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Secondary Color Correction + Multiple Layers = HUGE file size

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Hillary KnoxSecondary Color Correction + Multiple Layers = HUGE file size
by on Jul 22, 2010 at 8:14:11 pm

I'm doing some color correction in AE CS5 (the new Color Finesse is awesome). I'm just now getting around to having to do some secondary correction using duplicate layers & masks, not the secondary feature of Color Finesse, (although I'm using that too, I don't think it makes any difference with regard to my question). The footage I'm receiving is .mov DV Animation codec which is how I'm being asked to deliver it.

Problem is, the file sizes are huge. I'm rendering lossless, so files where I only use a single layer are approximately the same size as the original file, which is great. However, I just did a 4-layer composition with masking for secondary correction, and the file size, as you might imagine, is roughly 4 times the size of the original. Given that I have to deliver in the same format that I'm receiving, is there anything that I can do to keep my file sizes down & still be able to use multiple duplicate layers for secondary color correction?

Thanks.


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Andy GeorgeRe: Secondary Color Correction + Multiple Layers = HUGE file size
by on Jul 22, 2010 at 8:36:11 pm

The footage I'm receiving is .mov DV Animation
Im guessing you mean that your footage is DV sized (720x480) using the Animation codec.
Is that correct?
DV is a compression scheme own it's own so it can't be both DV and Animation.


I just did a 4-layer composition with masking for secondary correction, and the file size, as you might imagine, is roughly 4 times the size of the original.

I would not expect the number of layers in my composition to have any affect on my final file size. Are you rendering these layers out separately to be composited at a later date?

-Andy George
Senior Editor
http://www.chiselindustries.com


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Hillary KnoxRe: Secondary Color Correction + Multiple Layers = HUGE file size
by on Jul 22, 2010 at 9:18:01 pm

Im guessing you mean that your footage is DV sized (720x480) using the Animation codec. Is that correct?

Sorry, yes, that is correct. I should have been more clear.

I would not expect the number of layers in my composition to have any affect on my final file size. Are you rendering these layers out separately to be composited at a later date?

Right...I wouldn't expect that either, which is why I'm asking the question. I should have said "as you might expect because I'm posting this question about surprisingly large file sizes". I'm not rendering the layers separately. In this case, the separate layers aren't of use to anyone but me.

I have been playing around with color bit depth just to see if that has anything to do with it. It seems that when I render the files in 8-bit, the file sizes are roughly double the original file size. When I render 32-bit (the project bit-depth), the file sizes are roughly triple the original file size. For what I'm working with, rendering in 8-bit makes basically no difference than rendering in 32-bit, so that's half the solution right there.

But, even when rendering in 8-bit, why would the file size double when all I'm doing is some relatively simple color correction? (My relative ignorance of the Animation codec might be part of the answer.)

Thanks.


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Andy GeorgeRe: Secondary Color Correction + Multiple Layers = HUGE file size
by on Jul 22, 2010 at 9:49:32 pm

The Animation codec is 8 bit only. Regardless of how you set your bpc in AE the end result will be 8 bit and the file size should be the same. 32-bit is overkill for just about everything and will just increase your render time.

But, even when rendering in 8-bit, why would the file size double when all I'm doing is some relatively simple color correction? (My relative ignorance of the Animation codec might be part of the answer.)

I suspect that the source file you are working with was compressed somehow differently than the exports you are creating. The Animation Codec creates massive files. Really Really large files. How long and big is your source file and how big are your exports coming out? A couple gig's is no sweat for Animation in a hurry.

There's not a lot of setting you can twiddle with using the animation codec to make the file smaller. Make sure it's set to Millions of Color's instead of Millions+ unless you need an alpha channel.

-Andy George
Senior Editor
http://www.chiselindustries.com


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Hillary KnoxRe: Secondary Color Correction + Multiple Layers = HUGE file size
by on Jul 22, 2010 at 10:08:25 pm

Ok, that's all great information. Thanks for that.

Working in the project at 32-bit *seems* to give me some better results when using certain aspects of Color Finesse, but I don't have any scientific proof to back that up. I mean, I know you can't manufacture detail out of nothing, but working in 32-bit appears to offer some minor advantages when using Color Finesse like trying to recover detail from blown out highlights...again, nothing I could prove.

As I said before, rendering in Animation 8-bit (as set in the AE render settings) gives me a file size that is around half that of a file rendered in Animation 32-bit. Since the Animation codec is 8-bit only as you say, I guess there's just a bunch of duplicated data in my 32-bit renders? I certainly can't see any difference in the renders.

Millions vs Millions+ is a good idea.

Yeah, animation can get huge, I guess so. In this instance, the source file I'm dealing with that prompted this whole thread is about 10 secs, & about 190 MB. When I correct it & render it as 8-bit, it ends up being about 360 MB. When I render as 32-bit, it's almost 600 MB.

Thanks for the help.


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Todd KoprivaRe: Secondary Color Correction + Multiple Layers = HUGE file size
by on Jul 22, 2010 at 10:55:09 pm

Animation excels at compressing areas of flat color.

When you work at 8bpc, colors are more posterized/quantized/flat than when you work at 32bpc. In other words, a gradient will have a more blocky or banded appearance in 8bpc.

Animation will make smaller files out of movies that have banded gradients, because those are regions of unchanging color.

BTW, Animation is a terrible choice for photo-realistic images. The PNG codec is also lossless and does a much better job with compressing gradients. Use Animation for... well... animation (cartoons). Use PNG for photo-real work.

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