So what is your purpose in rendering the H.264 file? That's a highly compressed delivery format not intended at all for archiving masters or digital intermediates.
I would try something like JPEG 2000 for 8 bit masters especially if you need an alpha channel, or use any one of several 10 bit or better production codecs for your masters.
If you want to deliver the highest quality product for streaming then you have to match the specifications set by your streaming server or they will recompress the file for you and you lose all control. The same thing goes for authoring for DVD or Blu-ray.
of course you are right. for the actual masters i use motionpng or motionjpg . sometimes cineform. for shorter clips tiff-sequences.
but this does not answer my question. in the current case i have to have "master-like" files (for re-encoding) that are still playable in most players and on most devices. therfore h264.
but actually my question is not about which codec to use for different purposes (had long research- and discussion-sessions about that already).
the question is: why do the seemingly same encoders in ae and ame (quicktime with h264 with qualityslider 0-100) deliver so much different results?
i'm trying to figure out, whats the difference between ae-rendering and ame-rendering. how do i deal with rendersettings (effects, proxies etc) in ame? which one is better to use? and why the fudge is there a difference of 1:10 with the same settings in the different solutions????