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Stop Motion in AE CS5

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Andy Carrasco
Stop Motion in AE CS5
on Nov 5, 2010 at 1:01:32 am

I am working on a stop motion project where I imported all of my images into AE. I set the comp to 24fps. I stretched the photos to 6 frames so there would be 4 pictures per second. When I render the project I have tried every H.264 variant possible and the final product just doesn't flow the way I would expect it. It's choppy (even for stop motion). On playback it seems to miss some frames and just doesn't have a smooth 4 picture per second look. I have the comp set to 1920 x 1280 because that was the proportional resize of the images I did in Photoshop, which I did because I didn't want to crop any of the image out to get 1920 x 1080. I also want to keep it as HD as possible.

Any suggestions as to why playback is so choppy, even at a lower quality/file size? Should I not be using AE to create stop motion in the first place?
Thanks for any suggestions!!

1920 x 1280 comp
24fps
Photos are 6 frames wide
4 photos per second
H.264 rendering (tried VBR, CBR High, Main and various mbps)
No effects added yet


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Stop Motion in AE CS5
on Nov 5, 2010 at 6:02:23 am

Why don't you set your composition to 4 frames per second and have one picture for each frame?

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
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Dave LaRonde
Re: Stop Motion in AE CS5
on Nov 5, 2010 at 2:52:30 pm

If your AE work is intended for video, you're using the wrong frame rate; it should be 23.976 fps, not 24 fps.

Furthermore, AE isn't the best application to use to compress to H.264. Although you CAN open an AE project in Adobe Media Encoder, you're still stuck with a long encode to a long-gop codec like H.264. You'd better hope you got everything right in that comp!

If you're like me and tend to make occasional tiny little errors in my comps, I'd prefer to render to a faster-encoding lossless or uncompressed codec in AE, and then use a different compression application. You'd then be able to take advantage of multipass encoding, which improves the image in H.264.

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


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Andy Carrasco
Re: Stop Motion in AE CS5
on Nov 5, 2010 at 3:06:21 pm

Thanks for the tips so far guys. I'm fairly new to video editing and rendering has always been the biggest headache for me. I never thought to conpress as lossless file through another compression tool. Before I rendered this project in h.264 I tried all the lossless options available but gave up because of file size and extremely slow playback. I never thought to then compress with a different tool. Do you have any suggestions on an application for that?
I originally had my comp at 23.9... So I will switch it back!
Late last night I went to 3 pictures per second at 24fps and it actually looks pretty good but I would like to try your suggestion so I can play with 4-6 images per second.
Thanks!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Stop Motion in AE CS5
on Nov 5, 2010 at 3:32:32 pm

[Andy Carrasco] "I tried all the lossless options available but gave up because of file size and extremely slow playback."

Welcome to video-land and AE work. You'll get used to the file sizes. Intermediate codecs -- the lossless and uncompressed ones, used to pass good-looking video from one application to another -- make GIGANTIC files. It's the way of the world.




[Andy Carrasco] "Do you have any suggestions on an application for that? "

Popular ones are Adobe Media Encoder, Sorenson Squeeze and Apple's Compressor, which comes bundled with Final Cut Pro.

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


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