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Best Compression w/out Messing with colors

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Raine VivianBest Compression w/out Messing with colors
by on Feb 8, 2010 at 5:41:43 am


Hello fellow film people!
I'm having I problem with compression. When rendering out a compressed video from after FX CS4 I noticed that its messing with my colors quite a bit. Blacks are no longer black. When I render it with no compression it looks great. What gives?

Anyone have any suggestions for compression I should try? I'm trying to keep the video file fairly small, so 2gigs of ram can still run the video file, without dropping frames in the video player.

Tried FFD show, but its really messing with my colors. I don't like the rendered product at all. Any idea's? thanks guys!

-Raine

http://www.rainevivian.net
http://www.seaboundesign.com


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Best Compression w/out Messing with colors
by on Feb 8, 2010 at 6:46:15 am

From Dave LaRonde:
Dave's Stock Answer #3:

Don't use AE to compress files for final delivery. The various
compressors are there only to make quick 'n dirty files showing a
project's progress to producers, clients, the kids, etc. AE is incapable
of doing multipass encoding, a crucial feature that greatly improves the
image quality of H.264 and MPEG-type files in particular.

Render a high-quality file from AE, and use a different application to
do the compression. Popular ones are Adobe Media Encoder, Sorenson
Squeeze and Apple's Compressor, which comes bundled with Final Cut
Suite. Even compressing in Quicktime Pro is better than compressing in
AE.

Making good-looking compressed files is almost as much an art as it is a
science. It is NOT straightforward at all. I recommend asking a few
questions at the COW's Compression Techniques forum.
What compression have you been using that is showing such bad colors?
What sort of compression you choose to use is going to depend on where your end product is going to be played. You say 2 gigs of RAM in a video player...is this in laptops you own, customers via DVD-ROM, web-based, mass group, Windows or Mac, etc.?

- 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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Raine VivianRe: Best Compression w/out Messing with colors
by on Feb 8, 2010 at 8:27:00 am

Hey, thanks for replying.
I used ffd show, and microsoft dv, and it made everything look just a little washed out.

I wont use AE for the final compression, thanks for the head up on that one. The only problem is I've been having a hard time getting the audio to sync up with the video. When I imported my premier project into AE it threw everything just a little off. I was just hoping there was a way to make a compressed version so I can see if the audio is syncing up because I can't preview the audio with the video in AE without rendering it. totally sucks.

The reason why I brought up the 2 gigs of ram, is when I export a full or even half render of the video, my computer has a hard time keeping up. I'll look into a stand alone compressor.

In the mean time have any idea's as to what I can do to test out the audio sync with the video in a way that wont take me hours of rendering? Thanks again. =)



-Raine Vivian

http://www.rainevivian.net
http://www.seaboundesign.com


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Best Compression w/out Messing with colors
by on Feb 8, 2010 at 2:16:39 pm

You can preview audio with video without rendering the whole thing by pressing 0 on your number pad to do a RAM preview, it'd let you check audio sync for selected sections of your timeline. Also, you can do RAM previews at quarter resolution and it will speed up your previews quite a bit. However, I'm going to assume you know that and go on to fixing your problems.

First, playback issues:
Are you working in HD? Often HD files rendered out of AE have too high of a bitrate for hard drives to keep up. It's often not a RAM problem with video playback, it's the hard drive. If you want to play back a lossless HD file, you need to have a RAID setup. Just something to keep in mind. Again, using the Adobe Media Encoder is going to give you a lot more control, including your target bitrate, so you can make sure to keep it in a reasonable range. HD WMV's at 2000 play fine and look reasonable.

Second, audio issues:
Render a .WAV file out of Premiere and place it on your timeline in lieu of separate audio. AE is a compositing program and thus is kinda "meh" with audio.
Just as another FYI, if you're using MP3's, AE doesn't like them.

Also, if your video footage is MPEG, M2T, H.264, etc. AE won't like it either. And it may be causing your sync problem. Again we turn to Dave LaRonde:
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.


- 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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Raine VivianRe: Best Compression w/out Messing with colors
by on Feb 8, 2010 at 7:24:08 pm

Hey thanks man, that helps a lot.
I'll try converting it back into a wav, that might be a big part of the problem. as far as the video, its not in HD. I don't know, guess my computer just sucks. =)


I'll give it a shot. thanks again!


-Raine Vivian

http://www.rainevivian.net
http://www.seaboundesign.com


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Best Compression w/out Messing with colors
by on Feb 8, 2010 at 8:17:41 pm

Well, if it's only got 2 Gigs of RAM, yes it really sucks.
I'm running a computer with two quad-core processors and 16 gigs of RAM and I still want more power than I have sometimes.

- 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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Raine VivianRe: Best Compression w/out Messing with colors
by on Feb 9, 2010 at 1:05:47 am

Jesus.
Yeah, I think that's most of my problem. Oh well, I guess I just need patience. Thanks for your help. =)


-Raine Vivian

http://www.rainevivian.net
http://www.seaboundesign.com


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