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I tried to recreate your problem rendering Quicktimes to Animation + Alpha, ProRes 4444 + Alpha, and just plain H.264 and I didn't experience any darkening in all three renders.
The Quicktime animation codec is pretty ancient and hasn't been updated since Quicktime Pro 7. ProRes 4444 (AKA 4x4) is also as good as Lossless and has Alpha with a Depth option of Trillions of Colors +. I would suggest using that. In the Output Module box where it says Video Output choose Channels: RGB + Alpha, Depth: Trillions of Colors+, Color: Premultiplied (Matted) with Format Options set to ProPres 4x4.
Thanks for trying. The ProRes codec seems to be aimed at Apple users.
Until now, I've had nothing but problems using that codec.
I even had to get ProRes material converted to another codec because I couldn't read it here.
But maybe now with CS6, I could re-try use it internally within our company.
For outsiders it can still cause problems because Quicktime Animation is far more accepted and compatible; ProRes is quite new.
The darkening problem I had, seems to relate to RBG space. The word linear appeared in the settings behind RGB colorspace, a setting which I never touch anyway.
Could be my attempt to import older After Effects setting templates (which did not succeed at all) temporarily corrupted the code to generate settings.
It all seems to work OK now.
Great! It's true that ProRes is an Apple codec. And unfortunately In order to get the ProRes codecs you need to have either FCP, Motion or Compressor installed, but all apple codecs should work fine with quicktime. Either way, ProRes codecs have been pretty widely accepted as a standard intermediate format with lossless quality, and if you're working on a PC they should read fine in After Effects or Premiere. It just depends on what's best for your workflow. I personally can't wait for Adobe to come out with their own codec and I'd love for Quicktime Pro 7 to finally get updated.
Ah, I was looking for the ProRes codec and didn't find it. It is installed and pops up in the Quicktime player for playback, but that is not the full install. It isn't selectable in AE or Pr for rendering.
There is this Avid DNxHD codec. It is only 4:2:2 but it's fast and small and very Avid friendly ofcourse. I'm gonna experiment with that, since it supports alpha too.
Black Magic codecs are also a good deal, higher bit depth, and free.
You can get ProRez if you install Motion from the App store. That's the least expensive way to get it. $50 and you also end up with a very fast to use titling and FX tool. I use Motion all the time to do simple projects that don't require all of the tools I have in AE. It's a great money maker, and you can also open Motion projects in AE for further compositing.
That's true, Black Magic is also good.
You need to have either Apple Motion, FCP or Compressor installed to get ProRes codecs, but I've heard it's also possible to install them by hand.
... but I've heard it's also possible to install them by hand.
Can't buy them. Can't legally get ProRez without an accompanying Apple product.