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What File Type Is Best For Image Sequencing?

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Max JacksonWhat File Type Is Best For Image Sequencing?
by on Jul 28, 2010 at 8:34:56 pm

I found Adobe docs talk about "how-to" but can't seem to find anything on what file type to use.

JPG is a compressed format that in Flash we don't use until the end of a process to avoid loss of resolution. People use JPGs for After Effects? Gosh, I would think there's so many stages in broadcast media that JPG would be the last thing people use.

I would think using PNGs or something would help preserve resolution. Is that wrong?


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Dave LaRondeRe: What File Type Is Best For Image Sequencing?
by on Jul 28, 2010 at 8:59:31 pm

[Max Jackson] "I would think using PNGs or something would help preserve resolution. Is that wrong?"

Yup. Graphics format is irrelevant to resolution.

Sure, PNGs would be better than jpegs, but sometimes you don't have any choice in the matter. A lot of DSLR's shoot either RAW or JPEG, the the jpegs don't look bad at all.

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


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Max JacksonRe: What File Type Is Best For Image Sequencing?
by on Jul 28, 2010 at 9:49:31 pm

Cool, good to know. I'll get use to seeing and working with JPGs as a standard.

Just for measure, I was referring mainly to, like, compositing and such. I imagine that upon export it could be any number of formats depending on the client.

Er...that's my guess at least. Being a noob my definitions aren't always clear.

Thanks Dave!


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Dave LaRondeRe: What File Type Is Best For Image Sequencing?
by on Jul 28, 2010 at 10:18:20 pm

[Max Jackson] "I was referring mainly to, like, compositing and such. I imagine that upon export it could be any number of formats depending on the client."

First thing: don't export. RENDER using the AE Render Queue. You can put a whole bunch of comps in the Render Queue, each using different codecs (for movies) and graphics formats (for image sequences), save the project, hit the render button, go to bed and wake up in the morning with everything done. Batch Processing, y'know.

If you do find yourself having to make image sequences that contain transparency, you won't make any jpeg sequences: jpeg doesn't support alpha channels. PNG, Targa and TIff sequences do, to name a few.

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


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Max JacksonRe: What File Type Is Best For Image Sequencing?
by on Jul 29, 2010 at 5:08:41 am

Oh okay, right. Yeah, it's just that I'm used to using Flash which the terminology is export/publish. Render, render, render...

I just read in this book I bought by Mark Christiansen (haven't gotten to it, read the intro to know I'm not ready for it just yet) and he talks about how in workflow it's safer to import a sequence of images rather than an MOV format in case of corruption. Which in my experience can possibly happen to any SWF format if it's compressed enough. The thing is with After Effects is that you're sourcing a file not embedding it. So making comp versions won't address a corrupt MOV, right? That was my motivation for image sequences, more importing than rendering at the moment.

I've been focusing mostly on the editing stage of workflow. Haven't gotten to exp...rendering yet. That's a good reminder about JPGs though. That'd be an ugly morning to wake up to a bunch of black space filling the motion.

Thanks Dave! :D


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Michael SzalapskiRe: What File Type Is Best For Image Sequencing?
by on Jul 29, 2010 at 6:23:01 pm

I have never used a JPEG sequence. I have used PNG and Targa though.

If you're new to AE, this is a great place to start.

- 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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Max JacksonRe: What File Type Is Best For Image Sequencing?
by on Jul 29, 2010 at 8:34:17 pm

Great, thanks Michael! In my off-time I'm soaking up as much as I can. Currently working through the use of expressions. Knowing ActionScript is going to come in handy. I've already jumped through 125 pages of Mr. Geduld's book.

I'll add this to my stack of material! :D


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Dave LaRondeRe: What File Type Is Best For Image Sequencing?
by on Jul 29, 2010 at 6:34:45 pm

[Max Jackson] "...he talks about how in workflow it's safer to import a sequence of images rather than an MOV format in case of corruption. Which in my experience can possibly happen to any SWF format if it's compressed enough..."

Well, at least you know what causes it, and you can take the appropriate steps, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. If I had to turn every quicktime movie I use in a day into separate image sequences, I wouldn't get any work done.

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


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Max JacksonRe: What File Type Is Best For Image Sequencing?
by on Jul 29, 2010 at 8:35:51 pm

Hehehe, yeah, it sounded like a whole other rendering schedule.

Probably a quicker fix would have a spare copy of the QT file. Duh, don't know why I didn't think of that. I guess when learning you put on blinders with what you read a lot of the time.

Thanks!


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Chris WrightRe: What File Type Is Best For Image Sequencing?
by on Jul 30, 2010 at 12:55:08 am

If you're compositing with image sequences then I recommend Tiff Lzw off trillions+. You'll have all the perfect 16 bit quality that's still smaller than PSD's. Targas shift pixels around from my tests and PNG's use Lzw compression which is lossy.

http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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stephen dixonRe: What File Type Is Best For Image Sequencing?
by on Nov 9, 2016 at 12:14:41 am

Nuh-uh. LZW is mathematically lossless, i.e. what you get out is bit-for-bit the same as what you put in.

LZW just removes redundancy in the file, without any processing of the image. That's how it can be used for any file — LZW is the same compression used to compress a zip file. So it's a lot faster than image-aware compression, but a lot less efficient. That's why TIFFs are still way bigger than JPEGs, even with LZW on.

Stephen Dixon
Editor, Animator, Motionographer
Museum Victoria


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Chris WrightRe: What File Type Is Best For Image Sequencing?
by on Nov 9, 2016 at 2:18:54 am

you're right, it is...now.

i think this was a bug back in ae cs3 or cs5.5 because it wasn't supposed to be and pissed me off. its fixed now for anyone interested. ae cc 2015.


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