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H.264 Render Problems

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george robbinsH.264 Render Problems
by on Apr 4, 2011 at 10:29:12 pm

Rendering out file with H.264 SOMETIMES has frame order problems, and then other renders is perfect. Of course client is now waiting for render and it decides to do all the time. I can render out QT Animation no problem, but it is frustrating.

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Dave LaRondeRe: H.264 Render Problems
by on Apr 4, 2011 at 10:54:28 pm

There's not a lot of information in your post for a diagnosis, but you shouldn't be making H.264's in AE anyway:

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.


And on the chance that you do NOT run AE 10, it could be the footage in the project, too:

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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george robbinsRe: H.264 Render Problems
by on Apr 5, 2011 at 2:38:07 am

Thanks for you answer, but I am hoping for more specifics. I have rendered the same comp several times with no troubles. True, the footage in there is probably the worst you can imagine, codec-wise. Yes, I can work around it, but it takes TIME to render out QT and then compress, vs. rendering a compressed file in the first place. What troubles me is that the error is inconsistent, sometimes appearing and sometimes not, but mostly when client is waiting for an encode. The other strange thing is that the render is read as "30.1" fps by the player.

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Dave LaRondeRe: H.264 Render Problems
by on Apr 5, 2011 at 2:50:54 pm

I'm sorry you're having problems, but you simply continued your lament without addressing the issues I raised. Thus, I'm in no better position to render assistance than I was before.

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

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