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Importing rule of thumb?

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Eric HamiltonImporting rule of thumb?
by on Jan 15, 2012 at 12:49:47 am

I'm fairly new to After Effects and was wondering if anyone could explain the best way to utilize the importing of files into AE.

I want to know how to get the best quality of these files as well as import them properly and so that After Effects won't have a heart attack or run out of RAM.

(NOTE: Im using CS4, but will be getting CS5 in the near future!)


Here are the 3 kinds of file types that I'm concerned with:

- .mov files
- PSD files
- Image files in general (is TIFF best for this or something else?)



Hope someone can help me out so I can begin my next project!
It would be very appreciated!


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John CuevasRe: Importing rule of thumb?
by on Jan 15, 2012 at 12:56:30 pm

There isn't anything to do to get the best quality of the files, when you import them AE, doesn't compress or do anything, they keep their native resolution/dimensions.

Maintaining the quality of the files is depends on what you do in AE, if scale a layer a lot larger then it is, it will start to look bad. Another gotcha is interpreting the video footage incorrectly. Finally rendering to a high quality/lossless file will also keep your video looking it's sharpest.

I'll also add the Michael Szalapski stock answer, since it's appropriate here:
Since you're new to After Effects, I would highly suggest you start here: Link The resources there will help you get a handle on some of the basics.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Importing rule of thumb?
by on Jan 17, 2012 at 4:03:54 pm

That's a great link you've shared there, John.

One thing to keep in mind, since you're using CS4 at the moment is one of Dave's Stock Answers:
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, mp4, 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.

This will only be a problem with your mov files IF they have one of the offending codecs. If they do, you can simply transcode them using Premiere or the Adobe Media Encoder into something like Quicktime with the PNG codec and you should be fine. Once you upgrade, this won't be an issue.

- 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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John CuevasRe: Importing rule of thumb?
by on Jan 17, 2012 at 4:54:01 pm

You and I should add that link to our signatures, would save time.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Eric HamiltonRe: Importing rule of thumb?
by on Jan 17, 2012 at 8:18:16 pm

Thank you both for all the help!


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