Recommended Sticky - Do not export compressed from AE

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  05 May 2008
Jonas was right. Lossless codecs compress the data, but don't throw away anything. The advantage is they save space, the disadvantage is they have to compress/uncompress every time they're accessed. This happens so quickly, though, you almost don't notice. Go ahead and render a completely uncompressed frame, then render the same frame in .png. Open them both up, with one in difference mode on top of the other. They will precisely cancel each other out, because they are precisely identical. In fact, you can apply any kind of wacky post effect you want on them, and they will respond in identical ways.

Common misconceptions, though.

  08 August 2008
I would like to propose adding Dr.DivX into the compressor listing. (Open source)

Or even: (Trial for 16 days or 14,99$ lic)

I suppose the difference between these two is rather minimal. Nevertheles good applications for processing the uncompressed data.

Last edited by Cromfel : 08 August 2008 at 07:31 AM.
  08 August 2008
QT Codec Guides

I recently found this site which has very thorough tests of all the most common Quicktime codecs, including examples of compression artifacts on lossy codecs after both one and ten generations (!)

If you're interested in the uncompressed/visually lossless codecs and their relative sizes click on the 4:4:4 link at the top of the page
  08 August 2008
i cant export to avi,mov .etc i can only export to macromedia flash and sfw or something like that how do i fix this`?
  10 October 2008
I have a different opinion:

never render uncompressed movie straight out of after effects. If your project is long enough to render and deadline is tight enough ALWAYS render out image sequence.

I never want to bet AE is not going to give me bad frames (have u used reelsmart motion blur in AE?). This way any bad frames can be re-produce without wasting time and other things...

Then you can bring the sequence back, line it up with the audio and render out (I normally do) H.264 quicktime in no time at all... (even uncompressed)

Again, just personal opinion.... :P


  11 November 2008
Hey there. I´ve being reading a looot of threads lately about codecs and compression and stuff like that, cause im finally finishing an animated short i´ve been doing and want to know whats the best posible way to render it,and i just want to say that the discussion between beenyweenies and jussing has been one of the most inspiring and informative things i´ve ever read on cg talk,seriously, i understood so many stuff that has troubled me for so much time that its no funny,and the way they behave and debated each other arguments back and forth without resorting to sarcasm and insults was imo admirable.

Thanks to both of you for taking the time to write those explanations,really.

"All my past mistakes and wasted days i wouldn´t have it any other way"

My Youtube Channel

3d Gallery: "Mega Man X"
  12 December 2008
So....which one should we be using? I know the answer is in there somewhere.
  12 December 2008
Really great information. thx

I agree with thethule, which one is the one we should be using ?
  01 January 2009
Originally Posted by thethule: So....which one should we be using? I know the answer is in there somewhere.

For virtually all situations, rendering to the Quicktime Animation codec is advised. Uncompressed Quicktime or AVI is also okay except that the files will be needlessly huge compared to Animation codec, with the exact same visual result. The reasons for this are discussed in great detail upstream if you want more info.

You could also render to a PNG frame sequence if you frequently suffer from failed renders or bad frames (also discussed upstream).

  01 January 2009
Question what about compressing HD for good playback


I was wondering if you could help me to solve a tricky mistery, at least for me, I have a none compressed file in HD(1080p) I would like to distribute to a couple of friends and maybe other people, but I don't know what kind of codec or tools I need to make it playable for almost averyone who has mac or pc without the lossing of so much quality, Maybe I going to burn the video as a file, and if necessary, add the right tools to be seen.

What is what you suggest that I should use? I heard something about H.264, MPG4, Procoder, Rhozet Carbon Coder, Cinema Craft Encoder,among others, but it is harder to take a good decision, maybe burning it with 2 or 3 formats.
  09 September 2009
I would like to add another encoding tool to the list:

Although it's range of supported output codecs(MPEG-4), it is very, very comprehensive, you can adjust every setting you could ever dream of.
It support the output of Xvid, x264, and the wavelet codec Snow, and the audio codecs that it outputs are AAC, AC3, MP3 and Vorbis.

I could go on about this tool for ages, but try it out, you will be pleasantly surprised if you like loads of settings.
  04 April 2010
Alright we havent really came up with a solution here to render out... I have done AVI to h.264 and .MOV to h.264 and also wmv, and have seen significant quality loss. I have seen some remarkable footage on youtube with great quality. I think im doing something wrong. My work flow is, out of the 7D straight into AE as .MOV do all of my editing, then render out as .MOV then bring into vegas and render out as wmv or h.264. wmv having better quality. Moreover, I hear AVI to FLV is better but i get some horrible quality doing that with all settings set to best. Can anyone share there workflow using HD footage?
  04 April 2010
For HD with acceptable image quality, you can't go around large filesizes. I do it like this:

I export uncompressed out of AE, then I fire up MeGUI and do a 3-pass h264 encoding at best settings with a bitrate of at least 8000kbps for 720p footage. Then I encode the audio to mp3 of aac(can also be done in MeGUI) and mux the audio and video together.
  04 April 2010
I always render to single PNG files from my 3D-programs.

Then i do my postwork in AfterEffects and export to a single Quicktime File with the PNG codec.
It's a standard QuickTime codec, it's lossless, much smaller then uncompressed and holds an alpha channel.

This is also the file that i upload to clients if they continue to work with my Animations.

When i need smaller files because i don't have so much time to upload i use quicktime-PhotoJPG 95% Quality setting.
This is slightly lossy but not detectable with human eyes.

Quicktime PhotoJPG 95% is also the codes that the stock footage supplier Artbeats uses on all of their files.
  04 April 2010
What do you mean 3-pass h.264?

You're right, you cant get around large file sizes with HD footage, i usually render out in chunks of 3 or 4 at 25-35GB each then bring into vegas for my h.264 conversion. For some reason AE crashes when i render out anything larger. Does anyone know if Avids DNxHD is any good? I hear its the equivalent to Prores for us pc users.
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