and then use Adobe Media Encoder to transcode to the format you require.



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Lindsay Carter
Re: AE rendering very low quality
on Apr 17, 2015 at 8:41:55 pm

The problem is I edited all the footage in my video editor which saved the footage as high-def mp4 with good quality. It looked almost exactly like the original footage. I then uploaded the file into After Effects but like I said it renders very low quality. I tried putting the raw MTS footage from my camera into After Effects but it still rendered very low quality. The only solution I have found so far is to encode the MTS file in Adobe Media Encoder with a frame rate of 59.5 instead of 29.9 and end up with an mp4 file that when put into After Effects renders at a better quality. It's better but still at a significantly lower quality then the original quality. I'v been doing research for a while and can't seem to find an answer.


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Brian Charles
Re: AE rendering very low quality
on Apr 18, 2015 at 12:19:13 am

MP4 format is compressed and not ideal for After Effects. If you are able to transcode the MTS file to a lossless format for use in After Effects that will produce a better result.



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Jason Jantzen
Re: AE rendering very low quality
on Apr 18, 2015 at 4:19:05 pm

I'll second to that, compressing in AE is a bad idea, but it's not to say it can't be done (just not done very well).

Having said that, let's figure out what exactly you're doing. What settings are you using in the Render module to render your MTS file? I have a camera that spits out similar files and have never had a problem rendering them.

Jason Jantzen
vimeo.com/jasonj


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Lindsay Carter
Re: AE rendering very low quality
on Apr 18, 2015 at 5:08:15 pm

Thank you for replies that are trying to help. Last time I posted a question like this I just got bombarded with snarky comments about how I needed to stop wasting time here and do my own research.

The reason I was trying to use an mp4 file in AE is because my video editor doesn't handle MTS files very well so I converted it, edited it and saved it as an High-def mp4 With my editor. I didn't know I was going to need to edit it on after effects at the time so I wasn't thinking about another file format.

Jason what render settings do you usually use? I use adobe media encoder to render my files from AE.


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Jason Jantzen
Re: AE rendering very low quality
on Apr 18, 2015 at 6:53:29 pm
Last Edited By Jason Jantzen on Apr 18, 2015 at 6:55:17 pm

Rendering to AME is definitely a good route. I do animation, so everything I render out of AE is typically an image sequence, then I place that in Premiere where I mix the sound together with any watermarks and stuff. Once it's all setup, then I export it out of Premiere using the same codec and compression settings I would in AME.

In your case, it sounds like you've just set your bit rate too low. If I'm rendering 1080p, I usually go with H264 at 10 or 15mbps depending on what I'm rendering. If there are textures, gradients, etc, I go with 15. It's not a magic number, and you should definitely experiment with different data rates to get the best render for your needs, but that's what I typically start with.

Jason Jantzen
vimeo.com/jasonj


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Dave LaRonde
Re: AE rendering very low quality
on Apr 18, 2015 at 11:46:20 pm

If you were on a Mac, I'd highly recommend transcoding the original footage to ProRes 422.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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