I"m creating videos in After Effects to project in a theatrical performance. During the performance I'm firing the video cues using a MacbookPro (hardbody, with 4 gigs of RAM) using Q Lab software. When the video cues are fired, some randomly stutter at the head. I am rendering in AE using the Animation codec and reencoding in H.264 in Squeeze. Q Lab support recommends H.264 or photoJpg compression using Compressor or Quicktime Pro to reencode from my AE renders, saying the Apple-friendly wrapper from the Apple software will be more familiar to the Q Lab software. I've recompressed in H.264 in Compressor which reduces stutter, but the video is grainy with motion artifacts.
My question is: What is the problem and what is a sensible path to a solution? My guess at this point is that the computer doesn't have enough RAM or VRam to handle certain moments, but since I'm stuck with that computer, I'm looking for an encoding formula that will keep the video quality looking good, but without the stutter.
You probably know the mantra in AE-Land: the more RAM, the better. So yeah, 4GB is extremely light. H.264 is an extremely processor-intensive codec, which doesn't help if your processors are on the wimpy side.
But I think it's a playback problem: It's EXTREMELY difficult for a laptop's internal drive to run software AND play back HD video files at the same time. There's going to be a problem.
It sounds as if you need to get an external hard drive -- preferably a RAID for the high bit rate -- with a fast connection like Firewire 800 to play this stuff back smoothly.
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