> Earlier, Rick suggested exporting in PNG compressed format, QT. But I don't see that in my render options, although the Lossless option at the top certainly looks appealing.
You are just looking at a list of output module presets. That is not where you make specific settings for output.
Watch this video:
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Todd's tutorial is an excellent introduction for choosing your render settings. This screenshot also shows how to set up a Quicktime PNG render:
A) Next to Output Module click the defualt "Lossless" setting.
B) In Output Module Settings window change the output to Quicktime.
C) Click Format Options.
D) In the Quicktime Options window open up the Video Codec drop down menu and select PNG.
One two minute video and one photographic screen shot is worth 10,000 words.
Ben, do you recommend purchasing QuickTime 7 Pro for that PNG render workflow?
Also, a friend of mine recommended the following workflow. Any comments? Constructing my own custom timeline sounds like a bit of a chore.... perhaps it is worth it? He's worked quite a bit in large studios and does not recommend PNG here. Not sure why.
My friend recommended:
"I still recommend ProRes for Adobe, and most of the bigger shops that I've heard of that use Premiere still convert to Prores. Cineform or DNxHD would work just as well, depending on your workflow. You can create a custom timeline that will let you work and render full-res files for those editing codecs, instead of the default low-res mpeg2 that Adobe is set to work with.
Working with H.264 is still much more processor-intensive than many systems are prepared for, and in the ProRes conversion process hopefully you're adding reel and TC info if you don't already have it (I'm betting you don't).
Really it's a question of knowing and taking control of what is happening to your video files, or just letting your system do what it wants, which often isn't what's best.
As far as final conversion... I use Mpeg-4 in an mp4 container to avoid the gamma shifts that i see too often in h.264 .mov files. As much as I love the idea of open source, it's not always practical for professionals. X.264 may be fully compatible, but I haven't had reason to work with it instead of .mp4 files. Given the choice of h.264 vs x.264, I would definitely test out x.264, as I've read that you can avoid gamma issues by using it as well."
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The reason most of the bigger shops still use ProRes is because it's a 10-bit codec whereas Quicktime PNG and Animation are only 8-bit. Here's what Todd Kopriva has to say about it:
"There are many codecs that are perfectly lossless; PNG and Animation are examples of them, which is why our output module template named 'Lossless' uses the Animation codec. You can test by running a movie through as many iterations of rendering and encoding as you like and then using the Difference blending mode to compare the result to the original.
Both PNG and Animation are 8-bit-per-channel codecs, so they are only perfectly lossless if they're encoding 8-bit-per-channel material. That is why people who are working at higher bit depths will sometimes use a lossy 10-bit-per-channel codec (like ProRes)."
Another one of the practical reasons people work at higher bit depths with more colors is becuase it will help smooth out gradients. 8-bit-per-channel material will often exhibit a lot of digital banding when displaying gradients of skys, sunsets or clouds and this is usually undesirable. See this thread for more information. To change your bit depth in After Effects see the following screenshot:
A) Click the default 8 bpc icon at the bottom of the project window.
B) Change your bit depth in the Color Settings section.
Thanks Ben, this is helpful.
I typically work in 16-bit, so that is clearly a demerit with respect to PNG.