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Dale KutzeraCodec Settings for Web Video?
by on Jul 3, 2012 at 11:17:47 pm

Like many newbies, my brain hurts at the idea of Codecs. I am making an animated web series and looking for the best codec workflow. The animated shots will be created in AE, rendered and then edited in Premiere, and then exported in a codec that will work for the web.

I started created my AE shots in HDTV 1080 29.97, but that may be overkill so I went down to HDV/HDTV 720 29.97. I hoped this would save on render times, but shots still take a long time to render. And a ten second shot results in a 500GB quicktime file that quicktime refuses to play smoothly. I have not tried editing these shots in Premiere yet, but assume that some flavor of H.264 would be a suitable finishing export format.

Is there a best practices workflow of codecs that will result in an internet compatible finished product? My research on sites Like Youtube, Vimeo and Hulu all mention that 720p is adequate resolution.


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John CuevasRe: Codec Settings for Web Video?
by on Jul 4, 2012 at 12:29:11 am

Read this first: Why is my output file huge, and why doesn't it play back smoothly in a medi...

Next: What is the best format for rendering and exporting from After Effects?

For the web, I generally use Quicktime H.264, good quality, fairly small, hinted streaming. FLV's also provide a nice blend of size/quality, some mobile devices won't play them though, so there is that drawback.

What's the destination of these video's, your own website, client, youtube?

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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Dale KutzeraRe: Codec Settings for Web Video?
by on Jul 4, 2012 at 1:04:35 am

The destination is for web distribution, so Youtube, Vimeo, my own site, Funny or Die...that sort of thing. I assume the output will be some flavor of H.264. Backing up from there is where things get complicated. I'm exporting 1280X720 shots from AE as Lossless Quicktime Files. Maybe I should export them as Prores HQ? Or would that may render times even longer?


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John CuevasRe: Codec Settings for Web Video?
by on Jul 4, 2012 at 3:17:37 am

I work a PC and haven't ever noticed my render times decrease significantly rendering to a lossless codee(Animation, .AVI) vs. a compressed codec. I'm sure there is a difference but not enough for me to change my work flow.

What I see most people suggest here is to render the lossless, then take that file into Media Encoder and render your final formats. One extra benefit of this is you have an uncompressed HD quality file for your archives...you can make anything from it later if you so desire.

My general workflow is from AE to Avid, then to the web, so this is a little unfamiliar ground for me, but on occassion I'll go directly to the web from AE and I think it looks okay. If you want to take the shortcut and go directly to the web, you can render directly to H.264 from AE. For webfiles, I don't even think you need to change a thing, but if you really wanted to be safe, raise the bit rate up to about 5Mbps.

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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Juan WeeRe: Codec Settings for Web Video?
by on Jul 4, 2012 at 10:29:41 am

Happened to see this post by chance. Just to check, is there any difference between these two:

- rendering a lossless from AE then taking it into Media Encoder and rendering
- directly importing a .ae file into Media Encoder and rendering it

Much thanks in advanced! :)


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Dale KutzeraRe: Codec Settings for Web Video?
by on Jul 6, 2012 at 12:03:57 am

I haven't tried Media Encoder yet. My current idea is rendering lossless from AE, import into Premiere and edit the shots together, then export into a compress web-friendly codec...probably a 720p file in some flavor of H.264.


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John CuevasRe: Codec Settings for Web Video?
by on Jul 6, 2012 at 11:43:06 am

In theory, I can't think of any reason why those would produce any different results. Unless Todd Kopriva stops by and can confirm/educate us, I'd suggest if you have some time, try a few tests(try one with gradients, those can be tough on compression).

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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