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PNG vs TIFF vs ?? for final deliverable

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Eric Guiliani
PNG vs TIFF vs ?? for final deliverable
on Jun 19, 2017 at 1:39:45 pm

Hey Guys,

I got a pretty tight deadline where I need to export for a TV spot (broadcast). Since I'm looking at 2-3 day render times from AE with all the effects and 3D I have in it, I'm rendering image stills to later combine with audio just in case something fails... I have the images rendered there and usable.

With that said, it seems PNGs take less time to render than TIFFs and are smaller. My question is, for a final product... is PNG good enough? Or is it compressed in any way where I shouldn't use it to make a final movie to deliver.


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Walter Soyka
Re: PNG vs TIFF vs ?? for final deliverable
on Jun 19, 2017 at 1:57:29 pm

Though they use different compression schemes, PNG and TIFF are both mathematically lossless from After Effects. You will have no issue using either format.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Eric Guiliani
Re: PNG vs TIFF vs ?? for final deliverable
on Jun 19, 2017 at 1:59:30 pm

Oh Ok, thanks. Any reason TIFF files are almost 3 times larger for the same frame? That to me would say the TIFF is more a "raw" file for use in the final movie to export.


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Walter Soyka
Re: PNG vs TIFF vs ?? for final deliverable
on Jun 19, 2017 at 2:30:03 pm

[Eric Guiliani] " Any reason TIFF files are almost 3 times larger for the same frame? That to me would say the TIFF is more a "raw" file for use in the final movie to export."

The default settings for TIFF output from After Effects is uncompressed. PNG, on the other hand, uses the same compression scheme that ZIP files do. (You could get similarly-sized files in the TIFF format by enabling LZW compression.)

PNG's compression is lossless; when you decode a PNG, your output is a perfect mathematical match for your input.

Note that this is very different from the way that other image formats deal with compression. JPEG, ProRes, and many others, for example, achieve file size reduction by actually throwing away image data. That's why a decoded JPEG will not match its original input.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Eric Guiliani
Re: PNG vs TIFF vs ?? for final deliverable
on Jun 19, 2017 at 3:21:27 pm

OK thanks for the explanation. Just so I'm clear, I can literally render PNG frames... then pull them into AE as a sequence, drop that sequence into a comp... add audio and render to whichever format... and it will interpret the PNG frames without compression? Thus making it a good alternative for rendering out a final deliverable file to broadcast.


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Walter Soyka
Re: PNG vs TIFF vs ?? for final deliverable
on Jun 19, 2017 at 3:42:32 pm

Compression means "making things take up less space." It doesn't always mean "making images worse."

Compression can be lossy (like JPEG, where image data is thrown away and the decoded image is lower quality than the encoded image) or it can be lossless (like PNG, where image data is preserved, and the decoded image is identical to the encoded image).

PNG is lossless. (So is Ae's TIFF implementation.)

You can use either one as an intermediate format the way you just described, with no loss whatsoever.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Eric Guiliani
Re: PNG vs TIFF vs ?? for final deliverable
on Jun 19, 2017 at 3:47:46 pm

Awesome, thanks Walter. That saves render time now!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: PNG vs TIFF vs ?? for final deliverable
on Jun 19, 2017 at 4:33:38 pm

[Eric Guiliani] "Just so I'm clear, I can literally render PNG frames... then pull them into AE as a sequence, drop that sequence into a comp... add audio and render to whichever format... and it will interpret the PNG frames without compression?"

Yeah, but why would you? It's the wrong tool for the job. You wouldn't be using AE for its strengths. You could do the same thing in Premier Pro, and it would be a lot simpler & faster.

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


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