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Best Video Codec for AE

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Scott Witthaus
Best Video Codec for AE
on Jul 20, 2015 at 3:51:39 pm

Hey all. Is there any "flavor" that AE likes best. Thanks in advance.

sw

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Best Video Codec for AE
on Jul 20, 2015 at 5:28:21 pm

AE can work with most codecs.

It's best with codecs that don't use heavy interframe compression. So, for example, a QuickTime with the PNG codec is a good choice, whereas an mp4 file with the h.264 codec would be less than ideal.

- 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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Richard Herd
Re: Best Video Codec for AE
on Jul 20, 2015 at 8:48:40 pm

It doesn't really matter anymore. It used to matter when animating stills or using video because dynamic link changed all that. RAM previews are rendered out regardless.

One good thing though is to go to File > Project Settings > Working Space > [choose the one you are delivering to]


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Best Video Codec for AE
on Jul 21, 2015 at 2:27:03 pm

I'm with Michael on this one -- don't use codecs with inTERframe compression. Use codecs with inTRAframe compression. And because you're almost always compositing with AE, lossless codecs give you the best image quality.

Sure, AE can handle interframe codecs, but I'd only use them for dumb-as-a-fencepost, no-brainer jobs like animating text or Illustrator layers over video.

You want to fool around with the speed or the frame rate of clips? You want to do roto work? You've got tricky keying? You're doing motion tracking? You want to use Warp Stabilizer? You're picky about color correction? You want to use Mocha without hassles? Stick with the best codecs you can use.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Richard Herd
Re: Best Video Codec for AE
on Jul 21, 2015 at 4:47:58 pm

But Scott asked

[Scott Witthaus] "Hey all. Is there any "flavor" that AE likes best."

And the answer is No. After Effects likes them all the same. It really doesn't matter what footage you're handed, but if you can demand a particular flavor, Dave makes a good point:

[Dave LaRonde] "Stick with the best codecs you can use" However, if the shooter shot dSLR longGOP 420 and hands you APR422, that is not an increase in the picture quality.

But often we don't get to choose. The shooter hands us footage and we make a story out of it. In the cases when I'm handed a bunch of mixed stuff, I always put it into Apple Pro Res 422, and then I pick the frame rate that makes sense. Mixed frame rates will drive render times/RAM previews sky high. If AE renders seem sluggish be sure to check the frame rates on all the footage and all the comps.


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Best Video Codec for AE
on Jul 21, 2015 at 4:55:21 pm

Great advice. Thank you all. I went with ProRes422 and it seems to be working fine. Really liking AE for what I am doing, which is basic stuff but a great learning experience. Thanks again.

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Best Video Codec for AE
on Jul 21, 2015 at 5:04:29 pm

Good choice of codecs. You'll be happy you used it. ProRes 422 can withstand 6 generations of re-rendering with no visible image degredation... and who re-renders things six times?

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Richard Herd
Re: Best Video Codec for AE
on Jul 21, 2015 at 5:34:07 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "who re-renders things six times?
"


I have some clients...sheesh. ;)


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Best Video Codec for AE
on Jul 22, 2015 at 4:00:23 pm

Oh, my.......

I feel your pain.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Best Video Codec for AE
on Jul 21, 2015 at 5:17:47 pm

[Richard Herd]: “In the cases when I'm handed a bunch of mixed stuff, I always put it into Apple Pro Res 422, and then I pick the frame rate that makes sense.”

Yup. You don't want your work to degrade the image quality any more than than acquisition codec may have already done in the recording process.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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