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AE CS5 wmv export

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Graham QuinceAE CS5 wmv export
by on Jun 11, 2010 at 12:57:31 pm

Hi

I've just upgraded from CS3 and the encoding options for wmv in After Effects appear to have been radically reduced. (before there was as many options as when encoding in Premiere Pro)

Am I missing something?

Graham

http://www.YouTube.com/ShiveringCactus - Free FX for amateur films


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Can't assist with CS5 question, but...
by on Jun 11, 2010 at 1:27:22 pm

I don't have CS5 so I can't really talk about any changes, but as an aside, I woulnd't use AE for my final render. Dave LaRonde explains why:
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.
Now, AE does a good job at single-pass encoding (which, btw, takes less time than multipass encoding). I prefer multipass encoding because you get a higher quality video at the same bitrate.



- 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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Walter SoykaRe: AE CS5 wmv export
by on Jun 11, 2010 at 1:33:59 pm

As usual, I agree with Michael (and Dave by proxy) about using separate encoding tools.

However, this might answer your original question: apparently, 64-bit AE CS5 cannot directly use 32-bit Quicktime for exports. See these two posts from Todd Kopriva for more:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/2/979352

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/2/979363

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Graham QuinceRe: AE CS5 wmv export
by on Jun 11, 2010 at 2:54:02 pm

Thanks for the responses guys, and Walter in particular. It sucks but at least I understand why.

I find myself having to disagree with Michael (and Dave) if only for the level I'm working at (producing videos for a school intranet). After Effects has always provided not only a good quality, low file-size compression for wmv, but until now (can't comment on CS4) AE has provided the only way of batch encoding.

I have to deal in quantity, far more than quality. (I've been upgraded from an educational licence to produce commercial flash products). Having to render out a video just to then rerender for compression is for me an added unnecessary step and i'll just have to hope it can be rectified in some future (free) update if Apple sort themselves out.

Thanks again to both of you for taking the time to respond.

Graham

http://www.YouTube.com/ShiveringCactus - Free FX for amateur films


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Walter SoykaRe: AE CS5 wmv export
by on Jun 11, 2010 at 3:16:31 pm

[Graham Quince] "AE has provided the only way of batch encoding... I have to deal in quantity, far more than quality. "

Check out CS5's Adobe Media Encoder -- you might be able to use this for batch encoding.

If you can step away from WMV to h264 MP4, I've been really impressed with both the quality and speed of the Matrox CompressHD expansion card. It does 1080i HD with h264 faster than realtime.

[Graham Quince] "After Effects has always provided not only a good quality, low file-size compression for wmv, but until now (can't comment on CS4) AE has provided the only way of batch encoding."

I'm glad to hear you're seeing good results in your compression; perhaps your footage and workflow is particularly suitable for single-pass encoding. In general, though, I think Dave's and Michael's advice is very sound:

AE can do multi-pass encoding when you use File > Export, but that's only capable of rendering a single comp at time. If you use the Render Queue, you can export many comps at the same time, and with much more control over how AE renders; however, AE is not capable of multi-pass compression through the render queue.

Multi-pass compression makes your encodes look better by analyzing the source footage first, to figure out where the easy-to-compress parts are and where the hard-to-compress parts are. It will then adjust keyframe placement and vary the bit rate accordingly in the second pass. The result is a much cleaner and efficient compression than single-pass is capable of.

Even if you're getting good results with single-pass encoding, you might get better results with multi-pass encoding: smaller file sizes, sharper video, better motion, reduced artifacts, and reduced banding.

Finally, if you have to deliver multiple different encodes of the same media, using AE to do it will force a time-consuming re-render (from scratch) of your original comp for each target encode, so rendering one intermediate and then encoding from that will actually save time.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Dave LaRondeRe: AE CS5 wmv export
by on Jun 11, 2010 at 3:35:25 pm

I'm with Walter on this one: start using Adobe Media Encoder to batch process to the file type and codec of your choice.

It really does stink that AE 10 won't play nice with every aspect of Quicktime. But it isn't like Adobe didn't give everybody fair warning: they announced more than 6 months ago that CS5 would be 64-bit ONLY.

And Apple ignored 'em. Never mind that they already had a 64-bit OS on which it they could run 64-bit QT. When QT goes 64-bit, life gets better for a lot of people.

Just don't bite on the initial version. You might think Adobe overlooks a lot of application flaws just to get 'em out the door, but I'm here to tell you that Apple's MUCH worse on that score... especially on applications that aren't intended for the general consumer market. A new version of iTunes will almost always perform better than a new version of Final Cut Pro.

The fix might be as easy as a change in workflow. Batch render in AE using the Render Queue -- you wouldn't BELIEVE how many people do overnight renders to get the heavy lifting done. In the morning, do a batch conversion via Adobe Media Encoder, a comparatively speedy process.

It isn't the way you're used to working, but it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

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


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Michael SzalapskiRe: AE CS5 wmv export
by on Jun 11, 2010 at 7:32:38 pm

If you liked the batching of AE, you will love the batch encoding of the Adobe Media Encoder. Check out the coolness of watch folders.
I quote:
"You can configure Adobe Media Encoder to look for video or audio files in certain folders called watched folders. When Adobe Media Encoder finds a video or audio file located in a watched folder, it encodes the file using the encoding settings assigned to the folder, and then exports the encoded file to an Output folder created inside the watched folder."


- 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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Graham QuinceRe: AE CS5 wmv export
by on Jun 13, 2010 at 9:02:08 am

It's probably time to for me to re-look at the compression standards we've been using in school. Like I said, quality has never been as a high a priority as size compression. Until now, I set a standard of 640x480 WMVs with a variable bitrate of 550 kbs. You see, at this level, HD is just not an option. We have an intranet with over 500 hours of video most of which can be delivered over our Windows streaming server and to students' homes. Hence the preoccupation with file size. That compression setting gives us about 4Mbs per minute.

We've also been limited to WMV as Windows Media Player just plays nicer with our Windows Server and Microsoft Office products. You can't embed Quicktime in a PowerPoint and you can't download FLV for use off-site (well you can, but a regular teacher with limited control over their PC can't).

Dave is completely right over Apple's "attitude" and it's hardly Adobe fault, but then the number of things Apple and Adobe are arguing over right now (Flash)...I don't really expect to see an improvement any time soon.

Michael - I do like the idea of watch folders though, mine's the first PC to go CS5 but in time, I could see us using our capture/render machines to monitor a watch folder for rendering out.


Graham

http://www.YouTube.com/ShiveringCactus - Free FX for amateur films


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Michael SzalapskiRe: AE CS5 wmv export
by on Jun 13, 2010 at 7:53:12 pm

You can set up Watch Folders with CS4 and probably with earlier versions too.

- 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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