So I shot a timelapse in RAW using my D5200. Developed the images, imported into after effects to make a composition at 1080p 24fps, the clip is 15 seconds long. Then I rendered the clips a few ways and none of them are what I want:
I used the H.264 first, its just pixelated and blocky, doesn't retain a smooth resolution. H.264 output an MP4 that was 6.5 MB.
Then I tried lossless and it output an AVI which is awesome resolution but the file is 2 gigs! Not even VLC media player will play it smoothly without buffering.
Last I tried H.264 BluRay which output an M4V file which is 45 MB and I can't get it to play.
So now I'm here asking you all what the way to go is. When I download films, I will aim for a 1-2 gig 720p or 1080p file on roughly 2hr films. The resolution is great, the audio is great and the file like I said is only 1.5gigs average. So what are the rendering settings I should be using to get a file like this? Should I be importing it into Premiere Pro first or what?
For Reference, here was my workflow:
I generally followed an Adorama Rich Harrington Time-Lapse youtube video on workflow which was:
Developed the Raw files in Camera Raw
Used the Image Processor to create the Tif files
Imported into After Effects as a TIF sequence
Interpreted the sequence as 24fps
Changed the Composition settings to 1080p 24fps
Then did the rendering as detailed above
1. You don't need to export your TIFF sequence so as to import it into After Effects, you can import RAW image sequence into After Effects directly. Camera RAW will start automatically on importing. What is more, you will be able to change your Camera RAW settings at any time you want inside your AE project: in Project panel select your RAW image sequence, right-click, choose Interpret Footage -> Main... In the dialog box click More Options... button (at bottom left), and Camera RAW opens.
2. Do NOT export to H.264 out of After Effects directly. If you need to export your composition to H.264, export it out of Adobe Media Encoder. Start from HDTV preset. If your goal is to upload your media file on e.g. YouTube, done. If you want to play it back on your computer, but your mediaplayer can't playback it in real time, start to decrease bitrate settings. Keep in mind that modern AVCHD cameras shoot with 28 Mbps, first AVCHD camcorders were shooting with 17 Mbps, YouTube preset in Adobe Media Encoder sets bitrate to 10 Mbps, Vimeo preset - to 8 Mbps.
Choose VBR, 2 Pass so as to benefit from better quality out of smaller file size.
See this The Video Road blogpost on Understanding Colour Processing and benefits of Render at Maximum Depth option.
3. If you're planning to use your After Effects composition in Premiere Pro project, you can use Adobe Dynamic Link. If your After Effects composition is quite complex, render a Digital Intermediate out of After Effects and import it into Premiere Pro. See this discissuon in AE Forum on some production codecs comparison.
P.S. See also this FAQ: What are the best export settings? entry.
First, thanks for the reply. Regarding your points:
1: I skipped the TIF export from Camera Raw and just opened the NEF files as a seqence in AE. So far it works...but why do you think the writer of that video tutorial had us do this? What would be the point? After the video is rendered, it wouldn't matter if the photos were TIF, JPG or NEF right? A rendered video is a rendered video...or am I wrong about this?
2: I started using Media Encorder to do the rendering. Seemed pretty straight forward however my initial problem hasn't been fixed. The video is still choppy. I did a bunch of research on timelapse since my original post and have isolated some possibilities related to exposure time and interval of the photos when shot. However I'm not yet convinced that this is the issue. I've also read up a bunch on bitrates for video codecs and containers. Have a pretty firm grasp of the concepts and have selected values for all that should work.
3: The AE composition is virtually barebones, simply adding the photos into 1080p 24fps. No editing.
Anyways, Im rendering a video right now. If its choppy, I'll put up a youtube link and hopefully can get some more input.
K yeah, here it is....how do I improve this?
...but why do you think the writer of that video tutorial had us do this? What would be the point?
I have no idea of what the tutorial's author intentions were. Ask him, afterwards I will be able to comment on.
After the video is rendered, it wouldn't matter if the photos were TIF, JPG or NEF right? A rendered video is a rendered video...or am I wrong about this?
That depends on how much of the quality loss is acceptable to you. JPG is a highly compressed format with significant generation loss, i.e. you loose a lot with every next render. TIF is a sort of 'production codec'. However, data in superwhites and underdarks may be clipped on rendering. Whether it is acceptable or not does depend on what you are going to do with your footage in post.
here it is....how do I improve this?
And what exactly? The playback is smooth on my side. It shakes at about 0:02, but that has nothing to do with choppiness. Stabilise it.