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H264 or ProRes in After Effects

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Joe OrangeH264 or ProRes in After Effects
by on Nov 15, 2010 at 1:55:11 pm

Is it true that AE can handle native H264 files straight out of a 5D without the need to convert to ProRes?

thanks


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Dave LaRondeRe: H264 or ProRes in After Effects
by on Nov 15, 2010 at 3:52:00 pm

Sometimes. It depends on the version of AE you have. So what do you have?


Personally, I don't like H.264 for production work -- that's not what it was made for. It's primarily a delivery codec, and a barely-passable acquisition codec. If it were my machine, I'd convert to ProRes every time.

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


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Joe OrangeRe: H264 or ProRes in After Effects
by on Nov 15, 2010 at 6:35:03 pm

Version 10.
What specifically could go wrong, dropped/duplicated frames, sluggish performance?


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Dave LaRondeRe: H264 or ProRes in After Effects
by on Nov 15, 2010 at 6:47:56 pm

If you're simply doing cuts-only editing, it's fine.

But if you want to do anything else -- like disssolves, picture-in-picture, after effects work -- H.264 will slow you down, because it takes a comparatively long time to re-compress. But here's the killer: because it's a lossy codec, your video quality will take a hit. Any time you'd need to do rendering of any kind, video quality would suffer.

And since you mentioned ProRes, you should also know that H.264 is unacceptable as an editing codec for FCP. Don't even go there if you cut in FCP.

H.264 just isn't the be-all and end-all Apple would lead you to believe.

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


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Kevin CampRe: H264 or ProRes in After Effects
by on Nov 15, 2010 at 6:49:23 pm

i can't attest to this fully, as i'm still using cs4 (possibly todd can shed some light here), but i would imagine that h.264 may still add some unpredictability to ae... maybe not crashes, but an occasional frame anomaly.

i can guarantee that h.246 will use more cpu when you are working with it... now whether that's enough noticeably effect performance would come down to how many h.264 layers are in a comp, how powerful your system is and how efficiently your setup is.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Joe OrangeRe: H264 or ProRes in After Effects
by on Nov 15, 2010 at 7:19:32 pm

Many thanks guys - ProRes it is!


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