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DebGav
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avi's out of After Effects CS4 vs. CS6 for LED signs

Mar 1, 2013 7:59 AM

I make avi's with After Effects cs4 to play on LED signs and have no problems transmitting to the sign. Customers are saying they upgraded to After Effects cs6 and the avi's will no longer play on the sign. There can be no compression on a file in order for an LED sign to play it but the cs6 files that I have seen do not have compression and all the settings are the same as they were in cs4. I want to upgrade my department to the latest version of After Effects but cannot if it will not work with LED signs.

 
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    Mar 1, 2013 8:15 AM   in reply to DebGav

    What format is required? AVI is not a format, it's a container. If the new renders are no playing then someone is using a different codec. You need to find exactly what codec is required by the player and use that. Use the same codec and you'll not have problems. There are hundreds if not thousands of different codecs that produce .avi files.

     
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    Mar 1, 2013 11:28 AM   in reply to DebGav

    You can download a trial of After Effects CS6 to test your workflow.

    http://www.adobe.com/go/tryaftereffects/

     

    Otherwise, more specific detail is required. What codec is being used, what are the frame dimensions, frame rate, PAR, and other properties?

     
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    Mar 1, 2013 12:14 PM   in reply to DebGav

    > We use no compression because the LED signs will not take any file that is compressed. I assumed that meant there was no codec involved. Is there a codec applied in CS6, even though it is uncompressed?

     

    What Rick and I are getting at is: when you render from AE, in the Export Settings dialog there is a codec field; what do you set that to?

     

    Quick terminology lesson. Codec and compression are not the same thing. When you encode video, you are always using a codec. Most codecs use compression, but some do not. "None" or "Uncompressed" codecs do not use compression.

     

    After Effects does not add any compression other than what you specifiy in the Export Settings dialog. There should not be a significant difference between the files produced from AE CS4 and AE CS6. AVI, as a format, has not changed in many years. In other words, we know of no difference that would specifically cause this problem.

     

    If the LED sign software has a problem with an AVI from AE CS6, we need to know the requirements of the LED sign software and how that AVI is failing it. So far all you have told us is "other people say it doesn't work".

     
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    Mar 1, 2013 2:02 PM   in reply to DebGav

    If those are the settings that work then that's the settings you need to pick in CS6. If you don't have Cinepak installed then you'll have to install it. I'll bet there are other options for your LED display playback. Contact the manufacturer or the client for the latest specs.

     
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    Mar 1, 2013 2:14 PM   in reply to DebGav

    Cinepak is a very, very, very old codec. It is not uncompressed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinepak

     

    I assume that list of specifications you gave is what the LED sign software requires.

     

    Yes, 90 KB/sec is low, but not unusually low for the frame sizes you mentioned and when an older compressor like Cinepak is in use.

     

    Cinepak is not available in AE CS6, as it is a 64-bit application and Windows does not include a 64-bit version of that codec. Is Cinepak the only codec the LED sign software will accept?

     

    If the LED sign software does not accept any other codecs, then you will need to find another solution. You can just continue using AE CS4, or you can render from AE CS6 to an uncompressed file and use a different application (including AE CS4) to transcode to Cinepak. Someone might even make a 64-bit version of Cinepak that you can install (although that's sorta like putting a VW Beetle engine into a Ferrari).

     
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    Mar 1, 2013 3:31 PM   in reply to Tim Kurkoski

    It's my assumption that the specs listed by aardeb in his last post are the output settings he's experiencing problems with in AE, not the specs required by his LED signage system.  Most LED signage gear I've seen requires uncompressed content of one sort or another.

     

    If that's correct, the settings in the Output Module should be

     

    Compression Type: None (or Uncompressed)

     

    The other settings should be left at default values once the Compression Type is set.

     
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