24 Replies Latest reply on Jun 27, 2014 1:58 PM by Caleb Hallahan

    After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems

    Caleb Hallahan Level 1

      Hi,

      I have a very strange problem that only occurs sometimes. It is kind of hard to explain, so bare with me.

       

      I'll just explain my process first:

      I import and edit all my video files in premiere pro CS5.5. Then I import my Premiere Pro Project into After Effects CS5.5 for Color Grading. While I scrub through my footage everything looks fine.

      I then Add my Comp to the Render queue, and select Best Settings, and Lossless AVI with Audio Output.

      After the footage renders, I watch it and every now and then a frame will be inserted from at least 7 frames up into the current time. This makes the footage look choppy/jumpy. Example: The character is walking and for one frame he will jump a couple inches forward, and the next frame he will be back again.

      This might happen a couple times in a row or every other shot. I thought maybe my computer was just playing it slow in Windows Media Player - but I imported the Lossless AVI file into Premiere Pro to play it in that, and it still has the same problem.

       

      I don't know what the problem is. I would just like my AE Comp to output smoothly without adding those extra frames on my footage.

       

      Here's an example image:

       

      help.png

       

      If any of you could please help me, that would be great! Thanks!

       

      COMPUTER INFO:

      PC: HP Elite 7000 MT

      OS: Windows 7 Home Premium

      System Type: 64-bit Operating System

      Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU   860 @ 2.80GHz 2.80GHz

      Installed Memory (RAM): 16.0 GB

      Graphics Card: GeForce G210

      Graphics Clock: 589MHz

      Processor Clock: 1402MHz

       

      Hope that helps!

        • 1. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          What codec is the original footage recorded in?

          • 2. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
            SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

            Almost seems like perhaps a frame rate mismatch.


            Do you have dedicated hard drives for the video? Uncompressed AVI files are very heavy.

             

            Have you considered a more compact lossless avi codec such as Lagarith? Same quality as uncompressed, but far smaller files and smoother playback.

             

            Thanks

             

            Jeff

            • 3. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
              Caleb Hallahan Level 1

              Szalam The original codec is .MTS from my Canon Vixia HFG10. I record in 1920X1080 24p.

               

              SAFEHARBOR11 I don't think it would be a Frame Rate mismatch since, when I create a Premiere Pro sequence or an After Effects Composition I just drag my original footage on the "Create New Sequence/Composition" icon (which automatically makes a sequence/composition with the exact settings I recorded in).

               

              The thing is, it's not just Uncompressed AVI files. I used Adobe Dynamic Link to import my AE Comp's into Premiere Pro and when I render and watch them on PP, it still jumps between frames.

              I even exported my premiere pro sequence (that had the linked AE comps) as an H.264 with the YouTube WideScreen HD Preset. Then I chose "Render at Maximum Depth", and "Use Maximum Render Quality" (I don't know what those really do). Then, when I exported that it was still really jumpy and does the same thing with the frames.

               

              I have a 2 TB hard drive with alot of my footage and other various files on it - and that's where I save my Premiere Pro, and AE projects. It has 1.31 TB free space though, so I would think that's not a problem. Although, the Programs are both installed on a different drive with only 21.9 GB free space. Do the programs store anything in the folders that have the .exe file in them? That might be whats messing up the render.

               

              Thanks for your help!

              • 4. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

                How do you import the camera footage into Premiere? That could be a critical piece of the puzzle. Best practice for AVCHD-type footage is to copy entire contents of memory card to hard drive. Do not modify, do not use Canon or Sony utility software, just straight copy. Then in Premiere, Import using the "Media Browser". There's a bunch of metadata included on the SD card and Premiere needs all of that to properly interpret and handle the audio and video. For instance, seamlessly joining spanned clips.

                 

                My understanding of "Max Render Quality" is that it only helps with downscaling, in other words when the export frame size is set smaller than the source, like HD to SD. For straight 1080 to 1080 for example, you would not need this checked. "Max Depth" is one I'm not to clear on. I think it has more to do with using 10-bit source files, but yours are 8-bit video. But then some color filters operate at a higher bit-depth, but again not sure if there is any benefit when going back to 8-bit. I always leave both of these unchecked unless scaling the output then I use "Max Quality". Both of these do add to the render times.

                 

                The reason they are NOT checked by default is because they are not always beneficial and that is why they are options and not done automatically.

                 

                How is that 2TB drive connected? Just curious and wondering if a slow connection would cause any glitches in the render since uncompressed HD is moving so much data.

                 

                Thanks

                 

                Jeff

                • 5. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                  Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  .MTS, like an .AVI or an .MOV is a container format and not a codec. An .MOV file, for example, could contain a Cineform codec, a PNG codec, an Animation codec, or any of dozens of others.

                  In this case, your camera likely records an AVCHD MPEG-4 codec variant into the .MTS format.

                   

                  Older versions of After Effects (CS4 - AE version 9.0 - for example) used to struggle when working with any sort of interframe compression. From CS5 (AE version 10.0) onward, most of those problems were minimized or eliminated. The problems got less as each version went on. (You may have noticed that AE is now on version 13, so you are several versions behind.)

                   

                  It's possible, under some circumstances, for CS5.5 to have issues and you might be experiencing those. As a test, try transcoding some of your footage into a proper production codec instead of the highly compressed MPEG-4 you're currently using. See if the problem persists. Cineform (free from GoPro), DNxHD (free from Avid), and the Lagarith codec are all pretty good intermediate options. (Lagarith is technically lossless, the other two are visually lossless.)

                  • 6. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                    Caleb Hallahan Level 1

                    Szalam Is there a way to see a list of AE CS5.5's supported codecs? I would not want to Transcode all my footage, re-edit, and import into AE and it still not work. That would be a waste of time. Also, do you know a quick way of transcoding all my footage? I have Adobe Media Encoder.

                    • 7. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                      Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      I'm not suggesting you transcode all of your footage. Just try it with one problematic clip and see if it makes a difference.

                      CS5.5 should be able to handle MTS footage (and variants of the MPEG-4 codec). I've just seen sometimes where (due to a million variables) it sometimes has odd little issues like this.

                       

                      This is merely a troubleshooting step to see if this footage on your machine with this recipe of effects rendering into this particular codec is the problem.

                       

                      The Adobe Media Encoder makes it easy to transcode large amounts of footage. You can set up templates of format, codec, etc. and very quickly convert whole folders.

                      • 8. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                        Caleb Hallahan Level 1

                        Szalam

                        Okay, I just made a bunch of tests.

                         

                        1) I converted an .MTS file to an .AVI with the Lagarith codec. Then I imported that into AE. When I RAM Previewed it, I did not get the jump from frame to frame thing.

                        2) I also imported the same video file, only an .MTS version and RAM Previewed that. Again, I did not have the problem I have been having.

                        3) I made a new Premiere Pro Sequence and imported the same .MTS file I had been using. Then I went to AE and imported that Premiere Pro project (trying to go through the steps that got me to the problem in the first place), and tried RAM previewing that. Again, I did not have the problem I had been getting.

                        So I obviously cannot re-create my issue. But the issue is still there in my other AE project. If I open up my AE Project that I had the problem with in the first place, I still get the jumpy frame issue when I preview it!

                        I even tried creating a new AE project (willing to re-color grade all my footage), hoping that the problem would not be there. But when I create the new AE project and import my Premiere Pro project, the issue is still there.

                         

                        Is there something wrong with my Premiere pro project? When I play my premiere pro project without it going to AE it works fine, no issue. But when I import it into AE the issue is there!

                         

                        It has to be the Premiere Pro Project or the sequences in that project. Since, like I said above in test number 3: " I made a new Premiere Pro Sequence. Then I went to AE and imported that Premiere Pro sequence, RAM previewed that. And I did not have the problem."

                         

                        What is going on? Will re-editing my entire project in a whole new Premiere Pro project fix my issue? What if it doesn't, and this happens again? How do I fix this?

                         

                        I really appreciate your help. I'm glad there is a place to go when I have a problem with Adobe Programs. I would never be able to figure this out by myself. Thanks!

                        • 9. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Interesting.

                           

                          This doesn't look like a frame rate or field interpretation issue... (double-check all of that stuff just to be sure).

                           

                          What happens if you create a new sequence in Premiere and paste all the cuts into it, then import that to AE?

                           

                          What happens if you copy all of the footage in your Premiere project and paste them into a new comp in AE (skipping the "import" step)?

                           

                          What happens if you render just the footage in AE without any effects applied?

                          • 10. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                            SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

                            Dynamic Linking can at times be problematic. Think about how it complicates things - you have a Premiere timeline all cut up with effects added and such, then you ask AE to import than complicated setup and do further work, then you round-trip that BACK into Premiere....

                             

                            How about this - complete your edit in Premiere, then Export that timeline as a Lagarith .avi or other intermediate codec. Now simply Import that one clip into AE and do the color grading. Seems foolproof. Of course, you'll have extra time and hard drive space involved, but really no quality loss with Lagarith, every bit as good as uncompressed.

                             

                            Jeff

                            • 11. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                              Caleb Hallahan Level 1

                              Hi Szalam,

                              I do not know how to check the field interpretation, but the frame rate is the same.

                               

                              1) What happens if you create a new sequence in Premiere and paste all the cuts into it, then import that to AE?
                              Creating a new sequence in Premiere and pasting the cuts into that sequence, then pasting that entire sequence into AE (skipping the "import" step) does not work. The frame issue is visible while scrubbing through the AE comp.

                               

                              2) What happens if you copy all of the footage in your Premiere project and paste them into a new comp in AE (skipping the "import" step)?

                              I created an entirely new Premiere Project and pasted the cuts from my previous PP Project into the entirely new PP Project sequence.Then I copy and pasted the new sequence into an entirely new AE project and comp (Note: To create the comps, I am dragging and dropping a video file, that has not been through any programs, onto the create new comp icon. I am not sure if that matters). When I do this, the frame issue is not visible while scrubbing through the comp. However, when I RAM Preview, or render as an AVI Lagarith file (no effects applied) the frame issue is visible.

                               

                              I thought we were on to something with that. Would you like me to send you a Screencast of my process and issue?

                              • 12. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                                Caleb Hallahan Level 1

                                SAFEHARBOR11

                                I'm sure Dynamic Link is problematic. I don't normally use that, I was just trying it because everything else wasn't working. Also, the reason I don't export the entire PP timeline then import that into AE, is because I want to Color Grade each individual video file that is in my PP timeline. Finding every cut in AE and splitting them would take alot of time.

                                 

                                What I normally do is copy and paste my PP timeline into an AE comp and render that as lossless to continue editing in PP. However, that is not working right now.

                                • 13. Re: Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                                  Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

                                  Would you like me to send you a Screencast of my process and issue?

                                  That would be nice, 'cos it's not clear to me how you judge on whether you have any issue with duplicated frames or whatever...

                                   

                                  P.S.

                                  SAFEHARBOR11 wrote:

                                   

                                  SAFEHARBOR11 wrote:"Max Depth" is one I'm not to clear on. I think it has more to do with using 10-bit source files, but yours are 8-bit video.

                                  Enabling 'Maximum Bit Depth' in Sequence Settings in PrPro works more or less similar to setting project to 32-bit in AE. Setting 'Maximum Bit Depth' in the Export Settings dialog enables encoding to higher bit depth, if the codec allows that. See this The Video Road blogpost. At the end of the article Steve Hoeg explains how the 'Maximum Bit Depth' flag works.

                                  SAFEHARBOR11 wrote:

                                   

                                  do not use Canon or Sony utility software, just straight copy.

                                  Well, completely the opposite was a reliable workaround for CS6 until Adobe fixed the longstanding bug with spanned AVCHD clips.

                                  • 14. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                                    Caleb Hallahan Level 1

                                    Szalam @Fuzzy Barsik SAFEHARBOR11

                                     

                                    Here is a link to a screencast I made: http://www.screenr.com/AqKN

                                    You can't see the issue in the link (because the screen recorder only records in like 12 frames/second or something like that), but I explain the issue pretty well above on the first post. The screencast just shows the process I go through.

                                     

                                    Something weird did happen while I was recording. I tried the same process 3 times in a row, and each time it was different:

                                     

                                    1st time: I pasted the Premiere cuts into a new AE comp, and you could see the frame issue while I was scrubbing through the comp.

                                    2nd time: I pasted the Premiere cuts into a new AE comp, and you couldn't see the frame issue while scrubbing. But, when I RAM Previewed the comp you could see the issue, and you could also see the issue when I rendered the comp.

                                    3rd time (the one I recorded):  I pasted the Premiere cuts into a new AE comp, and you couldn't see the frame issue while scrubbing, or after a RAM preview! The only time you could see the issue was after I rendered the comp.

                                     

                                    This is so weird! I get a different result almost every time! What the Hell!

                                    • 15. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                                      Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

                                      From what I see you don't have any issues with 'inserted' frames. Just choppy palyback because of your machine inability to handle high bitrate in real time, which is normal (by the way, do not expect smooth scrubbing in CS5.5 while editing highly compressed footages like AVCHD clips).

                                       

                                      You mentioned you're experiencing the same issue while playing back H.264 file exported with YouTube preset. Share the sample so that we can test it on our machines.

                                       

                                      By the way, check your OS drive and free up some disk space - 21.9 GB is a way too small.

                                      Also defrag all HDD - that should increase the performance to some extent.

                                      • 16. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                                        Caleb Hallahan Level 1

                                        I don't expect the playback or scrubbing to be completely smooth but like I said you can't see the frame issue in my screencast. If you look at this image, you can see the issue. This happens sometimes when I go frame by frame in AE.

                                        help.png

                                        Going frame by frame should show you exactly what the output should be! I did render my project completed project (even though it does have the inserting frame issue). I will upload that to YouTube, and post the link here.

                                        • 17. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                                          Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

                                          Better share the file via Dropbox or similar service.

                                          • 18. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                                            Caleb Hallahan Level 1

                                            Okay, here's the link to the entire project on dropbox: Dropbox - 3 shots before-finished project.mp4

                                            It's kind of long. I would really appreciate it if you could please just watch through it and note the "glitches" or any problems with the playback. There's a lot of them that I'm sure you can notice.

                                             

                                            Thanks!

                                            • 19. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                                              Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

                                              OK, now I can see it.

                                              It's late here now so I'm going to sleep.

                                              Try manually clean Media Cache Database (i.e. manually delete all files from Media Cache and Media Cache Files folders) and let PrPro rebuild it from scratch on restart. If the issue persists, try to narrow it down by defining whether it manifests at random frames or problematic frames are consistent.

                                              • 20. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                                                Caleb Hallahan Level 1

                                                Okay, so I manually deleted all Media Cache Database Files (all files in the Media Cache, and Media Cache Database folders) and I made new premiere pro project, then pasted the timeline from my other project. I then, copied the video files from PP timeline (no audio) and pasted into a completely new AE project. While scrubbing through I could not see any frame problems, but then when I exported it, there were frame problems!

                                                 

                                                I even tried the whole process again (clearing Media Cache, creating new projects, importing into AE), but this time, before I imported into AE I went into the AE preferences and unchecked "Enable Disk Cache" (I didn't know if that would help or not, but I gave it a try). Then I pasted my PP timeline into AE, only this time I could see the frame issue while I was scrubbing - so I didn't bother to export.

                                                 

                                                I have only been trying a certain sequence, not the whole project. But in that sequence there is always one clip that always has the problem! The weird thing is, I can import that one clip from my computer (without going through PP or AE) and add that into a comp, and export it without having any frame problems!

                                                 

                                                I thought it was just that one premiere pro project, but I made a new PP project and did not copy and paste from the other PP project. Instead, I imported the raw camera footage into my new PP project, and did a quick edit. Then I copied that and pasted it into a new AE project. When I exported that AE project the frame problem was there.

                                                 

                                                I don't know whats wrong. The camera footage is fine, no problems when you watch that, and no problems when you import it into a program. The problem seems to be when I copy and paste from PP to AE. I tried the same process I have been going through with different camera footage, and it's fine in PP and AE, but when I copy from PP and paste it in AE then export it there is the frame problem!

                                                 

                                                So it is obviously only happening, when I copy and paste from PP. Any suggestions on what I should do now?

                                                • 21. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                                                  Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

                                                  Not many actually... Try to reverse your workflow: import your source footages into AE one by one, do your colour work, export digital intermediates, replace original footages in PrPro project with those intermediates and see how it goes.

                                                  • 22. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                                                    Caleb Hallahan Level 1

                                                    Okay, so what I have done is:

                                                    1) Export PP sequence as AVI Lagarith Codec.

                                                    2) Import PP sequence into AE (no copy and pasting)

                                                    3) Color Grade in AE by Separating Adjustment Layers into as many as it takes to get my desired color

                                                    4) Render out from AE as AVI Lagarith Lossless Codec

                                                    5) Then I take all my Color Graded files and import them back into PP to make any last edits

                                                    6) Then, finally, export the entire project

                                                    When I do it this way, there is no problem with AE inserting frames or anything like that. This process does take A LOT longer than just copying and pasting from PP to AE. I wish we could have figured out what the problem was.

                                                    Maybe I should report it as a bug to Adobe? It's just really hard to explain my problem, and I wouldn't know what to say to Adobe.

                                                    Anyway, if someone comes up with a solution, then maybe they could share it with me.


                                                    Thanks for every ones help!

                                                    • 23. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                                                      Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                      Caleb Hallahan wrote:

                                                       

                                                      Maybe I should report it as a bug to Adobe? It's just really hard to explain my problem, and I wouldn't know what to say to Adobe.

                                                      Have you tried downloading the trial of CC and using it in that? If you still have the problem in CC, definitely file a bug report. (Also, have you seen how cheap CC is per month for someone coming from CS 5.5? You might consider the upgrade.) You could do your color grading in SpeedGrade!

                                                      • 24. Re: After Effects Lossless AVI Export Problems
                                                        Caleb Hallahan Level 1

                                                        Okay, I will try it with the trial version, and yes I have definitely been looking into buying CC.