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HD Export in After Effects

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Phil LeBeau
HD Export in After Effects
on Mar 12, 2010 at 11:23:58 pm

Using AE CS4, I created a 40 second composition with the following settings:

1920x1080
Pixel Aspect Ratio D1/DVNTSC 0.91
30 Frames Per Second

My question is this: Can you give me advice on the best output settings to preserve the HD quality without the huge file size?

I did a 10 second test using ANIMATION as the compression, the file is 890mb

I did another 10 second test with Pro Res 422 and the 10 second clip was 187mb

I could not tell a difference in quality. But the Pro Res played smoother with Quicktime.

I will take the final MOV file exported from AE and put it into Final Cut to add sound effects to complete the commercial.

The client will end up with the VIDEO clip in a Final Cut timeline and the RAW export file from After Effects.

I am just trying to be efficient but not loose quality - the video will more than likely be played back off of some sort of computer playback system and it will be played on a screen at a large conference.

Thanks for your advice and thoughts.








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Kevin Camp
Re: HD Export in After Effects
on Mar 13, 2010 at 2:12:59 am

[Phil LeBeau] "I created a 40 second composition with the following settings:

1920x1080
Pixel Aspect Ratio D1/DVNTSC 0.91
30 Frames Per Second"


first off, if your working in 1920x1080, you comp settings should be square pixel and 29.97fps (or 23.976, if you are working with 24p). you should be able to change your current comp settings to those and not have any issues.

as far as the codec to render to, most users typically use the lossless animation codec as their intermediate codec (to go between software before final render/delivery), but the files are quite large... they are intended to preserve quality as they pass through your workflow and are not intended for real-time playback.

since you are using fcp and it sounds like fcp is the next destination, prores hq is one of the better alternatives, and probably what you'd want fcp would convert the animation file to anyway to edit with.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Phil LeBeau
Re: HD Export in After Effects
on Mar 13, 2010 at 3:41:53 am

Thanks for your reply.

Since I have the comp at 30fps - will it hurt it if I change it to 29.97?
Can I still leave my comp at 30 fps?

My video consist of photos that are cut in pieces and move, flourishes that write on, and moving text. I don't have any moving video.

Once I export the file from AE using the Animation codec - I will put it in Final cut and then re-export it from Final Cut using Apple Pro Res HQ.

My only 1920x1080 Apple Pro RES HQ in Final Cut is 30 FPS. Will that be a problem if I change it to 29.97 in After Effects?

Thanks so much.




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Kevin Camp
Re: HD Export in After Effects
on Mar 13, 2010 at 4:19:42 pm

changing your comp from 30 to 29.97 shouldn't effect anything in the comp since you don't have any footage items.... however if you did have footage layers, they would usually be 29.97 (or 23.976 for 24p, or 59.94 for hd 720), since those are the standards that are used ntsc/atsc video.

however,if you have video in fcp that is infact 30fps and this will be edited/combined with that video, then you should stick with 30 fps, but i would verify that the footage is indeed 30fps... as i said, 29.97 is a video standard frame rate and what most cameras shoot with, however there are some cameras and screen capture apps that record for computer playback, rather than tv/video playback, and those often record in 30fps.

since your destination sounds like computer playback 30fps would probably be ok to stick with.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Phil LeBeau
Re: HD Export in After Effects
on Mar 15, 2010 at 3:54:08 pm

Awesome - thanks so much!



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Luke Jubie
Re: HD Export in After Effects
on Mar 16, 2010 at 8:21:24 pm

I would still render an Animation Codec version of your comp, it is a good codec that doesn't care about your editing system. Some day in the future someone might need to import your animation into a system that can't play ProRes, for example.


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