If your AVI is uncompressed at Stage 2, you shouldn`t have any more quality loss, you will need of course a lot of space for that, around 160 GB for one 40min-videofile, which means you definitevely need a 64bit system/software.
you can maybe fake "uncompresseed" by looking into an encoder which lets you set a keyframe at every frame of your file which could reduce the resulting videofilesize without losing any visible quality.
AE doesn't allow me to use the AVI (AVC) file I have, I asked this in another discussion and determined there was no way around this.
Therefore, I convert it to MP4 on Handrake to enable me to import to AE.
You have to excuse my ignorance to part of your responses; I use windows 7 64 bit, my hard drive has more than 160GB free?
If I render the above as AVI, the file is HUGE, so I select H.264 MP4, and it renders to about 1.5GB to 2GB.
So with regards to cutting stages out? Or speeding any step up? Any ideas?
You are going from (visually) compressed to compressed to compressed so naturally, quality loss is inevitable. You amplify artifacts and introduce new ones at every step of the way. You have to use uncompressed or only binary compressed formats for your intermediate files that don't degrade the actual picture content. And well, if you work with 40 minute files you just have to get used that they will be large, but these days buying Terabyte drives is a snap. Read up on that stuff. Also read up on what AE is actualyl for. You don't edit with AE (unless you really have no other option), you apply effects and corrections, but only to the parts that actualyl need it and, that's the point, those parts previously are edited in a program like Premiere.
Ok thanks for your advice.
I use AE as the videos need to be merged seemlessly with an intro an outro that was created for me in AE.
TB Space is not the issue. I was aiming to have the files as small as possible, so when I upload to places such as YouTube, or my website, it doesn't take as long.
I will have a look into Premiere.
AVI is only a container. If you have trouble loading the original file into AE, try virtualdub. VirtualDub will let you generate an uncompressed AVI file (which is nothing else than taking snapshots of everyone of your frames and this one can then be used in AE: