7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 26, 2012 3:04 PM by Fuzzy Barsik

    intermediate codecs

    lmaclanphere Level 1

      hi all


      I would love to hear some recommendations for an intermediate compression method (in terms of size/quality) for saving out some AE animation work that I want to archive. I understand that the best quality can be obtained by something like a .mov with "animation" setting and quality 100, but that's just not practical for me in terms of file size.


      Is there a compression method you use (either from AE or from Premiere/Media Encoder) that you would recommend--something inbetween H.264 and totally uncompressed?


      thanks very much



        • 1. Re: intermediate codecs
          Dave LaRonde Level 6

          If you absolutely, positively MUST retain the best image quality possible, you need to get more storage. 


          You can also use Quicktime's PNG codec, which typically has smaller file sizes (the exception: animated lower-thirds) and is also lossless.

          • 2. Re: intermediate codecs
            lmaclanphere Level 1

            thanks Dave!

            • 3. Re: intermediate codecs
              Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

              The best quality preservation can be achieved with 4:4:4 codecs.

              When some quality loss is acceptable, use 4:2:2.


              If you're on Mac and have Final Cut installed, you can utilise ProRes.

              Although it's possible to encode to ProRes on Windows via FFmpeg or FFmbc, I was unable to get a decent transcoding with any of them. Probably because of their inability to deal with MOV container properly.


              Comparable size/quality gives DNxHD, which is available for both Mac and PC. But this codec is limited to several 720 and 1080 presets. If you encode to DNxHD 444, choose '709' in 'Color Levels':

              PrPro. DNxHD 444 Settings.jpg

              When you encode to DNxHD 422, choose 'RGB Levels':

              PrPro. DNxHD 422 Settings.jpg


              UT Video is also available for both Mac and PC, provides slightly better quality than DNxHD, comparable to TIFF or TGA. The file size is about 2 times larger compared to DNxHD.


              TIFF or TGA sequence. The file size is up to 2.5 and 4.5 times larger compared to UT and DNxHD accordingly.


              All these codecs have comparable render time.

              • 4. Re: intermediate codecs
                lmaclanphere Level 1

                great--thanks very much!

                • 5. Re: intermediate codecs
                  lmaclanphere Level 1



                  do you recommend exporting DNxHD from After Effects? I've heard that H.264 quality from AE is not so great, so I'm curious if that would be true for Avid as well...


                  thanks again!

                  • 6. Re: intermediate codecs
                    Dave LaRonde Level 6

                    AE renders one frame at a time.  However, long-gop (aka interframe) codecs like H.264 look at a group of frames.  They benefit from multipass encoding, which AE can't do.


                    Avid's DNxHD and Apple's ProRes& PNG  are intRAframe (one frame at a time) type codecs. No problems with them.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: intermediate codecs
                      Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

                      Quality of H.264 media file exported directly out of AE is another story, which is partly related to inability of AE Render Queue to accomplish multipass rendering and partly to a bug with utilising wrong colour matrix while exporting HD footages.


                      DNxHD doesn't suffer from that. What is more, if you're going to use your exportings in a colour managment aware application, you can benefit from assigning a particular colour profile in Output Module to an exporting footage.

                      1 person found this helpful