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Large file size after rendering

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Jarek Celmer
Large file size after rendering
on May 18, 2011 at 9:15:53 am

I imported a 90MB .mov from my digital camera to AE just to do a slight colour correction. Then I set up the rendering options to use the QuickTime PNG codec at best quality and lossless compression. The resulting clip is over 900MB and vary jagged. I was rather expecting to get a similar size or a smaller file. It's one of my first attempts with AE and colour correction will probably be one of the things I'll be doing most of the time. Can someone point me to what am I doing wrong?
Many thanks
Jarek


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Large file size after rendering
on May 18, 2011 at 2:58:18 pm

[Jarek Celmer] "Can someone point me to what am I doing wrong?"

Nope. Sorry.

There are too many variables among video footage codecs, AE versions, graphics cards, operating systems, amount of memory, processors and cores to offer meaningful advice. If you can supply such information, we can start asking diagnostic questions.

In the meantime, here's some general-type advice:
  • In all pre-AE 10 versions, convert all long-gop video footage to a lossless codec.
  • DO NOT use open GL acceleration for rendering. It's okay for previewing, but not for rendering.
  • Don't use multiprocessing if you have 8 GB RAM or less.
  • Convert all compressed audio -- mp3, ac3, etc. -- to either wav or aiff files.


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


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Jarek Celmer
Re: Large file size after rendering
on May 18, 2011 at 3:18:56 pm

WOW I wouldn't even think this would have something to do with the resulting file size. Right, so the OS is Windows XPpro (32bit) 4GB RAM, nVidia GForce 8800GS, Intel CoreDueo Quad Q6600 CPU all that running AE CS4 with OpenGL disabled for rendering. In case needed my footage is made with either Panasonic Tz5 or Canon 550d. This particular one was from the Panasonic recorded in HD and it was only a short film hence the original size of only 90MB.
Jarek


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Large file size after rendering
on May 18, 2011 at 4:01:05 pm

To address your file size question, here's the short answer. Your footage is probably still in its acquisition codec. File sizes tend to be small. But you can't RENDER to an acquisition codec in AE without suffering significant image degredation. You render to a lossless, intermediate codec, and the file sizes are MUCH larger.

Are they too big for your machine? Your options are 1) get more storage, 2) put up with poor-looking images or 3) don't use AE.

Since you're on AE 9, make sure you have the update to AE 9.0.3, which came out AFTER the release of AE 10:
http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/10/after-effects-cs4-9-0-3-update.h...

Read this carefully! Make sure you're doing what you should!

Updated? Good. Now in the PROJECT WINDOW, highlight the footage in question to see the codec information at the top, then read this:

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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Jarek Celmer
Re: Large file size after rendering
on May 18, 2011 at 4:08:15 pm

Thanks Dave. I'll check that when I get back home although I'm pretty sure I installed all the updates when installing AE a couple of days ago.
Jarek


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Jarek Celmer
Re: Large file size after rendering
on May 18, 2011 at 9:11:51 pm

As I thought I'm up to date and as to the Project Window it only tells me that my footage is a QuickTime Movie not mentioning anything about any codec.

It's not that I lack of disk space. The thing is I've got a lot of perfectly good quicktime movies in 1280x720 at 30fps which already take quite a lot of disk space as most of them are around 1GB and those from 550d are much larger. All I want to do for the moment is apply some colour correction, some healing and perhaps some other effects in the future.

So I'm running my small test video through AE doing some colour correction thinking that starting from .mov and ending up with .mov only slightly modifying colours shouldn't change the size of the file. The result is, when trying the Animation codec setting it to best quality I'm ending up with a file that's 5-6 times larger than the original. The interesting thing is that when I set the quality to worse the resulting file size becomes just ridiculous. Starting from say 40MB I'm getting to over 1GB.

I started with AE as I've seen a lot of videos made with dSLRs on Youtube where the authors pointed to AE. If I was rendering movies from my 550d based on my current observations I would end up with enormous files which sooner or later, probably sooner than later, having 1.5TB free disk space at the moment, would force me to move my files to some data centre :) I'm assuming the videos I've seen on youtube can't be over 100GB a piece so somehow those guys get reasonable file sizes files possibly smaller than the original footage. Is AE not the right tool to do it then or is it just me choosing the wrong workflow or settings?
Jarek


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Large file size after rendering
on May 18, 2011 at 9:42:40 pm

Here's the bottom line: If you did not convert your video from its acquisition codec to a lossless codec prior to importing it into AE 9, you have to do this... for reasons enumerated elsewhere in this thread.

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


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Jarek Celmer
Re: Large file size after rendering
on May 18, 2011 at 10:34:48 pm

Do you mean that every frame has to be converted to a keyframe?
Jarek


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Large file size after rendering
on May 19, 2011 at 2:56:24 pm

[Jarek Celmer] "Do you mean that every frame has to be converted to a keyframe?"

Okay, this has devolved from a discussion about color correction, file sizes and rendering into a discussion about "How do I use AE?". Your question above makes that very evident. This is not a topic to be addressed simply in a thread in a forum.

As you've probably realized by now, there are many ways AE can confound your best efforts, and this typically happens by thinking you can use AE intuitively, and pick up a couple of tricks along the way. That's a recipe for disaster. As tempting as it is to move directly to the fun stuff, you need to begin at the beginning. And here's the beginning:
http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/01/getting-started-with-after-eff.h...

If you can afford to spend a little money, this is even better:
http://www.peachpit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0321734866

And it's also apparent you have no notion of what the term "codec" means. Think of an AVI or a Quicktime movie as a can. A can can hold all sorts of things: juice, soda, water, beer... different contents. Likewise, a quicktime movie can hold media encrypted in different compression schemes, aka COmpression-DECompression, aka codec.

There are literally thousands of codecs, there are a good number applicable for video use, and there are some that need to be converted to a DIFFERENT codec before they're used in other applications.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codec
See the section on media codecs.

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


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Jarek Celmer
Re: Large file size after rendering
on May 19, 2011 at 9:55:23 pm

I think I'm finally getting in the right direction. One thing I never said which is possibly why the confusion is what am I planning to do with my edited material. The answer is not much really. It's supposed to be my final edit and the videos will be stored on my hard drive for future viewing on my monitor. Possibly some will end up on youtube but surely not many. To summarize the priority is to get best quality possible while ideally reducing the file size so the final encoding does not need to be lossless.

After some digging around I found that my camera records .MOV MPEG-4 AVC, H.264 where the audio format is 44.1kHz Mono, Linear PCM. This told me that I can change the output audio settings from default impacting the resulting file size right away. Changing the output format to Video for Windows and the choosing XVID codec slightly reducing the quality gets me much closer where I want to be than when I started this thread giving me an output file that's almost half in size comparing to the original.

Also I read somewhere about a converter called Cineform Neoscene http://www.videoguys.com/Item/CineForm+NeoScene+for+PC+and+Mac/54E4543435F4... which apparently is a great first step when preparing the camera output before starting editing it. I haven't had a chance to get more details yet but all looks very interesting.

Dave, many thanks for your patience. Keep up the great work.
Jarek


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Large file size after rendering
on May 19, 2011 at 10:13:41 pm

Glad you're making progress. Here's a good way to make more:

I'd look at getting Quicktime Pro. Best 35 bucks you'll spend in many a moon. I don't know many pros who fart around with Windows-centric media unless it's for final delivery.

And DON'T get QT 10, or QT X, or whatever they call it: it's a train wreck in progress! Instead, get the latest version of Quicktime 7... very nice indeed.

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


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Jarek Celmer
Re: Large file size after rendering
on May 20, 2011 at 8:33:25 am

Once again thanks for the advice.
Jarek


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