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Render using JPEG Sequence

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Aaron Nowakowski
Render using JPEG Sequence
on Jul 9, 2010 at 3:38:16 am

When rendering out of After Effects I typically use an Animation or sometimes Apple Pro Res 422 HQ codec (if file size is an issue). I was wondering what the difference is using a JPEG Sequence as my format selection? Is there a quality difference compared to an Animation or Apple Pro Res 422? I tried to find some literature online but came up with nothing, so I decided to turn to the cow.



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Todd Kopriva
Re: Render using JPEG Sequence
on Jul 9, 2010 at 5:57:50 am

Animation is a lossless codec. Really lossless, not just "perceptually" lossless. But the compression isn't so great for photorealistic images, so the files tend to still be quite large... unless the images are large expanses of uniform color, like in a cartoon. Animation rocks for, well, animations.

JPEG is a lossy codec, but it's quite efficient. The images will lose some information, but the files will be a _lot_ smaller. It's designed for photorealistic images, _not_ for sharp graphics, like vector graphics.

You said 'JPEG sequence'. Just to be clear, an image sequence is a sequence of many, many separate files: one per frame. You cna also use the JPEG codec within a QuickTime container, so you just have one movie file, but with the frames inside of it encoded with JPEG.

And ProRes is a pretty advanced family of codecs that makes good tradeoffs between image quality and file size for professional video.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
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Aaron Nowakowski
Re: Render using JPEG Sequence
on Jul 9, 2010 at 2:37:15 pm

Thanks Todd...great explanation, makes total sense.



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Walter Soyka
Re: Render using JPEG Sequence
on Jul 9, 2010 at 2:22:26 pm

[Aaron Nowakowski] " was wondering what the difference is using a JPEG Sequence as my format selection? Is there a quality difference compared to an Animation or Apple Pro Res 422?"

As Todd mentioned, JPEG is lossy. You might consider a PNG sequence instead of a JPEG sequence -- PNG uses lossless compression.

One other consideration: ProRes 422 is a 10-bit codec, while Animation, PNG, and JPEG are all 8-bit.

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 LaRonde
Re: Render using JPEG Sequence
on Jul 9, 2010 at 2:36:41 pm

You've already gotten some great answers, and you can take them to the bank.

Is Alpha Channel support important to you? To make Quicktime movies you can use Animation or PNG. ProRes 4444 is also available, but only on machines also running FCP 7+.

Walter already covered PNG sequences, which also include transparency.

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


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