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Animation codec - really lossless?

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andrew donaldson
Animation codec - really lossless?
on Aug 24, 2010 at 1:14:06 am

Hi,

I have been playing with different rendering settings and found that whenever i render using the lossless preset it looks alot lighter than the source footage.
I never really use presets, but it seems like whenever i render out using the animation codec i lose alot of contrast and the image looks flatter and lighter than the source.

Im using a Widescreen PAL composition, the footage is usually captured via FCP and thrown directly into AE. I capture it in 10-bit uncompressed then when i come to render, the outcome is not 'lossless'!

When i render out, uncompressed YUV 10-bit everything looks fine, but i have always been under the impression Animation is the absolute highest quality codec, which you sacrifice file size for quality.

This is not composition specific, i have tested it with a single imported file and its still the same.

I notice when i use the uncompressed 10-bit setting, it says YUV, when i thought i was dealing in RGB...? i might have to take a trip back to school!

Anybody got any ideas?

Thanks,

Andrew.

Macpro 2x3gHz xeon, 8Gb ram, AJA Kona LHe card, AE CS5, FCP7...


ps, i have tried 8bpc and 16bpc, with no real differences.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Animation codec - really lossless?
on Aug 24, 2010 at 2:11:57 am

Animation is lossless, but it's 8-bit, so you may see a difference when compared with 10-bit footage. Also, rounding errors will accumulate faster.

Without color management, you may see inconsistent color.

After Effects processes in RGB, but is capable of reading and writing YUV files. Starting with CS3 and Media Core, After Effects handles RGB-YUV conversion and avoids Quicktime's dodgy implementation.

Final Cut has a couple different render settings; if you are working in YUV, FCP will re-render RGB animation codec footage to match your timeline and render settings.

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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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Animation codec - really lossless?
on Aug 24, 2010 at 3:57:03 am

Just to add to Walter's post, the Animation CODEC is lossless only if it's Quality Slider is at or above 87% - so I've read. Personally, I set it to 92%.

HTH
RoRK

Sell your AEPs with broadcastGEMs' DVD series of templates. Click here for more


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Walter Soyka
Re: Animation codec - really lossless?
on Aug 24, 2010 at 3:21:13 pm

[Roland R. Kahlenberg] "the Animation CODEC is lossless only if it's Quality Slider is at or above 87% - so I've read."

I thought it was only lossless at 100%. I can't say that I've experimented to verify, though.

A Quicktime movie with the PNG compressor (not to be confused with a PNG image sequence) is also 8-bit lossless, but should be much more efficient for storing live video than animation is.

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 Johnson
Re: Animation codec - really lossless?
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:52:03 pm

[Roland R. Kahlenberg] "the Animation CODEC is lossless only if it's Quality Slider is at or above 87% - so I've read."

[Walter Soyka] "I thought it was only lossless at 100%. I can't say that I've experimented to verify, though."

I thought it was only lossless at 100% too, but that's based only on my own assumption since it seems that, if 87% and above meant lossless, they would've just adjusted the scale to make the 87% level of compression read 100%. Hmmm... that confused me and I wrote it so, perhaps said a better way, if 87% is lossless, does 87-100% represent "even more lossless" or something? If not, I've wasted an awful lot of drive space over the years with that useless extra 13%.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Animation codec - really lossless?
on Aug 28, 2010 at 3:03:36 am

Objectively, what is lossless is dependent on the individual. I suggest you perform your own test. As a matter of habit, I normally set my Q slider to 92%. At 100%, the Animation CODEC loses its appeal for me as file sizes increase wildly. I kinda like PNG and TIFFs too.

HTH
RoRK

Sell your AEPs with broadcastGEMs' DVD series of templates. Click here for more


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Chris Wright
Re: Animation codec - really lossless?
on Aug 24, 2010 at 5:25:34 am

Now if you don't mind 8bit, quicktime's png is smaller than animation's for the same quality, but for 16bpc...

I have done a lot of tests and the smallest, free way to go is Tiff 16 bits trillions LZW off. PSD works too but is a little bigger.

PNG's use lzw compression and so are 99.9% ok. Tga is not recommended either.

You can also buy cineform 444 and use prores 444 10 bit. Always use color management and 16,32 bpc in your projects imho.

http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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andrew donaldson
Re: Animation codec - really lossless?
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:19:39 pm

Thanks for all the advice guys!

I have always skipped over PNG and TIFF quicktime codecs, I'll defo give them a try.

Thanks for the tips, much appreciated!

Andrew.


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Dester Wallaboo
Re: Animation codec - really lossless?
on Sep 23, 2010 at 8:27:34 pm

I recommend using Sheer codec instead of Animation or others. It's 100% lossless and supports 10-bit color space with alphas. Plus it has a fantastic color-space conversion algorithm. It compresses at half the size of Animation codec. So it's a win-win situation.

http://www.bitjazz.com/en/products/sheervideo/



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Chris Wright
Re: Animation codec - really lossless?
on Sep 23, 2010 at 8:48:32 pm

yes, another nice thing about them is that they fully support the new DSLR's colorspace transform and encoding, so there's no gamma or color shift, really nice.

http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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