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.mov created with AE won't play back properly in new project

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Eddy Falconer
.mov created with AE won't play back properly in new project
on Feb 19, 2010 at 5:06:42 am

A Quicktime movie exported from AE plays back fine in Quicktime, with all the proper colors, but when repened inside a new AE project, plays back striped with all the colors wrong, etc. This does not seem to change with project or composition settings. Why on earth is this happening? None of the other clips, .movs created the same way, are affected....I am guessing a codec doesn't match but don't know how to tell enough about the clip to be sure. And....I could be wrong, it could be something else....or?


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Joey Foreman
Re: .mov created with AE won't play back properly in new project
on Feb 19, 2010 at 5:38:10 am

Did you Export or did you Render?

What settings did you use?

If you can't remember, select the footage item in the Project Panel, and read the information at the top. Codec, Frame Rate, Duration, Field Order, it's all there.

And here's my first opportunity to use this, and he hope he doesn't mind:

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.



Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA



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Eddy Falconer
Re: .mov created with AE won't play back properly in new project
on Feb 19, 2010 at 6:18:29 am

Ah---same codec as other files (apple ProRes 422), but somehow 960 x 540 (1.00) instead of 1920 x 1080....

I rendered. "Make Movie...:"

Just now tried playing it back in a new composition with those settings, but the same problem with color & striping persists.

Also, the footage is only footage by way of rendering out a movie in AE---it was never live footage, but a movie rendered out of animated PSDs.


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Joey Foreman
Re: .mov created with AE won't play back properly in new project
on Feb 19, 2010 at 2:38:59 pm

Double check the Comp settings, and when you render again, leave the Render Settings at Best, and the Output Module to Lossless.
You don't need to go into the Output Module in this instance, unless you need to render with audio or an alpha channel.

This will give you a render that has the same specs as your composition, and will be encoded with the Animation Codec, which uses less compression than ProRes 422, which throws away some of your color depth.
Since you're generating the content entirely in AE, your chroma subsampling is 4:4:4, so you're losing a total of 4 bits going to 4:2:2.

I've gotten nice results with ProRes HQ, which is 4:4:4, but go with Animation for now, until you get a "perfect" render.



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Eddy Falconer
Re: .mov created with AE won't play back properly in new project
on Feb 19, 2010 at 3:36:27 pm

Sorry, not helpful.

As I said, the sequence won't play back in a comp created specifically to its stated specs, either.

All the other clips rendered the same way, with ProRes, Best and Lossless (yes, Best and Lossless settings had already been used) play back properly in AE. ONly this one does not.

I used ProRes for the sequence on the recommendation of another professional who said the Animation codec would make it impossible to work with jpegs over a certain size, so try the other codec. As I said, Quicktime plays them all back fine, including this one, only AE won't. Even in a comp of matching size. THere is nothing to suggest anything in the COmp settings ought to be different between this sequence and the others except for the PAR dimensions. And what would that have to do with color playback? BTW it's not that large a file, under 900 MB

Nothing has changed from one sequence to the next in any Comp settings before rendering, otherwise.

Is there another suggestion aside from render it over again? Would be great if anyone can think of one. I would hate to think there is no more information to be had about what to try.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: .mov created with AE won't play back properly in new project
on Feb 19, 2010 at 4:18:35 pm

[Eddy Falconer] "...same codec as other files (apple ProRes 422), but somehow 960 x 540 (1.00) instead of 1920 x 1080.... I rendered. "Make Movie...:" "

Okay, let me get this workflow straight:
  • You exported a 1920x1080 ProRes clip from an FCP edit timeline.
  • You imported the ProRes clip into AE, and put it into a 1920x1080 comp
  • You did stuff to it in AE.
  • You put the clip into the AE Render Queue, and set up a render for the ProRes codec
  • The result: AE rendered a 960x540 (!) ProRes clip that looks god-awful

Is that right? If yes, there is some operator error along the way, but it's tough to pin it down unless you 1) confirm the workflow and 2) answer additional questions, such as:

Was this REALLY a 1920x1080 clip? Could it actually have been 1440x1080 clip?

What was the frame rate? Tell us what you THINK it should have been, then go check the frame rate of the FCP edit timeline, and the frame rate of the clip once imported into AE, and the frame rate of the comp you put this clip into.

Did you mess with any of the various Render Settings or the Output Module settings once the comp was in the Render Queue? I think you did.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Eddy Falconer
Re: .mov created with AE won't play back properly in new project
on Feb 19, 2010 at 4:29:43 pm

No, the clip was not created in FCP. It was created in AE out of imported PSD documents. (Each PSD has only one layer, very simple stuff 'done to them' in AE). Rendered out in Pro Res.

Frame rate of result is 29.97

It is entirely possible that it is operator error. But what could the error have been? That is the question.

Yes, 960 X 540 does seem a little improbable....and that is the only evidence, clicking on the clip in the project panel now, of anything being different than it was intended. Aside from the color!



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Eddy Falconer
Re: .mov created with AE won't play back properly in new project
on Feb 20, 2010 at 3:09:05 am

No answers over here still as to what happens, but you gave me the idea to do the assemble edit in FCP rather than AE. For whatever reason, they all play back fine there and I have my edit intact without any weird stripes or colors anywhere.

Most mysteriously, in FCP, when I import the troublesome clip to a project and look in the viewer to see what frame size FCP thinks it is, it says the clip matches all the others, 1920 x 1080...(also, they are all Apple ProRes 422 and 29.97.....including that one)

Wonders never cease. I am chalking up erratic behavior of everything to conflicts with newly installed Pro Tools. Am hoping that blame game can stop sometime soon, but there have been some strange episodes, indeed. WHo knows!


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