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Animation vs. uncompressed render settings

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chris mclaughlinAnimation vs. uncompressed render settings
by on Apr 9, 2010 at 12:51:34 pm

Hi there...with all the reading I have done about after effects not being so great at compression I have been using the animation codec in the render output module for all my renders to keep the alpha channel and video quality.....It has provided great results...wondering if I can get even better results?....just confused about something...which is better...Animation?....none?....uncompressed 8 bit?..10 bit? in terms of my settings under making a .mov file.....is selecting "none" the same as "uncompressed"....all footage is standard definition and will get imported into Premier Pro CS4 for final production....my output is aimed at DVD.


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Animation vs. uncompressed render settings
by on Apr 9, 2010 at 1:17:47 pm

After Effects does a fine job with the animation codec. It used to be the preferred way to get stuff out of AE. The PNG codec seems to be gaining a lot of ground lately though.

The reason After Effects gets a bad rap about compressing is that it can't do any kind of multi-pass encoding.
Dave LaRonde explains:
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.


We're talking about compression here. Intermediate steps (the animation codec you use) is not really compression.
In other words, you are doing it right.

- 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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chris mclaughlinRe: Animation vs. uncompressed render settings
by on Apr 9, 2010 at 2:09:26 pm

thanks appreciate the help


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Dave LaRondeRe: Animation vs. uncompressed render settings
by on Apr 9, 2010 at 1:22:15 pm

It's tough to beat Animation because it's lossless. It is, however, 8-bit.

But since you're going to DVD anyway, it's just fine for your purposes. You'll eventually need to create an mpeg2 file for your DVD (don't do it in AE!), and mpeg2 is also 8-bit.

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


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chris mclaughlinRe: Animation vs. uncompressed render settings
by on Apr 9, 2010 at 2:10:39 pm

thanks Dave you have been a great help....your posts on the COW have been very resourceful


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Shawn MarshallRe: Animation vs. uncompressed render settings
by on Apr 9, 2010 at 8:11:25 pm

How about the Apple ProRes 4444 codec? Do you see that as a higher-quality (12-bit) alternative to the Animation codec?

Thanks.

Shawn Marshall
Marshall Arts Motion Graphics


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John FishbackRe: Animation vs. uncompressed render settings
by on Apr 11, 2010 at 4:41:35 pm

An advantage of using ProRes is it will play in RT in FCP in a ProRes sequence (ie. no rendering) where Animation will have to be rendered. ProRes is a very good-looking compressed format. You'll have to decide if you see a difference between it and the Animation codec which, as Dave points out is lossless.

John

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