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Batch Convert

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Tony Sarafoski
Batch Convert
on Jan 22, 2010 at 9:47:43 pm

Is there anyway of batch converting multiple mov's files using After Effects?

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Jason Byfield
Re: Batch Convert
on Jan 22, 2010 at 10:19:34 pm

You didn't say what version of AE you are using so I'll be somewhat vague:

Import the clips you want to convert. Select them all and drag them to the "make comp" button. Select individual comps and check the box that says "add to render queue". Make your settings changes and pick a save location for each file. Click "render".

If you want the same renders settings and save location for each video, go into the output module and make whatever compression settings you want the files to have the default. Drag one file onto the "make comp" button and then add it to the render queue. It should automatically have your custom compression settings applied as default. Pick a location to save the file then grab the rest of the files and drag them to the "make comp" button. Select individual comps and click the "add to render queue" button. All the files will show up in the render queue with the compression settings you specified AND in the same output location you specified for the first file. TIME SAVED.

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Dave LaRonde
Re: Batch Convert
on Jan 22, 2010 at 10:29:28 pm

Yeah, put 'em into comps and use the AE render queue. It's all here:

But you might not want to do it! First, your "mov"s could Scotch the deal from the start:

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.

....and then you've got to be careful about the types of files you render out of AE, too:

Dave's Stock Answer #3:

Don't use AE to compress files for final delivery. The various compressors are there only to make quick 'n dirty files showing a project's progress to producers, clients, the kids, etc. AE is incapable of doing multipass encoding, a crucial feature that greatly improves the image quality of H.264 and MPEG-type files in particular.

Render a high-quality file from AE, and use a different application to do the compression. Popular ones are Adobe Media Encoder, Sorenson Squeeze and Apple's Compressor, which comes bundled with Final Cut Suite. Even compressing in Quicktime Pro is better than compressing in AE.

Making good-looking compressed files is almost as much an art as it is a science. It is NOT straightforward at all. I recommend asking a few questions at the COW's Compression Techniques forum.

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

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