Recommended Sticky - Do not export compressed from AE


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


Here’s a good explanation of it:


Does anyone know if Avids DNxHD is any good? I hear its the equivalent to Prores for us pc users.

Yes it is any good especially for editing but not a common codec so you better stick with H264.
And it’s the equivalent for FCP’s ProRes for Avid users on Mac OS too.


So what if I have the problem of rendering then re-rendering then re-re-rendering…

By this I mean I use Sony Vegas to edit on my PC (I know I’m sorry) and I film with a Canon Rebel t2i in HD (large .mov files) … Now I want to apply some color correction and effects in AE so should I render the raw footage FIRST before editing in Vegas … (files would be 30 Gig’s +) or should I create my video then apply the effects after the fact… ?

And if the second option is better I know have the problem of rendering from mov. to .wmv. in Vegas then bringing the wmv. in AE to render back to a mov.?

I skimmed through most of these replies and nothing caught my eye so forgive me if this has been answered already I’m just not sure what to do…



Editing on a home PC should never involve huge, uncompressed files, because it slows down your system enormously, and thereby your creative real-time workflow. But the T2i’s MOV files are already heavily compressed, so you might be able to use them as they are. Alternatively, you may create your own “offline” material, by converting all the mov files to smaller resolutions with more compression (a frame-by-frame JPG compression is also better for editing than the motion based MPG, H264 etc).

Then you have to re-create a lossless master in After Effects (“onlining”), to do your VFX and grading.

If you worked with the original files in Vegas, you should be able to export a lossless master from there, without any quality loss. Just make sure there’s no de-interlacing or anything being applied to the clips in Vegas. Double-check in After Effects that your Vegas render is a perfect match to the original files.

If you used compressed files to edit in Vegas, you’ll have to re-create the film in After Effects.

Typically I do this manually clip by clip, because I’ve always been to lazy to check out the alternatives, and I never trusted a Vegas-AE solution to be stabile… but that’s maybe just me being old fashioned. And it feels like a stupid thing to do, because it’s so mechanical that it SHOULD be automated. I think you can automate it easily from Premiere to AE (because they’re both Adobe), but I don’t think there’s an easy way from Vegas to AE. There’s a script out there called Automatic Duck, which should do something along those lines, but I’ve never used it…

Good luck!

  • Jonas


You do realise that every good lossless image format out there uses some kind of compression, yes?

The point of a lossless codec is that it doesnt degrade the image quality in any way. Yes, it is verry silly to use uncompressed formats/codecs.


If you want to add after effect to your video you can use this software to .