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Whats the best video type (eg avi, mpg) to put into after effects cs3?

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Steven Farrugia
Whats the best video type (eg avi, mpg) to put into after effects cs3?
on Jun 7, 2010 at 10:29:44 am

I know its not AVI. i definatly know tht.

im using canon fs100 camcorder.

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Dave LaRonde
Re: Whats the best video type (eg avi, mpg) to put into after effects cs3?
on Jun 7, 2010 at 3:57:16 pm

[Steven Farrugia] "I know its not AVI. i definatly know tht. "

Great typing!

What's the BEST for AE 8? Well, if it's HDV footage, you have to convert it:

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, AVCHD, mp4, mts, 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.

I'm a Mac guy, so I like to convert to Quicktime movies in the Animation or PNG codecs; both are lossless. I'll use Apple's Compressor, Adobe Media Encoder or Quicktime Pro to do it.

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

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Michael Szalapski
Re: Whats the best video type (eg avi, mpg) to put into after effects cs3?
on Jun 7, 2010 at 6:19:15 pm

[Steven Farrugia] "I know its not AVI. i definatly know tht."

AVI can be wonderful in AE. It can also be bad. Like MOV, AVI is just a container. What CODEC you're using makes all the difference. MPEG isn't very good. (Especially in older versions of AE.)

I've had good success (on a Windows machine, mind you) using Quicktime with the PNG codec. However, I just found this post on the Adobe forums. Rick Gerard's post is very interesting:

"I just finished cutting a feature for TV that I also shot and supervised the FFX. There were a fist full of FX shots that needed Roto. The project originated on XD cam. When I first began working on the roto work I kept the footage in it's original form. IOW, I was editing original footage. The Roto Brush worked fairly well on many of the shots but was a real pain on others.

To prepare the project for color grading and the final effects work I spent about a day researching the best workflow to maintain quality and give me the most flexibility. It turned out that the best option was to transcode all of the footage used in the project to a YUV I frame codec. Because of storage requirements projected to be in excess of 15TB for Black Magic 10bit I opted for ProRez444. I revisited some of the shots that gave me trouble and the difference was astounding.

Further research revealed that any time you have highly compressed original footage you're better off to transcode the footage into a more production friendly format for processing. I knew this from years of working with DV footage but the amazing quality of P2, XDCam and even HDV footage made me forget that compressed formats are never the best option for processing.

So here's my advice: If you're doing anything more than straight cuts it's always best to Transcode to a codec that works in YUV color (not RGB) with at least 4:2:2 color space. Avoid GOP codecs for every step of the process right down to final output, and manage your gamma settings with color management. You will even find that a straight cut sequence that's been transcoded to YUV then compressed to H264 or sent to DVD will look much better than compressing your original footage.

One final note. We're now in the process of archiving the feature. I have decided to keep the camera original footage and only a ProRez render of the final cut because of the film's budget. If we have to revisit the project it will take a day to prep all of the original footage for editing. If the budget was bigger I would not hesitate to transcode all of the original footage and dump the camera original because when you are working with compressed footage the original is not the best you can do."

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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