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Render Output Settings to H264 mp4

Mar 25, 2011 7:41 AM

Mac Mini 8GB/2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo. After Effects CS5/Comp settings: HDTV 1920 x1080 24. 5min video with audio, 55 layers Rendered output to H.264Video 1920 x 1080.

I have a 35 sec Intro template of visual/audio fx with 50 Layers, using several standard plugins, I rendered this 35sec visual clip to H.264Video 1920x 1080 mp4 format and it plays great. When I added my 5minute 1.2GB mp4 video and 6mb audio.mp4 to this 35sec template and rendered to output with same settings my 15HR rendered time completed in 1.5hrs. I also noticed the 5min video bit rate is 707. The 35sec bit rate is 16,193. My original 5min video was a mov file but I couldn't import to AE-had an error so I converted it to mpeg-4.


My questions:

Why do I have a lower bit rate now?

Because I imported mpeg-4 video, this causes poor quality play in output H.264 format? Then what correct video format do I import to AE?

I have Adobe Media Encoder but no Quicktime Pro. I'm new to AE, still learning. Thank you.

Screen shot 2011-03-25 at 8.21.45 AM.png

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    Mar 25, 2011 12:40 PM   in reply to efremdr88

    No clue. Compression is best left to encoding applications. I do all of my rendering form AE to frame-based codecs. These are easily and quickly transcoded to any output mode and I always have a perfect original movie.



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    Mar 26, 2011 9:46 PM   in reply to bogiesan

    There's another option. Instead of rendering anything out of After Effects you can open up a saved AE project in Adobe Media Encoder. Dynamic link will launch. You'll find your compositions listed. Pick the one you want to render, pick the preset you want to use, set the preset for 2 pass encoding if you want the best results because most if not all presets are set to one pass, then render away. I've taken to using the YouTube HD preset to push out files for client review before we commit the projects final render. This saves time, disk space, and works very well. I never use highly compressed video for archiving or final delivery, but for review, for sharing, for burning a quick DVD, this workflow is just fine and much better than trying to render GOP compressed files from inside AE.


    For this to work you must have the right settings and you must have the composition length match the desired output and you must make sure that the frame rates match. The media encoder will not recognize the work area or the frame rate of the composition. It will always render the entire composition at the frame rate, frame size, and pixel aspect ratio in the Media Encoder settings.


    If you have the horsepower to multitask you can continue to work in After Effects while you render. Changes to the project will not be reflected in the cued render. I usually just move on to another project or another composition in the project. Hope this helps.

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    Mar 28, 2011 7:44 AM   in reply to Rick Gerard

    > here's another option. Instead of rendering anything out of After Effects you can open up a saved AE project in Adobe Media Encoder. Dynamic link will launch.<


    Cool, Rick. Another Adobe thing "I did not know."




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    Mar 28, 2011 8:23 AM   in reply to efremdr88

    You should not use highly compressed, especially mp4 files as source footage for production unless there is no other alternative. GOP compression interpolates or in other words guesses and makes up the pixels for the in between frames. I'd pick a lossless or nearly lossless codec. I even convert footage from Sony XDCam or Pannasonic P2 sources to ProRez or other 10bit codecs for post production. Sure, the file size goes way up, but you have footage you can then manipulate without introducing more artifacts.


    Take a few minutes, press F1, and read the help section on compression and rendering. It will give you a good start on understanding compression. The simple rule is the more you compress, the more you loose.

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