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Grey Frames in Comp

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Tom NelsonGrey Frames in Comp
by on Oct 20, 2009 at 2:16:50 am

Hello All.

I'm having issues in After Effects CS4. I export a QT ref (using current project settings, DVCPRO codec) from FCP 5.0.4, and when I import it into a timeline in AE, many frames of grey (with a dotted pattern) show during RAM preview. When I double-click the movies in the project window in AE, they play fine. When I view them in QT player outside of FCP and AE, they play fine. It has to be a simple fix, right? Thanks in advance for the help.

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Dave LaRondeRe: Grey Frames in Comp
by on Oct 20, 2009 at 6:50:17 pm

What sort of footage did you shoot to begin with? Read on....

Dave's Stock Answer #1:

If the footage you imported into AE is any kind of the following -- footage in an HDV acquisition codec, MPEG1, MPEG2, mp4, m2t, H.261 or H.264 -- you need to convert it to a different codec.

These kinds of footage use temporal, or interframe compression. They have keyframes at regular intervals, containing complete frame information. However, the frames in between do NOT have complete information. Interframe codecs toss out duplicated information.

In order to maintain peak rendering efficiency, AE needs complete information for each and every frame. But because these kinds of footage contain only partial information, AE freaks out, resulting in a wide variety of problems.

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

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