22 Replies Latest reply on Dec 8, 2008 8:35 PM by Jim_Simon

    Better quality render AE or Premiere?

    joshtownsend Level 2
      I know this might not be a big deal to some of you but since I have some shorts and feature that are gonna be projected at film festivals I'd like to know if anyone has any ideas.

      Since that new 'max render quality' checkmark popped up in the 4.0.1 I don't like rendering out of Premiere. I'd like to know exactly what it does. Obviously that means media we rendered in CS4.0.0 didn't look as good as is could have (and we weren't told) but the big question is WHAT DOES IT DO THAT WASN'T BEING DONE IN CS3 AND IS OR ISN'T BEING DONE IN AFTER EFFECTS? It is slow, slower than AE does that mean it renders better than AE?

      Call me overly curious but if I'm rendering a movie or short that gonna be projected on a movie theater screen I want best quality period.

      So which one gives the best quality?

      Thanks
        • 1. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
          shooternz Level 6
          DO a test and then let us all know what you determine.
          • 2. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
            joshtownsend Level 2
            Ok How about a TIFF uncompressed image?
            I'll do one set without FX and one with. I have a ton of 1080 24p DVCPRO Footage. It's 1.5 PAR so it's gonna need to be stretched. What tests for these?
            What kinds of shots? Wide landscape shots, people CU, motion?
            Do you have suggestion for an effect that is exactly the same in premiere as it in After Effects?

            Help me figure out some good tests and I'll do 'em.
            • 3. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
              shooternz Level 6
              My guess is you need to test a sample of one of your movies that are going to be projected.

              Out put a small section in both apps and project it up. Only way you will know (subjective as it may be)
              • 4. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                Jim_Simon Level 8
                >Obviously that means media we rendered in CS4.0.0 didn't look as good as is could have

                The other possibility is that with the option checked, things will look the same as they used to, but without it checked the quality goes down.
                • 5. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                  joshtownsend Level 2
                  I did a couple dozen tests with CS3 and CS4 to uncompressed media.

                  When you render out of Premiere and check the 'max render quality' it actually renders the picture even different than the original. Without it checked uncompressed renders looked the same in CS3 Premiere and CS4 After Effects as well as matching the source footage to the pixel in the comp. When you render with that 'max quality' checked it is always different than the original. Sometimes it looks sharpener maybe like an unsharp mask.

                  Just odd that it would render differnt than the source at uncompressed no other program does this.

                  Easy to test, go to uncompressed AVI or tiff stills then zoom in After Effects.

                  I didn't try massive scaling, I suspect this is where it comes in handy. I tried dvcprohd 1280x1020 1.5 PAR to full 1080x1920 square pix. Also tested it with the AVCHD footage I got from Eric.
                  • 6. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                    Level 1
                    "...projected at film festival"

                    The digital intermediate for cinema is 4K 4096x2301 10-bit, or 2K 2048x1150 10-bit.
                    • 7. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                      Level 1
                      josh, without knowing what sort of source footage you dealing with, and what the delivery format is for the film festival, it is impossible to propose the optimal workflow which should sustain the best picture quality from beginning to the end
                      • 8. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                        joshtownsend Level 2
                        Plenty of short movies I have made have been projected at festivals over the years. I'm not paying for a film out or asking you how to get a movie looking the best it can for projection in a film festival , Blu-ray and DVD massprinting.

                        I understand the workflow Angelo. Thanks anyway I just said the film festival thing to illistrate why I would want to the best render that is most faithful to the original footage. What I don't understand is what that check does to my footage that AE and CS3 don't.

                        Know matter what I'm rendering out to an uncompressed still sequence so I can then go to DVD, Blu-ray, whatever format a particular festival wants for projection.

                        And unless someone wants to do some test renders, I've figured out what I really need to know. It changes the image even when you render uncompressed. So I'm staying away from it unless I have to do major scaling.
                        • 9. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                          Level 1
                          I do not see any difference in transcoding in After Effects versa PremierePro, all codecs look the same, as well the uncompressed.

                          Are your video containing still images?
                          • 10. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                            joshtownsend Level 2
                            Go to Sequence > Sequence settings > check the the maximum render quality check box > SAVE (you have to do this before you send to Adobe Media Encoder)

                            Now render out an uncompressed TIFF still (first frame) or ten seconds of any video as an uncompressed AVI.

                            Now that the renders done go back and uncheck the 'max render quality' now SAVE (important) then render same way.

                            Bring the two new files into with your original composition. Zoom in 200-400% toggle between them. The one with 'max render' is different but the other is exactly the same as the original down to the exact pixel what is what we want with uncompressed.

                            I tried with FX without FX rendered in AE CS3 and 4 and anything uncompressed matches exactly.

                            Not saying 'max render' makes it look bad just wondering what it's doing. As far as I can tell it does help for resizing and when your compress your video or a lot. Just don't wanna use it for this workflow. Also nice to know your renders are gonna look the same as they did before without checking the button and having to wait 2-3 times as long.
                            • 11. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                              Curt Wrigley Level 4
                              I believe the purpose of the max quality render is for renders that are being scaled down; ie hd to sd. What it does exactly; I dont know. But using it on scaled sequences improves the outcome significantly at the cost of really long render times. With it unchecked, scaled projects are the same as in CS3.

                              Notice you can check the max render quality on the seq and when you export the option is automatically checked on the export flyout. Or, you can just set it on the export flyout.

                              Curt
                              • 12. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                                joshtownsend Level 2
                                That would make sense because most of the tests I did looked like they had some kind of sharpen applied like an unsharp mask.

                                Glad I have my brain wrapped around it. Seems to work good for Making DVD's or Web stuff from HD footage.
                                • 13. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                                  Colin Brougham Level 6
                                  What is the average time hit for using Max Quality? I started a 45-minute DVCPROHD 720p/24p to MPEG-2 24p DVD export last night using the Max Quality flag, and it started showing 60 HOURS remaining, and went up from there! I stopped that, and went 2-pass VBR without Max Quality, and it took about 2 hours for the same file. Had to get the file rendered, so I didn't have the option to wait and hope. Any rough time-scaling factor guesses?

                                  Using a dual-dual-Xeon HP x6400 2.33GHz, 3GB RAM, RAID-0, WinXP 32.
                                  • 14. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                                    Level 1
                                    Manual:

                                    Maximum Render Quality Maintains sharp detail when scaling from large formats to smaller formats, or from high-definition to standard-definition formats. Maximum Render Quality maximizes the quality of motion in rendered clips and sequences. Selecting this option often renders moving assets more sharply.

                                    At maximum quality, rendering takes more time, and uses more RAM than at the default normal quality. Select this option only on systems with sufficient RAM. The Maximum Render Quality option is not recommended for systems with the minimum required RAM.

                                    Maximum Render Quality often makes highly compressed image formats, or those containing compression artifacts, look worse because of sharpening.

                                    Note: For best results with Maximum Render Quality, select Memory from the Optimize Rendering For menu in preferences. For more information, see Optimize rendering for available memory.
                                    • 15. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                                      joshtownsend Level 2
                                      I think it works more like an effect of a filter. There's no hard 2 or 3 times longer. It depends on the footage size, compression and most likely motion all change how long it takes. Best to test one minute segments to see if you can handle the extra render time and also check the quality and make sure it's worth it.

                                      My guess is 'max render' option might work best when the source footage is coming from (or rending to?) 'long GOP' source files like HDV or AVCHD. Might help interpolate the movement between i frames.

                                      Of course that is speculation my part.
                                      • 16. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                                        Colin Brougham Level 6
                                        Thanks, Josh. I figured as much. It seems to me like it must be doing some inter-frame comparisons, or at least that would make sense if it (as the manual claims) "maximizes the quality of motion". I'd have to guess that it enables some sort of motion estimation or compensation in order for it to accomplish that feat. That would explain the far greater encoding times--a resize alone would be intra-frame.

                                        Guess I'll just test it :)
                                        • 17. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                                          joshtownsend Level 2
                                          Hell yeah Colin. Let me know if you need any help.
                                          • 18. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                                            Colin Brougham Level 6
                                            Sweet! You wanna render this for me? It only says it'll take 60+ hours! :D
                                            • 19. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                                              Keith_Andrews Level 1
                                              Excerpt from the following link:

                                              http://help.adobe.com/en_US/PremierePro/4.0/WS630B3868-F095-46fe-8690-A5BDBCFD6EC8.html

                                              "Maximum Render Quality Maintains sharp detail when scaling from large formats to smaller formats, or from high-definition to standard-definition formats. Maximum Render Quality maximizes the quality of motion in rendered clips and sequences. Selecting this option often renders moving assets more sharply.
                                              At maximum quality, rendering takes more time, and uses more RAM than at the default normal quality. Select this option only on systems with sufficient RAM. The Maximum Render Quality option is not recommended for systems with the minimum required RAM.

                                              Maximum Render Quality often makes highly compressed image formats, or those containing compression artifacts, look worse because of sharpening.

                                              Note: For best results with Maximum Render Quality, select Memory from the Optimize Rendering For menu in preferences. For more information, see Optimize rendering for available memory."
                                              • 20. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                                                Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                Nice find, Keith.
                                                • 21. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                                                  Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                                                  Not that it matters, but Keith's info is the same posted by Angelo at post #14. I love the on line help (with options for comments), and Keith's post is helpful by identifying the whole help item.
                                                  • 22. Re: Better quality render AE or Premiere?
                                                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                    I guess the difference was the quotes. I misread Angelo's post as his viewpoint. I correctly read Keith's as a quote from the manual.