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Render to IMX

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Hannes Paulsson
Render to IMX
on Nov 4, 2010 at 8:41:20 am

Hi!

A client wants me to deliver in IMX 50 HD. I have never heard of this format, does anyone know if it is possible to render to this format from After Effects?

If it's not possible, how would I go about to convert a quictime animation to this format?

Thanks!
Hannes Paulsson


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Walter Soyka
Re: Render to IMX
on Nov 4, 2010 at 2:25:36 pm

[Hannes Paulsson] "A client wants me to deliver in IMX 50 HD. I have never heard of this format, does anyone know if it is possible to render to this format from After Effects?"

IMX is an MPEG2 variant from Sony. It can be wrapped in MXF or MOV containers, or output to IMX tape or XDCAM discs. What deliverable does your client really want?

My encoder of choice is Telestream Episode Pro, but Adobe Media Encoder also has IMX 50 presets for both MXF and MOV. You could either open your AEP in AME and encode directly to IMX 50 via dynamic link, or render to a lossless file from After Effects and bring that into AME.

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 to IMX
on Nov 4, 2010 at 3:41:08 pm

[Walter Soyka] "You could either open your AEP in AME and encode directly to IMX 50 via dynamic link, or render to a lossless file from After Effects and bring that into AME."

Personnally, I vote for the second method.

Here's why: since IMX is an mpeg variant, it's a long-gop codec. The images created in such codecs benefit greatly in quality from multipass encoding. However, AE can't render with multipass encoding all on its own: it renders one frame at a time. Perhaps Adobe Media Encoder forces it to do multipass, but the renders would be incredibly long, which leaves me to believe it doesn't.

If it were my project, I'd go with Walter's second suggestion: render using lossless out of AE, and use a different compression application to do the compression.

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


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Walter Soyka
Re: Render to IMX
on Nov 4, 2010 at 5:07:26 pm

I vote for my second method (lossless intermediate file), too. I still haven't yet adopted dynamic link into my workflow. Dynamic link looks very cool, I'm not ready to give up FCP and Episode just yet.

As an aside, IMX is an aberration among MPEG2 formats. It only uses I-frames -- no B-frames and no P-frames, so the GOP length is essentially one. IMX is CBR and fully intraframe. Unlike nearly any other MPEG2 format, multipass encoding wouldn't provide any benefit.

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 to IMX
on Nov 4, 2010 at 5:22:24 pm

I, for one, appreciate that aside. I've never had to deal with IMX. I learned something new today.

So with no benefits to multipass, opening an AE project in AME might work after all, eh?

I still probably wouldn't do it, because I have too many of those Homer Simpson "Doh!" moments after a render, when I realize I've forgotten to move a layer in the timeline, change a keyframe I meant to, etc. In my mind, going the AE-via-AME route implies a flawless render for the ages.

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


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